JobTarget, Leading Provider Of Niche Job Boards Now Offering Oneclick, One Stop Job Posting Solution*
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Andrew Banever is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of JobTarget, a service many recruiters have used without knowing they have used it. They power the majority of the private-label association and trade publisher job boards (currently over 1000 of them). JobTarget is one of those rare startup stories that succeeded without millions from venture capital and does not have a publicly stated goal to â€œchange the recruitment industryâ€. They have grown into a profitable, 30+ person company simply by focusing on building a great service.
Six Degrees: Tell me briefly about JobTarget
Andrew: JobTarget helps companies reach great talent. We do this by enabling companies to post their job openings at the websites of professional associations and trade publishers. We have championed the association job board for the last seven years and now power over one thousand of these job sites. Employers can target market their job postings to very specific audiences of talent. For example, if a company needs to hire a manufacturing engineer, JobTarget will give them exposure to over twenty thousand manufacturing engineers at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
JobTarget helps recruiters find the best places to go to post jobs and search resumes. We also have technology that helps companies manage their recruitment processes across so many different sources of talent. JobTarget markets their product solutions as “ONE website. ONE invoice. ONE stop. One place to post your jobs to ANY job board on the Internet.”
* Purchase postings on several sites at once; choose as few or as many as you like!
* Select from thousands of employment sitesâ€”including all of your favorites like Monster, Careerbuilder, Craigslistâ€”as well as niche and diversity sites.
* No mark-ups. Pay each site’s exact rates.
Six Degrees: How was JobTarget Founded?
Andrew: I founded JobTarget in 2000. Prior to that, I was a technology consultant for Business and Legal Reports (BLR). At BLR, I worked with one of the owners on developing a new division of the company. We tried to take BLR which was traditionally know as a human resources compliance publishing company and reposition it as a news delivery company. Since BLR wanted to distance this â€œexperimentâ€ from their core business we were not to use BLRâ€™s brand at all. Instead, the company we started was called HRnext. It grew into a leading HR/Compliance news website and generated millions in subscription revenue. It was so successful that BLR folded it into their brand and gave it the un-sexy name HR.BLR.com. Many HR professionals outside of the recruiter space will recognize HRnext or other work I did such as The HR Challenge. Anyhow, I was given the option to join BLR, but instead opted to go and start a company on my own. Prior to BLR, I tried a number of self-funded ventures which never really materialized. I foolishly felt that I had learned from my mistakes and that I could start a successful venture. So in 1999, I began to examine the landscape and quickly focused in on what was to become JobTarget.
I knew Iâ€™d start an Internet based company for all the obvious reasons; low-cost of entry, enormous opportunity, etc. Also, I knew to look for a sector that was already enjoying success. My previous failures typically involved me trying to be too creative and guess where the market was heading. The problem with that is you need to wait for demand to catch up with your â€œgame-changingâ€ ideas. This is a typical startup pitfall and you see a lot of the startups today struggling with this. So, I knew I should focus in on something that was working online and then look to find ways to improve it. So, I narrowed in on classifieds as they were making a healthy shift online. Coming from BLR, my interest and background was Human Resources so I began to look at the landscape of recruitment classified advertising. It quickly became apparent that there was a great market opportunity.
** JobTarget is actively involved in the recruitment industry, sponsoring philanthropy causes, blogosphere events, and attending major staffing conferences with the familiar faces of its employees.
Classified advertising was always a model where the ads would be aggregated and thus create a destination to attract the intended recipient. Largely, this continues to be true. The Internet though allows for a distributed model where ads can also be broadcast to specific audiences. Before the Internet, this was not very practical. As I thought about distributed models, it occurred to me that professional associations and niche publishers had access to great talent and that employers could target market not by geography as newspapers had always facilitated, but rather by industry, profession, or skill set. As I explored the market, it was clear that associations and most niche-focused publishers were not really offering companies services to reach their memberships. What I discovered was that most professional associations never really thought of themselves as a place for recruitment advertising. This was ingrained in them because they were never very successful with it in the past.
Despite the new opportunities, the associations still did not see that they could compete against the newspapers for recruitment advertising dollars. This was why JobTarget was born. I knew I could help these organizations compete and I knew employers would want access to the talent the associations had access to through their membership. So JobTarget began building private-label job boards for associations and trade publishers. I wanted to make niche recruitment a viable option for companies and I wanted to create a distributed-model for the classified business.
Six Degrees: Where next did you go and find investors?
Andrew: No. I took the more difficult path. Armed with my new idea, I rented a small office space in Niantic, CT and began to build the software. The problem was I did not know how to program so I had to teach myself. I spent the next 8 months alone in this office developing the first version of JobTarget. I had no money so I lived out of this office which cost $300/month. Yes, I know that is disgusting because there was no shower. I would go to my friends or my girlfriendâ€™s house a couple times a week to shower. I worked 18 hour days, seven days a week during that time. I had to fully isolate myself to make this work.
So around February of 2001, I had a working product that was ready for use. It took about four months before I could get any organizations to sign on. That was a very difficult period as I could see the value, but others just didnâ€™t see it. It was very slow signing on associations during the first few years. I was, of course, broke during that time and had 70K in credit card debt. My family couldnâ€™t help me since I am one of ten kids and my dad still had seven to send through college. But JobTarget persevered. Slowly, but surely we added more and more associations and publishers. We were desperate to keep our partners so we would do whatever they asked of us. They returned the favor by being loyal to us and remaining with us. Our retention rate is close to 99%. Today, JobTarget has grown to over 30 people, is profitable, and processes tens of millions of dollars in recruitment advertising annually. Weâ€™ve purposefully flown below the radar as weâ€™ve built the company. Itâ€™s funny that most recruiters donâ€™t recognize our name, but weâ€™ve done business with over 250,000 of them across the thousand job boards we now manage.