New startup hopes to Woo job seekers

Job hunting is the worst, as anyone will tell you who has spent hours researching prospective employers and crafting cover letters.

Woo hopes to change that.

The company launched a specialized job search platform Tuesday that functions a bit like a techie-focused cross between LinkedIn and Match.com. Users enter their experience and what they are searching for – flexible hours, a raise, a better commute, etc. – and then sit back and wait for companies to come to them. Companies comb through potential job candidates based on their skill sets and experience. If the company finds an attractive candidate and can meet the candidate’s demands, the two are matched.

Woo, which has raised $2.35 million in seed funding, caters to engineers and other tech workers looking for jobs in the Bay Area. The company operates out of San Francisco and Tel Aviv.

Woo joins a growing number of startups seeking to make the job hunting process a bit easier, as Michelle Quinn reported last week. More than half of job hunters report using their mobile device to look for work at least once a day, according to data from Glassdoor. They could be using Glassdoor’s mobile platform, or a slew of other apps, including ZipRecruiter, Good & Co, Savvy, Caliber, Weave or Sumry. On Monday, job search site Hired announced $40 million in Series C funding led by Lumia Capital, in addition to an expansion overseas.

The key to Woo is that the process is completely anonymous for the job seeker, said co-founder & CEO Liran Kotzer. Unlike other sites that boast anonymity, Kotzer said, Woo hides all potentially identifying details – including the job seeker’s prior employers, current employer, and job titles. The company sees what type of work experience the job seeker has, but all names are omitted. Once a match is made, the job candidate has two days to decide whether to reveal his or her information to the company that has come courting. The setup allows tech workers to test the waters, Kotzer said, without the risk of their current employers finding out. And the anonymous nature of the platform eliminates the potential affect of tech companies’ “no-poach” pacts. Such deals, under which companies agree not to recruit each other’s employees, were talking points for months following a recent lawsuit that accused Apple, Intel, Google, Adobe and others of entering into the pacts illegally.

The specialized nature of Woo also gives it an edge over the competition, Kotzer said

“LinkedIn has become very, very noisy,” he said.

Kotzer added that messages sent by recruiters on LinkedIn have an average response rate of 6 percent. By comparison, his site boasts a response rate of 75 percent in pre-launch testing, he said. Currently the platform is available by invitation only.

Photo: A screenshot taken from Woo’s new job search platform (Woo).

 

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