Wednesday, August 11, 2010

JobPrize and other Job Referral Networks

Adding a financial incentive to job seeking and rewarding a connection is not new--there are plenty of companies that offer bonuses to employees that find a candidate that they can match to a currently open job, but JobPrize allows a job seeker to post a profile and offer a reward for finding the matching job.

The job seeker registers on JobPrize and offers a reward for the person who can find the job that they want. According to the About Us section of the JobPrize website, the job yenta should just be employed in the industry. Ideally, what I think they hope will happen is that an accountant at a hospital will make connections with nurses on the site because both work in the healthcare industry. They recommend the person to the position and if the match is made, the matchmaker can claim the prize.

I'm already detecting some problems with this: you don't know these people. This means they aren't in your network and you really shouldn't trust them.
  • What if you end up recommending someone who lied about their education or ends up needing some serious anger management training? 
  • Do you have to disclose your relationship to this person if HR calls you to find out why you recommended them? 
  • What if the job seekers discloses how she found out about this position and it turns out you will be double-dipping: getting prize money from the job seeker and claiming the recommendation bonus from your employer? 
  • How do you know that the job seeker, once they secure an interview, is going to be good for the bounty? The site states that the job seeker needs to put the prize into an escrow account, but how do you know if she really got the job--and owes you some money?
  • What happens if the site is taken over by people who have better research skills (*cough* librarians) who spend their day finding job ads to match the people on the site, hoping to score prize money?
I don't mean to be a party-pooper but part of a network means you should trust and be trusted--which requires building a relationship, even if it is online. I won't undermine online networking, especially if you have done work for the person at a distance, but a referee should have some idea of your skills or personality and not put you forward because you offered them cash.

And guess what I found when I was searching on the topic? A patent filed for a job referral network system.

Other peer-to-peer job finding services:
Spotted on Springwise.

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