Revolutionizing the Job Search Process

Augustana Senior Alex Guggenberger has developed a new job-search tool called Jobiki.

Meet senior Alex Guggenberger’s brainchild, Jobiki – a new kind of online search tool designed to match employee preferences with compatible companies.

Google the words “job search” and you’ll end up with more than 900 million results.

Yes, you read that right — 900 million.

The results run the gamut. You’ll find database sites like Monster and Indeed offering the chance to “find millions of jobs from thousands of company websites, job boards and newspapers.” You’ll see news articles, blog posts, tweets and entire websites dedicated to helping you write a resume, network like a pro, ace your interview, and conquer the first 100 days in your new position. And of course, you’ll find LinkedIn, the mothership of all professional networking.

Most of those 900 million-plus results have one thing in common: the job. As in title, duties and salary.

With so many options right at our fingertips, finding a job should be a piece of cake, right?

Sure, says Augustana senior Alex Guggenberger, a native of Minnetonka, Minnesota — if a job is all you’re after.

But most of us — millennials, especially — want more than “just a job,” Guggenberger says. We want a position that aligns with who we are. A role that will offer meaning, purpose and fulfillment.

To find that, Guggenberger says, we shouldn’t be looking for the right job. We should be looking for the right company.

So, how do you find the right company for you?

JobikiMeet Jobiki, Guggenberger’s brainchild, a new kind of online search tool designed to match employee preferences with compatible companies.

Then, get ready. Because the “job search” is about to be revolutionized.

Criteria is Key

“When I was looking for jobs last summer, I searched ‘top 10 companies to work for’ and in reality, the results seemed pretty biased,” Guggenberger said, referring to the various search algorithms constantly in play, as well as the ability for companies and organizations to purchase keywords.

So, he resorted to searching “the standard way” by job function or job title — a process that’s difficult if you don’t know exactly what job you’re looking for.

Out of frustration, he started thinking about all the criteria he considered during his college search.

“I was looking at schools based on size; whether they were close to my hometown or far away; did they have the major I was interested in; and what kinds of activities I could be involved in.

“All of these criteria are available for people searching for a college, but they’re not available for people searching for a job,” Guggenberger said.

“If I would’ve gone to the University of Minnesota, I would not have been as successful as I’ve been here at Augustana,” he said. “The same logic applies to jobs.”

The key to matching the inner criteria and expectations we all have about where we work is to find more than just the right job.

The key is to find the right employer.

— Alex Guggenberger '17
Creater of Jobiki

Building Jobiki

Earlier this fall, Guggenberger pitched the idea for Jobiki at the Innovation Expo in Sioux Falls and took first place in the “Business Pitch” competition.

The win offered a small amount of money, which Guggenberger used to begin the trademarking process, secure the domain, and survey current students and recent college graduates to help him build Jobiki’s criteria.

Those survey results are helping Guggenberger and his brother, Nathan, create an entirely new process to match job seekers with employers.

The survey results also influenced Jobiki’s taglines: “Love what you do, and where you do it” and "Pursue your best fit."

Case in point: when asked to consider what’s important when choosing a job, Guggenberger said survey respondents are listing factors that go far beyond just pay and duties.

“They’re looking at factors like dress code, whether telecommuting is an option, what the size and location of the facility is like, whether the company is projected to grow, what the health care and retirement plans are like, and if there are continuing education or career development opportunities,” he said.

Jobiki won’t just be a tool for prospective employees. Guggenberger says the site will also have the power to help organizations improve their employee retention rates.

“Millennials come in, but statistics show they only stay for a short time because they aren’t passionate about the company. That’s a huge cost to the employer,” he said. “With Jobiki, employers will be able to pursue people who want to work for them.”

Billie Streufert, executive director of Augustana’s Student Success Center, called Jobiki a “game-changer.”

“It is exciting to know that individuals can better assess their fit with organizations before they even interview. A sense of purpose drives employee engagement, so this tool will be a game-changer,” Streufert said.

“Unlike other commercial search engines that simply help individuals find a job, Jobiki helps individuals land meaningful work, which makes all the difference professionally and personally.”

— Billie Streufert
Executive Director
Augustana Student Success Center

Jaciel Keltgen, assistant professor of business, knows Guggenberger as a student and talked about his visionary approach.

“Alex is very personable and relatable, in addition to being intelligent, so it's no surprise that he was able to winningly pitch his business idea,” she said. “What is amazing is that he saw an opportunity and developed it in addition to his studies and other activities. It's very gratifying as a professor to get a glimpse into Alex's potential as a business and community leader.”

An Entrepreneurial Spirit

Guggenberger came to Augustana intending to major in the natural sciences and go on to pursue a career in medicine. But, along the way, his interests changed.

“I knew I wanted to help people — but I realized that I could be of help beyond medicine.

“I’ve always had kind of an entrepreneurial spirit,” he said. “I love the idea of creating something. I want to find something I love doing that doesn’t feel like work.”

He re-focused and changed his major to accounting because, he says, “accounting is the language of business.”

“Majoring in accounting equips you with such a great set of tools,” he said.

He added business as a second major and computer information systems as a minor so he could “be even more well-rounded and be at the forefront of technology and innovation.”

Jason Harris, assistant professor of business, called Guggenberger “naturally inquisitive.”

“Alex is one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial students at Augustana. He is naturally inquisitive in the classroom which leads to better learning. He is an integral leader for the student-run Augustana Business Club,” Harris said.

As a student, Guggenberger has mastered the art of multi-tasking. In addition to launching his own business in between classes, he’s also president of The Augustana Choir, serves as head governor for the Augustana Union Board of Governors (UBG), and is a member of the Business Club and SKOL.

Reflecting on his experiences so far, Guggenberger counts his business professors as especially influential and also credits Dr. Pam Homan, executive director of Augustana’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, for her help in arranging an introductory meeting with Zeal, a center for entrepreneurship within the city, to discuss accelerator programs to take Jobiki to the next level.

Looking ahead to his post-graduation plans, Guggenberger says he would like to stay in the city and make Sioux Falls Jobiki’s headquarters once the site officially launches in 2017. Jobiki is currently accepting beta testers via

“So many people dread the job search process because the search process is broken. You apply, and you apply, and you apply, and you apply for job after job after job. Then you wait,” Guggenberger said. “Jobiki changes the process — enabling job seekers to find the company before the job.”

Kelly Sprecher
Director of Media Relations