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Ooqio Peer Review Database Surpasses 10,000 Users

10K users

It was just a few short weeks ago that I announced I had accepted an offer to become CEO of Ooqio, an up-and-coming platform for gathering anonymous peer reviews from professionals.

This week, I’m excited to share another big piece of news: Ooqio’s database of professionals has surpassed 10,000 users. This means not only have 10,000 people have been ranked within our system by their peers but 5 votes are being ranked on average per person! —invaluable feedback for employers and recruiters signing on as Ooqio clients, and the database continues to grow every week.

Aside from being a just-plain-awesome milestone (10,000 of you decided to check us out, and knowing that feels great!), this also signals an important phase of growth for our operation. As we introduce our full suite of talent management solutions to the marketplace, we’ve proved Ooqio’s viability as a simple, intuitive and highly useful tool for professionals in the workforce and the companies who hire them.

Which brings me to my next question: have you checked your Ooqio score? Your peers have, and you may be one of the 10,000 colleagues they’ve ranked thus far.

Check your ranking in less than a minute by visiting now. Hiring managers and staffing agencies can view our full selection of plans and pricing here.

On behalf of the entire Ooqio team, thanks for helping us reach this major milestone! We can’t wait to share the next phase of our story with you.


-Christian Booth, Ooqio CEO


Ooqio Spotlight: Redefining Talent Management with Appreiz

Appreiz talent management

Jayashree Venkataraman Appreiz CEOMeet Jayashree Venkataraman, CEO and Founder of Appreiz social recognition platform. She’s an HR technology veteran, with the likes of industry giants Microsoft and GE filling out her resume.

Now, Jayashree is out to redefine talent management using social recognition as a key performance indicator. We connected with her this week to find out more about her latest venture.

You say you want to “redefine talent management.” Tell us more.

Typically when you give someone a good reference or leave a review on LinkedIn, you give broad, non-specific endorsements like “so-and-so is a great manager” or “so-and-so was lovely to work with.” But that doesn’t quantify anything.

Appreiz is a tool for showing appreciation to your co-worker, peer, manager, or anyone in an organization. The key differentiator with Appreiz is that you must appreciate them based on demonstrated values, role-based competencies and skills. The praise has to be tied to a specific accomplishment.

Ah, so there’s immediately a data set captured, right?

Exactly. Appreiz captures the skills a person demonstrated, building analytics for the employer in the process. It’s directly tied to your job performance.

It also works externally, if you’re an employee facing a customer and the customer wants to appreciate you. Instead of sending a survey that, 90% of the time, doesn’t get filled out, you can ask the customer to leave the comment on Facebook or Twitter and Appreiz can pull it from that platform. Also, each company has an Appreiz link they can give out.

Appreiz talent management

What about employers? What’s the best use of this tool for a manager or human resources executive?

Since we’re capturing employees’ demonstrated capabilities and skills, it makes a company’s succession planning much easier. A manger can go in and say “what skills is John being praised for most?” They can see where he’s most likely to succeed. They can also see when John is demonstrating competency beyond his pay grade—he’s ready for a promotion.

Appreiz also builds an intricate organizational network of a company. If one person keeps getting praised by many different team members, you know it’s important to retain that person. They are valued by their peers.

That makes a lot of sense. So on a broader level, how do you see Appreiz changing the face of talent management? And how will you get to that point?

We see Appreiz becoming an intuitive part of a person’s workflow, and we’re getting there by integrating with the programs employees already love to use, like Trello, JIRA, Slack and Office.

For example, if you’re writing an email to a co-worker and say “great job on that task!” you’ll receive a notification prompting you to send Appreiz to your colleague. It becomes an ordinary step in the workflow, with triggers in multiple places.

The last piece of the puzzle is called Appreiz Graph, which is in development and could literally replace resumes. A resume is something you make up—realistically, you can fill it with whatever you want, so how reliable is it as a tool?

Your Appreiz Graph, on the other hand, is created by your peers and is a real demonstration of your skills. You can take it with you from one organization to the next.

You can check out Appreiz and grab a free 30-day trial for yourself by visiting

Appreiz was launched in 2016 and is led by founder and CEO Jayashree Venkataraman and technology partner Krishnan Naranapatty of Kaay Labs. The pair has a combined multi-decade resume of experience in technology, HR strategy and operations.

