Blog Post

Bright turns to Facebook to link job hunters

If the FICO score is the standard in credit scores, Bright hopes its Bright Score, a number that assesses your potential fit for a job, will become the new standard in corporate HR and hiring. But the Bright Score is only as good as the number of Bright users feeding it data, so the company is launching a “Friends With Opportunities” feature Tuesday to entice more young users onto the service, which helps corporate recruiters narrow huge pools of applicants by using artificial intelligence, cloud technology and data science to help find the right person for a job.

The Friends With Opportunities feature uses Facebook Connect to allow a user to search through Bright to see which companies their friends work for and which of those companies are hiring, and then how those jobs match up with their skills. As much as the internet has democratized hiring, many people are still more likely to get jobs at companies where they know someone, and taking advantage of Facebook(s fb)’s immense social graph can help accomplish this, said Steve Goodman, CEO of Bright.

The company is rolling out an API in the next few weeks, Goodman said. He emphasized that the goal of Bright is not to be just another job posting site, but to use data science to narrow applicant pools for recruiters and tell job hunters which positions would fit their skills, all based on the Bright Score.

Bright, which was started in February 2011, spent the first months of its existence as a job board site that allowed users to post resumes and search job listings. But the real goal of that process was to get enough data from resumes and job listings to perfect the algorithm used to calculate the Bright Score, which takes a users’s particular qualifications and a particular job’s requirements to create an independent score rating that person’s fit for that job.

Sifting through applicant pools and finding people who should move on to an interview is an interesting, and potentially lucrative, problem for a technology company to solve.

“We want to become a de facto standard in the industry,” Goodman said.

In June the company raised a $6 million Series A round and has been growing quickly, with 2.2 million unique visitors coming to the site last month, Goodman said.

Goodman said the key to making the Bright Score a de facto number that companies trust is showing them that candidates with high scores really would be a good fit for those jobs. Bright itself posted job listings on the service and then compared the candidates who surfaced through the algorithm compared to the ones the hiring manager picked out by hand. He said the algorithm identified 85 percent of the hand-selected resumes. Bright is working to integrate the Bright Score into software systems used by companies to track applicants through the hiring process, since this would be the easiest way to have companies apply the score to candidates.