TL; DR: Studies show job hunting is one of the most stressful things a person can experience, so it’s nice only to do it once every few years (or, ideally, even less). But with an ever-changing market and higher demand for contractors, it’s not always as simple as sending out an application and hoping for the best. Gaper is a job marketplace connecting vetted and experienced engineers in the tech industry to jobs and companies looking to hire. Mark Allen, Director of Business Development, and Mustafa Najoom, Co-Founder and VP of Growth, tell us about Gaper’s mission to close the gap in tech talent discovery.
If you’re in the tech industry, you already know how competitive the job market is. Compared to 2022, tech companies are hiring at a much slower pace. Thousands of tech workers have lost their jobs in the past year and are still struggling to find new opportunities.
While the demand for tech workers is still high, the supply is also increasing — making the competition all the more complicated. Traditional job platforms like Indeed, Monster, and ZipRecruiter have their place, but they often fall short in catering to highly specialized fields like engineering.
This is where Gaper steps in. This dedicated job marketplace uniting engineers and tech companies has a unique advantage: AI-powered matchmaking.
Gaper’s process streamlines the intricate task of connecting the right engineer with the right project. We talked with two key figures from Gaper, Mark Allen, Director of Business Development, and Mustafa Najoom, Co-Founder and VP of Growth, to delve into the platform and its innovative approach to tech talent discovery.
Streamlining Engineer Selection with Gaper’s AI-Powered Vetting and Matching
Gaper is a job marketplace for employers and job-seekers specializing in engineering, computer science, and technology. It uses AI technology to match engineers with the best-fit projects based on their qualifications, skills, and experience.
The application process is simple but starts with a three-stage vetting process. Since Gaper.io gets tons of applications from across 44 countries every month, each applicant goes through a technical test, a technical interview, and a communication interview, with the preferred language being English.
Many job platforms automatically remove applicants if they don’t meet the AI’s keyword searches, potentially eliminating hundreds of people who would have otherwise been great for the job.
“The idea is to better match candidates to jobs that fit their full experience,” said Mustafa.
Instead, Gaper’s AI analyzes each candidate’s curriculum vitae (CV) beyond simple keyword searches and looks at each résumé with a contextual lens. This, in turn, simplifies the hiring process for businesses by providing a pool of entirely pre-vetted engineering candidates.
Companies Are Looking for Engineers with Skills in AI/ML
As to what tech companies are looking for, Mark believes it comes down to three main skill sets:
- Large Language Models (LLM): Proficiency in working with large language models, like those driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), used in chatbots, AI solutions, and natural language processing
- Natural Language Processing (NLP): Expertise in NLP involves understanding and manipulating human language using computer systems
- Generative AI Experience: In the era of ChatGPT and similar technologies, experience in generative AI is crucial, where GPTs (generative pre-trained transformers) are used for diverse tasks, including content and app creation
These skills, unfortunately, aren’t an impressive rarity anymore: They’re a necessity in today’s tech job market, and companies expect candidates to be familiar with them on their résumés.
“I think one of the most important things we have to think about is companies feel like they’re going to be left out if they don’t get these AI skills,” Mark added.
That said, it’s interesting to see how the tech world has witnessed a remarkable surge in the adoption of AI/ML despite its inception dating back nearly 40 years.
“I remember taking my first AI seminar in the ’80s, but it’s only been hitting in the last two to three years,” Mark laughed. “So now, students are coming out of college with AI skills, and we’re getting to a point where applicants already have two to four years of experience.”
Gaper Plans to Enhance AI-Matchmaking to Meet Societal and Industry Demands
Mark and Mustafa noted that, while integrating AI into Gaper’s matchmaking process had some growing pains, it’s a good thing. Its system learns and improves over time as more data is gathered from candidates and job postings.
But that doesn’t mean its team is satisfied. Next, Gaper.io wants to improve its actual matchmaking process, especially its contextual algorithms. This may include:
- Experience: The number of years a candidate has worked in a specific role
- Location: The geographic location of the job and the candidate
- Skills: Specific technical skills or soft skills a candidate possesses
- Industry: The industry or sector in which the position is located
- Salary: The salary range or compensation package associated with the job
“It’s something we’ve been working on for a while, and it keeps improving with the dataset,” Mustafa said. “The other thing we’re looking forward to is the market picking up pace again, which we last saw in Q2 of 2022. It was one of the best quarters we’ve seen in a decade regarding tech work.”
In 2023, the tech job market experienced a drop in salaries and the number of jobs available, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Silicon Valley.
Mark said since the tech industry is becoming more focused on meeting AI demands, the pace should pick back up sooner rather than later.
“It amazes me how far we’ve come with computers. It’s one of the main reasons I stay in tech because it’s something new every year,” he said.
“The technology world is truly living up to being a global marketplace,” Mustafa added. “I really think AI is just the beginning. It’s important to try to stay familiar, irrespective of age or profession; this is the future, and it’s important to be mindful of it.”