Both job seekers and recruiters have seen many ups and downs over the past 15 years with internet recruiting. With all of the evolving technology, job seekers can find positions and connect with recruiters and connections faster than ever before. And if you are a recruiter you can search and connect with candidates in a few key strokes. Sounds like a perfect marriage, right? Ask either side, and they’ll quickly tell you they want to see a marriage therapist.
Meet Josh Tolan, the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire. He’s looking to improve some of the ways candidates and companies meet – and interact.
Spark Hire is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois and currently has a team of 21 employees. The company raised an initial $1 million in angel funding from private investors, and officially launched the Spark Hire site a couple of months ago.
I recently connected with Josh to take a closer look at Spark Hire, and discuss the sites’ capabilities.
I quickly learned work ethic is no stranger to Josh. He grew up in a North suburb of Chicago and spent an average of 6 hours a day practicing for baseball and working out. He continued his baseball career at Purdue University with some great success. He transferred to the University of California – San Diego, and graduated summa cum laude with a 3.93 GPA and a BA in Economics. During the summer, he worked as a SEO Manager for a lead generation company – where his fascination for the internet continued to grow.
The idea for Spark Hire came to Josh while he was driving from Chicago to California for his final year of college – based on a conversation with a friend on the premise of how much more effective landing a job would be if employers could “see”. As a result of the conversation, Josh pulled over in Denver and began modeling Spark Hire on some cocktail napkins in a hotel restaurant. Josh spent the first half of his senior year developing the business model and creating concepts for the platform.
There’s a lot of noise in the industry about the use of video in the recruiting process – related to discrimination. The reality for candidates is video allows people to demonstrate skills in a way that a Resume would never convey. For employers, Josh would be the first to point out “video” itself is not the basis for a discrimination claim – it is the person on the other side of the table asking the questions. Video – is not the issue. For employers that still have concerns about discrimination claims from video, Spark Hire is integrating features that will give the employer full control of what they do and don’t see.
Some video platforms currently on the market are leveraging third-party APIs for their service. Spark Hire has built its own cloud-based video platform which allows for scalability, customization, and full control. Their first priority is and always will be the continual improvement of the platform for both job seekers and employers. Aside from a vast number of enhancements and exciting features, other short term goals consist include:
Spark Hire is continuously updating their platform with new releases, so users can expect improvements, enhancements, and new features. There’s no shortage of growth plans for Spark Hire either. 2 of the biggest opportunities the company is looking at include pursuing opportunities in the college market where significant gaps exist today, in addition to international capabilities that clients are requesting.
If you are a job seeker or a recruiter and think there are opportunities to make the process of finding a job or making a hire more efficient, check out Spark Hire.
Talent Acquisition & Diversity Exec, Jason Buss, is the founder and editor of THQ. Prior to starting THQ, Buss launched The Talent Buzz in 2008. He is also the Vice President of Talent ... read more