Young professionals, ambitious students and recruiters who are disappointed in the effectiveness of LinkedIn or Facebook, could look for better times at iHipo.com: ‘the High Potential network dedicated to empowering international careers’. It’s the place for young people with international ambitions to connect with human resource managers who roam the social networks of the world to find talented youngsters.
The founders, three recent graduates from Germany, the Netherlands and Singapore, believe to follow a globalization trend on the world-wide job market. Arnout Wagenaar: “Companies are looking for the best people, regardless of their nationality. Also, people have a growing need to work internationally.”
On iHipo, there are two kinds of profiles: as a business you can post jobs and search for new talent. As a professional, you can search for jobs and friends in your industry. There’s also the Knowledge Base with over 2,000 international HR contacts and interview preparation material. Further features include a Google maps mashup to geographically highlight the iHipo community, a Facebook application and a number of new networking tools.
I guess it must be a struggle to be successful in this job specific area of the web. It’s a niche with hundreds of players, and they’re are all trying to lure young talents into their professional network. Yet iHipo seems to do a pretty good job. The Singaporean company launched in July 2007 and managed to attract close to 1,000 registered users and 160 job offers by international employers in the first week. They were mainly successful in the US and South-East Asia and now plan to expand to Europe.
Well, this week iHipo has received some more capital for their European conquest, since they’ve closed a seed round of funding by Thymos Capital and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA). And with the latter backing them up, they can face everybody. The MDA are those tough Senior Management rappers you might know from the YouTube video that was viewed more than 200,000 times: