Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

JIBE Makes It Easier to Get Referred for the Job You Want

Everybody knows that when you’re looking for a new job, it helps to know someone who works where you want to work. More often than not, being referred for a job by someone on the inside is a big factor in getting or not getting the job.

Social networks — LinkedIn especially, but also Facebook — are supposed to make it easier for people to see who works where, and maybe do something about it. Once you’ve decided where it is you want to work, your second question is something like: “Do I know anyone who works there?” At which point, you trawl your network of friends. Often the search is unsatisfying for the job-seeker. “People hit a dead end too fast,” says CEO Joe Essenfeld (pictured). “Once you realize you know five people who work at the company you want, the question then becomes, ‘What do I do next?'”

And on the other side of the equation, employers don’t always have it easy, either. There are often hundreds of applicants to sort through. A good referral by an insider who knows the job could make all the difference. Companies often pay their employees a bounty for a successful referral, but it can be too much trouble to collect.

JIBE is a New York-based start-up that aims to turn both sides of that equation on their respective ears, and today it’s launching three products aimed at enterprise companies and the people who want to work for them.

The first is Get Referred. When you’re looking over a company’s Web site and see a job you want, wouldn’t it be great if you could instantly find out who you know who works there? JIBE’s Get Referred Web button will tell you right away. From there, you can ask someone you know to refer you. Already, Accenture, the IT consulting firm, has used the Get Referred tools to help it fill some of the 50,000 or 60,000 jobs it will have open this year.

The second new product is JIBE Apply, which makes it easier for companies to create mobile-ready versions of their job and career sites, by harnessing data from existing ATS — Application Tracking System — software.

Finally, JIBE Post makes it easier than ever to share new job postings on the social networks and job boards you want to send them to, not just the ones your ATS vendor has picked. Want to share a job posting on a weird combination of Monster and Facebook? Done — easily, and for a smaller cost than with other products.

JIBE has been on a bit of a tear in the last year. It has landed $6.9 million in venture capital investments from DFJ Gotham, Polaris Venture Partners, Zelkova Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Thrive Capital and Jason Calacanis’s Launch. That list is impressive in itself, but even more impressive is its list of customers. Aside from Accenture, companies as varied as Amazon, Bank of America, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Lockheed Martin are using it to find and recruit new employees. The plan over the next few quarters, Essenfeld says, is to add more large enterprise customers like these.

To that end, JIBE is adding new muscle to its sales team. Cindy Songne has joined as JIBE’s new VP for agency relations. Her last two jobs were at JobTarget and Monster Worldwide. Cindy Dole, an alum of Yahoo’s HotJobs who stayed on after Monster acquired it, is joining as director of enterprise sales for the West Coast region. She’s also worked at Tom Strauss will be director of enterprise sales for the Midwest region. Like Dole, he’s a Yahoo veteran.

If the point of helping people get referred for jobs they want seems a little trivial, it’s not. People who apply for a job, having been referred by someone they know, have one chance in 10 of getting that job, according to CareerXroads, a staffing firm. Compare that to applications submitted blindly, where the odds are more like one in 100. And it doesn’t just help the employee. Companies can sift through fewer resumes to find the right person, and are more likely to find someone who works out in the end, saving companies the costs associated with advertising open jobs, and then onboarding those they hire. Is it too corny to call that a “win-win”?

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work