091102 JobScore

Topics: HRExaminer, John Sumser, Reviews, by John Sumser


The business card sat on my desk for most of the summer. Dan Arkind, the CEO of JobScore, managed to make contact at one of the spring trade shows. I can’t remember what transpired in the transaction. I did remember my sense of obligation and the warm feeling he engendered.

In September, I sent him a note as I was cleaning the pile of cards off my desk. “I know you’re somewhere close by and that I promised to be in touch. Sorry about the delay.”

Without skipping a beat, Dan started to tell me the story of JobScore.

JobScore is a free Applicant Tracking System designed for the most underserved portions of the hiring market – small business. The core idea is to build a ‘networked’ recruiting system that allows every user to strengthen every other user. JobScore is trying to create synergy among small recruiting groups to help them compete squarely with larger organizations.

The service features a shared database of candidates. JobScore is building a treasure chest of data by letting customers exchange their unused resumes (the job boards often generate lots of excess) for credits. You can buy candidate data from the core system on an as needed basis.

The ultimate goal is self-sufficiency.

Today, the JobScore resume database measures 100,000 strong, mostly in Silicon Valley tech. The goal is a viral product that saves small customers money while giving them a competitive advantage in the employment market. The bigger the customer base, the better the database.

So far, they’ve acquired over 100 customers (employers, not users) without a stitch of advertising. Word of mouth, recommendation and attendance at a couple (literally, two) conferences is the extent of their marketing.

It’s a small and focused team. With office space on San Francisco’s Market St., they’re positioned with access to key design and software talent. That’s good for the company – and its customers.

Arkind is a veteran of OTEC, the visionary staffing firm that founded and incubated HotJobs. As a Director, he opened their Silicon Valley office. He’s also been around the entrepreneurial block with a series of post OTEC adventures. Most notably, he co-founded STIRR, a network for technology entrepreneurs..

Arkind believes in the viral future. “We want to build a recruiting system that gets better as people use it. Not just because they give feedback and help us improve it, although that’s interesting. It’s our hope that each recruiting transaction gives the entire system a nudge towards higher quality. When small companies share the candidates they’d normally throw away, everyone gets a boost.”

An hour long demo persuaded me that the system is more than adequate for small scale recruiting. The interface is elegant and intuitive. The years of HotJobs adjacency really seem to have paid off. All of the meat is there with little or none of the fat.

As far as I can tell, no one is really serving the small enterprise end of the hiring market. Job Boards occasionally offer ATS functionality but always go overboard. There are other free systems out there but they’re oriented to shops with thousands of employees.

The JobScore solution offers solid execution, a clear market focus and a smart strategy for value development that grows with the company. The underserved low end of the market now has a viable solution.

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