This documents the market research I’ve completed for my startup, LooseLeaf. This is a long and exhaustive market research. There’s a TL;DR version of the value proposition.

This is a Live Document. I’ll be updating it frequently.

Table of Contents

Market Opportunity

The Problem

I had a career in a field I enjoyed, but in an industry that is dying. There seems to be only a small handful of careers that are booming today. My friends who got into the software industry seem to be quite happy with their careers. If I knew then what I know now, I would have started this process 10 years ago. I want to be where the world is heading, not where it’s been.

most people who try this challenge fail. Many people start #100DaysOfCode with the aspiration of getting a job as a programmer (Literally tens of thousands of people from all over the world), but few of them actually achieve their goal.

And this is despite an abundance of quality resources and guides, many of which are even free. It’s just a simple reality that the majority of people don’t see their goals through to the end. They fail primarily due to lack of determination and excuses.

~ Why I coded every day for a year, what I learned, and how you can do it, too.

The skills gap is a major contributor of unemployment and underemployment. Low skilled work opportunities are disappearing, being automated away. Companies are in the business of educating workers. They are not schools and many have few resources to train new hires. New hires are expected to acquire the skills and knowledge demanded by the jobs they are applying to before they apply to the jobs.

The traditional methods for acquiring skills and knowledge is college. Colleges are really expensive. Some cost effective methods include coding bootcamps or self study. Coding bootcamps are there to guide students through the complicated paths into the software industry

Even though bootcamps could be as short as three months, a full career change into the software industry could take up to a year or more, which surprised some students. This time could be financially costly for students as well.

Bootcamps are not a replacement for putting in the work to:

  1. Obtain fundamental computer science knowledge
  2. Software industry work experience
  3. Online portfolios
  4. Networking with employers, software engineers and other students
  5. Interviewing abilities (in particular “whiteboarding”)

That’s just for software but the same kind of expectations apply for any candidate. Specifically:

  1. Fundamental knowledge, as assessed during the knowledge interview or looking at the candidates’ college degree / education background
  2. Problem solving skills, as asessed during the technical interview
  3. Practical experience and ability to “hit the ground running” if they hire you. This is evidenced by your relevant work experience and personal projects.

Networking and practical experience (portfolio) are important for getting invited to the job interview.

A Boston Globe article notes:

While MOOCs seem like they can only enhance a job candidate’s appeal, many people I talked to noted an important shift in the world of hiring. Credentials, whether a MOOC certificate or an MBA degree, are declining in importance, while portfolios are on the rise.

What’s a portfolio?

Some sort of evidence of your expertise and abilities online, like design work showcased on Dribbble.com, software code on GitHub, a mobile app you’ve built, or a sales presentation you developed and posted to SlideShare. “Education is becoming less than 10 percent of a candidate’s total score when we hire,” says Apollo Sinkevicius, managing director at One Mighty Roar, a Boston design and innovation firm. Portfolios and work samples “have the highest weight in my hiring,” he says.

Relevant Work Experience?

  • Non-traditional methods include apprenticeship programs LinkedIn’s REACH:

    LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. This program is designed for candidates who have non-traditional career paths. We encourage applications from candidates without Computer Science degrees who are self-taught, re-entering the workforce, starting second careers, veterans, or those who have attended boot camp style programming courses.

  • Microsoft offers a similar apprenticeship program called LEAP.

Some data which indicate market opportunity in the career pivot and candidate relationship management industry:

Bottomline is job seekers need to stand out from the crowd with portfolio and sample work online which provide evidence for their abilities and talent.

Bootcamps

TechBeacon on Bootcamps - Bootcamps won’t make you a coder has these insights:

  • A few years ago, bootcamp entrepreneurs saw an opportunity when they noticed a shortage of developers. They thought they could close the gap by creating coding bootcamp businesses that train people in basic development skills. But professional developers, even junior ones, need experience in many different aspects of programming to be effective software engineering professionals. But, Bootcamp grads have flooded the market.

