Apploi Launches at GGP Malls

Exciting new development from Apploi: Job seekers can apply to jobs at stores in General Growth malls using Apploi jobs kiosks.

This is part of Apploi’s mission to expand public access to jobs by installing thousands of job access points throughout the country in malls, libraries, community centers and job centers.

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How Google Hires Differently … And Why You Should Too

Google spends twice as much on recruiting than the average company, even though it gets two million applicants a year. My book review of Laszlo Bock’s “Work Rules” in today’s WSJ on why that’s the case, read it here.

Lots of valuable lessons from the book, especially what Google has found to be the greatest predictor of whether a candidate will succeed (a sample work test), why the best and brightest candidates are not looking for jobs, and why most companies are potentially missing out on the ideal candidates.

The biggest predictor of whether you’ll succeed, Laszlo Bock outlines in “Work Rules!,” is how you fare in a sample work test. Whether recruiting for an entry-level position at a call center or for a seasoned engineer at Apple, a company needs to see people in action. For example, hearing how a job candidate keeps calm talking to an irate customer or watching how the person would solve a coding challenge.

That may sound obvious, but consider that today most companies conduct their initial filter of job applicants based on a version of the traditional résumé. Work tests come later, if at all. What that means is that, in most jobs, potentially the best candidates—those who would ace the work test—never make it past the first round. That has serious implications for a company’s performance.

Read the full review here.

Are these challenges you’ve encountered or tried to solve? How does your company hire differently than others?


The Company That Will Beat Facebook and Twitter

Facebook investor Peter Thiel won’t be happy if he reads the sub-headline in a February Fast Company magazine piece on Facebook and Twitter. Under the headline “Twitter’s Facebook envy,” the sub-headline continues “… and vice versa. As the companies battle for social media dominance, they are studying each other’s every move.”

In his new book, “Zero to One,“ Mr. Thiel writes that it’s a mistake for companies to focus on what their rivals are doing and “go to war” to outdo each other. This approach, he says, for example, cost Microsoft and Google their dominance, as focusing on each other comes at the expense of focusing on what’s next. Apple came along and instead focused on what was next.

As Mr. Thiel puts it:

Just as war cost the Montagues and Capulets their children, it cost Microsoft and Google their dominance: Apple came along and overtook them all. In January 2013, Apple’s market capitalization was $500 billion, while Google and Microsoft combined were worth $467 billion. Just three years before, Microsoft and Google were each more valuable than Apple. War is costly business. Rivalry causes us to overemphasize old opportunities and slavishly copy what has worked in the past.

The companies that will maintain their dominance in the future are those that are not looking at what others are doing or thinking, but at what they’re not doing or thinking. Along similar lines, Henry Ford once famously said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

At Apploi we try to think in this way. (We just completed our Series A, raising $7 million.) While other jobs companies were focused on what each other were doing – making the traditional job application mobile accessible – we’ve been focused on rethinking the entire application (putting personality, passion, and potential at the forefront) and reaching the tens of millions of Americans right now who don’t have access (with partnerships with cities, states, community groups, and colleges).

We know that as we continue to grow the challenge for us is to not focus on who is in our rearview mirror, but what’s around the corner.

As for the Facebook and Twitter question, who is that company that will beat them? Is it Pinterest? Slack? Wish? Yik Yak? I’m not sure. It’s probably someone few people have heard of (another piece of advice from Mr. Thiel: successful networks start with small markets first – Facebook, for example, initially was just for Harvard students).

What do you think?


Announcing First in Nation Partnership: City & Tech Company, Expanding Access for Job seekers

We at Apploi are very excited to be officially launching tomorrow a unique partnership with Baltimore City – where our jobs kiosks are being placed into the Central Library/State Library Resource Center and at two Mayor’s Office of Employment Development-operated centers: Eastside One-Stop Career Center (open to general public and the Career Academy (open only to school’s students).

The kiosks both expand access to jobs – reaching those without internet or computer access – and transform how jobseekers interact with companies – by enabling jobseekers to showcase their personalities and skills and respond to questions (including video and audio) set by employers.

