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Jobvite Hires Former Yahoo HotJobs Boss as CEO

Dan Finnigan brings ‘old media’ recruiting experience to recently funded purveyor of Web-based recruiting software.

July 2, 2008
In the latest tale of old-style recruiting meets new, Jobvite on Tuesday, July 1, hired an executive with experience both as president and CEO, a move orchestrated to help the Web-based online recruiting software maker break out of a growing pack of competitors.

Dan Finnigan, former head of Yahoo HotJobs’ online recruiting business and more recently entrepreneur-in-residence at a Silicon Valley venture firm, replaces Jobvite founder Jesper Schultz, who stepped into the role of chief product officer.

“We have a lot of things we want to do on the product side, and we needed to get talent to build the company,” Shultz said. Finnigan “has experience in recruiting and has run big companies, which is why I’m excited to have him on board.”

Jobvite is among a handful of startups offering online recruiting applications to small and midsize companies, more of which are turning to social networks and other Web tools to find qualified job candidates.

As they do, the U.S. market for Web-based recruiting has mushroomed to $522 million and is predicted to grow at a pace of 8 percent a year, according to a February report from Forrester Research, a technology researcher in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Jobvite’s Web-based service lets customers create and broadcast “job invitations” to employees, business associates, job prospects or social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The software works with e-mail, scheduling and other common programs to simplify such tasks as setting up job interviews or circulating candidate evaluation forms, according to the company. Jobvite competes against rivals Taleo, iCIMS and Bullhorn.

HR technology analyst Jason Averbook calls Jobvite the “Facebook of talent acquisition.” Averbook, head of Knowledge Infusion, a Minneapolis HR consulting firm, said management was smart to bring on an experienced hand. Finnigan “is the perfect complement to Jobvite in bridging old-media recruiting with new-media recruiting,” Averbook said. “That is a must as organizations transform their talent acquisition processes.”

In December, Jobvite raised $7.2 million in a round of venture funding led by CMEA Ventures. The five-year-old San Francisco company has 20 employees, and as of spring had about 40 customers, including technology firms Advent, Infinera, nGenera, SupportSoft and TiVo.
Austin, Texas-based nGenera, which makes Web-based business software, uses Jobvite to broadcast job openings over its company intranet to 537 employees. Employees earn a referral bonus if someone they know takes a job they heard about through Jobvite.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” said Katie Tierney, nGenera’s recruiting manager.

Finnigan identified online recruiting as a market to watch while serving as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Benchmark Capital in 2007. He said running Jobvite gives him the chance to get in on the ground floor of an expanding industry, something he enjoyed during stints at Yahoo HotJobs and, before that, helping newspapers and telecommunications companies create what eventually became large-scale digital enterprises.

“Certain trends today are creating another era of innovation that’s going to change how we work,” Finnigan says.

At Yahoo HotJobs, Finnigan organized an online classifieds partnership with a consortium of 700 newspapers. Previously, he worked on Internet, advertising and classifieds projects at newspapers and telecommunications corporations, including Knight Ridder, SBC Interactive and the Los Angeles Times.

Michelle V. Rafter is a Workforce Management contributing editor based in Portland, Oregon. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.