    “The thing is… the more people can do something, that something becomes less impressive.”

  • According to the Coding Bootcamp Market Sizing Report, the developer job market is flooded with bootcamp graduates, and that makes it hard for individual graduates to stand out.

  • Negative bootcamp reviews show patterns of dissatisfaction with teachers, and volatility in the programs. And the “don’t learn to code” backlash from the learn to code movement has also put a damper on the bootcamp party.

  • When the learn to code movement arrived in 2012, the don’t learn to code movement followed.

  • Bootcamp placement numbers can be misleading - Many bootcamps claim or imply that you can become a professional developer in three weeks, 12 weeks, or perhaps six months when you take their courses.

  • But most of these 90%+ job placement claims are largely unaudited. HackReactor, Turing School, and Lighthouse Labs are among the few that report student outcomes.

  • Course Report has conducted student surveys (with 1000+ respondents from many reputable in-person bootcamps) for the past three years through its annual Alumni Outcomes & Demographics Study. The 2014 report claims that no more than 75% of graduates of coding bootcamps gained employment as developers after graduation. In 2015 that number dropped to 66%. For 2016 it jumped back up to 73%.

  • Not all bootcamp attendees are starting from scratch. Some aren’t there to get a developer job, and some students are already professional developers who are just trying to acquire new skills. While the study doesn’t show us who went from “zero to developer,” the surveys casts doubt on many programs’ 90% job placement claims.

  • People considering bootcamps may not hear as much about negative experiences. Graduates cite several reasons for this. For example, they may not want to devalue something on which they spent so much time and money, or they don’t want to get into a confrontation with the bootcamp provider after posting a negative review.

  • Get realistic about length of training time Bootcamp students who come into programs as beginners are not prepared for a development job when they graduate. “It’s possible that you might qualify for a junior developer or internship position after graduating from one of the more rigorous bootcamps,” says Farag, “but it’s going to be very hard to stand out from the increasing number of bootcamp graduates, and thousands of computer science graduates. You can’t truly become a developer in three-to-six months.”

  • John Kurkowski, a user experience (UX) engineer at CrowdStrike, says programming isn’t an inviting field because even the most mature technologies have been roughly cobbled together over the years, and developers often spend much of their time hacking together libraries that were never meant to be used together. Maybe in ten years, he says, developers will have tools and platforms that work more elegantly, and are easier to work with.

  • Jeff Atwood, the co-founder of StackOverflow, perhaps sums it up best:

    “While I love that programming is an egalitarian field where degrees and certifications are irrelevant in the face of experience, you still gotta put in your ten thousand hours like the rest of us.”

  • Going in, bootcamp students may not realize that computer science is actually a low-success educational field. And there’s plenty of evidence showing that computer science programs don’t have stellar graduation rates. Between 30 and 60 percent of first-year students in university computer science departments fail their first programming course. So why would anyone expect bootcamps to be significantly more successful? What’s more, developers who get computer science degrees say that they are largely self-taught, according to the 2016 Stack Overflow Developer Survey. What’s more, A 2008 survey of nearly 900 developers on Stack Overflow revealed that, if your interest in programming didn’t start between the ages of 8 and 18, your chances of being motivated enough to become a developer are low.

    🤔 LL_IDEA: People who can figure things out on their own without any formal education or structure make better programmers.

  • Documentation for all of the open source tools, languages, and frameworks that bootcamps teach are available online. There are countless free online tutorials on just about any development technology that bootcamps will teach you. All you need to do is pick a technology and run a Google search. There’s also this convenient list of links to several massively open online courses (MOOC’s) on programming.

  • If you don’t know exactly what to do, try building a new application every day. Jennifer Dewalt, the founder of Zube, did this. With each new project, she added to her portfolio and gained new skills. Quantity trumps quality when you’re learning.

