When I first wrote about ROIKOI in 2014, I found it to be a pretty fascinating concept; a Facebook-fueled leaderboard based on a single criterion—”who [in your social network] would you love to work with.” That was all there was to it. It is a simple way to professionally rate people that you know.
But that single question carries a lot of weight and forces you to contemplate—maybe even subconsciously—all the things you know about a person including their body language and behaviors. Do you really want to be stuck working with some of your friends who, while fun to hang out with socially, may be a nightmare when it comes to organization and responsibility?
It seems like a good litmus test to me.
While not fully mature as a product, the concept was good enough for founder Andy Wolfe and team to raise 1.45MM in angel funding in 2014 and some smaller unspecified rounds as of late. At that time Wolfe was pretty clear with investors that he wasn’t totally sure what the concept meant, but that it definitely meant something.
After significant piloting and consultation with dozens of corporate recruiters, the charismatic Austin-based team at ROIKOI have found what they consider to be their specialty as a corporate sourcing and referrals tool that calculates “Talent and Fit” better than existing tools out there today. Existing tools include Rolepoint, Zao and Zalp for referrals and Gild, LinkeIn, TalentBin, and CareerBuilder for sourcing.
ROIKOI started as a game, but I always figured there would be a corporate angle for this tool. Why could there be value for corporate HR departments? First of all, as a referral tool, the network effect allows (according to Wolfe) a 10x – 100x multiplier on how many referrals come into a company. HomeAway, the company’s first client, generated 4029 referrals from 100 employees.
The special sauce ROIKOI may have finally discovered about their system is the gap it may solve. As previously mentioned, there are plenty of HR sourcing and referral tools out there however, according to Wolfe, the sourcing tools don’t gauge talent and fit within an organization and existing referral tools produce low volume because they are laborious.
ROIKOI’s solution stands to do both at once based on its super-simple-one-question method coupled with the network effect where employees have a bazillion potential referrals in their networks.
Apparently, corporate recruiters are standing up and listening and they could be the most effective sales force that ROIKOI could ask for.
Additionally, in my mind ROIKOI are a likely acquisition target. However, it will take data to prove the concept’s validity. How lasting are the employees that are captured through this method? That will be the proof of the pudding for this interesting concept.