Affinity Circles Deal Gives Climber.com Access to More Recruiting Tools

12/7/11Follow @bvbigelow

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friends, family, and a few high net-worth individuals. “Most of these people had made money from the financialaid.com exit,” O’Brien says. Following the Affinity Circles acquisition, which closed on November 18, Mingle how holds four Web-based businesses that are more or less targeting the same group of customers—Climber.com, Searchforjobs.com, Affinity Circles, and Leadli.com.

Affinity Circles, known previously as Affinity Engines, was founded in 2002 as a way for Stanford University graduates to stay in touch with their friends. It soon became a private and secure online social network. Today, more than 80 alumni and student groups, professional associations and sports teams are using Affinity’s platform, enabling their respective members to maintain their personal and professional ties. The company’s list of customers includes alumni groups affiliated with the University of Michigan and Harvey Mudd College, as well as the Oklahoma Bar Association and the Asia America Multi-Technology Association (a professional trade group).

“It enables us to quickly have access to another 4.4 million users,” O’Brien says, explaining that recruiters hired to fill high-paying professional job vacancies often search for prospective candidates by using old school ties and the alumni networks of well-known colleges and universities.

Climber.com says it already was reaching 6 million professionals—matching their skills and interests with its network of more than 400,000 recruiters looking to fill job vacancies throughout the United States. Climber.com says its subscribers also can access tens of thousands of job opportunities from “top-tier companies” through its website.

Climber.com says its $40-per-month service offers subscribers assessment tests to help them better understand their skills and interests. The service also enables users to send their resumes to recruiters, search candidate listings, and create a “personal brand” optimized for search engine technologies to help recruiters find potential job candidates on Climber.com.

Climber.com also offers users a way to use Twitter and other social networking sites to connect with recruiters and hiring managers.

The Affinity Circles deal could offer Climber.com a way to quickly expand its use of other social media networks, such as LinkedIn and Facebook—a practice that once seemed nearly taboo. Today, O’Brien says 40 percent of the clicks on Affinity Circles are related to job searches, and a spokeswoman for Mingle says Climber.com has seen posts from recruiters on social networks more than triple this year.

In the meantime, Climber.com faces competition from a variety of rivals, including Monster Worldwide of Maynard, MA, and TheLadders.com, an online job search service based in New York. The San Diego startup will have to climb pretty fast to keep up.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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