Developer Shortage and Broken Hiring Process

Hiring is Broken and developer shortage is an artifact of the broken/antiquated hiring process based on algorithms. Companies like Google are aware that their algorithm-centric interview process is ineffective in assessing the abilities of a candidate and a culture fit with the company. Google studied tens of thousands of their own hiring decisions and concluded that their interview process was broken.

There are complaints from both sides of the interviewee and interviewer.

The Interviewee who got rejected by Google:

I’ve built some open source tools, shared some tutorials, and built a following in the programmer community, all of which constitute a form of social proof and demonstrated value to the industry. But when I go to apply for jobs at a lot of organizations, particularly large ones (only Google is mentioned by name), none of this seems to matter. They could learn about me if they looked at any of this, but they don’t. My experience interviewing across the board has been so depressing — so assembly-line and bureaucratic — that I’m ready to give up. I don’t think that I’m all that great a programmer, necessarily, but clearly people out there value what I do, and there’s clearly a programming shortage, so something doesn’t add up.

Google interviewer:

“I don’t have time to read your github projects, or your blog, or your existing code, or your meticulous attention to detail in your commit messages. I get a resume in, I look at it for 10 minutes, if it’s sane I set up a phone screen. ONLY to prove that you can pass the most basic coding test… Once we meet in person, you need to show me that you can code and articulate a design to a problem. The format sucks, sure. But you need to be prepared. I’m not going to spend 2 hours reading your blog for every candidate that I interview. I don’t have time for that.”

🤔 LL_IDEA: The problem seems to be companies like Google recognize that the hiring process is broken but doesn’t have an efficient way of hiring based on work samples, culture fit, or practical experience.

TechBeacon wrote two articles as a followup to this:

Developer shortage, or time to rethink the technical interview? - raises some interesting points:

  • Is there a developer shortage? There’s research that says yes, but there’s also plenty of data indicating that the developer shortage could be an illusion created by picky hiring managers.
  • Google studied tens of thousands of their own hiring decisions and concluded that their interview process—a process that used puzzler questions and algorithm quizzes—was broken. How did they know that the candidates they didn’t pick wouldn’t have been worse?

    Well, if you make candidates play the algorithm lottery, you’re playing the candidate lottery.

  • algorithm-centric interviewing is a skill that has nothing to do with software development in the real world. While everyone accepts that interview preparation is a vital part of everyone’s education, developer interview preparation goes beyond the soft skills of good self-marketing. The time it takes to brush up on CS fundamentals is time that could be better spent building something great and being judged on that.

  • The interview should be designed around understanding the context of a candidate’s body of work, not random knowledge tests. You should give candidates a chance to talk about their work, why they coded things the way they did, and why they’re passionate about it!

  • Google didn’t hire the guy who made Homebrew?! It highlights how algorithm knowledge is not as important as being able to create practical solutions that solve a problem for hundreds of thousands of people.

How to fix the technical Interview

The developer shortage in general web development and software engineering fields may be self-inflicted by the software industry’s hiring practices and misconceptions.

  • Even this interviewer who defended algorithm-centric interviews admitted that the format sucks. Can this vibrant industry really not come up with a more innovative way to conduct the hiring and interview process? Startups and small companies tend to be more innovative when it comes to developer interviews.
  • Buffer is one small company that is very innovative when it comes to managing and paying employees. Its hiring practices are also innovative when compared with the bureaucratic, Computer Science(CS)-ruled interviews of many development firms. Buffer focuses mainly on culture fit with three culture interviews, and then it does contract periods for new hires. Rather than taking the candidate’s claims at face value in an overly complex interview, it just confirms the culture fit and looks at the candidate’s previous development work when judging technical aptitude. The real interview is a four-to-six-week contract period for candidates who make it through the initial stages.

🥡 LL_TODO: Maybe LooseLeaf’s platform can be a one-stop shop for companies to hire based on culture fit, sampling of past work, and the contract period. We can have an enterprise version for LooseLeaf!

  • Mark Lavin, speak at a local conference last year about its main goals in hiring, which are: (1) Finding a candidate who can add to the team’s overall knowledge profile (not someone who knows all the same things and thinks the same way as everyone else). (2) Picking someone who is not a rockstar, but someone who can complement the team well and make it stronger.

