By Celena Cipriaso, iQ Contributor
With the national unemployment rate at 8.6 percent, the future looks bleak for job hunting. Job seekers have more competition and employers are getting buried under the thousands of resumes. This is where Bright, a new job search engine, comes in.
Much of the press has touted Bright as the matchmaking “Cupid” for job seekers and employers. Being labeled as the Match.com of job world has a sexy ring to it, but Steve Goodman, the CEO of Bright, admitted that the comparison wasn't really apt. Goodman stated, “The dating world that is not perfect, it’s not science.” By contrast, Bright was all about science.
Goodman categorized Bright as a “classic Silicon Valley company,” which tried “to attack a problem from an engineering and science perspective as opposed to a process perspective.” Goodman said that what he and his other team members noticed was that the “HR function was the least efficient of the functions in our businesses” because “the problem was recruiting, sourcing and maintaining the best people.”
Bright collected a team of data scientists and engineers to conduct a study, which the company deemed as the “largest truly scientific resume to job description study in the history of this space.” On the company website, it claimed that Bright “harness[ed] a pool of HR professionals, tens of thousands of evaluations, and millions of resumes.” The goal: to uncover why certain job seekers landed interviews while others didn’t.
Their research showed that a human recruiter only spent an average of 6-8 seconds reviewing a resume. By contrast, the interviewer spent about 10-15 minutes examining a resume. However, if a resume didn’t make it past those initial 6-8 second review, Goodman declared, “The job seeker was at a disadvantage.” The Bright team realized that there was a disconnect between the job seeker, landing an interview, and making sure a company landed the right candidates for that interview.
As a way to address the problem, Bright’s team of scientists created the Bright Score, which was a machine generated algorithm that provided a numerical assessment between 0-100 in regards to how fit a candidate was for an interview. The score took into account elements such as job experience, educational history, majors, certifications, school ranking, and connections in common.
Bright’s motto was to take “the search out of job search.” For job seekers, the score provided an assessment of the type of jobs best suited for their experience. For employers, it provided a list of candidates, ranking them via Bright Score. This list included candidates that directly applied for the job, candidates that simply viewed the application, candidates that started but didn’t complete the application, and a list of high-scoring potentials that didn’t even see the job posting. Employers paid Bright to gain access to the full list of candidates while job seekers accessed the site for free. Goodman hoped to cut down the hiring timeline by “helping companies create a shortcut to their shortlist and provide job seekers with a GPS to the jobs they should be applying for.”
Instead of a matchmaking job service, Goodman envisioned Bright more as streamlined job search engine. From an outside perspective, Keith Molesworth, Global Staffing Channels Manager of Intel, commented, “I think that’s the right direction. I think that the companies that have become really successful in this space – Indeed, Simply Hired – are selling themselves as [job search engines].” Molesworth claimed that Bright took that search another level “by providing the matching scores, which is something that the other companies, to my knowledge, aren’t doing at this point.” He also noted that the site had definite potential with its “clean and simple interface” directly shows you “what are you looking for and where.”
Approaching human resources from a technology perspective was bound to draw some skepticism. However, the CEO pointed out that Bright was based solely around an algorithm that is free from human bias. On the company blog, Goodman wrote, “Our Bright Score is there to do the bleary work of evaluating resumes when you’re hungry, sleepy, or stressed. The Bright Score is a recruiter’s and job seeker’s best personal assistant.”
With 6 million in financing and a couple of months into their launch, Bright has garnered 2 million unique visitors. Bright is quickly becoming one of the largest job websites, and Goodman optimistically believed that that the algorithm will only get better over time. If this this Silicon Valley venture does succeed, the name of this search engine might aptly describe the future job hunting outlook for seekers and employers alike – to something that looks just a little bit “brighter.”