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Exclusive: HiringBounty.com disrupts recruitment industry with social power

Date posted: July 30, 2012

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by Herman Manson (@marklives) I often receive emails from friends with links to job posts and a note that says “this will be perfect for you” (just in case your business goes belly-up or you actually want to afford that new car – though that part goes unsaid). Greg Schneider has launched a start-up that taps into networks of friends to bypass recruitment agents and crowd-source candidates for positions in the marketing and technology industries.

Schneider’s new recruitment platform, Hiringbounty.com, allows businesses to place recruitment positions on the site alongside a bounty. The hiringbountybounty, should a position be successfully filled, is paid out in thirds – 1/3 to HiringBounty, 1/3 to the person recommending the successful candidate and 1/3 to the person finally appointed.

So if the bounty next to the position says R5000 the cost to client is R5000 x 3. It pays HiringBounty and HiringBounty pays the other two parties. If you applied for the job without a recommendation from friend you are set to pocket the bounty x 2 (as referrer and successful candidate).

It incentivises friends who already know the skill sets of one another as well as important considerations such as culture fit and personality to recommend friends for jobs. It also incentivises candidates to throw their hat into the ring, since there is a cash pay-out for both themselves and their friends, should theirs be the successful application.

To cut out anybody thinking of job hopping and scoring cash that way an appointment needs to be in place for at least three months before any money gets paid out.

The venture is funded by a group of private investors accessed through incubator 42Engines. Quirk Labs CEO Rob Stokes helped Schneider access the incubator. “I’ve been very inspired by Silicon Cape and Rob’s role in this has also been incredibly valuable in helping to connect me with a number of key people and companies in the local start up space,” says Schneider.

Stokes says in his own experience recruitment agencies had offered little beyond them doing some footwork and delivering CVs. Being able to bypass them through a service like HiringBounty would be both cost effective and will probably deliver better candidates. Often the best candidates aren’t out there looking for jobs, but with friends recommending them for positions, they might be more open to apply for jobs they would not otherwise have known about, says Stokes.

Greg SchneiderThe service has already signed several companies as clients, including Woolworths, Groupon and World Wide Creative.

For clients using the service is a low risk proposition, as the referrer and the candidate is only paid out when a placement is successful, and they control the bounty they are willing to pay out. The bounty depends on the client and the position and currently ranges from R2000 (x3) to R10 000 (x3). Schneider says clients should expect to spend around 10% of the first annual salary for the position in question on a bounty which is still lower than most recruiters would charge.

Schneider was a Senior Account Manager at online reputation analyst firm BrandsEye. Before that he had completed a six month internship course at Quirk eMarketing.

Schneider says the idea for Hiringbounty.com came to him out of frustration with recruitment agents and how they targeted him for positions he was ill suited for. When one job offer that sounded very like it could be Quirk, where he was already employed, came to him through a recruitment agent he figured the market could do with some alternatives.

Sending relevant job openings to friends or out to contacts via social feeds like Twitter is nothing new. HiringBounty simply formalises the process and couples a reward to it. It is a simple but obvious strategy that utilises the power of the crowd to highlight individuals best suited for the job.

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