Zao Rolls Out Branded Pages For Companies That Want In On The Social Recruitment Action

Social recruitment startup, Zao, which offers a platform to enable employers who are hiring to leverage the social web and gamification in their referral programs, is rolling out quite a neat iteration today: Companies can now create a free “career site” — a branded page with custom text, logo, images and videos uploaded from YouTube and Vimeo — to promote current and future job openings, with built-in support for Zao’s flagship rewards feature, of course.

Targeted at HR professionals who want to bypass the company’s IT department or who simply don’t have the resources for a dedicated career site, the new feature aims to take away any heavy-lifting and costs that otherwise might be required. Hosting is provided by Zao — each company gets a dedicated sub domain (‘’) — along with non-technical tools to brand up and edit the page, including posting and managing those job listings.

Zao’s founder and CEO, Ziv Eliraz, says that having a decent landing page that sells the company to prospective job applicants, and keeps them updated of any openings, is an important part of building a talent network, and this in turn drives higher quality recruitments. But for a lot of companies, those career pages are static and don’t fully exploit the opportunity presented by a visit from someone interested in joining the company.

“That’s not because HR leaders aren’t interested in leveraging the visit – they understand more than most how powerful the potential is. In some cases, lack of IT resources and technical expertise may keep companies from optimizing their career page”, says Eliraz, in a statement.

Zao, of course, is offering to help solve this. But it’s also a nice freebie — likely most appealing to SMEs on a tight budget — designed to entice companies to utilize Zao’s central proposition and where it actually makes money. I’m referring to its social recruitment platform which lets employers manage a rewards program for referrals made by existing employees and the company’s wider network, to help fill those job openings.

A quick recap of how it works: An employer signs up, uploads a job, and sets a (optional) cash reward. They then distribute the Zao-powered job opening to relevant people in their network (employees, ex-employees, business partners, customers etc.). Those recipients, in turn, can also share the opening with people in their own network (via LinkedIn, Facebook etc.) using tools provided by Zao to help identify suitable candidates and to do the actual sharing. Any reward for a successful hire is then split across those in the chain as a further motivation for friends of friends to refer the right candidate.

Like the new career page, the majority of the service is free to use, except that Zao adds a 30% markup to any reward included in return for automating the whole process.

As we’ve noted before, and it would be remiss not to do so again, the company has a ton of competitors — broadly any company in the online recruiting space. But specifically, in terms of social recruiting, there are companies such as BranchOut, the professional network that runs on top of Facebook, or Jobs For Friends, which outed its social recruitment wares earlier this month. Although Zao’s closest rival is probably Jobvite.

In June this year, Zao raised its first funding round: $1.3 million led by Oren Zeev, Founding Partner at Orens Capital and former General Partner at Apax Partners.