I’ve just been taking a look at a new career site from Bullhorn, which I think has some very interesting features based on culture matching. I’m not sure what company founder Art Pappas is feeding the team in the Bullhorn lab in Boston, but after the success of Reach (with 35,000 users), I think they could be on to another winner.

TheFIT is built on the concept of matching people and jobs by culture fit, hence the name. Less about skills and more about the things that really matter. I’ve long been a believer in the culture fit. 

As a recruiter I focussed much of the interview, job-spec and match on this. An auditor in one business is very much like another, it’s the environment, values, work style, leadership and people who make the job different. The same is true of candidates. While candidates may have similar backgrounds, some work out and others don’t. The reason for the failure is usually found in a miss-match of cultures and people. It’s also the reason hiring managers choose one candidate over another. Any product that helps make realistic and honest culture matches between employers and people is a welcome addition to the recruiter and candidate tools available.

Sign-up for TheFit is one click, using LinkedIn or Facebook profiles to populate the required fields. Social sign ins should really become standard on all career sites and places requiring registration. Sign up is completed by supplying e-mail addresses for 2 close friends or colleagues, who will be asked to provide opinions for your profile. The next step is completing a simple on-line profile on your current employer and your opinions about your work-life balance, co-workers, your boss, IQ coefficient, earning potential, true diversity, attitude to play, promotion potential, workplace perks, female leaders, family friendly, and delighted customers. The questions are multiple choice, quick to answer with the sections jumbled up.

I have to be honest and say that after about 30 questions it got a bit tedious. You can skip questions, and leave the questionnaire at any point. This could be clearer at the start to prevent visitors just signing out. Answers to each of the questions do not go live until they’ve been answered by 4 employees of the same company. There is the option to anonymously invite co-workers to speed the process up. Questions are mixed between company review and personal requirements. Would be employees can then review company rankings against the best place to work in each of the categories listed. They can go in to each of the companies listed and see the % ranking based on the answers of each section. There’s also job listings to see the job  and the culture rating in the same place.

Given the 11 categories, it’s a great way for candidates to review the companies they might be interested in. We all have different priorities, wants and needs, and this gives access to rankings on what is important. Whilst i like employer review sites like Glassdoor, the free text space for comments often leads to more negative reviews than positive ones. I think that this style of questioning will prove more balanced. As the site gets more populated, the concept is that visitors can match themselves to companies according to fit. Based on the answers to the personal questions, companies get recommended based on fit. Once a company is recommended, the visitors social-connections inside the business are featured, allowing simple messaging and another level of review. Some of the questions are a bit quirky, but I think this could be part of the attraction, it’s clearly a site that doesn’t take itself too seriously.I think this will lead to honest answering.  I quite like that.

If I was developing the product, I’d like to see a widget version available for embedding on the front page of a career site. If  prospective candidates could review the ratings of the company in the 11 key areas, be able to build their own culture profile and match it against the company before applying and see who they are connected with in the company, that really would be useful for all party’s. Perhaps the good folk from Bullhorn could consider it for the future.

Whilst there’s no science behind the culture fit matching, as with sites like HireMatchMe that is based on psychometrics, (it is % rankings as far as I can see),  this is simple and quick to use. I also suspect that the matches are going to pretty accurate. There’s also the benefit of the link with the Bullhorn Reach product. One aspect of Reach that has gone under the radar is the huge volume of people who submit resumes to the central data-base each day, attracted by the range of jobs posted in the social streams by the 35,000 or so recruiters who have signed up for the product. Adding fit to the features open to them will get the site populated quickly. Bullhorn are building a great range of complimentary recruiter products, from ATS, Referral, Reach (which is now winning customers for the enterprise version) and now TheFit. With an I.P.O. on the near horizon, and plans to hire another 60 developers, we can expect to see plenty more coming out of this Boston-based powerhouse. I suspect TheFit will prove to be another part of the success story.




Bullhorn Reach