by Robin Wauters on September 14, 2009

As an employer, chances are you use sites like Craigslist or to try and get the best candidates for vacant spots. If that’s indeed your modus operandi for recruitment, than you’re probably also used to receiving bad or incomplete resumes, applications from totally unqualified persons or just utter spam. LocalBacon thinks it doesn’t have to be that way, and believes the solution to the problem is making job seekers pay to apply for jobs.

Launching at the TechCrunch50 event today, LocalBacon wants to remove the clutter from the inboxes of many a manager or HR professional looking for the right person to put to work while at the same time giving job seekers the opportunity to stand out from the crowd in their quest to land a good position. The way they want to achieve that is by both increasing the quality of applications and decreasing their amount by charging potential candidates $0.99 (or more based on interest/demand) to apply.

If you think about it, making potential candidates cough up cash – well, virtual currency in the form of credits – for applying is a solid way to weed out the ones that apply just for the sake of applying even if they know they’re not really qualified for the job. It also decreases the chances for employers, who get to post job openings for free, to get sent incomplete or sloppy resumes because applicants would likely make more of an effort having put some money on the line. This in turn means solid candidates have a better shot of getting noticed in the first place.

Aside from the fairly innovative business model, LocalBacon also offers a pretty amazing lightweight program for employers to keep on top of applications across vacancies and applicants for managing their profiles and resumes. LocalBacon uses a standardized listing format and application process that is aimed to reduce the amount of time it takes for job seekers to search and apply for openings. Job seekers also receive specific contact information about the hiring manager, real-time updates about the status of their application and timely concise feedback regarding their application.

Expert panel Q&A:

Q – Roelof Botha: I like the idea of turning the job board concept upside down. No one seems to be satisfied about it. Think about clever ways to extract more value. I really like it though.

Q – MM: I want to complement the app, but I have a question about the social component. How are you going to work social behavior into the service?

A: Facebook is a potential way to go, and we’re thinking more about referrals.

Q – Tony Hsieh: It doesn’t seem to fit with Zappos to have job seekers pay for applying?

A: Certain cultures might conflict what the job seekers paying. But remember they wouldn’t

Q – Paul Graham: Is the chronological listing of incoming applications scalable?

A: We’re in early stage right now, so we’re thinking of ways to add more features for organization for premium users.

Q – Tony Hsieh: Do you integrate with existing ATS systems?

A: Yes, we can (with APIs and such).


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