Culver City's Boon allows anyone to nab that referral bonus

by Lauryn Schroeder
December 2, 2014

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Filling out job applications. Perfecting your cover letters. Proving your worth in a 10-minute phone call. Impressing CEOs during an in-person interview. We’ve all been there. Finding the right job or career is an exhaustive process. It’s tough. But while that exhaustion may feel like it’s one-sided, job seekers are not the only ones with a headache.

Companies spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars trying to find someone with the “total package,” and while many turn out to be good employees, who do what’s asked of them and not much else, very few of them turn out to be what every company really wants: a great employee.

As a former recruiter, Dakota Younger felt this first hand, and knew there had to be an easier way for startups to recruit top talent.

“One of the things I noticed was how manual the process seemed,” Younger said. “It was mind boggling that there wasn’t a simple process to connect people with the right position.”

That’s when he decided to create Boon, a Culver City-based startup that’s created a marketplace where companies post opportunities such as jobs, events, products and promotions, and members are then able to recommend the opportunities to people within their own personal network. And here’s the best part: Members have the opportunity to be compensated for their referrals, based on the amount of traffic they generate to the post, if a job referral ends in that person being hired, or the amount of purchases that are made on a product.

The process is simple: A company posts a new opportunity. Followers are notified and are able to send the opportunity to anyone they think would be interested via text, Twitter, email etc. Younger, who is now the CEO of Boon, said every member is given a unique link, which allows Boon to track and credit each member every time they share an opportunity. When someone receives an opportunity, they can either accept or decline the referral. If they choose to accept, the information they have uploaded on Boon will be sent to the appropriate companies to be considered for the opportunity.

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Boon not only helps job-seekers cut time out of the application process, it also helps companies put meaning behind the referral. Younger said just like how people on eBay are ranked by the quality of service they give, members on Boon are ranked by the quality of referrals they send out, giving companies an indicator on how valuable a recommendation might be.

“Recruiters do a lot of the searching and not so much of the filtering anymore,” Younger said. “We have found that a company’s top talent tends to know a lot of other top talent and they’re able to refer companies to people who are qualified.”

Boon is still in its beginning stages, but the team has seen a good amount of growth since its inception in July of this year. Younger said that since Boon can help reduce the hiring costs for businesses by 75 percent, more than 300 companies have expressed interest, and Boon gained nearly 3,000 subscribers before a company name had even been selected. Younger said he’s also working to add additional features to Boon, such as algorithms that will make the searching process for members easier.

“The software will be able to automatically scan your network and create a list of suggestions for a certain job based on a variety of criteria,” he said. “It could be something as simple as scanning for people who have recently updated their profile since that usually indicates that they’re looking for a job.”

Younger said the team is listening to user feedback as well. By making suggestion forums more of a game-like experience on mobile devises, Boon has been able to collect a lot of accurate feedback and data that can back the company’s future decisions. 

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