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Itz Cool

(June 26, 2007) Late last week, after a thousand missed intersections, I finally had a chance to walk through the latest version of Itzbig. Long term readers will remember that this is the next project from Jim Hammock and Hank Stringer who were ground zero for Hire.com. With the old company in the solid hands of the team at Authoria, Hank and Jim have set off on another, non-competitive adventure.

Our market has plenty of non-overlapping opportunities. Hank and Jim looked for the next available piece of friction in the marketplace. They routinely chase down business opportunities and make the market a better place to operate.

This time, they've focused on the job board segment. Itzbig brings real time matching to the job hunting process while giving recruiters a clear understanding of a candidates match against job requirements. It's different than a job board while accomplishing similar functions.

Itzbig is a bilateral recruiting communications tool. Jobseekers and Recruiters communicate with the job while gaining an understanding of the market from their perspective. Market availability data helps both sets of users to see the reality of their position while they articulate it.

Over the course of the demo, I learned some pretty interesting stuff:

  • 80% of Itzbig's candidates prefer to keep their search private. Either these guys are tapping the working professional or there's a change in market behavior. I think it's a little of both.
  • Progressive profiling is an in-house concept. They use it to refer to what happens as job and or candidate data gets entered. Measurements of match likelihood and opportunity (job or candidates depending on which side of the equation you are on) happen in real time. This feed back is instantaneous and gives both sides of the data entry process meaningful reasons to continue disclosing their interests and aptitudes.
  • Threshold filtering is an itzbig technique that makes sure you only see candidates who are really in the sweet spot. This approach to sourcing generates candidates to a specification and let's you see up front whether the match is reasonable.
  • A key design principle that holds constant throughout the application is "deliver results for each increment of data received". Itzbig doers a great job of the core web notion "askalittle, givealot"
  • When information is requested, it is always task dependent. Itzbig audits its processes to ensure that no information is required from any participant in the process before it is required. I am  expecting Jim Hammock to turn up in a series of commercials, set in a manly study sitting in an easy chair saying "We will ask no question before its time."
  • The heart of Itzbig is a profound emphasis on focus. It's in every aspect of the business, including the launch plan which is limited to high tech companies in Texas.
  • Recruiting is not one size fits all. The configuration of your job, your matching process and your requirements (on both sides of the aisle) are completely configurable.

The remarkable thing is that they have managed to build a solid market planning tool while automating the important (yet usually absent) components of the recruiting process. When a customer publishes all of its openings (potential and real), they immediately get a clear insight into labor availability in their marketplace. Since jobs, like personal profiles, can be kept private, the matching still works while the opening remains invisible.

I'm expecting a lot from Itzbig. If you're in Texas and hire high tech people. Have them give you a demo.

John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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