Zapoint Buys Jobster

Jobster, the company most famous for burning through almost $55 million in venture capital while it searched for a business model, has been sold to Zapoint.

An excited  Chris Twyman, Zapoint’s founder and CEO, told me the acquisition fills a void in his company’s portfolio. By acquiring Jobster’s 800,000 profiles and, especially, its 250,000-280,000 active users, Zapoint simultaneously fills a void in its own talent network and it gains the data to enhance its external skills mapping.

Zapoint is a talent management and career-mapping service that enables employers to see the strengths and weaknesses in their organization, based on internal employee profiles. Its free skills assessment tools allow career-oriented users to map their skills, background, and career progress and compare themselves to their industry peers. The profiles users complete become part of Zapoint’s Talent Network, which is searchable by recruiters.

The Jobster acquisition greatly expands the talent pool and the number and type of career maps users can see.

“We are really strong on the working side,” Twyman explained, meaning profiles and assessments completed by employees of client firms. “But we need to grow on the external side.”

Twyman, and Zapoint Chief Marketing Officer Keith Woodward, said Jobster would continue as a separate, consumer-facing brand. Zapoint will become the b-to-b site for its employer tools.

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Though Jobster began in 2004 as a jobs referral program, leveraging the social and business connections of company workers to fill jobs, it went through a number of DNA changes and very public struggles. Today, it is fundamentally a job board with a strong social networking and community overlay. Users not only have a standard resume, but they can have a Facebook-like profile and connect with other people on the site.

Twyman said Jobster’s social component was part of the attraction. “It’s an integrated social networking site with profiles that are complementary with what we are doing.”

Zapoint intends to add its career mapping tools to the site and thus “rejuvenate” it.

Jeff Seely, CEO of Jobster and companion company Recruiting.com, a talent acquisition CRM provider, couldn’t be reached. (The company changed its name last year to Recruiting.com, a site it bought in 2006 when Recruiting.com was a blog. However, TechCrunch, which brought the story of the Jobster sale, said Seely will remain in Seattle with Recruiting.com.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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