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article imageInterview with CEO of social recruitment service Special

By Bob Ewing     Aug 5, 2009 in Internet is a social recruitment service and has just raised $1 million in funding from a group of private angel investors.
This brings the total of seed investment injected into the San Francisco start-up to $3 million.
The company has been referred to as “more professional than Facebook but more personal than LinkedIn”. It's free to join, and anyone can join. The jobs and employers are international, too.
There are 350 companies involved on the site, so far.
I interviewed, founded in 2008, CEO/Co-founder Jeff Berger.
What was the motivation behind Koda's creation?
Jeff Berger: My co-founder and I were in college at the time and recognized that most people coming out of school don’t know where to turn and often start in the wrong place.
That's not to say that we had all the answers, we were equally as lost. The three main problems:
1. Social Networks (where gen y spends the majority of their online time) are meant for your social lives, not for finding your first job.
2. More isn't more to people who don't know what they want. So Monster and Careerbuilder are overwhelming and inefficient. For example, most college students have no idea that marketing jobs might exist in law firms.
3. 18-24 year-olds don't have a professional network so services like LinkedIn are irrelevant. About 2.5% of people of that demographic is on LinkedIn compared to 85% on Facebook
The opportunity was to bring the relationship-oriented process that makes social networks successful to job recruiting.
Where do you see Koda fitting into the social networking sphere and how is it different from existing services?
KODA is a social network between companies and people but rather than the transaction take place around your friend network and who follows you, it's about jobs. We actually don't have a "friending" feature. It just isn't relevant for the purpose of the site. We believe open communication between both parties is important but we don't need to re-create existing friend networks to accomplish the goal.
KODA profile falls somewhere in between the professionalism of a LinkedIn profile and the personal nature of a Facebook profile. It's not just a roll call of past work experiences, but it's also not a place to talk only about hobbies, your favorite food, and what you like to do on the weekends. On KODA, attributes that are relevant to your career are discussed alongside life experiences, passions and interests that paint a three-dimensional picture of the candidate."
What is the anticipated user demographic?
The primary focus is on the entry-to-mid-level job market. People with 0-5 years of experience. We have partnerships with Tulane University, Loyola University, University of Miami and will be announcing several others in the coming weeks. These relationships allow us to have a big on-campus presence. We will also be releasing new functionality this month that allows university career centers to join the site and help facilitate connections between companies and their students.
More about Koda, Social Networking, Employment, Jeff berger
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