How To Not Hate Your Job Hunt

How To Not Hate Your Job Hunt

Job searching can be very stressful—but it doesn’t have to be this way. Looking for your next job opportunity can be a very empowering experience as long as it is approached in the right way. Whether you’re an experienced management member seeking a change or a fresh grad eager to start your career, take a look at some tips to help you have a feel-good job hunt:

Press Pause.

If you don’t have a clear view of what you actually want, building a strategy to go after a vague goal won’t work. Like many employees in the workforce, you might end up miserable at your job six months or a year into it. Make sure you really look into what you want, otherwise you might have to look for another job shortly after you get a new one.

It can be difficult to pause your current strategy especially if you’re the type of person who needs to constantly keep going, but gaining clarity on what you really want for your career will make that strategy even more effective.

Only Apply To Jobs You Really Want.

This can seem like obvious advice, but there are many people in the job market right now who apply for every available position under the sun. When it comes to job hunting, more is definitely not better. Focus!
Don’t Search In Isolation.

Asking for help is not something to be afraid or embarrassed of, especially if you need a new job fast. Recruit your friends, family and peers to help you out in your time of need. They might have a great lead that you can check out. Some might even have a few connections that they can refer you to. Don’t be afraid to tell your social circle that you’re looking for a job opportunity.

Boost Your Chances With Online Tools

It’s a given that everyone applying for a job has a resume, references, etc. But during the selection process, the references listed on your resume may not be enough to convince hiring managers to take you on. With a tool like Ooqio, you’ll be able to link your professional profile and showcase real, anonymous ratings from your peers in order to prove that you’re a hirable talent.

Signs You Should Start Job Searching (While Happily Employed)

Signs Start Job Searching

Sometimes, even if you’re currently happy with your job, changes happen. While some company changes are harmless, others can affect your current position. If you’re caught unaware, you may soon see your current workplace shift into something undesirable, or worse, find yourself unemployed. This is why many people advise looking for a new job while you currently have one. Knowing the right time to consider leaving is crucial.

Take a look at some warning signs that you need to watch out for:

1. There’s A Change Of Ownership

When your company is required some roles could end up redundant and employment changes loom. While a change in owners doesn’t mean everyone should fear losing their spot, don’t get caught unprepared in a restructuring that changes or even gets rid of your position.

2. New Management Arrives

Management shuffling or new arrivals can mean that the old ways that you’re used to may soon change. These changes trickle down and can even affect junior positions because senior management might bring in a new head to replace your boss. If this same manager brings his or her team with the change, that will make you expendable.

3. The Company Changes Strategies

New initiatives and focus can be a source of great news as this means the company is growing and innovating. However, if this shift indicates moving away from what you’re currently working on, your resources might be reduced and you might be part of a rapidly shrinking team.

4. Company And/Or Industry Financials Sour

Another reason why you should stay up to date on your employer’s news is so you can learn all about your company’s financials. It’s easy to gloss over annual reports or earnings, but if you keep track of the organization’s financial health, you should see ahead of time if the struggling bottom line would be a problem.

But even if your employer is doing well, if the overall industry is turning negative, then this bad news outweighs the good. Assuming your company will buck the trend for long is a risky habit. Stay updated with industry news so you know which industries are thriving or struggling.

When a change happens to your position, employer or industry, this does not always mean that you should automatically file your resignation, especially if you’re happy at your current role. Start paying closer attention. This way, you’ll be way ahead in the job-seeking game before your peers join the job market.

Are You Sabotaging Your Job Hunt?

Are You Sabotaging Your Job Hunt

When more than 75% of full-time employed workers are open to or are actively seeking a new job opportunity, getting that new job can be much more difficult. Some of the obvious reasons are due to a lack of qualifications, bad interviews or a resume that isn’t up to company standards. Here are some ways that job-seekers might be sabotaging their efforts in ways they don’t realize:

You Focus On Your Education Too Much

While graduating from a great school is impressive, many hiring managers look past that to determine if you will be a top performer. Qualifiers like past work performance, experience, and how you conduct yourself in the workplace can often place much higher than education.

