Job Seekers Get Gamified With Job Search Tool
Hoffman Estates, Illinois – November 4, 2013 – Conducting a job search may rank as high as cleaning up vomit from the back seat of a Honda in 90 degree weather in terms of least favorite things to do. So two entrepreneurs set off to change that unfortunate ranking by creating a new company called SnagPad.
The job search process has never been more complicated than it is today. Applicant tracking systems, key word searches, electronic applications and video interviewing can present an intimidating environment for those young and old involved in a job search. To compound the complexity for an individual, few are ever trained or educated on how to conduct a job search in the 21st century.
“Individuals enter the job search experience armed with limited strategies and tactics, which they quickly exhaust. They then gravitate to the path of least resistance, which are online job boards, failing to realize or simply ignoring the fact that those are the least effective channels to pursue for employment” says Dr. John-Paul Hatala, professor in the Career and Work Counselor program at George Brown College. Hatala continued by saying, “Focus, strategy and intensity are all factors that drive job seeker motivation. When those factors diminish, which they quickly do for most job seekers, their search prolongs and desperate employment choices result.”
Hatala and the SnagPad team recognized that motivation and desired job seeking behavior could be influenced and shaped by means of game dynamics. “The use of gaming principles has grown in use throughout the digital and corporate community and job search was the last hold-out”, said Jeff Weber, CEO of SnagPad. “We’ve integrated 15 years of career management and job search research into a platform that has been gamified. The result is higher user engagement and a smarter and more effective job seeker” continued Weber.
When something is “gamified” it means its process has incorporated principles from game theory to make it fun and engaging, but more so to influence the player’s behavior. Several companies and industries have already applied this practice with success, such as Mint.com, Payoff.com and most recently Officevibe who sets out to make your work days fun. Salesforce, the popular CRM tool for business, released a product called Work.com, which gamifies group and team behavior to reach goals. Large corporations are using games internally to influence everything from recruitment, training to health benefits. So why has it taken so long for someone to gamify job search?
One major reason is that job search is a highly complex process, involving not only tasks, but human psychology. “The process of job search is straightforward, it simply requires repetition”, says Hatala. “The true complexity involves: identifying the ideal job, self assessing required skills and abilities, determining secondary job opportunities that make a person more marketable for their ideal position, the duration of the search, maintaining a high level of activity and dozens of other things, including personal networking, which many are uncomfortable doing” , added Hatala.
Currently, SnagPad’s game elements are focused on the job seeker and involve customary badges and points as rewards for desired behavior. Professionals who counsel job seekers have long recognized that providing small incremental rewards are critical to maintaining individual motivation during the job search. Subsequent SnagPad versions will allow SnagPad’s customers, who are college career centers, workforce development agencies and outplacement firms, the ability to create their own strategies, challenges and rewards. Job seekers will be able to redeem points and accomplishments for items provided by employer sponsors or the SnagPad hosting organization itself. “We’ll create a job search ecosystem that provides value to all of the primary stakeholders, by creating focused job candidates”, said Weber. He concluded by saying, “the benefits of games have been proven repeatedly, why not apply them to one of the least desirable human tasks to make the process more enjoyable and effective too?”
SnagPad™ is the digital culmination of 15 years of research into strategic career development designed to help job seekers organize and manage their job search, while empowering job counselors and workforce development agencies to improve the job placement rate of their clients. The company’s management has extensive Internet, education, and employment social research experience. The company is headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois USA with an additional office in Burlington, Ontario Canada. Additional information can be found at www.snagpad.com.
Jeff Weber, CEO
1400 Picardy Lane
Hoffman Estates, IL. 60192