The Jobster Double-Whammy

Jobster officially announced on Thursday that it has formed an alliance with Facebook, and at the same time, it will start offering free, unlimited job postings.

Earlier this year it seemed that the company had trouble giving its paying clients enough A-level talent.

Now, after a round of massive layoffs in January, the three-year-old company says it wants to be a career service designed for the “digital” generation that embraces social networking, user-generated content, and video.

According to Jason Goldberg, Jobster’s chief executive officer, the company will “continue to cater to recruiters, but it’s important to note that anyone can post a job to their profile. So, as opposed to a typical job site…we’re going to help job seekers find not just the company,” but also interact with the team they would be working with.

While the company claims that “the digital generation has demanded more efficient business models,” is this a sincere move toward efficiency, or an attempt to recapture its initial buzz?

Similar to Wal-Mart offering lower-cost generic drugs, Jobster seems to think its new concept of making money through targeted advertising around each job seeker’s profile will position itself as a lower-cost competitor to Monster and CareerBuilder.

And as Facebook’s exclusive job-search provider (in the same vein as the SimplyHired/MySpace deal announced in 2006), the company hopes it can tap into Facebook’s talented pool of college students, presumably all hungry for their first jobs.

“I am thrilled, elated, and excited to be working with Facebook,” says Goldberg, adding that more announcements will be made as the companies launch the Career Center this spring.

For now, Jobster says the company will operate on the following three principles:

  • Career development is a lifestyle, not a transaction
  • The value is in the match, not in the posting
  • Career profiles count

A Novel Concept: Putting the Human Back in Recruiting

The company says these steps are toward “humanizing” the job-search process; the irony seems lost on the still-evolving technology company.

“How do we go beyond the resume to find the real person? How do we get behind the real you? Frankly, most job descriptions are lousy,” says Goldberg.

Instead, he says the job-search process should rely more on the person and less on the resume. For example, he explains that digital career profiles rely on user-generated content, tag-based data and navigation models, and video to help bring the real person behind the resume and the job description to life.

In addition to unlimited free personalized job postings and digital profiles, other key features of the “new” Jobster include video profiles. Job seekers can add a YouTube-hosted video resume, and hiring managers and recruiters can create promotional videos about their companies.

According to technology writer Michael Arrington, the form has five fields (company, title, location, description, tags).

“The employer will immediately be alerted to potential candidates based on the tags, and candidates will also see the opportunity appear within their profile. Jobster is also syndicating these listings out via RSS and other methods, so job search engines like Simply Hired and Indeed will be able to add these to other listings from around the Web,” Arrington wrote on TechCrunch.

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It’s not all free for recruiters, however. Companies that require more assistance via email marketing campaigns, passive candidate database searches, or talent network management, to name just a few, will have to shell out at least $275 each month.

What Do They Have to Lose?

Peter Zollman, founding principal of Classified Intelligence, says he finds these changes intriguing but a necessity as the company works hard to come up with a new business model.

“Obviously, it was not working for them to have an outbound sales force,” says Zollman.

“If it were working, they wouldn’t have had to lay that many people off.”

Instead, this is a realization of the fact that they have to find a new way to reach talent and reach advertisers.

“If you want to maintain critical mass, you have to get listings somehow. So they made the decision to go with free listings, which are great if you’re Craigslist and you’re not concerned about profits; if you have venture capital behind you, it becomes a bit more problematic,” he says.

“That’s not to say it can’t work, but I think they may have some real serious issues trying to find the right product set and product mix and revenue-generation tools,” he says.

“What do they have to lose?” jokes Zollman.

Of course, with their whole business at stake, he realizes that these changes were not approached lightly.

“They are trying a new business model, and on that score, they have to be commended,” adds Zollman.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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2 Comments on “The Jobster Double-Whammy

  1. I agree with the free listings that’s why we have been allowing employers to post jobs for free for the past 2 years. However the partnering just creates more digital noise not helping the employer.

  2. My biggest concern to date has been that not enough Recruiters, particularly in Canada, have ‘sampled’ Jobster…and quite frankly, many do not even know about Jobster, despite its compelling offering. So, this is a great move on Jobster’s part to get their proudct in the hands of their buyer group…you have to start somewhere.

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