TWiST: Behind The Veil of JIBE

Joe Essenfeld
(TWiST #20), recently announced the private beta of JIBE, an employment networking platform that will integrate job search with your current social networks. JIBE allows you to easily discover if you have a first degree connection with someone in the company looking for help. The positions available on Jibe are entry level white collar positions targeted to recent college grads. Jibe continues the Localbacon approach of helping recruiters sift through the “spray and prayers” by creating a credit system which in effect will limit the job seekers to only those really interested. The credit system is similar to Zynga’s model, the focused job seeker (applying to 5 or so jobs) will never have to worry about buying credits they will be able to maintain a level by promoting Jibe on the social networks. The real aggressive job seeker will have the ability to get more credits through purchase. If an employer finds a candidate they are interested in they will have to pay to receive the contact information.

The public beta will launch in April just in time for the 2010 college graduates. Joe being a believer in release early and release often, mentions to expect many improvements and feature add-ons in the near future, once they start receiving feedback. Currently the social networks are limited to LinkedIn and Facebook, expect the level of connections to amplify with Twitter integration with many more integrated social features. One of those features will be allowing your friends to easily refer you to their employer and the ability to view your profile as an employer would.

I asked Joe why they decided to shutdown Localbacon, he mentioned 3 things: scaleabilty, perception and the credit model. They completely scrapped Localbacon and built Jibe using Ruby on Rails which allows them to scale and add features more efficently. They felt that the name Localbacon had the perception of just local jobs, which is not an accurate representation of the site. The credit system was also preferable to the pure pay model, allowing many to use the service for free.

Part of the launch was the announcement of $875k in funding primarily from Polaris Venture Partners and multiple other Angel Investors such as Jason Calacanis, Ken and Ben Lerer, Josh and Jared Kushner and Zelkova Ventures. The primary reason for the funding was to get a great group of advisors with different backgrounds and to market Jibe to the nation.

I look forward to the full launch of Jibe, the first day of private beta they had 1,500 users maybe Joe will have time for another TWiST appearance.

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