In Friday’s blog post (“Noah’s Job Search”, 8/9/13) I introduced the fine work of Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler, founders of CareerXroads.  As promised, beginning today I am devoting additional blog posts to their excellent and enlightening report (“This Year’s Mystery Job Seeker: Noah Z. Ark, A Man For The Modern World”

CareerXroads is a consulting company specializing in human resources, staffing, and recruiting.  As part of its research each year, the company creates an online fictitious mystery job seeker.  The purpose is to assess the current state of the online job-seeker experience.

You might remember the newest fictitious online job seeker was none other than Noah Z. Ark (alluding to the real Noah of biblical proportions).  Once the reader would drill further down Noah’s resume, the summaries of experience became quite interesting:

Gathered intelligence utilizing computer expertise on the migration of animals in large vessels during severe thunder storms.  Contacted by the big kahuna on what to do to collect and train animals to survive during the big flood.  Utilized computer modeling and decision making theory to determine which pairs of mammals could survive a long ocean voyage under catastrophic weather conditions.  Exceptional negotiating skills having brokered numerous deals with foreign governments over animal rights laws.

Interestingly, in addition to broader online job-seeker Web sites, CareerXroads targeted the companies on Fortune’s, “100 Best Places To Work For” list.  It did this for a very important reason:

These organizations are said to be at the forefront in their recruiting systems and treatment of online job seekers, so their replies are considered a predictor of wider trends. …[we want] to determine if companies were doing more than saying the right things about how they handle online job seekers.

Well, here are the results of Noah Z. Ark’s online job search:  Responses of any kind totaled 265.  Among those responses, five companies expressed an interest in Noah, including two that requested an interview.  Six companies spotted the façade of Noah Z. Ark and communicated as such.

Now here is the real kicker.  In Noah’s resume, the final paragraph states:

This is a CareerXroads Mystery Job Seeker.  If you would like to know why we created this resume you can contact us at or (732) 821-6652.  Congratulations if you have read this far as most recruiters will not.

Needless to say, very few companies read all the way to the end of Noah’s resume.  Therefore, “best companies” does not guarantee they are the best at everything.  As with most companies’ online recruiting and hiring systems, we still have a long way to go to be the best.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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