TC50: Localbacon wants to fix job sites by making job-seekers pay

Everyone complains about the horrible process for hiring online. There’s often a flood of irrelevant, useless applications, especially with the dire job market spurring some people to apply for any and all positions. There are a number of startups trying to solve this problem, and now a new one called Localbacon is throwing its hat into the ring.

The company launched at the TechCrunch50 conference today in San Francisco.

Localbacon’s emphasis is quality. It wants to be a site where high-quality job-seekers can find high-quality jobs. Every job on the site is supposedly hand-picked by Localbacon, and the listings are written in a standard format. The search interface is nice too, with lots of checkboxes and dials that let you focus quickly on the kinds of jobs you’re interested in.

Then, if you find a job that you like, you can apply easily — just upload your resume — but it will cost you. Job seekers buy job credits on Localbacon, and and those credits get spent on applications. One job application costs 99 cents, which isn’t a whole lot of money, but should make sure you only apply to jobs you’re serious about. It’s like an inverted version of NotchUp, where employers are supposed to pay applicants that they bring in for interviews.

The other benefit to this service is the additional transparency it brings to the process. It can be hard to get back to all job applicants — it just takes so long to send the dozens or hundreds of emails. But when applications are in the Localbacon system, all employers have to do is either flag an application for further discussion, or dismiss it. Then the applicants get notified about their status.

One flaw to the idea absence of social interaction, which is key to a lot of hiring. Localbacon says it’s looking into ideas for social features. In sum, Localbacon is yet another innovation in a very full field of players and the big question is whether it can rise above the noise and win widespread appeal.


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