Rich Seltzer from the Baltimore Business Journal reports:

It’s officially launching with a Wednesday evening panel at the Enoch Pratt Free Library at 400 Cathedral Street. City officials will speak, and employers looking for workers will be on hand. The event will run from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Read the full article here.

If you’re in Baltimore – join us for what promises to be a special evening, and the launch of a transformative partnership. Participants include great companies (the likes of Cinnabon, PayPal, Rue21, and many, many more), job experts, city officials, and hundreds of job seekers. And as Mr. Seltzer reports, more than 400 new Baltimore jobs have been added in the last two weeks alone!

By expanding access through kiosks, and by enabling job seekers to showcase their personalities and skills upfront, Apploi benefits both job seekers – who get jobs they previously never would have been considered for or couldn’t access or didn’t know about – and companies, who benefit from the larger talent pool (and see a 30% reduction in turnover because of the better fit). It truly is a win-win.



From $5 an Hour to CEO: How to Do It

I recently was fortunate to spend time with the delightful Pernille Spiers Lopez, who started off on the sales floor at a furniture store earning $5 an hour and went on to become President and CEO of Ikea North America, and Global Head of HR.

Her message is both inspiring and practical – for both job seekers and those starting off at the career, as well as those higher up in organizations. A series of must-watch interviews with her will be published each week at The first one, on starting from the bottom, can be seen below and here. Her book, “Design Your Life” will be published November 4th (pre-order here).

One of the things we at Apploi hear again and again when speaking to HR leaders and CEOs, are that companies want to promote from within. If that message is effectively communicated to job seekers, it’s a win-win for both the staff and the companies. Talented individuals will take entry-level positions, and it will be the stepping stone to a great career in the organization. The key is communication – and examples, like Pernielle, who have done it.


Recruiters Think ‘Seasonal Seasonal Seasonal Workers’; But What Do Those Workers Think?

One of the benefits of working at Apploi and having hundreds of thousands of job seekers come to us for advice, training, and (of course) jobs, is that we gain great insight from them into what they’re thinking. And much like Mel Gibson’s character in the movie “What Women Want” discovered, it’s not always what the other side thinks.

We’re going to be unveiling different insights over the next few weeks, but one thing to highlight today – which you can read on the Apploi Advice page from my colleague Charlotte Phillips – is that job seekers are embracing seasonal work.

It’s not the case – as sometimes assumed – that job seekers don’t want temporary or seasonal work, and only want full-time work. We in fact found that:

“52 percent of jobseekers are looking for seasonal work over the holidays, maybe hoping to make some extra money to treat their families. Plus, 36 percent of jobseekers are looking for their second or third job, so part-time shift work is perfect for them. For most jobseekers today, flexibility is key, and that’s exactly what seasonal work offers.”info-4-

These insights are very valuable, as companies are battling for these seasonal workers. As the AP reports:

“Macy’s plans to hire about 86,000 seasonal holiday workers nationwide to bolster its stores, call centers and distribution hubs.

UPS … this year said it would be hiring 95,000 people to handle the load. FedEx plans to hire more than 50,000 seasonal workers, or 10,000 more than last year.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation’s largest private employer, plans to hire 60,000 temporary workers, nearly a 10 percent increase over last year.

Kohl’s plans to hire more than 67,000 seasonal workers, a 15 percent increase over last year …

Target Corp. said it will hire 70,000 seasonal workers, even with 2013.”

With all this competition, and much more, the question therefore for businesses large and small becomes: How can you win the race to get these seasonal workers? How can you standout to get the best workers – and deliver the best service for your customers?

Here are the answers that we’ve learned from seasonal workers:

Don’t have a cumbersome application process with long lines, lots of steps, multiple call-backs, and slow communication. They’ll just go elsewhere. The best certainly will.

Do have a quick and easy point of capture process, and the ability to quickly identity those who meet your criteria – and to respond to them quickly.

And of course – if a seasonal worker shines, while they might be happy just being temporary, you can always try to get them to stay. Temporary hires are a great way to identify future talent for full-time openings.

Even the chauvinistic Mel Gibson got the girl in the end.



