Checking in on the "Battle against the resume black hole"

It’s been four months since the Ian Martin Group took on the resume black hole…so who’s winning?

From the 10,000 applications Ian Martin Group receives each month, some 2,500 will be contacted by our recruiters, and about 100 of those people will become employed through us.

For the other 9,900, it’s easy to feel like your resume has disappeared into a great big black hole. Ugh. You hate the black hole. We hate the black hole. And we’re trying to do something about it.

Long term, Ian Martin Group is working towards a world where each and every person is pursuing meaningful work.

Short term, we at least want a greater proportion of our 10,000 monthly applicants to feel that we share the journey to meaningful work.


Monowara is a Kiva entrepreneur in India.


To find out why and how we’re attempting that, check out our CEO’s blog post Redeeming the Resume Black Hole. [If you don’t, I can’t promise this post will make sense.]

Now, after four months of waging war on the resume black hole…it’s time to find out who’s winning?

The Case for Ian Martin Group

The first positive signs came after Tim’s blog post, in which he outlined the new program and invited our applicants to comment (good, bad, or ugly).

Happily, and without any filtering from us, all of your comments have been very encouraging. Here’s a representative quote from Christopher:

I just had to comment on what a nice touch and pleasant surprise this was after submitting my application. Positive in so many ways.

I know you’re looking for critical comments as well, but this experience is immediately so much better than any other application process so far, I’d be hard pressed to come up with any.

Thanks for the chance to participate.

There may be others who don’t share our enthusiasm, but we have yet to hear from you. We hope you’re candid because we want to get better. And so you know there’s no connection between your application and your comment, you’re free to post under an alias.

Second, before we took on the resume black hole, research told us similar programs averaged a 1% redemption. Our average redemption rate to date: 2.5%! It may not seem like much, but even four months in, we’re beating participation expectations two and a half fold!

Third, since we took on the resume black hole in January, the Ian Martin Group team, including our applicants, have made 285 loans. That’s $7,125 loaned to entrepreneurs in 52 countries around the world. Amazingly, 48 of those loans have already been repaid – by people like father-of-two Carlos Alberto who has an electronics shop in El Salvador and mother-of-six Gulkaiyr who breeds livestock in Kyrgyzstan. Two hundred and eighty five entrepreneurs who can better support their families and communities. That’s worth celebrating!


But it’s not over yet.

The Case for the Black Hole

Black holes are big and we’re still battling against this one.

First, 2.5% redemption is a lot more than we expected but it’s a lot less than we want. We’re greedy. We’re after a 5% redemption rate. Why? Five per cent is a rate we can sustain. Given the amount of money we’ve invested and the average repayment rates of Kiva loans, 5% keeps the most money out in the hands of real people who can use it.

Second, there is about $39,000 in our pool waiting to be loaned. That could fund 1560 loans! Loans to people like Jordanian woman Saly, whose loan will be used to complete her education in early education. We’d like to see that money out in the hands of people like Saly, and not twiddling its thumbs in an account.

Third, even if we hit these goals in the Kiva program, the black hole is still there, eating up applications. We don’t know if we can close the hole for good, but we’ve put our best candidate experience people on it. They’re looking at ways that technology and communication tools can get more information in the hands of more applicants, so that you can better plan your job search and your career.

So the battle is still on.

Stay tuned for updates from the battlefield.

And until next time, why not make a loan?


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