Sun 27 Jan 2008
I got mail today:
“NotchUp is a new way to manage your career. Instead of YOU having to sort through hundreds of job postings, NotchUp enables top companies to find you and pay you to interview for available jobs. It’s 100% free to join and use.”
I would probably have scrapped such an email as spam without giving it a second thought, should I not have received the invitation from a reputable business contact of mine. With a closer look, NotchUp seems to be an interesting, yet controversial yet-another-social-network.
The concept is based on the tenet that the companies that are recruiting hard-to-find professionals would be willing to pay for a chance to interview those who are talented but content with their current job, thus bypassing the headhunter middleman. For the passive jobseekers, this turns the table around: the company is not only looking for them but also paying for their valuable time to overcome the inherent inertia of candidates to even listen what the company has to offer.
As sound as the idea may sound, I have some doubts about its viability. First of all, it provides the “jobseekers” an apparent opportunity for fraudulent “knocking down” with the interviews: thanks for the interview (and the money), but no thanks. On the other, the companies will get an opportunity to “interview” their competitors’ employees for a modest fee without necessarily intending to recruit anyone.
Also, nothing prevents those “desperate out-of-work employees going hat-in-hand” from signing up to the service. In fact, it seems likely that many not-so-professional opportunists occupy NotchUp due to its generous scheme that promises a 10 % commission of an interview fee collected by someone you have invited to the service. It is tempting to send the invitation to as many people as possible, notwithstanding their eligibility.
It may be that NotchUp thereby waters down its very idea and turns into just another job board or professional network. However, their aggressive viral marketing will make sure they get something that is very valuable for a Web 2.0 startup in its own right: a massive database of jobseekers as well as their connections (fetched from LinkedIn!). Something Google or Yahoo might be very interested in…d39