🥡 LL_TODO: How can companies use LooseLeaf to pick a candidate that fits those criteria in an efficient way?

🤔 LL_IDEA: “Use LooseLeaf to build a Rockstart Team”.

What could recruiters do at scale that would be much more illustrative of a developer’s abilities than algorithm questions?

  • Use tools to analyze the quality of code samples
  • Find out how widely a candidate’s code was included as a dependency in a package ecosystem such as npm (that’s how an academic researcher’s work would be judged)
  • Give candidates a take-home, realistic (or real) work sample project

🤔 LL_IDEA: You can administer the take-home test using LooseLeaf’s platform.

  • Do’s and Don’ts:
    • Do ask for a code sample (just as you would for a writer) or have candidates complete a simple online programming test. This is just a sanity check to see if they can do basic programming.
    • Do have them discuss or give a presentation (with a whiteboard is fine!) on a coding project that they have worked on and they’re passionate about. Find out why they design things the way they do.
    • Do your homework on the candidates. If you don’t have time, narrow down the candidates until the number is manageable. Take just 15 to 30 minutes to look at a candidate’s code.
    • Do a four-to-six-week contract period for new hires.

🤔 LL_IDEA: Help the interviewer “do homework” on the candidate. Do we have tools to help investors do “due diligence” on the startup and the market? It’s probably the same kind of problem and process.

Github Contribution

Is your Github contribution a measurement of passion? A GitHub account isn’t a résumé in most case but a portfolio should be a major factor in the hiring decision. According to this article on Hiring Indicators, OSS, and the Value of GitHub

…GitHub has no way of customizing your profile page, and what is shown by default is the projects with the most stars, and the projects you’ve recently pushed to… You have no say about what you consider important, or worthwhile, or interesting, or well-engineered, or valuable.

  • Why GH profiles and not interviews? We want to know how candidates will perform over n months, yet don’t have n months to assess someone working in our environment before providing a paycheck. An impasse. Recruiters and hiring managers look for indicators of talent based on experience with previous hires. The existence of GitHub code for many recruiters serves as a useful indicator, and forks and followers might be considered a stronger indicator (crowdsourced data). Just like everyone who makes it past the interview won’t be a good hire, there will be false positives.
  • What about recent graduates, students, the underemployed, and career changers? It would seem rather unfair not to use GitHub code to judge hobbyists who are pursuing paid work, as their accomplishments in the field don’t exist. For them, GitHub is the CV. There are surely thousands of GitHub users who were employed in other industries (I’ve come to know many), and they rely on their code to get them in the door. These are the aforementioned FizzBuzzers and Game of Lifers, many lacking a CS degree or training.
  • “There is really astonishingly little value in looking at someone’s GitHub projects out of context.” We’re talking about GitHub content (based on the article) for possible hiring and talent evaluation, and by looking at projects I’ve always thought we were talking about code. In my experience, the GitHub account is provided for review upon request and not just stumbled upon in the wild without opportunity to ask the user questions, and is often reviewed live during an interview.
  • Those reviewing GitHub accounts care less about influence and followers and more about code.
  • GitHub and SO have some value just as employment by certain selective companies means you’re likely to pass tech interviews for other firms. Degrees from certain schools give some evidence, and it’s not always the ones you expect.

The Gig Economy

While project-based work used to be most common among the recently laid off or those unable to nail down more permanent posts, it could soon be the main mode for a significant portion of the population. Also known as freelance economy, on-demand economy, and sharing economy, the gig economy will define the future of work.

According to the Freelancer Union, More than 55 million Americans work as independent contractors or moonlighters, a figure that’s grown by 2 million over the last two years. At its current growth rate, the majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027. See Freelancing in America 2017 Results Deck

However, the Freelance Economy is getting more cliquey as “curated” marketplaces separate elite freelance talent from the rest, the gig economy is taking a stratified turn.

