Uncubed’s Year in Review: 2017

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz

Uncubed’s Year in Review: 2017

It’s time for the end of the year look back at Uncubed’s most recent lap around the sun.

(TLDR: Watch this video.)

All years fly by. (For proof, note that Harry Potter, South Park, and MMMBop all turned TWENTY this year.) But whether it was the political tsunami, the eclipse, or the real shocker of the year – that they paved the pothole-infested asphalt in front of Uncubed’s HQ – the pace of 2017 was particularly disorienting.

Pace of change was one of the biggest themes for Uncubed this year. Increasingly, we are working with the Fortune 500 to help them use our platform to reimagine their futures. It’s a terrifying time to be an incumbent firm not named Apple, Google/Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon, or Microsoft.

Those companies are, at the time of this post, numbers one through five on the list of the most valuable companies in the stock market. And those companies are, at the time of this post, numbers one through five on the list of most desirable employers for college grads.

They are vacuuming up a generation’s worth of the top digital talent.

Everyone else is in a scramble – a profound, existential one. We know that big companies don’t last; just 12% of the Fortune 500 from 1955 is on the list today per the AEI. But the rate of that atrophy going forward will be many, many times more severe than what we’ve ever seen, due to technology. For many of these companies, it will be how successfully they compete for today’s talent that will determine where they shake out.

Uncubed’s platform has become a powerful antidote for companies facing these challenges. They are the businesses that are able to make the most of our entire offering, which now includes our next-gen talent community, our content studio, and the AI candidate assistant we’ve been building with IBM Watson.

For our users, working with these companies means delivering far more job opportunities. It also allows us to be the first to bring you the transformation stories of these companies, and the opportunities that come with. This was the case with United Technologies Digital, which has partnered with Uncubed around the launch (and staffing) of its Brooklyn facility.

At the same time, we’ve vastly increased the number of true startup opportunities on our job board, and have added thousands of jobs there this year. The job board got a complete overhaul this year, so check it out if it’s been awhile.

Let’s dig in.

To the Studio

We launched Uncubed Studios, our in-house group dedicated to making content to drive talent acquisition and to build brand. Here’s one video in a ten-part series we produced for Amazon and their AWS brand.

In addition to Uber, we produced content at Giphy, SeatGeek, ZocDoc, and Vice in parntership with AWS.

2017 also brought new video work with IBM, where we’ve produced videos that will now power their global employer brand.

Previously, we were building video content creation into our job board offering for companies. We’ve broadened that to allow for new ways to work with our customers and to bring more content to our community.

So Uncubed Studios now makes content for our job platform and also to drive broader employer brand building efforts for our customers, in addition to some really fun stuff just for our readers.

AI of the Tiger

We partnered with IBM Watson to leverage their cognitive technology and our content abilities to direct jobseekers to the best-fitting jobs.

It’s part virtual assistant (you can ask anything you want about the company you’re interested in) and part content-rich candidate experience.

For jobseekers, it reduces the time to find the relevant available jobs and delivers engaging content to get you up to speed on the company, culture, and opportunities; for companies, it promises more qualified candidates and less time spent reviewing candidates aren’t fit for a job.

Here’s Buzzfeed’s Dan Geiger talking about their use of the offering.

Beyond the AI partnership with IBM, we significantly bolstered the back-end of our platform, building what amounts to our own applicant tracking system that powers the matching of job applicants to open opportunities. This means a vastly improved matched recommendations for our members.

We also continued to build integrations with the 3rd party platforms that our customers use to manage their talent acquisition efforts. Early in 2018, we’ll announce our integration with one of the leading talent management systems for the Fortune 100 – it’s a first-of-its kind integration, and will allow us to deliver a totally unique service to these companies.

These integrations give our users a far more seamless job application process, and applications can be submitted directly from Uncubed.

Community Growth

Our community has never been shy about telling us what they want. Access to more jobs was high on that list, and this year we delivered. The expansion of the platform and our customer base, coupled with our own community growth, resulted in Uncubed users applying for 473% more jobs in 2017 than in the prior year.

As always, we’re focused on trying to deliver better and better content to our community. This year that gave rise to videos like the robo-advisor feature in our WTF Is? explainer video series and to our topical guides like our bitcoin vs. etheryum piece.

Back to School

College students have always been a core part of our network – in fact, we started Uncubed with the goal of serving them. We give students access to jobs and insights they don’t get on campus, and in return, they are some of our most engaged and reliable community members. In 2017, we delivered far more job opportunities to students than ever before, including from new customers like United Technologies.

For our enterprise customers, we believe that the best way to fuel digital transformation is by successfully recruiting the best next-gen talent, which starts with interns and new graduates. This is why we’re continuing to strengthen our focus on this part of our network.

To this end, we launched a student specific free webinar series designed to de-mystify jobs in technology that drew in thousands of students.

And we were selected by the New York City Economic Development Corporation to promote job opportunities in life sciences to students through their ten-year, $500 million LifeSci NYC initiative.

Conference Call

2017 brought the debut of our HR Uncubed conference, our take on an HR industry event.

The world has enough industry conferences at Vegas hotels and stuffy suburban conference centers. So we built the one we’d always wanted and put it in decidedly non-conferency venues: the Brooklyn Brewery, the Wythe Hotel, and the sunlit Dobbin St. space.

It was a gathering of a full spectrum of HR professionals, from top startups to the Fortune 50, in a collective quest to better understand how to build the people organization for the future. Talks centered around employer brand, diversity and inclusion, and how to attract elite tech talent, among others.

Our goal is to make this the preeminent talent acquisition and employer brand conference in the US, and our second edition is just around the corner: HR Uncubed 2018 takes place on May 2-3, again in Brooklyn with digital transformation featuring alongside other topics in this year’s content.

Sticking with Brooklyn, this was the first year we took our job fair out of Manhattan. NYC Uncubed drew nearly 1,000 tech and digital candidates from our community to Brooklyn’s stunning Industry City building. Google, Snap, United Technologies, Square, Pinterest, and The Oath were among the companies on hand.

There’s more, there’s tons more. But we’ll leave it that. It was a big, important year for Uncubed. Thanks to any and all of you who took part in our community, trusted your company with our services, watched a video, read an article, applied for a job, or just looked on from afar.

Instead of wishing for a calmer, slower 2018, we’re wishing everyone more adaptation and resilience in the year ahead. The world is unlikely to let off its pace, and will likely be unkind to those left beyond, so here’s hoping we can all get better at moving in lockstep.


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