Interview with Jim Hammock, Co-founder of itzbig

Our interview today is with Jim Hammock, Co-founder and Chairman of itzbig (, an Austin-based company that operates an online job web site. Jim gave us some background on the site and what it's all about.

What's the idea behind itzbig?

Jim Hammock: The idea behind itzbig is to bring the potential of today's technology and workplace realities to the currently archaic process of matching talent with career opportunities. Today's technology allows working professionals to privately explore career opportunities without putting themselves at risk of spam, scam, and even identify theft. Additionally, workplace realities today are that there are few "lifetime" employment relationships between employers and working professionals. The professional must manage their careers by continuously seeking backup plans and/or dream job opportunities.

Itzbig provides a safe environment for professionals to explore opportunities and employers to engage top talent.

Why did you decide to found itzbig, and what opportunity did you see in the online jobs space?

Jim Hammock: Today's online job boards have basically moved employment classified advertising from the pages of newspapers to internet job sites. Candidates are drowning on too many ads and too little privacy while employers are drowning on too many resumes that don't match their requirements. This market has not been responsive to the needs of candidates nor employers. Suppliers are more interested in selling ads than on providing accurate, non-invasive matching of opportunities.

How does itzbig compare with job boards and tools like LinkedIn?

Jim Hammock: LinkedIn is a social network competing with MySpace and FaceBook with some referral job features. Job boards are newspaper web sites that have moved classified ads to the internet.

Itzbig is the first real time dedicated network focused solely on enabling working professionals and employers to accurately match their requirements using scoring and ranking technologies to deliver high quality candidates with efficiencies of 3-4 times current methods. It is all about security, quality, and efficiency.

One analyst said itzbig is "a sourcing network on steroids".

We notice you've had an interesting career, starting out in the semiconductor industry at Mentor Graphics and now focused in the online space. How would you compare your experience in the semiconductor vs. the online industry?

Jim Hammock: After 16 years with a very talent rich company named IBM, I have enjoyed helping bring new technologies to the marketplace with what are called "start up" companies. In so doing I have gained a great appreciation for talent. For the last 25 years my assets have walked out of my companies at some ungodly hour to return the next day to try to change the way the world does something.

This dependence and love of talent has motivated me to focus the past 11 years on using the latest technology to build tools to attract, hire, and retain top talent for companies. This period coincided with the emergence of the internet. For the first time ever most companies have access to most of the people they would like to attract in an online world. This is what has attracted me to the online recruiting market.