Walking into the Seattle Tech Meetup at the HUB Seattle to present our new site GeekWork last night, the first thing I overheard was someone talking about how tough it is to find the right developer for their startup. As people networked and made announcements in advance of the program, it was obvious that a substantial portion of the audience was there to find their next great job or their next great employee.
Of course, this is not unusual in the technology world these days. In fact, we see this phenomenon playing out at our own GeekWire events and across this news site, over and over. And this is exactly the challenge we’re aiming to help the tech community solve with our new site.
GeekWork is a network of geeks and a marketplace of work. It uses automated matchmaking to bring these two worlds together, based on the skills of the geek and the requirements of the work. And it’s tightly integrated with GeekWire, bringing a large community into the process.
You can check out GeekWork here today. Create a profile to find your next gig, or post an opening to find a great geek. It’s not just for developers — available jobs include creative, business and technical openings.
Listings are free for employers during the GeekWork beta period this month.
We’re launching GeekWork with our partners at Fresh Consulting, the top-notch design and development firm that does much of the underlying technical work on GeekWire. Fresh, led by CEO Jeff Dance and CTO Steve Hulet, originally started building this work-matchmaking service as a solution for its own business, as it sought to fill key positions for its projects and clients.
After seeing what they were doing, we decided to work together with Fresh to bring the site to the broader community — and GeekWork was born. We quietly launched GeekWork last week, making steady updates and fixes in response to the initial feedback. And now it’s ready for you to try.
Check out this “How it Works” page for the official rundown, and continue reading for some of the key features of GeekWork.
The heart of GeekWork is the geek profile, including the skills that enable the matchmaking. Don’t worry, it’s easy to set up. You can use a one-click import from LinkedIn, which brings in your skills from the social network and lets you quickly fine-tune them by designating each skill as expert, intermediate or beginner.
You can also upload a fun or creative picture of yourself (try to top Jeff’s pic above!) and put a personal message in big type at the top of your profile, with a color of your choice. Upload a resume, set your contact information and let people know when you’re available, using the built-in calendar tools.
When you want to apply for work, your profile is your application, and it’s one click to apply. Employers receive a message notifying them of your application, and linking to your profile. You can also anonymize your profile if you’re concerned about keeping your current job while making yourself available for your next one.
Matchmaking: Immediately upon setting up your profile, you’ll see any existing jobs in the GeekWork database that match your skills, and a percentage indicating the quality of the match. You can set up alerts to be notified of future matches via email, text and the GeekWork dashboard, as new jobs are posted.
Job seekers can also browse and search for jobs by keyword or by using a map view, perfect when considering the length of your potential commute.
It’s not just for full-time employment. GeekWork was created with the understanding that much of the digital economy is grounded in project work, and there’s a separate designation for these types of jobs, along with tools for letting clients and employers know when you’re available, and for how much time.
In addition, GeekWork includes a category of listings designated as advisory, with the goal of helping people connect with experts informally for advice and mentorship. As GeekWork becomes more widely used, we hope this feature will be particularly helpful to startups looking for advisors that can help them and possibly take on larger roles as they grow.
GeekWork is tightly integrated with GeekWire, starting with a module on every page of GeekWire that presents relevant GeekWork listings based on the contents of a particular story that you’re reading. We’ll be rolling out additional integration in the coming weeks, to better connect GeekWire’s significant readership to this new marketplace of work.
Those are a few of the highlights. For the GeekWire team this has been a great experience in helping to shape and launch a new product, giving us even more first-hand experience with the challenges faced by many of the startups we cover every day. We’re extremely proud of the work done by our partners at Fresh Consulting to develop this site, and we’re just getting started.
Please check out GeekWork today to set up a profile, or post a listing. The site will only get stronger as more people use it. Send your feedback, bug reports and suggestions to [email protected] or [email protected] to help us continue to improve this new site as a service to the tech community. And thanks, as always, for all of your support of GeekWire.