Social Media seems to produce more than its fair share of mad inventors. In past days, I’ve seen a swarm of demos from micro-bootstrap entrepreneurs who toil in the evenings on their pet social media recruiting tool while keeping the kitchen table set with the income from their day jobs. It’s as if garage startups just developed mobile laboratories.
You could almost make a musical of the choruses of “I’m the facebook-eharmony-tweeter job search matching engine”. In the second scene, the chorus chants mantra called “We make our money virally”. Social media is becoming everyone’s favorite get rich quick scheme. Like all great get rich quick schemes, most people won’t. Although it’s unlikely, some garage-shop entrepreneur just might come up with the winning formula for unlocking Facebook’s potential.
But, under the surface, some surprising things are happening. The Facebook Applications platform is starting to evolve into a serious enterprise applications environment. Massive applications that combine large chunks of data quickly depend on predictability and reliability ion the platform itself. Over the time since Facebook began its evolution into a piece of technical infrastructure, it has consistently delivered the kinds of stability that are necessary for real investment.
Building an ecosystem (or applications coral reef) demands that developers be able to trust both the performance and the direction of the Facebook team. While the future probably includes Facebook as a large scale player, today’s entrepreneurs are making an investment in a relative unknown. All sorts of things could happen.
Building a recruiting tool requires a significant amount of capital. There are a number of things that you simply can not do well without a sound investment basis: build a sales team; develop candidate traffic and scale computing resources in advance of demand. The technical challenges associated with delivering real value in a high-volume, high-data flow environment are enormous.
This is where Jibe shines. Backed with real investment and engineered by a seasoned development team, Jibe looks like the first full spectrum Facebook based job application with a chance of making it. The combination of VC backing and competent management make this a play to watch.
By now, you’ve seen Rapportive, the gmail plugin that gives you a social media driven data dump on the person who just sent you that email. (It’s simple CRM for gmail rooted in a huge pile of social graph data). Jibe is kind of like that.
Once you’ve joined Jibe and imported your linkedin profile, you begin to search jobs. For each job result, you’re presented with the members of your network who have some association with the opening. They work in or with the company offering the job. Since they are in your facebook or linkedin network, you can ask them about the job, the company or arrange a referral to the hiring manager. It’s turbocharged job hunting that helps you harness your network.
It works in a complementary way for a Recruiter. Jobs are matched against your network. You get a list of people in your network who are likely candidates complete with social media connection details.
Making it work quickly is the whole secret. The Jibe team is scaling the operation over the next ten or so days with full launch planned for April 1. In the interim, the are slowly adding members and bandwidth as they test the product into existence. 50 jobs, 100 members and the associated network data is one thing. Tens of thousands is another. Watching them grow will give you a great insight into the way that social media job services actually scale.
The invite only beta test of Jibe begins today. Use the code HRExaminer. The first 100 people will get access.