Path.To bills itself as the online dating site for the IT job market. In fact, its tagline is “Fall In Love With Your Next Job.” We’ve discussed the analytics of online dating; in this case, the algorithms for compatibility are geared toward helping a computer engineer zero in on the company that offers the best fit for ambition, culture, flexibility, and life choices.
The site’s distinguishing feature is its “Path.To Score,” with a maximum rank of 99 for the ideal state of harmony between what the job seeker wants and what the position offers. Path.To explains: “We analyze your skills & expertise, personality, interests and passions to determine your compatibility with the jobs on Path.To.”As truly learning about a person usually requires more than a static snapshot, Path.To presents a dynamic and adaptive system: “Recommended job opportunities are delivered in a ranked order that continually evolves, based on your taste.”
Path.To doesn't only rely on a list of preferences. "We really want to understand where this person is in their life," Path.To founder Darren Bounds told Business Insider.When you register for a Path.To account, you get the option of using your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+ profiles. The company recommends signing up using a social network so it can better tailor content to the job seeker's needs. While this does make sense, particularly with respect to the professionally-oriented LinkedIn, signing up through a social network also is about giving Path.To a sense of what you share and how you are connected so that it can get a better understanding of where you fit in.
However, this poses a real threat to an individual's privacy. In the Business Insider piece, Bounds elaborates on what Path.To wants to know about job seekers:
Are they a fresh college graduate, single and ready to take on the world? Do they have a family or do they have plans to have a new baby soon? Those are really important signals in the job-search process.
True, these are all questions that individuals should consider when assessing whether a company offers a good fit for where they plan to be in the short and long term. Nevertheless, legally, this is none of an employer’s business. Path.To will have to meet the challenge of gathering as much information as it can to ensure compatibility without compromising the privacy of its applicants and without serving as a filter for companies that prefer not to hire people whose plans, for example, include a baby in the near future.
So long as Path.To keeps private information private, the insights should help people have a clearer picture of what they want and what companies can offer them when going into job interviews. It doesn’t guarantee that they will get or accept job offers, but analytics would definitely put the odds in their favors.Would you use Path.To for your next job search? Share your thoughts below.