Startup crawls Web for executive job candidates

Too lazy to post your resume online? Or perhaps just too busy doing your current job? No problem.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, start-up Eliyon Technologies has a technology that crawls the Web and compiles "profiles" of individuals' work histories, education, expertise and other pertinent information.

So far they have collected profiles of more than 12 million people by searching millions of Web sites, press releases, news stories and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, among other sources, and they offer access to this information to recruiters.

The company, which was launched in 2001, already has 150 customers, including IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp. and AOL Time Warner Inc., who use the services, according to company President and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Stern.

Next month, however, the company is set to announce a partnership with online job board Monster.com, which could make job-hunters' Web presence a make or break factor when it comes to garnering employers' interest. After all, job seekers who have no information about them posted on the Web could be overlooked by recruiters who rely on the service to dig up qualified candidates.

Under the deal, Monster will resell access to Eliyon's services, and supplement its own job board with what Eliyon has described as a "passive candidate database."

"Our strategy is to enter a market and find a partner with strong distribution power," Stern said. "Monster gives us that."

While this could prove a boon for recruiters who want to target mid-to-high level executives employed in their industry of choice, job seekers with no Web presence may find themselves left in the cold.

Eliyon's technology crawls the Web, adding 15,000 new "profiles'' to its databases each day, as well as updating its existing profiles by adding and combining new information. Using a natural language processor, the technology can scan pages and decipher complex English sentences, Stern said, and file the information in a form that looks much like a resume. There is no human oversight, Stern said.

The form created by the technology lists peoples' current job and contact information, education and job experience, by culling Web site bios and other resources. It also includes links to other pages referring to the person, and all the source pages are cached for reference.

Eliyon clients can search the databases using a variety of query criteria, including company, title and biography.

Mid to high-level executives are more likely to appear in the company's databases, Stern explained, because there is generally more information posted on them. And because sorting that information requires complex natural language processing, the technology only works in English.

Additionally, Eliyon only crawls pages with the .net, .org and .com suffixes, Stern said, because the company does not have enough bandwidth to take in more information. He eventually hopes to add scanning from .edu and .gov addresses, however.

With more information on hand and added revenues thanks to the Monster agreement, the company hopes to enter vertical markets, offering information to sales executives, for example.

"This is a very powerful tool when you want to understand a market," Stern said.

The company charges customers US$1,000 a month to access its databases under a floating license, which gives the client one user name and password that can be shared within the company.

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