Should Recruitment Technology Move To A Candidate First Design Model? has asked me to contribute content focused on technology to their blog on an ongoing basis.  I’m happy to do it.  The people at have been a joy […] has asked me to contribute content focused on technology to their blog on an ongoing basis.  I’m happy to do it.  The people at have been a joy to work with and they have asked me to share my opinions up unfiltered.  There are no other editorial guidelines.  It’s a smart way for them to get people like in the industry to contribute.  They have put together a team of some very well-respected bloggers and thought leaders for this project.  I’m honored to be included on the list.  I strongly suggest you take a look at their blog if the world of jobs and Human Resources is your thing.

My first contribution to their site was about the technology that has most impacted the way we look for jobs in a positive way over the last five years.  You can read it here.

While doing the research for the post I was struck by the near non-existence  of job-seeker specific technology innovation.  Most of the innovation I wrote about comes from the Employer side to the Job-seeker, or is really an evolution of an already existing consumer product.  The evolution of job-seeker technology is limited by one universal truth:


People don’t pay to find a job.  Employers pay to find people.


Any job-seeker tech innovation that goes on is really done in support of a vendor’s revenue model that drives candidates to customers/employers.  You can look to some of the apps being developed for the social platforms and see a more elegant interface, and better ease of use, but this is really a function of the social platform, not the app itself.  The apps are designed to capture network and candidate data which drives direct candidates and referrals.  This is true for most job boards, employer job portals, and all other job-seeker facing “systems” I’ve seen in the last 20 years.

Its worth noting that many of the vendors do commit development resources to usability and candidate experience.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if a tech vendor focused solely on the candidate experience, and getting that right before ever considering the revenue model?  Wouldn’t that result in an unrivaled source of quality candidates?

At first blush, this may seem like a chicken/egg problem.  How can you design a system for job-seekers that doesn’t take the employer into account up front?  Sites, systems, or apps that provide job-seekers to employers have a fairly straight forward model – they deliver value when they deliver the candidates.  If you have an unrivaled source of quality candidates you deliver value to employer customers and then command a premium in revenue.

Here’s your answer:

There is an incredible amount of innovation going into automating systems for recruitment on top of Facebook and the Social Graph.  Harnessing data coming from sites and systems that were built with no thought of an Employer customer.  I think that supports the point.  As Social, Mobile, and Cloud-based recruitment technology continue to provide opportunities to change the recruiting model, it will be interesting to see if any HRTech vendors move more holistically in this direction.

In the market at large, there is movement to Mobile First development.  HRTechnology is moving that way, too.  (More on that soon.)

Maybe from a design perspective we should be pushing a Candidate First model.  It could change the game in Recruitment Technology.

I would love to hear from any vendors that feel they are succeeding with an approach like this.



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