Except that Facebook has 500 million users and is worth billions, Recruiting.com (nee Jobster) might have made a better movie.
Its story has all the earmarks of a potential thriller: Jason Goldberg, former White House aide with a penchant for blogging and Prada fashion, launches clever recruitment startup that foreshadows coming social media explosion. Over the four years of his stewardship he convinces venture capitalists to keep lending him money — $55 million in all — burning through nearly every penny, until departing after laying off almost half his 150 employees.
Investor group brings in entrepreneurial banker Jeff Seely who drops the name Jobster, then sells off most of the assets to Zapoint. Then in July, a few months later, the few remaining assets and the Recruiting.com name are sold in a quiet deal to Arizona job board Jobing.com.
Oh yeah, there’s more to the story, like how Jobster came to acquire Recruiting.com in the first place. (Maybe we might even find out why, since Jobster mostly ignored the site that Jason Davis of today’s RecruitingBlogs.com worked so hard to build.)
The movie might even hint at why Jobing kept the purchase quiet, until Seattle reporter John Cook, discovered the sale and blogged about it Monday. Even now, a day after the news broke, Jobing is mum about the deal, the terms, and its plans for the site. Recruiting.com gives no evidence its ownership has changed. It still lists Seely as CEO and promotes the CRM software that is a legacy of the Jobster referral platform.
The stealthy purchase is not typical of Jobing. Since being founded in 2000 by CEO Aaron Matos, Jobing has grown organically and by acquiring smaller job boards, which were all publicly announced. In September 2009 Jobing bought the irreverant and well-trafficked recruiting blog Cheezhead. The deal brought its owner and principal commentator Joel Cheesman to Phoenix, where he is Jobing’s SVP of technology services.
Yet, in many ways Matos is the very antithesis of Jobster’s Goldberg. He doesn’t blog. His tweets are infrequent and more likely to be about restaurants and Phoenix sports teams than about recruiting. And he avoids personal publicity. Last year he told Workforce Management magazine, “I like being private. We enjoy the fact that it’s difficult to figure out what we’re doing—as long as my customers don’t have the same problem.”