Like many other folks in the blogosphere, last week I wrote about a new Web site called NotchUp.com, which is designed to help companies attract highly qualified potential hires -- especially those who might not be be actively seeking new jobs -- by paying them for the privilege of interviewing them.
I mentioned in my blog the site's rapid addition of new members. A feature I didn't mention -- although it was presented as a bonus in some of the articles I read about NotchUp -- is that folks could import contacts directly from their LinkedIn accounts.
Not surprisingly, according to a BusinessWeek article, the resulting proliferation of invites based on LinkedIn contacts was a primary driver of NotchUp memberships, overloading NotchUp's servers and contributing to the considerable buzz surrounding the site.
Yet, as BusinessWeek points out, it was also a PR gaffe. The move hacked off people who were inundated with multiple invites -- many of whom wrote about it on their blogs. And it earned the ire of LinkedIn because -- oops -- NotchUp didn't get LinkedIn's permission to use the contacts from its site.
NotchUp rushed to correct the damage by imposing a cap that allows individuals to receive a maximum of three NotchUp invites. LinkedIn also blocked NotchUp from using contact data from its site.
I suspect this won't be more than a momentary blip on the reputation-o-meter for NotchUp. It remains to be seen, however, whether NotchUp can emerge as a viable alternative to professional job recruiters. Steven Kempton, writing on The Asia Pacific Headhunter, opines that NotchUp could outperform traditional online job boards and "lame recruiters who just slap up job ads everywhere and wait for whatever comes in -- only to send out high-volumes of low-quality candidates to their client."
But Kempton doesn't think NotchUp represents a threat to quality recruiters, because such recruiters do a considerable amount of leg-work after interviews occur. He writes:
A lot of wasted time, energy and money (in terms of lost productive work time for everyone) happens not only in the search for getting that first interview, but in the follow-through that happens after the initial job interviews. This is another part of where recruiters and headhunters provide value and service.
Kenton also questions the quality of candidates that NotchUp will attract. He writes:
Good people aren't attracted just by a few hundred dollars for their time. They are attracted to good opportunities that help grow their careers and their strengths.