Jobster Acquisition Represents Evolving World of Web Recruitment

The world of job recruiting is no longer just about classified ads and trade association schmooze-fests. Jobster’s acquisition of recruiting industry blog, announced yesterday, offers a glimpse into the evolving world of employer/employee matchmaking. Indeed, Jobster’s growing prominence in the recruiting realm indicates just how significant community-building could become for the industry.

“Certainly if you look at targeted ads and targeted messages from the standpoint of blogging, companies today are starting to realize that blogs are developing really niche audiences,” observed founder Jason Davis. “We’re going to see blogs starting to become more successful at driving targeted messages to targeted audiences.”

According to the agreement, Jobster obtains the rights to the domain name, site content and TypePad blogging account. Davis said Jobster will let maintain its own brand and continue to focus on content development and spurring dialogue among recruiting professionals. Jobster’s initial post-acquisition plans for the site include search engine optimization, site marketing, and enabling content customization.

For Davis, the deal means “more resources to elevate what it is that I’m doing.” He explained that two-year-old has always focused on generating community rather than generating cash. In fact, though the site has run a few ads for firms such as executive profile search engine ZoomInfo and recruiting industry content site Electronic Recruiting Exchange, he has no plans to offer ads on the site in the future.

Jobster clients pay a flat monthly fee to tap into what it calls its “passive” group of potential employees. These are typically folks who may already have a job, but might have someone in their social network who is looking, or might entertain the notion of a new position for themselves if the right opportunity were to arise. Over 250 employers including Cisco, Boeing, Expedia, Google and Samsung use the service to post jobs on the site, target branded email campaigns, and place ads in blogs, user groups and college alumni sites to help find job candidates.

The firm, which officially launched just last March, appears to be on an acquisition and partnership tear. Just a few weeks ago, Jobster scooped up Jobby, a recently-hatched site that employs tagging technology to allow users to categorize their profiles according to skills, location and job seeking status. Reportedly, Jobster plans on building Jobby’s functionality into a consumer job site it will unveil in the third quarter.

Is there a chance that Jobster would shift to using the brand, a notion that some bloggers have floated? “I don’t think that’s going to happen,” responded Davis, adding, “Jobster spent a lot of time and effort developing that brand….I think it’s a powerful brand in the industry now.”

The growing company, which has landed $30 million in funding since it started, also acquired job classified aggregator WorkZoo in August 2005. Industry pundits saw the move as a way to compete with LinkedIn, a business networking site that partners with job ad aggregator SimplyHired; through the alignment, SimplyHired job searchers can click directly from a job listing to the LinkedIn system to find who they may know at a given company.

Jobster also partnered with job posting service eQuest last month, and talent management outfit Taleo Corporation in December 2005. The firm will continue to seek out potential acquisition deals according to a company statement.

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