Yahoo! HotJobs

Yahoo HotJobs
Genre Job search engine
Fate Acquired by Monster, shut down
Founded 1996 (1996)
Founder Richard Johnson
Defunct 2011 (2011)
Headquarters New York, New York, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Richard Johnson, Lowell Robinson, George Nassef, Dean Harris
Services Job hunting
Owner Yahoo

Yahoo HotJobs, formerly known as, was an online job search engine. Hotjobs. com provided tools and advice for job seekers, employers, and staffing firms. It was acquired by Yahoo in 2002, then acquired by Monster Worldwide, owner of its major competitor in 2010leading to its merger with Monster. com and eventual closure.


The company was founded by Richard Johnson and was based at 24 West 40th Street, 12th floor in New York City, across from Bryant Park. Johnson had previously founded the RBL Agency with Ben Carroccio and Liz Johnson (RBL), a boutique employment agency for technologists. The initial website was launched in early 1996 as RBL Agency which evolved into the Online Technical Employment Center (OTEC) in 1999, and only featured technical jobs. Founding employees Christopher G. Stach II, Earle Ady, and Allen Murabayashi designed and coded the first iterations of the site on Silicon Graphics Indy workstations for C application development, Apple Macs for content creation, and the site ran on Sun and SGI hardware, later the company expanded to collocation data centers and Microsoft desktops for backoffice. The company also integrated NetSuite financials from Oracle.

The company's first advertising effort was as a Yahoo "site of the week", which at the time could be purchased for $1000.

Hotjobs participated in one of Jupiter Communications' first conferences at the New York Sheraton in February 1996. It was here that Johnson spotted Ginna Basinger, who was working for the hotel at the time, and offered her a position as the first hotjobs sales person. The product was given away to the first 100+ clients to gain employment content to attract job seekers.

Thomas Chin joined the organization in October 1996 while attending Columbia University, and eventually became the company's chief scientist.

In the summer of 1997, Johnson decided to expand the operations, and brought Dave Carvajal over from the RBL Agency to join the salesforce and eventually recruit, hire and scale the organization with 8 offices. Dimitri Boylan would also later join to head up the sales and marketing effort. Over Labor Day weekend in 1997, the first remote sales office was opened in Burlingame, CA by Earle, Kelly Michaelian & Michael Tjoa. This was a joint venture between hotjobs & otec. Ginna Basinger moved from New York to California to manage the office, hiring the company's first non-New York employee, Michael Johnson, in August 1997 as an Account Executive. Quickly outgrowing the space, the Burlingame office was moved to downtown San Francisco in the Summer of 1999 where it remained through the disposition of the company in 2002.

Hotjobs developed "Softshoe" a private label job board and applicant tracking system in 1997. Lucent Technologies was the first client of this product.

In September 1997, hotjobs shed the technology-only focus by adding job categories for "Finance/Accounting" and "Sales/Marketing." The first hotjobs newsletter followed in October 1997. During this time the name was also officially changed from "HotJobs, Inc." to ", Ltd" on the suggestion of Peter Connors, who had been hired as the first marketing manager.

The company startled the advertising world in 1999 when it bought a $1.6 million commercial during Super Bowl XXXIII, considering that its total revenues were approximately $2.5 million. McCann-Erickson Detroit was hired for the production. It proved to be a very savvy investment, as over $25 million in publicity was generated by Robert Liu, who joined the company from CNN. Immediately following the playing of the commercial, hotjobs' servers were overwhelmed with requests, and this incident later served as the basis for a commercial for IBM. The company went public in late 1999.

In 1999, shortly after the first Super Bowl commercial, the company hired two senior executives to assist with the growth of the public offering: George J. Nassef Jr. as chief information officer and Steve Ellis as chief financial officer.[1] In November 1999, the company hired its first Chief Marketing Officer, Dean Harris to oversee and manage the consumer image and marketing message. Dean was instrumental in forming the next Super Bowl commercial and the public image of the company through dramatic growth.[2]

In 2000, the company had grown to $100 million in revenue and moved its headquarters to 406 West 31st Street. The company expanded into the enterprise market by purchasing the distressed resume processing company Resumix, Inc. of Sunnyvale, Ca. As part of this effort, the company hired Tim Villanueva, formerly a leading developer at Intuit, as its Chief Technology Officer, and Chuck Price, formerly Chief Architect at Broadvision, as the company's Senior VP of Engineering.[3] Allen and Thomas left shortly after this leadership expansion to pursue new interests.

In March 2001, Richard Johnson resigned as Chief Executive Officer and President. The board appointed COO Dimitri Boylan to fill those positions. In 2001 the company became profitable and cash flow positive.

In June, 2001 George Nassef resigned as EVP Engineering and Chief Information Officer to pursue other startup ideas.[4]

Yahoo purchased the company through an unsolicited bid in 2002, for $436 million, undercutting efforts by Monster Worldwide, owners of, to acquire the company.

Monster announced in February 2010, that it would acquire HotJobs from Yahoo for $225 million. As part of the deal, Yahoo! would maintain a three-year profit sharing arrangement with the new owners in exchange for promoting Monster. com on its web properties post-acquisition.[5] After the acquisition, HotJobs began to offer users a chance to migrate their job postings and information to a Monster. com account.


Yahoo HotJobs' services were free to job seeking users and included posting up to ten versions of a resume. Once signed on, job searches could be saved, allowing ongoing results to be emailed to the user. Job seekers had the ability to pull up statistics that featured the number of times an employer/recruiter reviewed their resume and a complete history of sent cover letters and resumes. Various tools within the site allowed users to calculate ideal salaries, research plans and employee stock options as well as have a "Job Tip of the Day" emailed to them. The Career Tools tab listed other items they offered, like resume building, interviewing advice and an education center. Additionally, using the “HotBlock” feature,[6] applicants could block some or all of HotJobs' companies from viewing their resumes.

Yahoo HotJobs provided employers access to their resume search engine and the ability to post, edit and delete job ads at any time and as often as they liked at no additional cost. Employers were given access to a variety of communication devices, including letter templates and notes, as well as the ability to track their postings.

Hiring management software

Hotjobs developed software solutions, including its Resumix and Softshoe hiring management software.[7]

Resumix's search technology utilized a comprehensive "skills database" called KnowledgeBase (patented) with over 25,000 skills that combined into more than 10 million matching combinations of search terms. The system's built-in intelligence recognized the contextual meaning of words within a resume by extracting relevant information, with a high degree of accuracy. It was a tool to more quickly assess the quality of the candidates. The US government jobs site utilizes this tool.[8]


Job seekers voted Yahoo Hotjobs the (2002, 2003) "Best General Purpose Job Board for Job Seekers," and recruiters voted Yahoo HotJobs the (2003) "Most Recruiter-Friendly General Purpose Site" in a survey conducted by WEDDLE's.



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