Why is everyone trying so hard to reinvent the hiring process? Maybe because referrals and recommendations (still the main way people get jobs) remain incredibly old-school. Sure, there are LinkedIn recommendations, but does anyone trust those? (God, I hope not, since I have zero.) It’s really all about phone calls and emails.
Now a startup called Recmnd.Me is unveiling a new recommendation and ranking system that might actually help companies find the best candidate for the job.
The company tries to make the recommendations more valuable in a few ways. First, you can’t recommend someone unless you have their email address, increasing the chance that you know and have worked with someone. Second, you’re not just writing a generic “Anthony is awesome!” statement, but actually scoring someone on specific skills. Third, individual scores aren’t shared with the person being recommended, so you can be more honest.
To illustrate the difference, Recmnd.Me CEO and co-founder Jesse Gant says that he’s only gotten seven LinkedIn recommendations in the course of his career, while he’s already at 21 recommendations on the new site. (Of course, it probably helps that he created the service.)
Perhaps even more interesting is what Recmnd.Me actually does with those scores: It ranks people. So if you’re searching for a software developer in San Francisco, the site will actually show you a ranked list of candidates. (Warning: Convincing the top software developer in San Francisco to work for your startup will probably be … challenging.) Ditto the best designer at your big competitor. And for the job applicant, you can run the same searches to see how you stack up against the competition. Don’t like your ranking? Get more recommendations to improve your score.
“Like Google, how we rank is our ‘secret sauce’, but at a high level you get points for getting a recommendation, then additional points for the attributes you were rated on, along with years worked and education level,” Gant says. “As we get more profiles and recommendations we will start to enhance those rankings by weighting recommendations if they come from somebody who is highly ranked or [by] degrading them over time.”
Recmnd.me is coming out of private beta today. The big challenge will be getting enough people into the system so that the rankings are meaningful to employers. To speed up the recommendation process, Gant says he wants to add an import contact feature in the next couple of weeks, but, pointing to the shutdown of CubeDuel, he sounds doubtful on whether he’ll be able to pull any LinkedIn data.
The company is self-funded right now, but Gant may be raising more money soon.
Jesse Gant is an Internet executive with 15 years of experience building highly social and scalable online applications in ecommerce/subscriptions, analytics and video, search and map technologies. Companies have included Ancestry.com, Buy.com, Omniture, Move Networks and Teradata. Jesse received his MBA from University of Colorado and his B.S. from Brigham Young University. Recently he launched two startups - Recmnd.Me and WeeklyTop3.com.