Regions Northern Virginia

McLean startup Jobfox recognized for innovation in online recruitment

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by Heather B. Hayes


Jobfox is trying to do for online recruitment what eHarmony.com has done for online dating. The McLean-based firm has developed a Web site that relies on algorithms and interactive technologies to match employee skills and experience with listed job requirements.

American Venture magazine named Jobfox the most promising startup of 2008. Since its start in 2006, Jobfox has grown at an explosive rate. By April, it will have offices in the 10 biggest job markets in the U.S. and a location in Australia. The company also recently attracted $20 million in venture capital.

CEO Rob McGovern, the founder of CareerBuilder.com, says that he came up with the idea for Jobfox after realizing that high-tech recruitment tools weren’t providing that much value over the traditional job board. “When I was selling CareerBuilder, we were looking at the data and seeing that we were only filling 5 percent of the jobs,” he recalls. “And that was telling us that there were plenty of candidates and plenty of jobs, but they just weren’t finding each other.”

Jobfox matches applicants and positions based on 10 characteristics, including skills, education, experience, certifications, aspirations and job requirements. “We know that based on the feedback we’re getting from our job-listing companies that not only are the majority of jobs getting filled but that they are high-quality matches,” McGovern says. Companies paying a per-job or monthly fee to use the service have included Geico, UPS, Nova Biomedical and SI International.

Job candidates can post résumés and create Web sites to showcase their skills, experience and career aspirations. They can use an alias if they want to explore new career opportunities anonymously. The majority of jobs listed are permanent, full-time positions that pay salaries between $25,000 and $125,000.

Jobfox had 70 employees at the start of the year but will double that number by the end of April. The company’s sales last year increased by 1,050 percent over 2006, and McGovern expects even greater sales growth in 2008. “Our goal is world domination,” he says. “We’ll grow as fast as we can while still controlling the business.” 


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