It's payday for Jobster. The Seattle company, which builds software to help companies recruit employees through an online social network...

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It’s payday for Jobster.

The Seattle company, which builds software to help companies recruit employees through an online social network, plans to announce today it has received $19.5 million in capital.

“I walked into investor offices and told a three-part story: We have a good market, the right product and great customers,” said Chief Executive Jason Goldberg.

The round of financing — Jobster’s second — was led by Mayfield Fund in Menlo Park, Calif. Previous investors Ignition Partners and Trinity Ventures also participated.

Goldberg said investors are finding the online recruiting market rich for innovation because employers are spending a lot of money — about $1.5 billion a year — to post job listings without much luck.

“There’s a lot of money being spent to solve this pain,” he said. “Sharks [investors] smell blood.”

Under Jobster’s system, instead of posting openings online and waiting for responses, recruiters can develop and build relationships to get referrals.


Software developer that helps employers and headhunters find talent through online referrals and social networking

Founded: January 2004.

Headquarters: Seattle

CEO: Jason Goldberg

Employees: 62

Customers: More than 100, including Boeing, Expedia, Cosi and Veritude Staffing.

Venture capital: $30 million raised from Ignition Partners, Trinity Ventures and Mayfield Fund.

Source: Jobster

Last month, the company added job listings to its site by buying WorkZoo, a small Fountain Valley, Calif., company that developed a search engine to compile job openings from all over the Web.

With this round of capital, Jobster plans to take those listings and do for job seekers what it has done for employers, Goldberg said.

Instead of sending a résumé into a black hole, Jobster intends to help people use its network to identify who could get it directly to the recruiter.

The money also is expected to go to expanding international sales.

Jobster’s efforts have been focused on the United States so far, although some of its 100 customers use the service abroad.

Jim Holincheck, a research vice president with the Gartner technology-research company, said Jobster is going after a category that many companies have tried to pick up on — finding good talent not necessarily hunting for a new job.

“The main problem others have not been totally successful at solving is trying to identify people who would be a quality candidate for a job but not actively looking for one,” Holincheck said.

So far, Holincheck said, a business-networking company, LinkedIn, is starting to use its network as a recruitment tool.

He also said YorZ is addressing the market by providing rewards, or bounties, to people who connect qualified candidates to open positions.

“It’s still a little early to know what model, or one more than one model, will resonate with customers over the long term,” Holincheck said.

Goldberg, a former aide to President Clinton, said Jobster’s model is focused on what the customer wants.

“A lot of companies do little things. Jobster is one effective package from the employer, one product that helps them do it all,” he said.

Jon Anderson, a general partner at Ignition Partners, said he has observed Goldberg’s focus on customers since the company was incubated in Ignition’s Bellevue offices.

“The interesting thing about Jobster is that they are relatively early in their product cycle, where customers would normally have a fair amount of pain with the product, but they are delighted,” Anderson said.

“They have the highest customer satisfaction that I’ve seen.”

Allen Morgan, managing director of Mayfield Fund, said Jobster’s customer focus was one attraction.

He said in talking to customers, the one thing he heard most was: “These guys don’t pretend to know everything.

“That is unbelievably refreshing and quite different, especially in the enterprise-software space,” he said.

Tricia Duryee: 206-464-3283 or