Qwiki: Experience Information in a New Way

Recruiting is a job that has essentially defined multitasking. On any given requisition, a recruiter must find time to source several candidates, make follow-up phone calls, and connect with hiring managers. The Web has already proven to be an indispensable time-saver for sourcing and screening, especially with the explosive expansion of social media sites and services.

Yet, the task of dredging through the massive repository of information the Web can be daunting. Thankfully, there is a new search tool in development that has the potential to help recruiters collect and compile candidate information in a much more timely fashion.

Palo Alto, CA-based Qwiki is a new Web service currently in what they’re calling “private Alpha” stage (i.e. beta) that allows users to search the Internet and receive results in a whole new manner. The service enables users to search for a person, place, or thing and receive the information in a multimedia presentation composed of an aggregate of contextual Web-based results.

From a recruiter’s perspective, Qwiki could offer the ability to conduct a search for candidates that returns a host of available online information to include resumes, Facebook and Linkedin profiles, personal and professional Websites, and potentially any other Web-based information about them in one easy-to-digest (and somewhat entertaining) format.

Qwiki calls this compilation, and its resulting image and auditory presentation, a storytelling format. In this format, recruiters will not only be able to benefit from the aggregation of candidate data, but from the assistance it provides to the multitasking environment. For example, a recruiter could listen to a Qwiki on AS9100 while searching for candidates in another window.

In addition, Qwiki could prove to be a boon in gathering information about specialized or complex requisitions and then presenting that information in an understandable format. For those users that absorb information best by auditory and visual means, the storytelling format could be particularly valuable. When the Qwiki “presentation” is done it brings the user to a page with connected information that can be clicked on to increase knowledge about the topic.

Although in its current release candidate searches are not functional, the service provides an example of a person search that reveals the type of data useful to recruiters. For example, a search of Square Inc.’s General Manager, Keith Rabois, reveals a wealth of information about him to include the number of Linkedin recommendations he as received.

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Qwiki also provides an opportunity for recruiters, job candidates, or companies to use the technology to create their own Qwikis in order to build a public profile.

It should be noted, though, that as of right now the Qwiki site is only in “private Alpha” form and there are no guarantees as to the depth or breadth of information it will provide in the end. Furthermore, the site is flash-based and therefore does not work on the iPhone, though company insiders indicate that this is an issue they are working on.

The team at Qwiki could not offer a date when they will be rolling out the site to the public but mentioned that it could be as little as a few weeks.

Contextual search represents the future of Internet data collection, and Qwiki’s stylish user interface and unique storytelling format could provide competition to established search engines like Google and Microsoft’s Bing. Or, perhaps, a target for acquisition.

Interested users can currently sign up for the free “private Alpha” and experiment with the site’s (currently limited) features at www.qwiki.com.

Jennifer Deal is a strategic human resources, recruiting, and social networking professional. She currently works as a Sourcing Specialist for Goodrich ISR where she partners with the recruiting team to fill open positions, build candidate pipelines, and develop sourcing initiatives. She has an MBA and Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. In addition, she is pursuing her PhD in Organization and Management with a specialization in Human Resource Management from Capella University. Jennifer is an open networker and encourages you to connect with her on multiple social networking sites such as Linkedin and Twitter.

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