By Liz Ledvina
MADISON – Most job resumes are scanned by computers, which then search for key words to match potential employees to a desired position.
If you’re lucky, the computer will like you and the key words will match. But can something as important as your future career be determined by matching words in a 30-second scan?
Lyle Heller realized there was a flaw with this standard system of job searching.
Heller created JobSightUSA, a Madison-based job search matching tool and service that focuses on knowledge, skills and abilities rather then job titles.
Unlike current methods of job search that scan resumes for key words and position descriptions, JobSightUSA enables jobseekers to input their skills one-time into a database and immediately be matched to positions with registered employers in Wisconsin.
“JobSightUSA eliminates the ambiguity and time at the beginning of the [job search] process to allow search committees to do what they do best, that is, evaluate the skills of the candidates in a fair and consistent manner,” Heller said.
It doesn’t stop there: JobSightUSA is also seeking other areas of matching potential.
The team at JobSightUSA was introduced to Lisa Perztborn-Whiting, and together they developed Compassionate Connections, a matching service for volunteers.
“Matching the right volunteer to an organization is as important as matching an individual to a job,” Pertzborn-Whiting said.
“Compassionate Connections offers both the organization and the volunteer with the ‘best needle in the haystack’ technology which in turn provides the best opportunity for success,” she said.
JobSightUSA has also been working with Toni Schriever from PAWWStoHeal, an agency in the news recently using animals to help heal abused children.
Compassionate Connections and PAWWStoHeal use the same matching techniques as the JobSightUSA employment searches.
JobSightUSA is also offering services through the Wisconsin Technology Council, a non-profit and non-partisan science and technology advisor to the Legislature. The two are working together to not only create a pool of qualified jobseekers, but also to connect them to the right job opportunities in Wisconsin.
“We think JobSight USA can help people who might want to return to Wisconsin find opportunities that work for them and our emerging companies,” Tech Council President Tom Still said.
Heller credits Jan Eddy, a member of the Wisconsin Technology Council and the JobSightUSA advisory board, for some of his early success.
Eddy linked JobSight to resources in the UW-Madison School of Business, and the company followed up on what it learned with a second-place finish in the Information Technology division of the 2005 Governor’s Business Plan Contest.
The awards have exposed JobSight to new investors, but Heller is still looking for more interest.
Despite the success of his company, Heller sees the matching potential of JobSightUSA as merely the beginning. He believes his company will change the way people connect with jobs in the future and much more.
“Since we match people to positions, we can determine the skills and training needed. We can also identify the skills and training no longer needed. Just think of the ability to develop curriculum based on this knowledge,” Heller said.
Ledvina is a student in the Department of Life Science Communications at UW-Madison and is part of a team internship program at DNAStar, a Madison firm.