Joe Essenfeld: JIBE


Joe shares what it takes to bring great talent through the door. He should know, Jibe’s revolutionizing recruiting and turning Monster into a munchkin.


  • Debt’s aren’t just monetary: you’ll have to pay down your technical debt too so make sure it’s manageable when scraping together you’re beta.

  • Early hires aren’t the same as later ones: I view early hires as partners. Made first technical hire based as much on leadership as coding knowledge.

  • Make sure every person through the door is either building something or selling something

  • Recruiting tactics: informed Linkedin search- Gilt was transitioning from Rails to Java and Rails developers felt left out so started poaching.

  • Treat recruits like investors- make them feel wanted. Recruits can smell desperation; don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Get to know each other. It may take time, but it’s a must.

  • Interviews are valuable even if they don’t lead to hires- leverage them to compare candidates to recognize when someone really is that good.

  • I want to have a meal with a candidate and want to know that I’ll enjoy working with this person.

  • Inside Sales recruits: Ideal candidate is someone that’s so hungry and has so much desire to be successful that they can let the “no’s” roll off their back.

  • Inside Sales: much more data driven and did develop a method. Brought on veteran to provide training once a week to develop the right calling scripts, follow up emails, etc…

  • Sell to people you know early on so you don’t waste time. Leverage their interest as social proof/credibility for investors by providing reference calls and LOI.

  • Head Hunters: requires hands-on management. Mike Fitzgerald at Winter Wyman. Made recruiting into a competition. If I found that candidate I wouldn’t have to pay him thousands of dollars in fees and he knew it. I also shared thorough feedback after every interview to recalibrate our search.

  • Define your culture: We’re small but we’ll give you the best benefits we can. 1) health benefits 2) food 3) competition. We pick the best healthcare and explain how to use it. We buy everyone lunch. Internal competition over something other than work sets a positive tone: doesn’t matter if it’s ping pong.

About Joe:

Joe is the Founder and CEO of JIBE. When it comes to getting a job, what matters is who you know. JIBE connects you to people you already know at companies you want to work for and increases your chances of landing a great job.

Prior to JIBE, Joe was COO of Insomnia Cookies, which means that if you ever get the late night munchies, Joe was your go-to-guy with late night home baked cookies delivered at any hour, anywhere.

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