jobZology's "secret sauce" takes job hunting and hiring to a new level

By: Kate Forgach Thursday July 26, 2012 0 comments Tags: Bryan Dik, CSU Ventures, Eric Leftwich, jobZology, Kurt Kraiger, Travis Hevelone

By Kate Forgach

Jobzology logoFORT COLLINS -- Some job applicants interview flawlessly, then prove incapable of fitting into a company's culture. On the flip side, job seekers may feel they present perfect resumes, then come away empty-handed when an employer depends on a gut feeling to make the final hiring decision.

jobZology has set out to change this highly subjective process. Based in the Rocky Mountain Innosphere, the five-month-old company has cooked up a "secret sauce" designed to match the personality and style of an applicant to an employer's culture.

Eric Leftwich
"We're the eHarmony for jobs," said Eric Leftwich, jobZology's chief revenue officer. "We take a person and a company's environment and use a survey instrument to identity objectively how well an employee will fit in based on five factors: vocational choice, career role, the company they want to work for, the potential team, and the manager's style."

Chief Strategy Officer Kurt Kraiger, Ph.D., and Chief Science Officer Bryan Dik, Ph.D. -- both from the psychology department at Colorado State University -- cooked up what they call a "secret sauce" survey instrument over several years before bringing it to Leftwich and CEO Travis Hevelone.

In 2010, CSU Ventures expressed interest in their project and -- as the entrepreneurial arm of the university -- became invested in bringing it to fruition. An angel investor helped them create the jobZology web-based service. A smartphone application is under development for iPhone and Android platforms, with completion targeted for the fourth quarter of 2012.

While still in the development stage as they work to bring major employers on board, the jobZology team is also in the process of creating a job-seeker database. They began by using their P-E Fit instrument to aid in career planning and decision making for community college students.

Eventually, the online survey will connect employers to job seekers in a variety of ways. They're presently focused on combining employers' Web-based application processes to the survey instrument so applicants can complete both phases at once. Each employer may have an assessment program customized specifically for their organization.

Travis Hevelone
CEO Hevelone said the team is presently using the trusted Rolodex approach to sign-up employers, with one national firm already showing interest. "Many of us have 20 years of experience in this area and have developed useful relationships," he said. "We're also using the resources of the Innosphere to give us a boost."

According to Leftwich, registering job seekers has been their biggest challenge. "Venture capitalists want us to have people already using the tool, so we're looking for businesses that are on the fast track, with 100 to 1,000 employees already in their organization," he said. "Those are the companies that really need us. They know they need to put the right butts in the right seats. For them, it's really important to screen out those who wouldn't fit in."

The jobZology business plan includes working with companies that understand human capital is their greatest asset. This model requires employers to pay for use of the instrument, but Leftwich hopes to eventually charge roughly $35 to job hunters wishing to become part of the hiring database.

While job openings won't be listed on the jobZology website, employers will be able to search for applicants that match their company culture.

"Our demographic is the 22-to-55-year-old," said Leftwich. "At this point, the Millennial Generation is looking at having nine careers in their lifetime. As a result, companies aren't going to give them long-term employment. Gallup and Pew polls indicate they're looking for people to fulfill gigs. In return, the kids want jobs that are meaningful to them for a limited period of time."

On the other hand, studies also reveal the older generation is looking for long-term jobs. Some lost their retirement funds in the recession and doubt Social Security will provide for them. Others simply wish to continue working past the 60-to-65-year-old threshold.

"Job satisfaction is presently at a 22-year low," said Hevelone. "Most people are like, 'It's a job. I just need the salary.' We're trying to provide the optimized data to make sure both the employers and employees are happy."

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Kate Forgach

About the Author: Kate Forgach

Kate Forgach is a lifelong journalist and public relations specialist who has written extensively about science and business.