Thoughts from DaedTech:

A Players Don’t Hire A Players — They Partner with A Players

Market Research

We Expect LooseLeaf users to be:

  • MOOC users looking to build careers, a subset of which attend coding and UX design bootcamps.
  • Looking for project opportunities beyond formal education or MOOCs to stand out from the crowd.
  • Those who are desperate/committed enough to pay $11K and spend 14 weeks in an intensive coding bootcamp. The typical bootcamper is is college educated working professional in their late 20s and early 30s looking for a career change.

TAM, SAM, SOM

TAM: Accept

Total Addressable Market (TAM) is everyone you wish to reach with your product. For estimating the TAM, we use the MOOC market size as baseline:

  • USD 1.83 Billion in 2015 to USD 8.50 Billion by 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.0% (Source).
  • There are 81M students on MOOC (Source).

SAM: Attract

Serviceable Available Market (SAM) is the portion of the TAM that we can actually address. According to a Harvard Business Review Survey:

Career benefits are the more common reason for taking a MOOC. Fifty-two percent of the people surveyed report a primary goal of improving their current job or finding a new job — they are “career builders.”

As such, we are estimating that 52% of 81M students or 42M users as our SAM.

According to a Harvard Business Review survey

one-fifth of those surveyed said they enrolled in MOOCs solely in the hope of finding a new job or starting a business. Rather, many people look at these courses as part of their self-directed career development, whether they have a clearly defined plan or are working toward broader objectives, such as maintaining their overall employability and keeping their skill set up-to-date.

LooseLeaf can put the concepts they learn from MOOCs into context.

SOM: Own

Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) is the realistic prediction of our ability to acquire share of our SAM, considering competition, locality, our distribution and sales channels and any other market influences.

Coding Bootcamp Market Size: $260M industry, graduating 23K developers in 2017, and has grown 10x since founded in 2012 Source.

Competition

  1. Recruiting Software
  2. Career Pivot Services
    • Praxis - career accelerator (bootcamp).
      • The Degree is Dead. You Need Experience. We’ll help you find and build your skills, then put them to work in a startup apprenticeship.”
      • The opportunity to build your career around value creation, not just titles and credentials.
      • One of the biggest complaints I hear from high-caliber young people who leave school to start something on their own is that they lack a sense of community and are lonely.
      • Why do Praxis when you can just go get a job?
    • Mission Collaborative - Offers career design and career change coaching.
    • Career Foundry - CareerFoundry is the world’s first career accelerator for vocational tech skills. We build online programs delivered by expert mentors to bring complete beginners up to employable standards in technology.
  3. Bootcamps
    • Hackbright Academy, General Assembly, Flatiron School
  4. MOOCs:
  5. Side Hustle website

    • College Recruiter - This is for college students or recent graduates looking for freelance work, part-time jobs, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs of any type. College Recruiter is a place for people looking to hire college students to post jobs. College Recruiter does not support any development or get users to come back.
    • HireCoder - Live video chat and hire top 1% global coder, assign projects and tasks, Scrum and project delivery managed by HireCoder.
    • Skillshare - An online learning community where anyone can discover, take, or even teach a class.

    Skillshare’s mission is to close the professional skills gap and provide universal access to high-quality learning. For only $10/month, students get unlimited, on-demand, access to thousands of online classes. By teaching the skills needed in tomorrow’s world, Skillshare empowers people to advance their careers, improve their lives, and pursue the work they love.

    • Facebook - Facebook groups can be a platform for peer mentorship. For example, study group for algorithms course on coursera or 100DaysOfCode are some examples.

Career Pivoters

Top 5 career pivotors startups love to hire are

  • Investment bankers and consultants
  • Journalists - they make the perfect copywriters and content creators
  • Political Campaign Members - they make excellent Sales and Business Development team members
  • Teachers - their problem solving, management, and communication skills are easily transferable
  • Waiters, Baristas, and Retail Associates - They make great customer relations people

Why people make a career pivot? According to this article:

  • signals for a Career Pivot include: your job has changed in a fundamental way, your skills are losing value or relevance, You feel restless/unhappy/bored (feeling burnout at work), feeling vulnerable (company’s in trouble).
  • To prepare for a successful pivot, do two things: never stop learning and have a passion side project.

