A neat recruiting tool – that’s totally scary

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Monday update below

For 15-years or so, I’ve been fascinated with combining maps with business. There are some legitimate reasons for this combination – sending technicians to the next closest trouble ticket, routing deliveries for UPS-like services, and knowing where you customers are located so you can provide the right services for them.

Jim Stroud, who’s abilities I greatly respect and is right on top of recruiting world issues, writing in The Recruiters LoungeCool Tool — Zubed, I think I love you“, is justifiably doing “virtual cartwheels” over a new recruiting tool called Zubed.

Essentially, the tool allows a recruiter to have a position in Seattle to be filled, then ask recruiting services to provide you resumes with the right job skills overlayed on a map:

The results come back as points on a map! (Oh, I just love that.) Clicking on the individual points returns a tag cloud of keywords based on the corresponding resume (in the right column).


Want to know where England’s Software Engineers skilled in C++ are located?

I imagine that you can see (as I do) how this type of information is invaluable when planning a workforce, job fairs and the best places to build a development center.


From a technology perspective, this is fabulous. Perhaps for recruiters it is fabulous as well.

But while I was reading all about the cool technology, that little inner voice we all hear was going….not so fast. You can see my address on recruiting sites (or is it IP addresses?) and put them on your map and decide if you are willing to call me for an interview?

You can find the largest concentrations of specific job skills on the planet and decide, or not, to locate there?

It is almost like spying on you without your knowledge in a cool Google mash-up. No court order needed. And creepy as a result.

Maybe I’m just a little nuts about the privacy aspect of all of this. What do you think?


Update: Over the weekend, I received an e-mail from one of the developers of the system. He provides some good insights that significantly reduces my concerns about personal privacy and the service. Here are some specifics:

When a candidate registers with the system the semantic piece (human-language interpretation) identifies all personal details on their CV and scrubs them off. These contact details are used to position the pin on the map but this is deliberately positioned not precisely on the candidate’s house but in the general area. (CV, for those in the United States, is your resume…Scot)

The only time a candidate’s name, address and other contact details become visible is when they, the candidate, actually physically clicks the box to send it to the employer, and then they only become available to that employer.

Notice that the information only becomes available to the single employer that you are interested in working for. One employer at a time. This type of control by the individual candidate is much better than the control offered by most job boards.

From a candidate perspective the ZubedJobs piece was built around the “worker/cube
warrior” building their own employment ecosystem.

I’ve been offered a WebEx on the system. I’m going to take it and report back on this as well.

Also, note that Joe Della Bianca left a comment as a user of the system noting the privacy aspects. Good feedback on a cool tool!

  • I’ve been playing with it and can honestly say that it’s way beyond cool! From what I can tell, they only have job seekers details who register with them and there is some sort of messaging system that keeps contact details hidden until permission is given to release them. I don’t think it invades privacy at all.

    • Scot Herrick says:

      @Joe Della Bianca – This is accurate. Over the weekend, I received an e-mail on this from one of the developers. The personal information is taken out of the information provided to the recruiter unless the job seeker agrees to submit the information to them. I’m in the process of updating the article to include these notes.

      Thanks for the comment, Joe. It is good to have people responding to the concerns. It makes it better for everyone!

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