Can Jobcase Really Give LinkedIn a Run For Its Money?

In a world of 100,000 (more or less) job boards, there’s one for practically every occupation, industry, and personal interest.

The few big players — Indeed, CareerBuilder, SnagAJob, SimplyHired among them — count their monthly visitors in the millions and their dollars in the double-digit millions. The majority of commercial career sites, though, gross less than a million annually and have far fewer visitors in a year.

When they’re not worrying about what Indeed will do to their business, they’re worrying about what LinkedIn will do. Or about each other.

It makes you wonder why anyone, let alone a former Wall Street fund manager, would want to jump into the business.

If LinkedIn isn’t the right fit

But that’s what Fred Goff and a group of his associates have done, cutting the ribbon this month on a job board he insists is no more a job board than LinkedIn is. He describes Jobcase.com as a community for those for whom the LinkedIn mold isn’t the right fit.

“We’re very focused on the demographic that doesn’t have the traditional resume (or) the four-year degree, but still have career and job experience and needs a place where they can look for help with their career,” says Goff.

Jobcase is for “the people underserved by the Glassdoors and LinkedIns,” he explains.

If Facebook began as a career site, it would be what Jobcase aspires to. “The best way to find a job at the Walmart in Framingham (Massachusetts) is by talking to the person who got one there yesterday,” says Goff. Facebook could pull that off; it has over 1 billion users.

Even if you credit Jobcase with the 40 million users who have registered at the 149 classical job boards that Goff’s team began launching years ago, building the kind of engagement it takes to achieve that Walmart job conversation is all uphill.

As the reigning social site, Facebook has it. For sure, it’s a challenge for a brand new job site in this crowded market, but once upon a time MySpace was the Internet’s social king.

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Using the recession as an opportunity

Taking on challenges seems to be a part of the Jobcase DNA.

Goff and a small group jumped into the job board industry in 2009, exactly when the recession had become a crisis and many thought the world was headed into a long depression. The year before, Goff’s Percipio Capital Management was sold and split into two companies. Jobcase focused on the machine intelligence Percipio had built and used to manage hedge funds.

Where most of the recruiting industry saw the recession as bad luck, Goff and the team saw opportunity. They began evolving the AI programs to help job seekers and companies. It wasn’t long before the business was profitable. Now the focus is on doing the same with the Jobcase careers-focused social platform.

As Goff eagerly declares, “Our vision is building a community that really helps each other.”

Aggregated job postings

The site doesn’t charge for job postings — it aggregates them from the job boards now owned by a holding company Goff spun off from Jobcase, and supplements the listings with fill-in from CareerBuilder, Indeed, Glassdoor, and other sites. Its revenue comes from licensing the job board technology that powers the 149 job boards.

Services still to come and especially data mining and analytical tools the Goff team evolved out of AI programs for investing will be licensed to employers to improve their recruiting process.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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