COLONIE — Everyone knows looking for a job can be a full time job, with the national and even local search engines getting bogged down with spam, fake jobs and opportunities from places like a suburb in Indochina.
And on the flip side of that, employers often waste countless hours sifting through resumes from less than desirable applicants from places like … a suburb in Indochina.
Pete Gannon, president of the Arsenal Business and Technology Partnership and Shaker High graduate, noticed the disconnect between qualified local candidates and solid local companies offering good jobs and in July started Gannon’s List to help bridge the gap.
Gannon’s List can be found on Facebook, and is mailed once a week to subscribers. It features local jobs in soft skill professions like public relations, marketing, accounting, some internships and some high level management positions. It’s his creation, and his time and energy, so he can put up what he wants, some listings are to help out friends and some are for more defined skills like engineer or architect – but those types of jobs are more specialized and not his bread and butter.
The job he picks for Gannon’s List are a 50-50 mix of those from other job boards and from opportunities sent to him by, or through, the connections he made in the business community and while working for now retired Assemblyman Ron Canestrari and Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan.
“I know it when I see it,” he said of what jobs make the Gannon’s List cut. “The most important part is that the list is local and it’s not being run by an algorithm or a computer formula. It has real human eyes and it has a personal touch. I grew up in the region, started my family in the region and know the region as well as anyone so I have a good idea of what jobs are decent.”
This week is a list of simple links to 136 local jobs – with 28 new listings – and simplicity is part of the charm and how Gannon likes it, for now anyway. People send him job listings through the week, he scours the other job boards on Sunday night and then on Wednesday afternoon he publishes Gannon’s List and sends it out to subscribers.
“It is primitive, kind of simple but for the time being that’s how I like it, and people tell me they like the simplicity and are impressed with the quality of jobs,” he said. “I think there is plenty of opportunity to monetize it at some point and still provide a great value but right now the focus is trying to grow it organically.”
Without advertising or spending any money on marketing or promoting the list, it is growing. Right now, there are about 2,600 who get the list emailed and the Facebook Page has some 600 “likes.” In all, he said he got about 2,500 “clicks” last week which was more than the week before and probably less than next week.
More importantly, there is a “buzz going about it,” he said.
“It started out on social media and with family and friends signing up but just the other day I had a dozen people sign up for the email list and they are people I’ve never heard of,” he said. “It really does simplify the entire job search process whether you have lived in the Capital Region your whole life or if you are moving to the area and wondering what are the best companies and who is offering the best jobs.”
Gannon said he has a couple dozen success stories on both sides of the aisle and someone who used his list recently approached he and his wife and informed them he had a third interview the following Tuesday.
“The biggest difference I see is that it’s all local and Pete has a personal contact with the employer and the prospective employee,” said Matt Wagoner, the founder of Wagoner Law Firm, who hired an office assistant/paralegal who found his listing on Gannon’s List. “I have a personal relationship with Pete. He has an earned level of trust in the community and that is a nice value add I could rely on immediately.
“It’s not easy to find talent in this area and it’s certainly not easy to find local talent on national websites.”
Eventually, Gannon would like to see his list on a dedicated website. But until then you can find links to the job listings and sign up for the emails at the Gannon’s List Facebook page.
“It’s a helpful alternative. It’s not a one stop shop but nothing will be” he said. “I know how frustrating it can be and hopefully this will simplify everything a little bit and help people find a job they can thrive in.”