The number of new job-focused companies is overwhelming.
The latest is Zubka.com, a new European company that pays people for referring suitable job candidates for listings on its site. Here’s your chance to win $3,600 for referring a Java architect for a job in Florida.
However, Zubka is just the latest in a barrage of companies doing similar things (H3.com, BountyJobs, and Blue Chip Expert). The opportunity is significant because no one company dominates the multi-billion-dollar market for hooking up employees with jobs. However, the noise is terrifically loud. Very little new technology here; merely refinements of social networking strategies that are the rage.
Zubka said it has raised an undisclosed amount of money from venture capital firm Benchmark. This is predictable, because Benchmark has a long track record of investing in online marketplaces (ever since it won big by backing auction site eBay). In Zubka’s marketplace, the buyers are employers looking to pay for job referrals, and the sellers are you and me. There’s nothing else that really distinguishes this company — at least from what we can see. And with a market filled with brands like Monster, a name like Zubka is difficult to remember.
In just the last few weeks, you’ve seen Simply Hired announce a new initiative letting any site-owner create their own job boards, which will probably create hundreds of mini job marketplaces. You’ve seen Jobster revamp its site, letting employers and employees express themselves in new ways. LinkedIn lets you recommend professionals for various tasks.
There’s money pouring into all kinds of other job related ventures, many of them quite similar: Doostang, of Palo Alto, last month raised seed capital for an invite-only job site, where users let their friends see information on job leads. Blue Chip Expert is a sort of reverse job board, which lets people register their skill sets, and allows hiring managers to search for specific skills they need for project. There’s a referral incentive here too, much like Zubka. We’re told it is raising an angel round of financing.
There’s Trovix, a Mountain View, Calif. company that sells job-search software for employers, which recently raised a $13 million. SnagAJob.com raised $9 million for a site that helps people find part-time work. Whew!
Strangely, despite all this, employers tell us they’re having problems finding decent employees. There’s this impression that the recruitment process is broken. Could it possibly be that this is a classic market constraint problem, i.e. that there’s really no one out there right for your job opening?