Survey-Driven Market10 Gains New Funding

By Staff Report

Jun. 26, 2006

The recent cash infusion at startup job board Market10 signals both boom times for employment sites and a vote of confidence in Market10 chief executive Rob McGovern, who also founded CareerBuilder.

But the company faces questions, including whether it will manage to attract job seekers as it opens for business in cities across the country this year.

Recruiting analyst Mark Mehler says Market10’s reliance on getting job seekers to answer pre-employment questions as part of its job-matching process will likely be a tough sell to people who already have plenty of options. “The challenge of all job boards today, because thousands exist, is to get the eye of the job seeker,” he says.

McGovern responds that those hunting for jobs can be persuaded to fill out his 15-minute questionnaire on skills, experience and preferences. In the test market of Washington, D.C., the percentage of visitors completing Market10’s survey rose to 80 percent from 50 percent after users were given clearer information about the length of the form, McGovern says.

He likens Market10 to relationship site eHarmony, where users are asked to fill out a 436-question survey to find compatible mates. “I think we’re doing a good job of proving that people will work a little harder to get a dramatically better result,” McGovern says.

In May, Market10 said it raised another $13 million in investment that brought the company’s total to $21 million. The company, based in McLean, Virginia, was founded last year.

McGovern says Market10 is a second-generation job board, in that it offers superior matching results. Market10 aims to beat other boards through the detailed questions it asks of both candidates and employers related to 10 “dimensions” of a good job fit, such as skills, compensation and willingness to travel.

For example, McGovern says, job seekers can’t just cram multiple abilities onto their match profile, as they often do on résumés, with the goal of catching the attention of a key-word search. Market10 requires candidates to rank their skills and work experience in order of importance.

Venture capital firm Menlo Ventures is in effect betting $8.5 million on Market10’s approach and McGovern’s leadership.

“We couldn’t be happier to be teamed with Rob and his experienced management team,” Menlo managing partner Sonja Hoel said in a statement.

Job board analyst Peter Weddle says the new cash for Market10 reflects the strength of the online employment site field.

“I suspect this investment only represents the tip of the iceberg for new ventures in this area,” Weddle says.

Weddle also is optimistic about job seekers’ willingness to take the time to fill out Market10’s form. Other sites have managed to pull that off, he says.

Mehler, though, questions whether businesses will trust that Market10’s matching methods are valid. McGovern says that corporate interest in using Market10 as an internal tool has been overwhelming, leading him to license the technology to recruiting software provider Peopleclick.

Ed Frauenheim

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