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This startup wants to be the OkCupid of job recruiting: Jobsuitors

Jobsuitors aims to bring honesty to the job hunt the way OkCupid has for dating.

Jobsuitors founders working in Seattle. That's Steve Dean on the left. (Photo via the Jobsuitors blog)

Williamsburg’s Jobsuitors takes the idea of OkCupid and applies it to helping people find a workplace that really fits.

One of its cofounders, Steve Dean really likes OkCupid. He uses it a lot; he even runs a dating consultancy. He believes it’s a system that incentivizes honesty for people looking to date each other. (He’d really like this OkCupid piece we did recently.)

It's amazing how much overlap there is in the two spaces.

Dean thinks that Jobsuitors can bring that same incentivization of honesty to searching for a job. “It’s amazing how much overlap there is in the two spaces,” Dean told us recently. In both cases, he said, people are looking to make a fit, but they have an incentive to try to get the best “deal” possible.

By using an algorithm to match workplaces with potential workers, Jobsuitors believes it can save everyone time and help small companies to reach the talent they need.

Right now, the site is in a closed beta, but Dean and Co. plan to shift to an open beta at the end of winter break, as students across the country begin to think about where they might work when college is over.

A current mockup of the Jobsuitors dashboard. (Image courtesy of Jobsuitors)

A current mockup of the Jobsuitors dashboard. (Image courtesy of Jobsuitors)

Dean gave us access to the beta side of the site now. It pulls in LinkedIn info, then gives you the chance to self-assess your current skills and state a few more skills you wouldn’t mind learning. That part of it was not too surprising. The list of skills, however, is still somewhat limited to roles in startups. Dean said that, for now, with Jobsuitors’ small team, that’s where they’re focusing. The needs of the tech industry, especially the small shops.

The next part, where it really starts to emulate OkCupid, was where you go into the MatchLab. It gives you lots and lots of questions about how you work and lets you answer, in most cases, on a continuum (sometimes it’s multiple choice). Questions pertain to work things, like how much direction you like, how argumentative you are or how you solve problems.

From a user experience position, there were definitely a few questions where we might have liked a “skip” option, because we weren’t sure we understood it well enough to answer. That said, mostly, we could see how they might be helpful for matching workers and workplaces up.

As Dean puts it, if you’re a coder, you can, in theory, code everywhere, but that doesn’t mean you’ll thrive in every culture. The idea of Jobsuitors is that it will only show you places where you will really fit.

It also increases transparency, Dean says. The system tells you how well it thinks you matched up with a workplace. It might tell you, for example, that you’re only a 45 percent match. Even though, based on whatever you know superficially about the company, it sounded like it could be perfect.


One way in which dating and recruiting are different, though, is scale.

Dean told us that the whole online dating market is maybe worth $2 billion. About 4,000 companies, he said, are working in that space. Meanwhile, recruiting is worth something like $120 billion, he told us, and there is nowhere near 4,000 companies. So there’s a lot more potential money to be made.

His company isn’t the first to try to take lessons from dating site success and apply them to recruiting. For example, Jobber imitates Tinder, but it’s hard to see how quickly swiping left and right based on a photo and a few words really reflects good employment recruitment practices.

We have seen similar efforts in the borough before. WorkZeit makes a personality profile for workers and workplaces. In fact, interestingly enough, its cofounders found each other on OkCupid, which may be an argument for Jobsuitors’ use case.

Dean and Jobsuitors cofounder Andrew Koontharana both graduated from Swarthmore College in 2011. CTO Greg Taschuk is also a Swarthmore grad, class of 2013.

Series: Brooklyn

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