Inspiration

One day when my friends and I talked about jobs, I heard this term, hidden job market, for the first time. After that I experienced many rounds of interviews and I realized that not only applicants are looking for jobs but also agents are looking for qualified persons to fill in the positions.

This gap between applicants and agents are huge to some extent. One opportunity can change one's life if he/she knew more positions when doing job hunting, and it is the same important to any company if the company was able to find suitable candidates to interview.

When I got so many mails from job agencies, I realized that it is not possible for me to spread them out to my friend circle as accurately as possible. I mean to share them out to the proper persons who really need it.

What it does

I am going to create this kind of application to bridge the requirements between job hunters and companies. Ultimately this application will share not only job posts but any information to let the knowledge share and flow among the worlds.

People can use this application to share what ever in the mailbox on GrassTalents or on the popular social platforms. For example:

  1. When a job opening reaches one's mailbox, this application is able to grab this mail and automatically share it on GrassTalents or social media platforms.
  2. This application can also share the mails with the same tag which has been created by the owner of mailbox. Normally I would tag all job posts with "HR" in Gmail from headhunters. I think people would have the similar way to follow up their mails.

How I built it

The prototype consists of user management, mails listing and mails sharing. It took a couple of weeks to finish at my spare time.

The prototype of application is built by ContextIO API, Express(nodejs) and MongoDB(Mongoose) as backend, and html/css/jQuery as frontend.

First I implemented a user management logic, based on that, I focused on the integration of ContextIO API and implemented the real application in very short time. Thanks to Tony for his great support.

Challenges I ran into

I am a backend DevOps engineer at day time. So the biggest challenge for me is to use the other new technologies and implement ideas in short time.

The other challenge is to choose between ContextIO and Gmail API. Before ContextIO, I tried Gmail API, and also implement a prototype with it. After thinking it over, I prefer to use ContextIO for it can support not only Gmail but other popular email providers. Now the prototype only support Gmail integration but later on it will support all the main-stream mail providers with ContextIO.

Accomplishments and vision that I'm proud of

I am proud that I can make the prototype work in this short period of time. The next goal is to introduce more functionalities and grow this application by helping people grow.

What I learned

I know this application is far away from commercial production. Before I built it, I did some research and didn't find any application would do the same thing.

I also learnt that to develop a mature product and be recognized by the market is more difficult than what I have thought. Ideas are the starting point. I believe it is an interesting and meaningful project and it will help people live and work in a better way.

What's next for GrassTalents

This is a quite new platform for the industry. More items will be added into it along with development and requirement collection. The current todo list as below:

  1. Users can follow other users or job agencies. It is going to become a social media.
  2. Users can receive email updates.
  3. Integrate with Twilio and push the job posts to subscribers.
  4. Share to other social platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google++, etc.
  5. Search emails and then share.
  6. Password to allow people to view some special positions.
  7. Connect Hotmail and other mail service providers.
  8. Allow users to choose partial contents to share. This will apply for user privacy.
  9. Build on AWS/docker or Google Kubernetes.
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