Just Thinking You Slept Badly Can Harm Your Performance

“Rough night?” is in many ways an insult disguised in a sympathetic question, as it’s pretty much saying “you look awful, was it a bad night?”

Besides insulting you, can it also be sabotaging your productivity?

A fascinating study by Kristi Erdal and Christina Draganich from Colorado College indicates precisely that: Subjects tricked into thinking they had a bad night’s sleep (by telling random subjects that their brain waves had been measured and they saw how they slept) underperformed in a test –mirroring the effects of real sleep deprivation — irrespective of how they actually slept.


It’s well-known that sleep deprivation harms performance: It lowers concentration, slows reaction time, and affects reasoning.

Now we know it’s not enough to get a good night’s sleep — you need to believe it too.


Why Top Recruiters Want Teachers (for Non-Classroom Positions): Clue Goldilocks and the Three Bears

For teachers upset about not getting the pay they feel they deserve in the classroom, they may be intrigued to learn that outside of it they could do a lot better: A cadre of top recruiters are looking for them for a range of positions – with lots of upside for performance.

Part of the reason why many companies switch (from job boards, open calls, and other traditional recruiting platforms) to Apploi is because they greatly value personality and other soft skills (communication, language, friendliness etc). That to them is often even more important than the hard skills and experience listed in their resume. Indeed when a customer is upset that they’ve been waiting in line for 15 minutes, a soothing voice and friendly smile without a degree is far more effective than a scowling MBA.

One of my favorite examples of a client using Apploi to tease out personality is Dennis Conklin, an entrepreneur on the West Coast who runs around 40 stores, across 3 concepts. For his receptionist and sales team, he asks them to submit through Apploi – along with everything else in the traditional resume and other soft skills questions – a video of them reading from Goldilocks and the Three Bears.


  1. It shows confidence.
  2. It shows personality.
  3. It shows a willingness to have fun.

Another top recruiter, Amanda Boone, I spoke to last week told me that for a long time she’s been recruiting teachers for leading positions in her call centers. Why?

  1. They’re great at explaining things.
  2. They’ve got remarkable patience.
  3. They’re used to dealing with a range of personalities.



It makes complete sense. Indeed the best sales people, the best customer service reps, all have qualities teachers have: Enthusiasm, credibility, knowledge, and relationship building skills.

The more time I spend with top recruiters, the more I learn about the untraditional (and unexpected) avenues they source from. It’s a lesson to jobseekers of all kinds: think outside the box, you may be more valuable in another profession.

I’d love to hear other examples of “surprising” career changes, let me know.


photo credit: <a href=””>Keith Williamson</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>


Breaking: Apploi in White House Report with President Obama – Delivering what Jobseekers need

WH signing

A few hours ago Apploi CEO, Adam Lewis, sent out the following very exciting announcement:

Hi All,

Today is an exceptionally exciting one for us all at Apploi: President Obama and Vice President Biden delivered a report and signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which I’m delighted to say Apploi is a part of.

We are truly honored, and are looking forward to working on this with the White House over the next year and beyond. We will be working together with Fortune 500 companies and CEOs, as well as heads of talent from some of the world’s leading and most innovative brands, to build new developments to strengthen the workforce and provide companies with the talent they need.

I would like to personally thank Daniel Freedman and David Clements on my team for their truly outstanding efforts with this.

Please read the release here: and to access the fact sheet and report here: 

Best regards,


The full report can be downloaded here.

On a personal note, a big thank you to: Adam, for his absolute support, commitment, and tireless work on making this initiative a reality; to the recruiters, managers, talent heads, CEOs, and other executives we’ve been working with, who are big part of this journey for us; and the amazing staff behind this report (the unsung heroes) – including for their understanding of the game-changing nature of Apploi.

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It’s going to be an incredibly exciting next few months with Apploi as we add new features to better the experience for the jobseekers – from showing in real-time where the job demand is and what the skill requirements are, through to how they can upskill to reach the positions of their dreams – and for the companies looking to employ them. Everyone, indeed the whole country, benefits from a more skilled, better-matched, and employed, population.

We are always looking for ideas and partners to better the experience for our community members, and to enact our vision, so if you would like to get involved in anyway, please reach out!

Thank you.