How Glassdoor's Job Explorer Could Put a Dent in U.S. Unemployment

Glassdoor's new Job Explorer tool makes job-hunting more accurate and less time-consuming.

Jul 24, 2014 at 7:29AM

One of the sticking points of our slow economic recovery is the mismatch between the number of long-term unemployed workers and jobs that are going unfilled. Some 3.1 million Americans have been out of a job for more than 27 weeks, yet there are 4.6 million jobs open nationwide. Job site Glassdoor and other participants in last month's 21st Century Jobs Data Jam in Washington have been working on new ways to connect those job seekers with vacancies. Proper training and skills are crucial, but so is knowing where the jobs are.

To make it easier to see where demand for particular workers is high, Glassdoor debuted Job Explorer this week. It's a suite of tools to make job searching easier and more efficient, especially for the long-term unemployed. Job Explorer already has one high-profile fan: Vice President Joe Biden, who got to work with a beta version last month in Washington. Biden mentioned Glassdoor's new project in his July 22 report to President Obama on job training and economic recovery.

What makes it different?
Three things set Job Explorer apart from traditional online job databases. First, it creates a customized visual map of job opportunities. Next, it lets job seekers factor in a spouse or partner's career goals in the search. It also suggests realistic alternate career paths for those who can't find work in their original field or who want to make a change.

To do all of this, Job Explorer uses existing Glassdoor data on available jobs and the career histories of its members, plus outside unemployment data and population statistics to create a new way to view America's job landscape -- one intended to help the long-term unemployed, but which can help other job hunters, too.

The Motley Fool spoke with Vikas Sabnani, Glassdoor chief statistician and data scientist, about Job Explorer's potential to close the gap between the unemployed and unfilled jobs.

"Especially for people without a high level of skills, there are three options," Sabnani said. "Relocate, switch to a related but more in-demand career, or go back to school. The new Job Explorer addresses two of those three options."

He added that 20% of people who search for a particular type of job on Glassdoor leave the location field blank, indicating that they're willing to move for the right job. But a no-location search for "nurse," for example, returns a list of hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide -- hardly the most efficient way to browse.

Seeing where the jobs really are
By using Job Explorer, a job-title search creates a map of the U.S. with each state color-coded according to the likelihood of finding such a job there. That probability is calculated using Glassdoor data on the absolute number of open jobs, government unemployment data, and the number of relevant openings.

Map Overview

From there, a click on any state reveals county-by-county data so job seekers can pinpoint their search to the areas with the most opportunities. A click on a county shows the relevant job openings in that area.

Though the tool was originally designed to help the long-term unemployed find jobs, Sabnani says its potential is broader. "There are three audiences that can benefit from this: the low-skill unemployed, a younger person looking to launch a career, and CEOs, who actually relocate more often than the average worker."

Bringing home more bacon
For a low- to middle-income household, one breadwinner probably isn't enough to meet expenses and save, Sabnani said. And there are plenty of "trailing spouses" who know firsthand the challenge of finding a new job every time their partner needs to move for work. The Glassdoor "partner search" feature lets users see not only where their own job skills are most in demand, but where their partners' skills are, too.

Map Partner Search

When a Job Explorer user selects partner search, the resulting map is color-coded to show the best opportunities for the searcher, the partner, and the locations with the best combined opportunities in their fields.

Plotting a new career path
Sabnani said the team realized that not all job seekers can pick up and move. "If relocation is not an option, what other work can we do?" The resulting job progression tool suggests related careers based on job switches that other Glassdoor users have made over the past five years.

Job Progression Suggested Jobs

Job Explorer suggests those jobs, along with statistics on how many users have actually made the job switch, and the average annual salary for those suggested jobs. Job seekers can then use the map to see where alternate jobs for themselves and their partners are most in demand, opening up more options and increasing the likelihood of finding work.

Sabnani didn't rule out the possibility that Job Explorer could eventually include other countries in Glassdoor's global database. But for now, it applies exclusively to U.S. jobs, in part to meet the challenge of reducing the number of long-term unemployed Americans. "We wanted to reach people who might be giving up," Sabnani said, "by helping them realize there is still opportunity."

Your credit card may soon be completely worthless
The plastic in your wallet is about to go the way of the typewriter, the VCR, and the 8-track tape player. When it does, a handful of investors could stand to get very rich. You can join them -- but you must act now. An eye-opening new presentation reveals the full story on why your credit card is about to be worthless -- and highlights one little-known company sitting at the epicenter of an earth-shaking movement that could hand early investors the kind of profits we haven't seen since the dot-com days. Click here to watch this stunning video.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers