Remember how people used to find romance in the classifieds? Now there are online dating platforms for nearly every conceivable social subset. The same goes for technology changing how we find hotel rooms (AirBnB), shop (eBay) and network (LinkedIn).

Over the last 10 years the evolution of two-sided digital marketplaces has allowed many industries to operate more efficiently, but hospitality has lagged behind. A hiring marketplace provides a more efficient platform to manage processes that used to be handled offline, such as inputting resumes and screening applicants. Traditional job boards like Craigslist, the status quo for the hospitality industry, make it far too easy to apply for a job, putting the screening onus on time-poor hiring managers.

Establishing a data-focused technology platform, complete with easy to use media tools, helps create a vibrant community of quality talent. The most important piece of the process is ensuring that job seekers produce profiles that promote relevant skills and can be used to help filter out disinterested time-wasters or underqualified candidates.

In a world where almost everybody has access to an HD camera and video, on a smartphone or otherwise, media has a big role to play in helping create an efficient screening process for both employers and job seekers.

For job seekers, it’s become very important to create a full picture of who you are and what you offer. It is becoming more important to create and showcase profiles, not just black and white resumes, to show off technical, social and interpersonal skills, all of which are key to a successful career in hospitality. Chefs, for example, should highlight menus they have created or plated, furthering their opportunities for advancement.

These profiles capture relevant data, which becomes become searchable by other members of the marketplace. This data-matching engine is the key that allows employers and job seekers to better find each other. This two-sided marketplace naturally lends itself to more interaction between users than a typical job board.

A more data-focused screening process, like the one we have developed, starts with intelligent data matching: position sought versus offered, duration of experience, skills and qualifications. Because job seekers have completed a profile that’s related to the job they seek and the skills they posses, they are able to apply for positions more efficiently, leaving more “application bandwidth” for employers to filter through relevant questions as part of the screening process. This makes for a better fit and results in lower turnover.

For companies, the profiling process is quite straightforward and involves retasking the media they’ve created to attract customers into a media-rich workplace profile. On the restaurant side, providing more in-depth company profiles – like a “meet the team” feature that Harri is implementing, helps celebrate the success and growth of individuals within a particular team.

Making these profiles an integral part of the application process saves hiring managers a step, by using systems that prescreen applicants who already have a good sense of the work environment. Most importantly, by presenting the workplace environment in three dimensions, you can give applicants a sense of team culture and “what it’s like to work with us.” Employers like Hillstone, Nobu and Magnolia Bakery are using this kind of system already.
 
In summary, a technology-based hiring system produces these clear outcomes for employers:

1. Deliver a smaller number of better-matched applicants for each position.
2. More efficiently filter down to the strongest applicants for each position.
3. Use multimedia to help determine if an interview is warranted.
4. Reduce overall hiring time from an industry average of more than 12 hours per position to less than one hour.
 
Luke Fryer is the founder of Harri.com.