Geeklist Debuts New Tools to Help Companies Tap Into the Geekosphere
Geeklist, the social network for developers that we covered earlier this year, has left private beta and expanded its service with two new features: first, the ability to add images to achievement "Cards", and second, job postings. The new features allow the company to reach designers as well as developers, and offers companies – Amazon, Ooyala, and Swagsy, to name a few – direct access to Geeklist's talent pool.
According to Geeklist CEO Reuben Katz, job listings jumped the line in the company's product roadmap due to popular demand. Instead of building a by-the-numbers job board similar to Monster or Authentic Jobs, Geeklist decided to make companies part of the community. Hiring is still a problem, Katz says, because "nobody solves it as a social solution where companies and developers are congregating and doing things and interacting on a daily basis."
Companies go through a similar sign-up process as developers, and are able to interact with the community as a member instead of as an out-of-place outside force. The account manager is able to fill out company information, such as who works for the company, what they're doing, where they're based, etc. and can then interact with developers on a more personal basis.
Amazon's OC division is a prime example. The division has posted some of its achievements, like "Our teams successfully launched the Amazon Appstore in the UK, FR, IT, ES, and DE!" or "Our GameCircle team is responsible for the Whispersync for Games on the new Kindle Fires [sic] announced today!" (The exclamation marks are presumably meant to convey Amazon OC's pep.) Users can interact with these Cards the same way that they would with any other member, and Amazon OC can reciprocate.
By expanding the job hunt from the typical "I need a job, you have one" experience found on most services, Geeklist is hoping that adding a little bit of humanity will make hiring more enjoyable for everyone involved. Being able to make those decisions based on actual communication, Katz says, will allow prospective hires to gauge a company's culture and expectations before starting a formal interview process. If a typical job site is like lining up and handing out a resume, Geeklist is hoping to be like grabbing a drink with a prospective employer and decided whether or not you should go from there.
This might sound great for potential employees, but dealing with a flood of messages and resumés could quickly become a hiring manager's nightmare. Katz says that the company will introduce new features to streamline this process, including what Katz alternately referred to as "tests" or "challenges" during an interview. Companies would, essentially, force developers to put their talent where their mouth is before landing an interview. Not quite as community-friendly as the current iteration, but probably much less of a headache for recruiters or hiring managers.
Encouraging a more human approach on a geek-centric platform is a beautiful kind of almost-irony that Alanis Morrissette would love. Developers often create products to optimize efficiency – slowing the interview process down from a blanket "apply here, get an email response when we're done with your resumé" to a more comfortable, "let's get to know each other" process seems almost out of place. The truth is, however, that no resumé or formal application process will let both parties know what to expect once the deal is closed. (I, for one, had no idea that I would be covered in glitter in front of 500 people on my twentieth birthday.)