A new startup matches employers and working job seekers who are anonymously looking around.
What: Matchmaking service that connects recruiters and employed job seekers.
Who: Tom Leung, 41, co-founder and CEO. “I’ve wanted to start my own thing since I was a sentient being,” said the former Microsoft and Google employee.
Back from the dead: The company began in 2012 as Yabbly, a product-review app. Two years of slow growth forced the service to shut down. Leung and co-founder Ian Shafer nearly sold the company before pitching their investors on a different idea. “We decided to throw one last ‘Hail Mary’ with Poachable,” said Leung, a father of two. “At a startup, it feels like you’re constantly living at the edge of either immortality or immediate death.”
Like dating: Candidates fill out an online profile with experience and future job requirements, and Poachable’s algorithm fetches relevant opportunities at other companies. To avoid retribution, job seekers stay anonymous until both parties show interest in each other. Recruiters then pay $50 to pull back the curtain.
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Matching numbers: 500 employers — including Amazon.com, Microsoft and Zulily locally — and 30,000 prospective employees. Revenue and membership have increased more than 20 percent each month, but the challenge is growing both recruiters and recruits simultaneously to ensure quality matchmaking, Leung said. The technology industry, at “war” over qualified software developers, has been the biggest source of growth, he said.
Funding: The company has raised $1 million since August, when Yabbly became Poachable.
Competition: Other anonymous career matchmaking services include apps Switch, Poacht and Jobr. Leung thinks the company’s algorithm will offer a higher-quality and cheaper recruiting alternative to LinkedIn.
Growth plans: Poachable plans to begin charging companies for analytics, benchmarking services and enhanced job descriptions, while opening the platform to non-anonymous job seekers.
— Ken Christensen