Israel’s Jobsminer aggregates jobs hidden in social media sites

Jobsminer logoA new recruitment aggregation website out of Israel says that it can uncover jobs embedded deep inside social media, often times before they hit the mainstream employment sites like Monster and CareerBuilder. In our tests, they may be right. That spells good news for job seekers, as well as for established classified advertising sites looking to partner (this new kid on the block is most definitely open to suggestion).

The site, Jobsminer, launched earlier in 2012 in the U.S. (Despite its roots in Israel, it isn’t actually launched there yet.) Jobsminer’s a search technology crawls through social sites primarily – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, in particular – but also blogs and some public forums too.

Because Jobsminer steers clear of the existing job boards and employer-specific sites, it is positioned very differently than Indeed, SimplyHired and other aggregators. As CEO and co-founder Ran Enoch tells us, Jobsminer acts as a “heads up” service for jobseekers before they call on the big guys.

“Many times we find that a job will be posted first on social media, to friends and family circles, and only later on conventional job boards,” Enoch says, describing his company’s business case. “If a job is posted to Monster at the same time, then we have no advantage. But, very often, the time gaps can be significant.”

Given the indisputable importance of social media these days – Enoch points to figures showing that 22 million job seekers used social media to find their last job, 82 percent of jobseekers use social networks at some point in their week and 30 percent of Google searches are job related – the Jobsminer model seems like a fairly obvious idea. So why hasn’t anyone else attempted something similar?

There’s a very big difference between the structured types of listings on an Oodle, say – where data points like job title, location and salary are all in discrete fields – and the natural, messy, language postings found on Facebook. And that’s where Jobsminer’s relatively deep roots come into play.

Jobsminer, it turns out, is an outgrowth of an 8-year-old Israeli data mining and analysis business called Makam, which Enoch also co-founded. Makam’s typically Israeli algorithm geeks built a brainy engine for analyzing the social web as a reputation monitoring and management tool suite. The service caught on – hundreds of corporations and thousands of individual users in Israel signed on to receive Makam’s detailed reports on how their brands were being potentially misappropriated.

Makam’s B2B customers “receive a monthly analysis of what’s being said about their key people – on Facebook, Twitter, news sites, in ‘talkbacks’; whether they’re getting more positive or negative sentiment compared to their competitors,” Enoch explains. Makam’s clients pay a regular retainer. Many have been with the company from the beginning.

Among Makam’s customers were a number of human resources departments. Enoch realized that the expertise Makam had built understanding the language of social media could be put to use in a B2C context, too. Jobsminer now aggregates about a million job posts a month.

Jobsminer’s tech and corporate family tree has meant that the company hasn’t needed to raise any money: Makam is turning a reasonable profit (although Enoch wouldn’t tell us how much). Moreover, as useful as the site is as a standalone destination, it’s partnerships Enoch is after. He doesn’t see Jobsminer as competition to Monster, for example. “We’re more of a complementary service,” he says. “We could add additional listings that a site like Monster wouldn’t normally find.”

Such listings might appear within the main search results or in a separate section. Enoch says his company has had some preliminary discussions with potential partners, but is not closing any doors at this early stage of the game. Jobsminer is also in the process of being spun off formally from Makam. The two companies together today have about 20 people.

To be sure, a jobseeker doesn’t need Jobsminer, per se. Any job that the site indexes can also be Google’d and the same results will appear (Jobsminer searches only public social databases). Of course, the jobseeker would have to know the exact title and details of the job, which is the raison d’être of all aggregation sites, not just Jobsminer.

Jobsminer’s interface is straightforward enough: a clickable map of the U.S. appears on the home page along with two text fields reading “what” and “where.” Results appear in a list with links to the original posting site. There are several simple search filters, such as time posted, full or part-time, and whether to look only at specific social sites.

There’s a Facebook app too, but Enoch says it hasn’t been aggressively promoted yet. A mobile version is in the works. Results come in quickly and, in our side-by-side comparisons with SimplyHired, Jobvite and Indeed, Jobsminer generated very different listings.

The closest competitor to Jobsminer, both in functionality and perception, is TweetMyJobs, but the model is not at all alike. TweetMyJobs is a closed network – employers pay to post their listings to the site, which then distributes them via Twitter (and Facebook too). Jobsminer searches TweetMyJobs listings and displays them in its own search results.

Enoch didn’t want to discuss the number of users on Jobsminer (“we’re still at the beginning” he says), although he hinted that it was in the tens of thousands.

Before Jobsminer and Makam, Enoch founded, an early Israeli portal that was sold to MSN Israel. He remains involved as an advisor to Daka90, a popular last minute travel site. His business partners at Jobsminer and Makam include two long time ad agency guys – Yoram Choter-Ishi and Zvi Wander, the latter of whom was with the Tel Aviv branch of Ogilvy and Mather – and Shlomi Noah, a database guru who won Oracle’s “Technologist of the Year” in 2011.

Enoch has plenty of ideas for future functionality at Jobsminer: social graph vouching, an exact match recruiting service, featured job listings. And there are other countries on Jobsminer’s radar too: the U.K. and Spain.

What about Israel, where the company is based? “It works already,” he reveals. “But no one knows about it yet.”

Now you do.

This article originally appeared in “Classified Intelligence Report.”

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