Our app is completely different than that of our competitors. In my post about the similarities between dating and finding a job, I explained how we re-imagine the “job-finding” experience on mobile devices. Rather than shoehorning our existing website experience to fit a smaller screen, we looked at every aspect of the “mobile experience.“ We quickly realized that it is less about dealing with the hardware limitations and more about re-thinking what the mobile user wants to achieve while on-the-go.
With that in mind, we’ve developed the mobile experience with a feature-lean approach and made hard decisions to purposefully omit certain aspects of our web experience. Steve Jobs once said* that “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” – which turns out to be very true.
We find you a match
After spending months testing the app with users, uncovering their problems and identifying their expectations, we built a product that is tailored to the mobile job seeker. The cornerstones of our experience are job matches based on users’ job goals. Rather than providing the general keyword search that our competitors have, we focus on creating an experience that is less cumbersome and more tailored to the actual user. If you are new to TheLadders, we ask you three simple questions about what you want in your next job, and you are immediately ready to receive jobs. If you are an existing user, you are already set. What we aim to accomplish is giving our users a better, quicker and easier way to identify job matches on-the-go.
Scout the competition
Of course, there is so much more to experience and enjoy within the app. Finding your next dream job takes more than discovering an opportunity – it takes research. We recognize and celebrate that the research part can be accomplished on the mobile phone. Users already consume the majority of content on their mobile device while waiting in line for coffee. In fact, some even find “down-time” to shoot birds at harmless pigs. With this realization, we’ve created an experience that gives our users the best tools to decide: Do I want to pursue a job further or wait for another one more worthwhile?
To help them to do that, users have access to TheLadders Scout, our anonymous competitive-analysis tool, which allows them to see how they stack up to other applicants and identify their own key differentiators. What’s more, with TheLadders Scout, they also will be able to discover jobs to which similar job seekers have applied. This is a completely new, quick and easy way to endlessly discover new opportunities.
What about applying?
After discovering job matches and then deciding which ones to pursue, job seekers usually like to start the application process. However, we’ve discovered that most users still feel uncomfortable applying to a job from their mobile phone. The reasons are manifold and stem from the fact that most recruiters and hiring managers still expect tailored resumes and cover letters as part of an application. This multi-step, manual process clearly doesn’t work well on a mobile device. In the worst case, it might even hurt the applicant as they overlook details on their phone. Therefore, we took another approach and left it out of the mobile experience. Instead, we focused on making the transition from finding, researching and liking jobs on the phone, to applying via the web, as seamless as possible. When users like a job, we email them a quick link to apply when they’re back at their desktop or laptop.
Let me introduce you
But that’s not all! Because we have a network of 40,000 employers and hiring managers nationwide, we can bring something else to the table. Whenever a user likes a job posted by one of our employers, we alert the employer of that job seeker’s interest via a notification email. In our research, we’ve found that the quicker a job seeker “gets a foot into the door” after a job becomes available, the more likely it is that their profile is being viewed and, subsequently, being considered for the job. If they mutually “like” each other, the recruiter or hiring manager might reach out to the job seeker before he/she even had time to apply.
The right person for the right job
In its essence, we wanted the mobile app to reflect the core mission of TheLadders: “To find the right person for the right job.” That’s our job here at TheLadders. So, what we’ve built for our users is a powerful, yet simple, pocket-sized tool that enables them to discover the right opportunities on-the-go, research them, and pick the ones they like. When they do, we’ll set them up to apply and reach out to the hiring manager to see whether an introduction is in order. Want to get started on finding your dream job? Go to the App Store and download the “Job Search by TheLadders” for free!
* Steve Jobs, BusinessWeek, May 25, 1998
Benjamin Grohé is the Product Manager for new consumer products at TheLadders. When he is not coming up with innovative ideas to delight our customers, he is celebrating his European heritage by cruising the streets of New York City on his new Vespa or playing football (the REAL football).