Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Monetize Your Contact List: Recommendation Service + Job Search + Recruitment Engine = Zubka Is Here

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Professional networking is part and parcel of the independent publisher's day-to-day work. If you ever want to go beyond regurgitating other people's news, sooner or later you will rely on your network of friends and contacts. But what if simply knowing the right person at the right time could earn you thousands of extra dollars?


Online social networking services play an increasingly important role in forging both personal and professional relationships. You are no longer hemmed in by your geographic location or the small circle of people that live in your area. That's why smart web networkers make use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other such services to extend their reach, encounter fresh ideas and develop new relationships.

Sooner or later the inevitable happens and you introduce one contact to another, they hit it off and before you know it they are working together. If you're lucky, maybe they'll give you a pat on the back or buy you a nice bottle of wine, and everyone goes on their way.

But a new service promises to change that, making who you know as valuable a commodity as what you know.

By crowdsourcing the job search and recruitment process Zubka turns Web 2.0 thinking on to a timeless need - the need for companies to fill jobs with reliable, trustworthy employees. Which is where you step in, because every time one of your recommendations is hired through Zubka, 80% of the fee charged lands in your pocket.

What that means is that instead of finding yourself with a sore back or a bottle of wine, instead you find your bank balance a few thousand dollars the richer.

Here are the details

Zubka - Overview


If you weren't paying attention you could be mistaken for confusing Zubka for any other job board. Recruiters and hirers place their ads, and the public can browse those ads by location and job sector.

The major difference is that this isn't a place to go looking for your own job - it isn't even possible to apply for a job directly yourself.

This is because Zubka is a recommendation service that acts very much like a recruitment consultant agents website might. What makes it so different though is the fact that the candidate recommendations are made by everyday people like you and I, based on our own on and off-line contacts.


Were it not for the simple social networking functionality and the key selling point - weighty commissions for successful recommendations - Zubka wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary. As it is, Zubka is a potentially highly disruptive service that promises to tap into the know-how of active, participatory Web 2.0 end-users, and their extended personal and professional networks.

The Global Network


Whether you work remotely using the Internet, or simply have a list of international contacts that you keep in touch with from your office, there are few people these days that do not have a network broader than that of a generation or two ago.

The Internet, and disruptive communications technologies like VoIP, social networking services and blogs have extended our personal and professional contacts beyond the town or city we live in, and in many cases across the globe. Take the Robin Good news team as an example, with its members in Italy, Germany, South America, Portugal and several other global destinations. This is a network held together by Web 2.0 technologies.

What Zubka does is acknowledge that each of its potential users might very well have a list of contacts as long as their arm. Now if you multiply that list of contacts with the thousands of users currently using the service, you have the potential to source some great candidates for jobs, and make sure that everyone gets paid in for the bargain.

Getting Set Up

Joining Zubka as a referrer is very straightforward, and the overall interface design of the website has quite evidently been built with simplicity and ease of use in mind.

When you first sign up to the service you create a brief profile for yourself, which you can then expand upon later, just as you might with an SNS like MySpace or Facebook.

As a referrer your details can be as private and anonymous as you want them to be, and hirers do not have to know details about you if you wish to keep things that way. Likewise, you can choose to disclose as much as you like - it is up to you.

Part of the creation of your profile is the selection of your location and the job sectors you think you might be able to make recommendations within:


Once you are set up you can start adding candidates to your address book. This is a matter of filling out your friends and contacts personal details and adding them to your address book - gaining their permission first is always a good idea here.

This means that over time you will amass a personal database of contacts stored with Zubka, which will save you having to enter specific details for each job you recommend a candidate for.


After that is as simple as checking through the appropriate filtered job boards for new posts, and should they match the skill-set of one of the people in your address book, recommending them using a simple button from the job board listing. Should nothing come of your recommendation, things proceed as normal. But should you make a successful recommendation - judged by both interview success and one month completed work by your prospect, you will be due to collect your fee. This fee can be directly deposited to your bank account, sent as a check, or as an international money order.


Obviously remembering to check the job board on a daily basis is likely to become tiresome after a short time, but thankfully there is an alerts system in place. If you make use of the alerts, every time a job matching your criteria is listed on the Zubka job board, you will be sent a notification email.



Of course what really makes Zubka different to other job boards or social networks is the fact that referrers stand to make considerable money every time one of their contacts is successful in a job application, or even if they simply make a winning recommendation of their own.

If you have ever suggested one of your contacts for a job, and succeeded, you may just be kicking yourself that it wasn't through Zubka. With millions of dollars in rewards to hand out, making a successful recommendation from your contacts list is likely to net you at least a couple of thousand dollars and quite possibly considerably more. This depends on the salary of the job in question, and can be calculated using the chart below:


As you can see Zubka makes their money by skimming a very reasonable 20% from your commission. Furthermore, hirers are charged a small fee - on average around $20 - for placing their ad on the job board.

Recruiters are unlikely to be found complaining, however, as the fee that they pay to Zubka is a flat 8% of the base salary, which is significantly less than recruitment consultant firms usual 25-30% charge for sourcing a new hire. This makes for a highly disruptive service that could well put headhunters out of business, or at least provide a valuable alternative to their offerings.

The situation is win-win - recruiters save on their payout, everyday users like you and I take home a nice fee for working through our Skype contacts and Facebook buddies, and in some cases candidates are cut in by their referrers for successfully landing a job. This is crowdsourcing in action.

Focused Social Networking


One way of looking at Zubka is that it is a social networking service with a very tight focus. The same in many ways might be said for the popular business network LinkedIn with its trade in business connections and recommendations.

The key difference is that with Zubka, every step of the way your actions are monetized.

Obviously the key economic advantage offered is in referring your contacts for jobs and being rewarded if they are successful in their application. But there is, in fact, a secondary means of making money through Zubka. By inviting your friends to join the service.

Essentially placing you in the role of an affiliate every time you invite a contact to come and create a profile on Zubka, you stand to make residual revenues from their successful recommendations.

What this means is that every time that someone you invited to join the service makes a commission from their recommendation, you are also cut in for 5% of the fee. Obviously, the more people you get involved with Zubka, then, the greater your potential earnings from the service become. This is a nice addition that adds extra incentive to make sure that your contacts get involved.


Zubka is a novel idea that has been executed well.

By rolling together bare-bones social networking functionality with a monetized referral system and job board, it manages to bring the Web 2.0 ethos to the recruitment industry. Like services as diverse as YouTube, Wikipedia and Amazon the key to the success of Zubka is in placing faith in its end-users.

Rather than seeing users as passive, Zubka acknowledges the wisdom of crowds and takes advantage of the knowledge and networking capabilities of its thousands of users. In the process this disruptive service not only manages to slash the fees typically paid out by recruiters to headhunters, but also creates a great way of users being economically rewarded for their recommendations.

Let's face it, there are few services in the growing landscape of user-generated content destinations that actually reward the people that contribute their work. As one cynic sums up Web 2.0 to date:


Zubka is part of a counter-trend, then, that manages to actually reward those that contribute their time and knowledge to the service, and it would be great to think that this is a sign of things to come.

Headhunters beware - filling jobs just became a lot easier without you.

Additional Resources

If you would like to learn more about Zubka, you might want to check out the following links:

Originally written by Michael Pick for MasterNewMedia and titled: "Monetize Your Contact List: Recommendation Service + Job Search + Recruitment Engine = Zubka Is Here"

Michael Pick - [ Read more ]
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posted by Michael Pick on Tuesday, July 17 2007, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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