You Wait Too Long

Waiting to be contacted for the next steps in the application process after interviewing for a position  can help your chances. Sending a proper thank-you note and politely following up shows that you are genuinely interested in the position and that you are excited about joining the team. Go further than the usual by making it clear that you understand the requirements, challenges and Business Pains that your hiring manager is currently facing, and that you are prepared to work hard to get things done.

You Think Having A Résumé Is Enough

According to a survey, majority of employers believe that a résumé doesn’t give enough information to help them judge if a candidate is qualified. Build a cover letter, links to appropriate social media profiles, and recommendations. Separate yourself from the pack by showing off a highly rated Ooqio profile!

You Think ‘No’ Means ‘Never’

Many hiring managers might say ‘no’, but this doesn’t mean you should never try again. Many employers would like to reconnect with past candidates, but chances of being contacted again are low if they don’t stay in touch even if they don’t snag the job offer the first time around. If possible, add your hiring manager to your social network and thank them for the opportunity to interview for the position. This is the best time to ask them to keep you in mind should another opportunity become available either for the same position or elsewhere.

Benefits Of Overhauling Your Onboarding Program

Benefits Of Overhauling Your Onboarding Process

A vast majority of new employees agree that traditional onboarding can unfortunately be a dull and dry experience. Uninspired company videos from decades past, hundreds of policies recited from an employee manual, the endless signing of form after form.. Many companies make the mistake of viewing onboarding as an afterthought that has little to no business impact. But studies have revealed that firms that execute onboarding very well can expect to almost double their revenue growth and profit margins compared to organizations with traditional onboarding.

Here are several other benefits of transforming your onboarding program:

1.) Improving new hires’ on-the-job effectivity

Effective onboarding programs can greatly improve employee progress. Putting more focus on the employee and asking them to identify their key motivators during the onboarding process can greatly increase new hire motivation, as well as performance. Traditional programs focus purely on the company, but transformative corporations such as Google, Zappos, and others have shifted their focus and are benefiting from it greatly.g their new job, Zappos offers up to $4,000 to quit during their initial training.

New hires also have the benefit of having an outsider’s perspective, so your onboarding program is a great opportunity to ask them to create ideas that can improve the customer or the employee experience.

2.) Strengthening employee retention

Implementing a strict “one-day onboarding” can seem like you’re saving on time and money, but it may hurt retention in the long run. This is because only a small percentage of new hires decided after the first day if they are sure that they want to stay with a company. But if new hires engage in a structured and extended onboarding process, a vast majority are more likely to retain with a company for years to come.

Extending the onboarding program’s length can also create a great impact on employee turnover because it allows for more coaching time, and time to share vital information and answers to questions. Some companies, such as Facebook and Rackspace, even have several weeks long onboarding so they can thoroughly impart corporate values, strategies, and resources.

  1. Boosting corporate branding and recruiting efforts

Onboarding can also greatly improve your current recruiting process. Ask new hires about their recently completed hiring process and help them share which factors made them say yes to your offer. Which parts of the process worked for them and which ones should be improved? It’s also important to realize that a new hire’s close social circle will likely connect with him or her after onboarding to ask them what it’s like to work for your company, so it’s the perfect time to make a great impression and to spread the corporate brand message that yours is a firm that the best talent would want to work with.

A Laser Focus On Seattle

All successful companies have a goal. Well, so do we. Our goal is more than just your standard “grow bigger, make money,”  we care about simplifying the process of finding quality work and quality workers. To reach our goal, we’ll need to go at it in smaller, more manageable chunks. This is why we’ve got a small market on our radar to start with: Seattle, Washington.

Why Seattle?

Seattle is a hub for free thinkers, a vibrant city filled with creative people willing to engage with a new service like ours. It also helps that our founders live and work in Seattle, so they know the city better than anyone. In a nutshell, we’re starting with the community we know and love.

But there’s more: Seattle’s job market is on fire. In fact, in 2015 only three other cities in the United States had a hotter market than The Emerald City’s. So, as you can see, it makes a lot of sense that we’d have our sights squarely set on the Seattle job market as our first test environment. If we can thrive in Seattle, we’ll take what we’ve learned, replicate it, and grow in other cities around the country.

If you don’t live in Seattle can you still use Ooqio? That would be a resounding YES! We may have our sights laser-focused up here in the Pacific Northwest, but Ooqio is for everyone. We encourage all users from any part of the country to hop on and start ranking, because snagging a quality employee or quality job opportunity is for everyone. Every time we get a new ranking, we’re all one step closer to a painless hiring process.

