It's not easy being a job seeker today. Common technologies like applicant tracking systems (ATS) can make the application process feel robotic. Even if you are highly qualified for a position, you might still get a canned rejection letter. This leaves frustrated candidates wondering what else they can do.
Technology has streamlined the hiring process from the HR side, but it's also been highly criticized by job seekers who view modern application processes as cold and lacking of true insight. Even if you are a purple squirrel — a recruitment term that describes a job candidate with precisely the right education, experience, and qualifications for a role — the ATS might reject you. If you don't construct your application in just the right way to get flagged by the system, you're out of luck.
It feels like your resume falls into a black abyss!
If you long for a leveler player field, there's good news. After receiving seed funding, Purple Squirrel (yes, named for the industry term) is launching a new platform they claim will "humanize the job search" and "return meritocracy back to the hiring process."
The company's press release states: “Finding a job is stressful and frustrating, and all of us at Purple Squirrel know it can be a full-time job on its own,” said Jon Silber, CEO of Purple Squirrel. “We also know employee referrals are the #1 source of hire, and how daunting searching for a job can be if you don’t have a well-established network. Purple Squirrel gives all job seekers the opportunity to get equal access to people who have their dream jobs, get their foot in the door, and potentially be recommended by current employees if they can prove they are a great fit. This gives more power to job seekers, while also ensuring companies don’t miss out on hiring the best-fit candidates.”
Basically what it sounds like Purple Squirrel is doing is manufacturing a way for job seekers to get the inside track at an organization, even if they have no professional connection to it whatsoever. They are creating an information marketplace where candidates can connect with advocates from a company. Of course there is a cost, and that is set by each individual advocate.
What do you get for that fee? A 30-minute phone call that is essentially an informational interview. If you decide to give it a try, consider using this time to:
- Ask general questions about the company that might help you stand out.
- Inquire about the culture to make sure it's a good fit for you.
- Ask about specific departments or roles related to where you want to apply.
- Get interview advice that will help you ace the meeting.
- Receive a resume critique so you can make necessary adjustments.
- Ask for an employee referral, if you are able to really impress them with your skills and passion.
Keep in mind, advocates will provide honest feedback. They aren't there to fluff your feathers. They are motivated by helping people find their dream jobs but also want to help the company find the right talent to grow. Use those 30 minutes wisely and it just might give you the edge you need to get the job you really want.