Blog Post

Jobster looking for a job description?

Jobster, the Seattle-based job search company really needs to come up with a better and more formal job description for itself. The company that has been through a major upheaval has changed its game plan so often, that it is hard to take what they are doing seriously. If you are like me, then you are thinking, these guys are just spinning their wheels.

After launching free job listings, Jobster now has launched phase two of that plan, where companies willing to pay a little extra cash would get a preferential placement. TechCrunch describes it as “pay per applicant” plan. Prospective employers pay $5 if someone inquires about a job listed by them. In exchange, their listings get higher placement over other free listings.

Is this a good move? If we had access to Jobster’s listings-to-inquiry ratio, then we could figure out if this is a money maker. Right now, it is yet-another-experiment, and this isn’t the last time we have heard a new plan from these guys. Maybe it is time to put them in the lets-not-pay-any-attention-to-them-anymore-bin for now.

10 Responses to “Jobster looking for a job description?”

  1. Hi Piper,

    Thanks for your detailed input. Your explanation makes things absolutely clear as cristal water and the whole picture makes total sense :-)

    Regards,

  2. Piper listening to Ed

    Ed, the very fact that you would consider Indeed and SimplyHired to be “fierce competition” to Jobster is what Om is talking about. When Jobster started, it was a service for employers, and the emphasis on public job listings wasn’t very strong at all. They chose to pick a fight with already-established job scrapers such as Indeed and SimplyHired when they (Jobster) purchased WorkZoo.

    At that point, Jobster didn’t have a lot going on in job-seeker profiles. Then they decided to pick a fight with the already-established LinkedIn when they purchased Jobby.

    See the pattern? This is a company that has repeatedly found it can’t compete, and has desperately seeked a seat at a table. But the tables are filled by already-existing specialists.

    Plus, is Jobster really a “startup” any more? When you are a software, not hardware, product capitalized at around $50 million, you’re in a whole different category from what most people would call a startup. If you can’t get lift-off after spending $20+ million, laying off tons of people, finding core staff leave, maybe it’s time for the fire sale to stop the spending.

    Om is absolutely right to ask Jobster for some cold, hard facts. If you read through interviews with Goldberg and their press releases and coverage, you will find that there are many different stories they’ve promulgated regarding their success — and in many cases, those stories are incompatible with each other.

    Like you, I’d like to see as much professionalism as possible in news-ish commentary on companies like Jobster, but for analysts like myself who have been following them, it has become tedious to read about Goldberg’s personal quirks (such as his inability to order from a menu — http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2007/02/01/8398993/index.htm)
    — it’s mildly interesting, but it’s not business.

  3. Hi Om,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    You have a point, however my personally believe is that probably they are changing plans due to the fierce competition they are experiencing with rivals such as Indeed, SimplyHired, etc. That’s what I really think is going on.

    Kindest regards

  4. Ed,

    First of all thanks for reading us in the past and enjoying the articles. On the issue of Jobster, you can read the previous comment. I think it is time to question what is going on with them.

    Jobster has to basically give me some hard facts on the progress they have made. Most of the people I have talked to in the recruitment business haven’t given me great feedback.

    I will be talking to Jobster and figure out what progress they have made thus far.

  5. Sharpshoot,

    experiment is fact of life at start-ups, but major business strategy shifts every six months doesn’t seem like it is experimentation. if you read our previous posts, we have tracked their experiments pretty closely.

    If they want attention, perhaps it would be good to talk about how their business is growing and what not. I am sorry you disagree with me, but then that’s what makes for a healthy debate.

  6. Hi Om,

    I enjoy very much reading your website and news on a daily basis and respect your professional opinion in both this website and business 2.0. I consider your opinions very accurate and a must follow in terms of technology nowadays.

    However this time I feel that the comments you have posted about Jobster fall out completely of the professionalism that I have been used to read.

    I regret this very much that such a web 2.0 reference like you can post these types of comments.

    Kindest regards.

  7. Sure, it is okay for startups to experiment with their business model, but after all of the funding they have received, I find it comical they are still regarded as a major competitor in the online recruitment market.

    More than that, I cannot comprehend why Jobster approaches their target market the way they do. Their target market is clearly the younger demographic – so how do they expect these individuals to have the networking in place to effectively use Jobster’s networking features if their users are new to the job market?

    My response – stick with simplyhired.com for your aggregated job postings, and leave the networking to LinkedIn. These guys don’t have what it takes to succeed with their current business model.

    I’m waiting for the day when they hit the dead pool – as they do not really have anything innovative or different to offer.

  8. funny, i was just thinking the same thing – jobster is included in a roundup of some specific sites for my upcoming column in ‘competitive intelligence magazine’ and i was particularly concerned that they raised circa 20M before embarking on a slew of failed experiments, in which they continuously avoid admitting that their original business plan never got real traction…

    however, i think that the site’s current offering is quite solid – and more importantly, i find fewer dead/duplicate/abandoned/fake profiles there than on any other site (namely linkedin.com, which i estimate contains circa 60ish percent garbage, or zoominfo which i put at closer to 80+ percent garbage)

  9. Om, since when was experimentation not allowed in startups. You make it sound like if the plan isn’t focussed from day 1 the company doesn’t have a clue what its doing. Fact is, jobster is making revenue in addition to having alot of VC to play with.

    It has a runway for experimentation. I don’t think you should be this harsh on it. Remember paypals journey? (not that i think jobster is paypal either)