Boon launches crowdsourcing referrals site to public

Ronny Kerr · March 23, 2016 · Short URL:

Businesses can set bounties on referrals from employees or even individuals outside the company

If there’s one chunk of the technology sector that wants to “Uberize” everything, there’s another one that’s just as large trying to crowdsource everything. In both cases, swarms of companies are leveraging unused resources—be it sitting cars or the combined brain capital of our social network—to get things done more efficiently.

As one example of the latter case, we have Boon, an up and coming recruiting and referrals site which bills itself as a “talent crowdsourcing marketplace.” The company’s service has been in beta since July 2015, but has already amassed a million users. Today, the company launched publicly.

The concept behind Boon seems simple enough. First, companies create a profile and list the kind of talent they're looking for, with customizable criteria around experience, role, skills, and more. They also set a bounty to be paid to individuals that make successful referrals.

Then other Boon members refer friends or colleagues that match up with a company's job listing. After that, it enters a typical recruiting process, where promising candidates can apply, interview, and—if the right fit—get hired.

In addition to the basic process described here, Boon offers several granular features, such as the ability to switch between an internal (e.g. employees-only) or external (e.g. public) referral program, import jobs from third-party platforms (e.g. StackOverflow, CareerBuilder, Indeed, SimplyHired, LinkedIn), and communicate with referrals through in-app messaging.

Boon says recruiters have seen a fivefold increase in referrals while also reducing hiring timelines by up to a third.

While it's free to create a company profile on Boon, the "Pro" features cost $99 per month. And that includes everything from unlimited job posts to applicant and referral tracking to recruiter network access.

There’s also another customer tier where Boon will create custom integrations depending on your needs. A company spokesperson told me over email that they’re doing this on a case-by-case basis to make sure that “Boon can pass data to whatever system [the customer] may already be on.” Common integrations include Taleo, Lever, Greenhouse, and iCIMs. (That last one, a provider of an applicant tracking systems and HR recruiting software, is one of Boon’s partners.)

As to be expected, Taleo, Lever, and Greenhouse are other big and growing names in recruiting software. Most recently, Lever secured $20 million in Series B funding led by Scale Venture Partners this past January.

“Boon still isn’t perfect but thanks to some hungry early adopters, a tireless founding team, and a little luck I’m confident that we are ready for the big leagues,” said Dakota Younger, founder & CEO of Boon, in a prepared statement.

Some notable companies using Boon today include SpaceX, Intel, eHarmony, Citrix, and HauteLook. While the company has scaled up among tech firms (a pattern we’ve seen with other new-tech recruiting providers), the public launch could attract companies and users from other sectors.

To date, the Los Angeles company has raised $265,000 in financing, and is in the process of closing a $135,000 convertible note for its seed round.

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