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Referrals .2

(April 25, 2006) When Jason Goldberg, the CEO of Jobster
says something like:

"instead of trying to bucket a service like Jobster into one category (like referrals, people search, prospect management tools, job search, targeting, etc.), i would say that jobster and other services are trying to use new technologies to address some critical and age-old business challenges in recruiting."

the market should take notice. As a component of the answers to our question about referrals, Goldberg is raising awareness of Jobster's much larger agenda. Having run afoul of the changing product mix and marketing spin at jobster in the past, we're a little nervous about reading these tea leaves. It's pretty clear, however, that the referral business is like a vestigial tail at Jobster. Their ambition stretches to direct competition with the industry's largest players.

In a recent press release, Jobster unveiled one of the smartest (well almost) things we've seen to date:

Jobster Inc. and Six Apart Ltd., the world leader in blogging software and services for individuals and businesses, launched a program to let bloggers easily add a Jobster search widget to their TypePad site and be a career resource for blog readers. Bloggers can also customize a Jobster jobs feed to provide job listings to readers that tie directly to the blog topic.

Jason Does a great job at clearly laying out his vision for Jobster:.

at jobster, we're in the finding great candidates business.  we're not in the referral business or the job posting business or the job search business.  we are in the business of helping employers find, engage, and hire the right candidates for their positions.

And there are plenty of challenges still left to be solved:

  • How can we leverage relationships to find the best people (not just the ones that our employees know are looking for work or who have resumes)?

  • How can we target market our job openings to the right candidates wherever they are, whether they are looking for a job or not, vs. mass marketing them (the quantity vs. quality gap)?

  • How can we go beyond our own set of relationships and start building new ones?

  • How can we help the right candidates actually get noticed by the right hiring teams, and eventually get hired more efficiently?

On a number of levels, jobster intends to be a black box that integrates and improves a range of Recruiting technology. Therefore, comparing it to a referral business is a disservice to both. The goal at jobster is to make a tasty jambalaya. There's plenty of wiggle room in the service definition because they're focused on delivering  certain range of results, not proving a process.

At H3, the question is how to deliver on a methodology. Hans and his crew are deeply committed to a vision that we're tempted to call "the networked ebay of recruiting". By fleshing out the mechanics of compensated networked referrals, their work will make it possible to effectively deploy referral systems in all sorts of setting in the future. They believe in technology and patents.

H3 is a "Research and Development" approach to product delivery. Jobster is a customer driven view of things. Both approaches can deliver results for investors and customers. Both approaches have strengths and weaknesses. Generally, we see more success from laser focus than from  "boiling the ocean".

 John Sumser . - .  Permalink . - . Today's Bugler

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