Booyango platform keeps job searches private


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Human resources professionals and hiring managers would probably agree that one of the biggest transformations to the hiring process came in the 1990s, when “help wanted” ads moved online.

Sites like and replaced the newspaper as the go-to spot to find a job opening, and made it easy and relatively inexpensive for companies to conduct not only local and regional searches for candidates, but nationwide searches as well.

Today, there are easily more than 100 job search sites to choose from, and while there are still generally focused sites like Monster and Career Builder, there also are many industry-specific sites, too.

Despite all these online job-hunting spaces, one segment of the working population is underrepresented – professionals and executives.

According to Chris LaFontaine, CEO of Booyango, 60 to 70 percent of professionals and executives won’t upload their information into online job search databases, the main reason being lack of privacy.

“The majority of active professionals and executives want discretion when they are actively looking for opportunities,” LaFontaine said.

But, in today’s world, professionals and executives need to keep an eye out for the next job opportunity.

“The reality is good job opportunities don’t come up when you are looking for a job, they usually come up before or after,” LaFontaine added.

Job search site Booyango, based in Grand Rapids and launched in 2012, hopes to solve this problem by offering professionals and executives a completely confidential opportunity to get online and search for the next step in their career.

“How do you let a company know there’s good professionals available to match a position without giving away the person?” asked LaFontaine. “That was the key problem we had to solve, and we solved it through our qualification engine. Companies can see professionals matching up and how they qualify against the job, but they don’t know who the person is or who they work for.”

Companies are able to reach out to the individuals they are interested in and then that person decides whether or not to allow the company to see who they are or to remain confidential.

“What we are doing differently is we are building tools specifically for a target audience that nobody has built tools (for) to address their needs.”

LaFontaine said that currently there are only eight job search sites in the world that are specifically geared toward professionals and executives.

“Mainly because professionals make up 20 percent of the worldwide work force so they are off dealing with the other 80 percent, but the reality is professionals and executives, white collar workers, are the most sought after workers right now. There are not enough of them in the world.”

LaFontaine hopes that his site also will help companies streamline their hiring process. Formerly a hiring manager himself, he said he was often frustrated that the current tools hadn’t kept up with the trends.

“I was frustrated with how long it took to get to the people to interview,” he said. “By the time you get the headcount approved you are already in a pain point, you are trying to get it solved and now it’s taken three months to find people.

“To get to that group you had to filter through a thousand resumes, because most of the services out there today want to say how many applicants they get you. Well, it does you no good to be getting a thousand applicants if two people in that group match up.”

Booyango plans to launch a workflow feature later this year to help recruiters fill their positions quicker by allowing them to compile lists easily and quickly from which they can then filter their candidates to the ones they want to interview.

The site also will provide worldwide search opportunities.

LaFontaine noted that professionals and executives don’t limit themselves to jobs in the United States. If the best opportunity happens to be in Australia or South Africa, they are happy to move there.

“There is nothing in the world that allows me to look on a worldwide basis,” he said.

The site is free to professionals and executives, while companies pay a flat rate for the year, which he said is steeply discounted right now. Booyango has already signed on 90 companies, including Sears, Go Daddy, Mayo Clinic and Nike.

“We’ve enabled online recruiting in more of a modern format keeping with the current trends,” he said.

IT postings already are popular listings on the site – not a big surprise.

“For the most part the number one and number two are product management and web programmer and the third is social media marketing,” he said.

LaFontaine stressed that no matter how much a company pays, it won’t be able to gain access to the list of who’s on the site, nor will Booyango sell off any data lists. He believes that the only way for Booyango to be successful is to maintain complete privacy.

“We’ve allowed people to connect and yet keep things as open or private as they want.”

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