LooseLeaf Product

How It Works

LooseLeaf provides a platform for newcomers of the tech and creative industries to improve their skills and resumes by working on projects for non-profits and entrepreneurs.

  1. The newcomers can browse open projects in the marketplace posted by non-profits, entrepreneurs, and other newcomers to work on to acquire relevant work experience, professional connections, and mentorship. There is no limit to how many people can work on each project.
    • Non-profits, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and other newcomers post projects they need help with in exchange for offering mentorship and feedback to everyone working on the projects. There is no money exchanged for working on these projects so there is no limit to how many people can work on each project.
  2. Newcomers can browse open projects in areas of their interest and add the projects they want to work on to their todo-list and watch-list. They can document their efforts in how they are completing these projects, and receive notifications of how other people are completing their projects.
    • While all submittals to a project receives a shout-out and reviews from the project creator, the best submittal receives a badge. The best submittal is judged by the project creator and the community. Over time, newcomers will have a portfolio of sample work, reviews, and shout-outs will be created and skills acquired through the various projects.
    • Side Note, When the newcomers are browsing open projects in areas of their interests and can add it to their todo-list or ignore it, giving feedback to the project creator why (not interesting, project description too vague, no clear goal for the deliverable).
  3. The project creators provide direct feedback for all those who contribute a deliverable to the projects. A history of completed projects and the feedback received is accumulated on a newcomer’s profile, which provides an overview of the newcomer’s abilities.
  4. Peer Mentorship System
    • (1) a daily/weekly digest email that is sent to a newcomer’s inbox which consist of the activities of how other newcomers are completing their projects and (2) a tool for other newcomers to interact with that newcomer’s action plan and milestones updates.
    • To allow newcomers to browse open projects in the marketplace to acquire relevant work experience for working at a companies, professional connections, and mentorship.
LooseLeaf Product Flowchart LooseLeaf Product Flowchart

1. Job Insights

The first cornerstone for LooseLeaf’s product is to demystify the career track by offering new career seekers a preview of the available job opportunities and the type of skills and experience a successful candidate must possess. The best way to get that insight is from Job boards. Job boards are a type of search engine which aggregate and display jobs posted by employers seeking new employees. These job boards often target one specific industry like technology, design. They are among the most popular sites on the Internet.

Based on Betterteam’s ranking for best Job Board, Indeed, Glassdoor, Craigslist, LinkedIn, Facebook are considered some of the best general job boards. There are some specialized job boards. There are many jobs specializing in tech jobs

🥡 LL_TODO: Investigate each of the job boards below to determine if they have an API for third party developers to access data on jobs.

Tech Jobs

Data Science Jobs

Design Jobs

  • Authentic Jobs - “the leading job board for designers, hackers, and creative pros”
  • Dribble - Jobs for visual creatives to post their portfolios so companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Salesforce can view them.
  • Krop - Jobs for copywriters, product managers, and various types of visual creatives who want to work with companies like Apple. Verizon, PBS, Tesla, and ESPN
  • Coroflot - A niche site that allows creatives to post portfolios that employers and recruiters can view, similar to Dribbble.
  • Behance - Jobs for visual artists that lets you show off your portfolio to the likes of Washington Post and New York City Ballet
  • DSGN

Internship

  • Youtern - The “Best” internship job board
  • College Recruiter - Internship jobs for college students

Other

2. Skills, Knowledge, and Portfolio Building

The second cornerstone of LooseLeaf’s product is the skills, knowledge, and portfolio building. Based on the latest coding bootcamp market research

the number of coding bootcamp graduates has grown 10x since the first bootcamps launched in 2012. Coding bootcamps are a $260 million industry and will graduate ~23,000 developers in 2017.

