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In the olden days before the Internet existed, I used to read the help wanted ads in my local newspaper every Sunday. It was the best way available to glean information about your local labor market. You could quickly see who was hiring, what they were hiring for, and sometimes even what they paid. A savvy HR pro can do a lot with that kind of found information and data.
I don’t get the Sunday paper any more, since I read all my news on line. My on-going labor market intelligence gathering has also migrated to the virtual world. Now I browse career sites during my leisure time. Let me break down how I look at a career site for information. I’m going to use Palantir, a cool company that John Sumser turned me on to in a recent phone call.
Here’s the process I use.
Website design and layout: good or bad?
Palantir site has an update design with a clean layout, catchy graphics, and a lot of white space. Extra point for a great tag line that explains their mission in two sentences, and for highlighting links to work and people.
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I really like the fact that you can get to a ton of information with just a simple roll of your pointer over Our Work and Our People.
At the heart of what we do is a desire to connect people with the information they need to achieve extraordinary outcomes. Nice.
We love to build things and solve hard problems and we believe the best idea wins. Palantir is grounded in an engineering culture. Also nice.
So far, a good surface impression. Now it’s time to go under the hood to the careers site. I often find that sites like this one with clean crisp looks at the front have a clunky Careers page. Palantir’s page is okay. It’s not as cool and crisp as the main pages. Pretty basic.
The page for students and interns is a little different, and shows a little variety. I like the use of the word cloud in the blue graphic as a way to demo career fields and areas of expertise.
Here’s what I like the best. They show a sense of humor with a pop culture reference and a noble purpose behind their products. Very nice indeed (with bonus points for the nod to Tolkien)
Save the Shire
Today, at the world’s most critical institutions, people are using data to solve extraordinarily complex, real-world problems and combat adaptive threats. At Palantir, we build the technology that makes these people better at their most important work. With our products, investigators are uncovering human trafficking rings and rescuing exploited children. Epidemiologists and public health officials are tracking and containing the spread of deadly diseases. Intelligence analysts are identifying and disrupting terrorist networks. Mortgage lenders are finding alternatives to foreclosure for troubled home lending assets, and relief organizations are marshaling resources to communities affected by natural disasters. And we’re still just getting started.
The rest of the breakdown process involves function and tools.
- How good are the job postings?
- How good is the search functions?
- What’s the application process look like?
- What bells and whistles does the site have?
- Is the company social?
Palantir wins high marks on all of these. They had great, easy to use processes. Good descriptions. A few funky titles, and position descriptions that weren’t unbearably boring to read. They have all the social tools, including Quora, which is not common but makes sense for a company in the data collection and information biz. Great use of YouTube.
I’d work for Palantir. Hmmm, they have an HR opening in New York.
Images courtsey of Palantir.