Sequoia Capital : Lucking out

Sequoiajobsearch click to view

Inconsistent functionality favours some searchers above others.

The Site

Sequoia Capital, a venture capital fund known for backing Google and Apple as start-ups, varies its support to jobseekers according to where they begin their search.

Sequoia Capital devotes the Work section of its site to a job search facility for the companies in its investment portfolio. The sole page is blank when opened except for a title bar and a line of four dropdown menus at the top – All Countries (17 options), All Industries (9), All Functions (17) and All Companies (72) – followed by a ‘search’ button.

Selecting from the Industries list, then pressing ‘search’ generates a set of results and also automatically trims the other menus so that they show only ‘live’ options (i.e. those relating to the results). This is not the case when the initial choice is from menus other than Industries, when no tailoring of lists takes place. Search results can be generated using more than one menu at a time, but unless all the selections correspond with a live option they will return a ‘no results’ message.

The Takeaway

Sequoia obviously reasons that it’s in its own interest to help its portfolio companies find talent and so obligingly puts its jobs page at their disposal. They and it are, however, getting a less than maximised return on the investment, despite there being some very user-friendly functionality built into the job search tool.

Anyone starting their search by industry is helped smoothly and automatically to refine the initial results from the available options only. Not for them the potentially frustrating lottery that starters from country, function or company lists risk running into: their only hope of narrowing the field down is by trial and error. Those jobseekers reasonably expecting to save time with a multiple-choice first search and coming up against the ‘no results’ return may well be discouraged from rolling the dice a second time. And that’s surely in no one’s interest.

First published on 19 November, 2009