Monday

TalentEgg and The Graduate Niche


A good friend of mine launched a new site a few weeks ago called TalentEgg. The main objective of the site is to help graduate students find careers (and summer students find jobs). For employers, it's a place to look for much-needed employees in a different way than the standard resume drop off.

The site has already received some good, local coverage and in a couple months (spring is the key time for applications for summer jobs / graduate students) it could grow rapidly.

Although the site is still in beta, TalentEgg is an interesting idea. The main ways for a graduate student to find a job are to go to a career fair, register on gigantic sites like Monster.com or CareerBuilder (who don't notice or care about you) or simply work any connection they have into getting an interview.

Getting your first job is hard work. Even when you get to the interview stage, you've got to get past the various stages, go through scrutiny depending on your degree [Arts especially] and hope that if you do get an offer it's enough to live off. Graduates will usually do anything to help enhance the chance to get an interview. Most aren't sure what career they want and pursue multiple options.

TalentEgg provides them with another, niche option. A place to keep looking for that elusive first job. But how will TalentEgg compete with the Monsters and mammoth job sites?

By being specific and limited.

We've written a lot about the evolution of niches and how the web allows people to find and create specific communities dedicated to their core interests. Social networks link LinkedIn focus specifically on creating business contacts while emerging places like Ning give anyone the tools to develop their own, niche networks.

To me, two of the key ways that TalentEgg can succeed are:

1. Staying Niche and Not Succumbing to the Pressure of the Masses - focus and more focus. If TalentEgg becomes the destination for graduate students (and for corporations to find them), people around the country will recognize that it's not worth throwing your resume in with the millions of other people on Monster.com when you can be found quickly because of our niche - being a graduate student.

2. Be Personal - one of the biggest drawbacks with existing job search sites is that they don't care about you. When I was looking for work, I needed advocates. People who would keep their eyes open and mention me whenever they heard of an opening. Friends who would put their reputation on the line for me in the hopes that I could get an interview (and then a job).

TalentEgg could be one of those advocates. After you register, the site could not only alert you when new jobs get posted, but help you to improve your Talent Card, resume, interview tips and provide insights into the companies that you're interested in (good and bad).

Imaging a resource that doesn't just contain a company profile, but gives you an insider look into the day-to-day of working there. Do current employee's really enjoy it? How long do they usually stay? What opportunities do they have after they leave? What are the people like?

It's exciting to go to a site like TalentEgg and see the potential it could have on graduate students across the globe. It's personal, easy to use and run by someone who has been through the trials of searching for a job with an Arts degree. I'd encourage everyone to check it out, especially employers who want to expand their recruitment strategies and find great people for their organization.

Congratulations on your launch, Lauren, and please keep us posted on how things are going.

11 comments:

Lauren Friese said...

Hi Ty,

Thanks for the post and review. I agree with what you've said and as always, you've brought up a few points that have got me thinking.

One thing I'd like to clarify is that TalentEgg is for students and new-grads, rather than 'graduate students'. It's focussed on helping students & new-grads find their first job within a chosen career... aka meaningful work.

In terms of the personalization- or, being personal- this is exactly where I think I can add value for both students and employers.

Traditionally, when an employer posts on a cookie-cutter job board, they lose their branding and, like you said, the job board doesn't care about them. In fact, on most job-boards, employers can post directly on the site without even talking to a representative from the job-board about their goals. On TalentEgg, because of our specialization, we compete on being extremely personal- working with the company to acheive their short and long term new-grad recruitment goals.

In terms of students, the same is true and again you brought up some great points. Company profiles as they are right now tell students a lot more about the companies than they get elsewhere- there's lots of original content- but we're still in phase 1. Phase 2 will take this part of the site to web 2.0 standards. More information for students, more branding for employers.

And of course, TalentCards. I strongly believe in the need for students to market themselves effectively- especially students from non-specific degrees. A TalentCard is like 'resume-ing outside the lines', and again, we've only just scratched the surface.

Finally, I'd just like to say that I think the overall message of your post was that specialization, focus and niches are the future of the web. I am certainly in agreement here, but would like to add a slightly different spin.

I think that it isn't necessarily increasing focus that's the future of the web, but it's instead (or in addition?) the slicing of information in different ways. Want to keep up with the news from a user point of view? Use Digg. Like the idea of RSS but don't know where to start? Try FriendFeed.

I could go on- but the bottom line is that now that aggregated information and data organization has been 'conquered' by google, the niches are starting to prosper- and the best and most popular niches are the ones that take information and slice it in a way that's relevent to a specific niche market.

I could go on :)

Ty said...

Great comments and thoughts.

I think that when it comes to splicing vs. getting more niche we are somewhat discussing the same issue.

Google and other aggregators have done an excellent job making it easy for people to find something that is relevant to them. But once you find the destination, you want to ensure that it's worth while. Worth visiting, participating and posting.

Creating the niche group and helping people find it is one thing. Building a site that people return to and get value out of is another.

It takes both - and I think that sites that do this best focus on both sides of the equation.

...I could go on...lol!

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