How To Boost Employee Morale

How To Boost Employee Morale

Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the effects of low employee morale. It means so much more than having to endure more eye rolls or listless shuffling around the office! High turnover rates, decreased employee collaboration, and lackluster output are just some of the negative effects of low morale in the workplace. Take a look at some tried and tested ways to tackle low morale:

Ask and Be Open To Feedback
Transparency and openness makes for a happy workplace. This allows employees to bring positive change to an organization. Receiving regular feedback and assigning teams to tackle issue and solve internal problems is a great way to boost employee morale and trust.

Let Go of Bad Hires
Weed out bad behavior fast and let go of those who intimidate, demean, refuse to take accountability, spread gossip, or fail to respect others’ time and efforts. This can lead to an even more positive effect among the team than a promotion or other benefits.

Encourage Employees To Take “Real” Lunch Breaks
Eating at a work desk does not translate to a real break. Staying in the same place all day leads to a negative effect on a person’s creativity, so encourage employees to go out for a walk or catch coffee outside the office. They might shy away from this at first but taking in fresh air and changing environments every few hours greatly helps at boosting morale.

Set Clear Boundaries With Office Hours
Limiting office hours can significantly boost morale, especially for young staff members. Long hours does not directly translate to productivity and efficiency. Working as if they were running a marathon makes employees feel powerless and it soon weighs heavy on their health and well-being. To top it off, working long hours doesn’t necessarily improve output as well. Encourage employees to use proper time management and get support from their peers.

Sponsor Professional Development Programs
If possible, set aside a portion of the budget for professional development courses. Not only will this strengthen your company by making your workforce more competitive, but it will also boost an employee’s self-esteem and personal achievements.

The Drain of Bad Hires

We @Ooqio have grown up in corporate America. We’ve experienced the tangible and intangible costs associated with a poor hiring decision, even a short-term one. The sunk costs aren’t just the lost wages of the resource in question. If you take into account the negative impact to your existing team, the losses compound, quickly. That’s why CEOs like Tony Hsieh of Zappos, estimate that bad hiring have cost OVER $100,000,000, directly from the bottom line:

But how does that cost break down? And how can ooqio help you avoid it?

What is the impact of a bad hire?

Outside of wages, a poor hiring decision can result in a big hit to the morale of your quality employees.  Discontent, real or imagined, can spread like wildfire among the ranks, before you even know it.  The cost is hard to quantify, but we know it hurts, badly. And we know it can take months to clean up. Long after the perpetrator is gone. Combine that with the hidden cost of potential badmouthing from the rejected resource who is now back out in the job pool. Without costing you a real penny, the costs can be huge.

Let’s get to some real numbers. Over the last 2 years, we’ve hired 112 people via contract. The average rate for these 112 contractors was $92/hour. That rate is 100% inclusive, meaning the agency covers any benefits, computer equipment, platform costs, etc. So at 40 hours a week, each contract would cost us $191,360 a year. Multiply that by the 112 hires, and we’re looking at $21,432,320 spent on contingent staff over the last 2 years! Of those 112 people, we  let go 32 of them prior to contract end as “bad hires”. Under a third of our resource assessments were poor. That doesn’t seem too terrible, right? Yet it still results in a $6,000,000 gap! Huge room for improvement!

How can Ooqio help your agency?

It isn’t just the cost of that worker you lose with a bad hire.  You lose money as the GOOD players on your team help these bad hires for longer than they need.  You lose money from not only the bad apple’s contract, but from your steady employee base, in assistance picking up the slack.

Of the $21.4 million discussed above, an agency takes $8-10 million of that. Every bad hire, even short-term, is going to take as much as $200,000 off the bottom line.  We are targeting staffing agencies specifically as they bring in exponentially more candidates than a standard company, increasing the bottom line savings offering.

With Ooqio you get:

  • Trusted/valid/real ratings of a person
  • Value trending of each person at each placement
  • Eliminating the jaded value of the traditional resume references section
  • Harnessing data from outside your company purview to make hiring decisions
  • Ultimately not placing that bad apple that’ll cost your company $200,000 a pop

For more information on how Ooqio can save your company money, check out our Ooqio+ offering for agencies!