There are a few concerns with using a bootcamp to close the skills and experience gap:

  1. Cost - Average tuition price of qualifying courses is ~$11,400.
  2. Format - An average program length of 14.1 weeks. Bootcamps are trending longer – up from 12.9 weeks in 2016 to add computer science basics to the curriculum. If you never coded in your life, 13 weeks is not going to be enough to be a good software developer. Coding and problem solving skills are like muscle that you need to build up with practice.
  3. Exclusivity - There are prep schools for coding bootcamps. You have to be accepted into the bootcamp, like college. Many people are working a full time job, with bills, mortgage, and a family, so they can’t drop everything to attend a bootcamp. Also, there’re no bootcamps for content creators and designers looking to hone their skills through lots of practice.

We help career-changers try out the careers they want to enter by working on projects for non-profits, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs for free. In exchange, they get feedback from their clients and get a feel for what it’s like to work as a developer, designer, or writer.

When you work for free, you’re not working for exposure. Freelancers work for gratitude, shout-outs, and opportunities that this would lead to something else. It’s often your initiative and may materialize to something down the line.

3. Candidate Sourcing

The last cornerstone of LooseLeaf’s product is the candidate sourcing, which is a combination of the Recruitment Candidate Relationship Manage System (CRM) and Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

LooseLeaf’s platform is the answer for how to fix the broken hiring process.

Marc Miller on CareerPivot says you should target the company and quit chasing jobs. This is because:

the traditional job search is dead and may it rest in peace. Now companies source prospective employees, notice I did not say job seekers, via LinkedIn, Google and other social and career platforms. They no longer care that you are not looking for a job. If you want to play this game you need to be a good passive candidate or someone who is easily found.

CRM is used by recruiters and a company’s talent sourcing team to identify strong active and passive candidates and encourage them to apply to the position.

CRM: Your candidate relationship management system is for job seekers and candidates. It’s the engine that drives your sourcing team, lets you create talent pools and helps you build and nurture relationships with passive talent.

ATS is used by the hiring team to track and automate some of the processes for job applicants to go through each stage of the hiring process. Many employers are having difficulty finding candidates or sorting through the vast number of applicants they get.

Many ATS systems offer additional features, such as note taking, bulk emailing, and job posting. ATS works by tracking who has applied for each job, when they applied, and what stages of the hiring process they’ve gone through and still need to go through. Some ATS also integrates CV scanner (i.e., allow CVs to be searched and filtered quickly to filter out candidates), assessment platform (e.g., candidate testing platforms, including code testing, video interviewing, personality testing, and more), and Recruiting CRM (candidate relationship management system for job seekers, candidates)

There are a whole plethora of recruiting websites dedicated to posting jobs, integrating Applicant Tracking Software (ATS), and hiring qualified candidates. Many of them have APIs for the companies posting jobs since they are the customers. Few have APIs for third party developers to acquire data from job postings to inform a talented but not-yet-qualified candidate on what the opportunities are and in what areas they need to build their skills and experience.

  • The SmartRecruiters API lets you grab active postings published by given company. Companies posting jobs using SmartRecruiters include Atlassian (See example).
  • Not Friendly to 3rd Party Developers (Yet).

    • Greenhouse.io API provides Job Posts, which provides online job posts for a particular organization’s jobs. I don’t think they offer third party developers access to the job postings. Companies using Greenhouse includes Github (See example).
    • Workable API. They have an API, but it’s only for paying customers (i.e., employers) to access and manage their own data: https://workable.readme.io/docs/generate-an-access-token) seems to be only for paying customers (i.e., employers) to access and manage their own data. ActionIQ and Gitbook use workable to post jobs. See example here and here.

Put simply, your ATS is a workflow and compliance tool that manages applicants, your CRM is an ecosystem of all passive and active candidates, as well as everyone who has previously applied to your company. It’s a complete talent intelligence hub.

Research

More Research