By John Sumser
Dan Finnigan has the deepest roots in internet technologies of anyone in the HR or Recruiting space. He’s had his finger on the pulse of changing communications infrastructure since the early 80s. With roles in academia, business, newspapers, internet media and now SocialRecruitment, Finnigan has been at the start of three, possibly four, successive phases of internet growth.
Finnigan’s roots are in Journalism with an MBA from Wharton. He worked with Dave Farber, one of the founders of DARPANET. In those days, the Internet was understood as a communications infrastructure with lots of future potential. Finnigan’s role was to try to understand how people used various kinds of technologies. He tells wonderful stories about his research into telephone systems in the 80s.
As the web began to take shape, Finnigan worked in the yellow pages business, bringing them online. (This was the foundation of the empire that became Monster.com, by the way, just not the project that became Monster). As a telecommunications player, he led telephone company forays into internet businesses.
The combination of a journalism degree, an MBA and telecom experience made him irresistable to the team at Knight Ridder. For much of the dot com era, Knight Ridder’s internet strategies were the benchmark for the newspaper business. In that role, he engineered the acquisition of CareerBuilder, the newspaper industry’s attempt to harness the recruitment advertising business.
He then moved to Yahoo to run HotJobs which he did for the years after Yahoo acquired the company.
These days, Dan is happily ensconced in his first real startup. Jobvite is a venture backed company that has capabilities ranging from facebook job referrals to an Applicant Tracking System. The toolset is modular and companies pick from a menu of options.
Jobvite Source enables employees to spread the word about jobs through twitter, Linked In and Facebook. It includes a Candidate Relationship Management system. It also includes a matching technology that scavenges the internet as a sourcing tool. Jobvite Hire is a full front to back hiring system.
Finnigan is one of those people you want to spend time with. He’s been an active part of four waves of technology adoption and is wiser than /component/page,shop.cart/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,2/”>cialis mg dosage most about the setting and meeting of expectations. He’s full of generous praise for the teams he’s worked with over the years. He keeps stepping up to the helm of the next thing. His timing is meticulous.
Influence comes in a variety of forms. Often, figuring out how to be in the right place at the right time creates a platform for influence. Somehow, it doesn’t really work well if it’s too planned.
Finnigan’s approach to moving through his career is rooted in his love of the future of technology. It’s not hard to imagine that he’s got a large library of the sort of practical science fiction that was around in his youth. He’s essentially curious and finds his way towards things that excite him.
One amazing thing I’ve noticed is that he’s continuing to learn as he moves Jobvite forward. There’s a world of difference between running a HotJobs operation at a big comp nay like Yahoo and scrambling for attention as a startup. Things that are a matter of course at the big company are not even on the radar /component/page,shop.cart/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,2/”>cialis mg dosage at a startup. The lessons can be very hard to learn.
It seems to come easily to Dan.
There’s a core network in Silicon Valley’s HR-Recruiting Technology networks. There are a ton of people who have worked with or for each other over the course of nearly 20 years. Finnigan is one of the tall poles in that tent.