Friends helping friends find jobs

Today I received an email from a friend from my business school class who is on the job hunt for his first post-MBA gig.  After I saw his email, I sent out an email to a contact in my network who might have some leads given that my friend’s career interests overlap with this interests.

This happens pretty frequently: I know someone in my personal network is looking for a job, and if I happen to see a job that might be a good fit within the last 1-2 weeks of seeing them, I’ll forward it to them.  Also, if it happens to be a job where I know someone at the hiring company, usually I will offer to make an introduction.  After all, why use the front door when you can sneak in the back?

There are probably many people who operate in that fashion when it comes to making job referrals around their network.  I saw this in action when I was searching for a venture capital job.  I would periodically talk to people in my network (say, once a month or so) and check in with them to see if they had heard of any opportunities.  Oftentimes they would say something to the effect of “I spoke to Recruiter XYZ last week and let me introduce you to him.”

So, here’s what I’m thinking.  It would be great to automate that process, and build some memory into it so that I can quickly save jobs that I see online that would be a good fit for someone (anyone) that I know.

Then, I could publish those jobs as a feed or make them searchable.  My initial thought is to use a specific delicious tag and then share a feed based on that tag.  I could also create a drop similar to the one I set up for my VC Careers page for jobs that come in via email.   This method would allow my social network to view jobs that I’ve seen where I have a contact at the hiring company, or some other sort of inside connection.   And it would probably be more efficient than what I do today – which is send out emails on a one-off basis when I see jobs of interest.

Then, the next time someone asked me about a job, I could point them at this feed/drop/whatever and be confident that if the person saw something they liked, I could leverage my personal network to try to connect them with that job.

So, what would make this little experiment a success?  Well, here are a few things that come to mind:

– I regularly forward or tag jobs that I think might be a good fit for someone in my network.

– When asked about job opportunities, I send them a link to the feed (by the way, I’ll probably add this feed to my FriendFeed so that its more easily accessible to my network).

– When recruiters ask me if I know someone who would be a good fit for a specific position, I will tag/forward it to my little system as well.

– People actually visit the page or feed that I’m building (minor point!)

– People I know get interviews, and more importantly, people I know get jobs!
Make sense?  I would love to get some feedback on this topic.  Basically, I’m looking for a way to easily share jobs within my network and do so in a way that does not require much of a change in user behavior.

By the way, is anyone doing something like this today (either manually or as a company)?

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  1. John – I am an advisor to a group of VCs, and entrpreneurs which feel the same challenges you do when it comes to matching great people with opportunities at VC backed companies. Every week, especially during these times, an email comes in from the network of someone looking for a new gig. Or a portfolio company needs new engineers, sales people or marketing help.

    StartUpHire has been created to address that need.(

    Job seekers can create a search agent which will notify them when a new opportunity has been posted that meet their search profile. People not looking can check out what’s avaialble by city, role, technology, VC or industry.

    Other cool features include a widget which enables VCs to automatically have their portfolio company openings appear on the VC homepage.

    Let me know what you think!

  2. Thanks Tony. I would be curious to know if you had built in any social components to this system. For example, some of the prominent VC bloggers like Fred Wilson and Brad Feld will make blog posts regarding open positions at portfolio co’s as will certain venture-backed CEO’s. You’d probably catch some good stuff if you monitored their friendfeeds or blog RSS. This way you can get additional, timely job postings without having to lift a finger (once you write the code :) Let me know what you think.

  3. The startuphire team a several things planned within the next coupl eof months to connect to several social networking sites in order to promote job openings and VCs behind the companies.

    Currently they send out a Hot Job Twit daily on twitter

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