Jibe Using Data Analytics, New Cash to Shake Up Job Recruiting Scene

6/2/14Follow @jpruth

People want jobs and many companies are hiring, but finding the right mutual fit can still be hard. Now, with $20 million in a recent Series C funding round, Jibe in New York thinks it can make the hiring process easier on both sides of the table.

The company developed cloud-based software that enterprises use to improve the way they find potential hires. Jibe’s software-as-a-service offers analytics that turns recruiting data into information that hiring managers can use to help pick new talent. That kind of insight, says CEO Joe Essenfeld, is a long-needed update to traditional methods of filling desks at companies. “We’re seeing a movement away from the job requisition model,” he says, “of just listing jobs and hoping people apply to the right ones.”

Jibe is part of an emerging wave of companies that are applying analytics to human resources, recruiting, and job searches. The spread of digital and mobile technologies means companies and job seekers can learn more about each other than ever before.

For instance, companies that use Jibe can get some perspective on how the public sees their recruiting processes, Essenfeld says. That includes knowing when potential hires give up on completing online forms that take too long. “They can see where job seekers fall out of the application process,” he says.

By making use of that and other data, he says, Jibe’s software helps recruiters understand what parts of their applications are effective and what parts are not. “The analytics is the backbone of our platform,” Essenfeld says.

He believes the recruiting scene has started to embrace the need to catch up with mobile technology, which is how many people  access information these days, when it comes to finding the best job candidates. “Almost overnight, large companies felt they were significantly behind in order to be competitive for talent,” he says.

Ease of use is a focus for Jibe. Essenfeld says the software simplifies and streamlines the job application process to be consumer-friendly, and so it can be done on most any mobile device. The software also offers a form companies can use to make employee referrals for jobs less time-consuming. Jibe’s customers include Fortune 1000 companies such as Microsoft, AT&T, Qualcomm, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

In May, Jibe announced its latest funding round led by SAP Ventures, with Polaris Partners, DFJ, Gotham Ventures, Longworth Venture Partners, and Thrive Capital participating. Essenfeld says he is putting the new money towards hires in such areas as software engineering and sales, as well as expansion into more markets. The $20 million round brings Jibe’s total venture funding to $37 million since its founding in 2009.

The growth and development of Jibe in some ways reflects the evolution in the hiring market. “Our roots are as a consumer-facing job board,” Essenfeld says. “When I started the company, we advertised jobs and referred job seekers to different companies.” As Jibe matured, the company better understood what individual job seekers were looking for and used those lessons to help large enterprises that were recruiting. He sees more willingness among large companies to be nimble when it comes to hiring and take in feedback directly from job seekers to find the right fit.

Essenfeld has a mix of technology and hospitality in his background. He previously was chief operating officer with Insomnia Cookies, a chain of bakeries headquartered in New York. “It allowed me to build and scale large teams across country,” he says, “and use all the hiring technology at our disposal.” That experience, he says, revealed some of the challenges in the hiring process that Jibe tries to address.

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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