by Jeran Fraser

There’s nothing more disheartening than no reply or one that says, “Thanks for your resume, we’ll contact you if we have interest.” Sometimes you’d rather them say nothing, but today’s job market is more like throwing darts blindfolded. Unfortunately, the only advantage seems to be who you know, not what you know.

As an entrepreneur and someone who has run a few different companies, I am generally on the other side. The current process is difficult. I post a job, pay a lot of money and get more applicants than I know what to do with. Reaching out to my network to find an employee can be just as arduous as a job post. Now granted, some companies have a human resources department dedicated to just that, but when you’re a small company or start-up, the toughest part shouldn’t be sifting through a stack of resumes or 100-plus emails from applicants.

As the cloud continues to expand so do the opportunities of creating efficiencies in just about any industry. There’s a new San Diego start-up called Talentspot that has a plan to disrupt the job search space by giving applicants the ability to apply for jobs, but also scoring their skills in particular subsets, i.e. Microsoft Excel, Photoshop, etc. This patent pending process will give those who are seeking employees a better understanding of each applicant’s value to a specific job role. This also gives job seekers the chance to improve on aspects where they might be lacking for a particular job they are interested in. It’s a win/win for job seekers and employers. We sat down with Talentspot to learn more about the platform and how it could change the game for companies and job seekers.

JF: Where did this idea come from?
TP: A few years ago, two friends met (mostly at the beach) to discuss starting a business together and came up with the idea to build cloud applications to solve some of the toughest problems that growing companies face. The two friends, Ozzie and Scott, co-founded ForwardMetrics in Encinitas. Scott’s background includes founding a successful software company on the East Coast near Boston that he sold at the end of 2008. Ozzie’s background includes founding a successful toy company and being part of the founding team of an investment brokerage. After deciding to start the venture with personal funds, the next order of business was to raise outside funding. The pair raised $1.7 million and quickly built a team to produce their first offering. They first set their focus on helping companies be more strategic in their planning and produced FM Navigator. In 2014, with additional funding in hand, they set sights on making an impact in the employment space.

What are the problems in this space and how do you plan on solving them?
The key problem with the current way that people are selected for a job is the reliance on resume content as the basis for hiring decisions. Ozzie and Scott decided that giving job seekers a way to validate their skills and knowledge gives them an advantage and gives the employer greater confidence in completing the hiring process. A large percentage of job postings are canceled because companies cannot find candidates they know can get the job done. Validated skills solve this. It also allows a job seeker to be evaluated based on their abilities and not more subjective criteria that often lead to turnover.

Is the concept to help emphasize the skills that some employers may overlook?
A key goal is to help people find great jobs even when they don’t have lots of experience in the specific job title. For example, returning veterans often have tremendous skills that are sought by employers, yet sadly employers focus on experience because they have no other way to know that the veteran has the necessary skills. Talentspot solves this by allowing employers to focus on the requisite skills and to give consideration to any candidate who has validated those skills–which can occur before or after the job seeker applies for the job.

Many job seekers fail to identify jobs they are perfectly suited for because the primary focus for job searching is on job titles. Companies use many different titles for the same job, which makes this even more frustrating. By moving toward skills as the focus, Talentspot can identify job openings that a job seeker may have never considered.

How is Talentspot different from other platforms?
Talentspot was born out the fundamental belief that everyone deserves to have the job of their dreams, and that the process of hiring could be a lot less painful, and even potentially enjoyable, with the right tools and technology.

Talentspot is more than a place to search for jobs. For job seekers the site includes tools for building a great resume and online profile, skill validation through a simple and fun mobile quizzing app and technology to identify appropriate jobs based on skills and work style.

For employers, Talentspot provides a complete Applicant Tracking System that is very easy to use and based on technology that virtually eliminates the need to read resumes. Just choose the job-related skills and Talentspot will automatically validate skills of all applicants and identify the best-qualified candidates.

Thanks for your time and we look forward to hearing more about the success of Talentspot in 2015.