July 29, 2013 | last updated July 29, 2013 8:48 am

Tech startup seeks to take guess work out of job search

Submitted photo
Submitted photo
Henning Seip, founder and CEO, SkillPROOF Inc.
Online jobs search tool KRAZOOM, pictured above, allows job seekers to select requirements that match their skill set, instead of typing in keywords in a trial-and-error process, which is how most other online job search sites work.

Employers want top-notch talent, workers with years of experience and people who have industry know-how that sets them apart from competitors. But hiring managers, experts say, are having a tough time finding the job-seekers they want.

Henning Seip, founder and CEO of SkillPROOF Inc. could be the matchmaker employers and job-seekers are looking for.

For more than a decade, Seip has been developing and honing technology behind his new job search tool, KRAZOOM, which he says matches job-seekers to employment opportunities faster and more efficiently by taking the guesswork out of keyword searches.

KRAZOOM is a database of job postings that allows job seekers to select requirements that match their skill set, instead of typing in keywords in a trial-and-error process, which is how most other online job boards, like Monster.com, work.

Based in Bridgeport, Seip's company aims to help people overcome the stressful process of searching for employment, and provide hiring managers a more efficient way to find qualified talent.

A major issue, Seip says, is that the average posting on job boards, corporate websites and social media sites has 20 requirements that job seekers have to match before they can apply for a job.

Complicating things further is the fact that typical job seekers with work experience have as many as 400 marketable skills.

"For employers and job seekers, it is a time losing battle to match this complex data set by guessing keywords," Seip said. "Finding a job in the current economic climate can be quite a daunting task."

SkillPROOF — and later, KRAZOOM — got its start when Seip worked as an IT consultant during the late 1990s. Before that, however, Seip was an IT exec for Bertelsmann AG, where he was responsible for streamlining operations and hiring more than 100 people for the company's data center in Hartford. Seip said he would get about 20 resumes per open position, but he couldn't figure out how to sort them.

"It was a tedious task," said Seip. "I was not able to match my requirements to resumes since every resume was written differently. Resumes are written from the point of view of the job seeker. They contain information about what is important for the employee and not for the hiring manager."

To deal with the issue, Seip developed a database of people with highly specialized skills that he could refer to easily when he needed to hire someone for a particular job.

He took that concept a step further and came up with the idea to convert the requirements from job postings into a skills catalog.

That led to the development of KRAZOOM, which allows job seekers to select the job requirements that matches their specialized skill sets, then sorts job postings based on that selection.

For example, engineers looking for a job simply choose the engineering category, an education level, and location of the desired job. Then KRAZOOM lists specialized skills like data mining, diagnostics, or computer engineering, that more closely matches the applicant with the right job.

Seip said his technology is particularly valuable today, when more job-seekers are clamoring for fewer positions, and companies are receiving hundreds of applications for a single job opening.

"For human resource managers, the prospect of actually reading all those resumes can be mind-numbing," said Seip.

Today, KRAZOOM has over 200,000 daily job postings, but a challenge the company faces is convincing more employers to list open positions. Seip said KRAZOOM will try to attract employers through its partnership with the Stamford Innovation Center, a tech incubator where Seip holds regular workshops on how to overcome the job search process.

Although Seip isn't making money from KRAZOOM yet, he expects to start earning revenue later this year when he starts charging employers to list jobs. Seip wouldn't disclose what he would charge, or what the market potential is for his business.

Peter Propp, vice president of marketing for the Stamford Innovation Center, said Seip's technology has helped startups find qualified job seekers. "With unemployment in the state at 8 percent, jobseekers are looking for new innovative ways to circumvent the job search process," said Propp. "KRAZOOM offers that new solution."

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