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Summary:

Jobster, a Seattle-based job-focused vertical search engine, is mulling a big round of layoffs and may cut up to half of its 145-strong workforce, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans. Well known for having raised gobs of venture capital, about $48 million from the […]

Jobster, a Seattle-based job-focused vertical search engine, is mulling a big round of layoffs and may cut up to half of its 145-strong workforce, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans.

Well known for having raised gobs of venture capital, about $48 million from the likes of Ignition Partners, The Mayfield Fund and Trinity Ventures, Jobster would be the third Seattle-area startup to realign its workforce. Last week it was reported that both Blue Dot and Vizrea went through a round of layoffs.

Some close to Jobster describe the situation as “fluid.” The company spokesperson officially told us that the company is seeking profitability in 2007. So far, nothing has been finalized, and the company is currently in the process of weighing its options and finalizing its plans for 2007. The company will have further details on Jan. 2, 2007, the spokesperson said.

The Jobster spokesperson was quick to point out that Jobster’s revenues doubled in 2006, and were up 30% in the fourth quarter of 2006 from the third quarter of 2006. In a previous interview with Katie earlier this summer, CEO and founder Jason Goldberg told us that the company’s annual revenues were well north of $20 million, and that the company would be profitable in 2007. But the company declined to reveal its most recent revenue numbers.

Though it is often lumped in with other job-related vertical search engines like Simply Hired and Indeed, Jobster’s main source of revenues is selling “web-based tools to manage finding workers, which cost between $1,000 to $9,000 per month, depending on the companies’ size.” From that perspective, its direct competitor would be someone like TheLadders. (Disclosure: The Ladders is a GigaOM advertiser.)

While we were out gathering the details on this development, John Cook beat us to the punch, and posted a quick alert on his blog. [Tip of the hat, Mr. Cook.] Cook reports that CFO Ron Stevens left the company and has been replaced by David Eckert.

A couple of days ago, CEO Goldberg posted on his blog that nothing was happening at Jobster. Hopefully the new year will bring a bit more clarity to what sounds like something more than silence.

By Om Malik

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  1. What the heck do they need 145 employees for? And what the heck do they need $50M for? Bubble-cough-bubble

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  2. Do I hear a Web 2.0 bubble?

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  3. Their original bold goal, to connect job seekers directly with hiring managers, seems to have been abandoned. Too bad, because the talent recruitment process at most large companies is still very inefficient, and ripe for substantive innovation.

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  4. If they told Katie “400 customers” in July, then check their site today, which claims that they have 195 customers: http://www.jobster.com/search/companies.html?page=3

    And when you look at names of these 195 it would appear doubtful that they pay between $1,000 and $9,000 a month. “$20m revenue” divided by 195 = $100k per customer per year? They wish!

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  5. I agree with #1 jj on this. why do they need that many people working for them?

    maybe they should be 37s Getting Real book.

    Do they VC’s read the businesses plans for these companies or do these business plans even include staff numbers.

    I feel sorry for the people getting laid off.

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  6. There is a lot more to the story, and we are currently reporting this one out. Hence my long absence from writing duties today.

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  7. Job Sites 2.0 Update…

    Om reported this week that Jobster is going through a tough period.Jobster, a Seattle-based job-focused vertical search engine, is mulling a big round of layoffs and may cut up to half of its 145-strong workforce, according to sources familiar with…

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  8. Jobster runs out of ideas… so now they are free…

    Oh you couldn’t miss it. The news is everywhere : Jobster decided to make all job listings free…

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  9. [...] candidates. But they made a decision to try something different. They went through a round of layoffs earlier this year and are making a dramatic business model shift starting tonight, by making all [...]

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  10. [...] But late last year they made a decision to try something different. They went through a round of layoffs earlier this year and are making a dramatic business model shift starting tonight, by making all [...]

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