Case Study: GravityPeople Finds Success with Open Web

gravityLogo2010 Technology recruiting firm GravityPeople leverages Dice’s new Open Web tool to shift past the usual suspects and find fresh, unique candidates.


If there’s a phrase that frustrates technology recruiter Jeff Winter, it’s the words, “if only.” As in: “This is a dream position with a Fortune 500 company. If only we could find the right person to fill it.”

Winter, the founder and CEO of San Francisco-based tech recruiting company GravityPeople, has spent much of the past year with those two yearning words – “if only” – on the tip of his tongue. He has plenty of clients in need of experienced tech talent, plenty of open jobs waiting for qualified, willing tech professionals to fill them. The trouble is, Winter and his “Team G” recruiters simply can’t find the right people.

“So many tech professionals we see are happy, which is great for them, but very frustrating for me,” says Winter. “Perks are good, people are happy with their jobs and their salaries. That makes filling the very good positions we have open even tougher than it would be normally.”

Dice_OpenWebLogoThat’s exactly why Winter is so excited about Open Web, Dice’s new killer app for tech recruiting. As the 14-year veteran recruiter tells it, in Open Web, Dice has created a social media GPS capable of guiding hiring professionals through more than 2 million unique open web profiles to target exactly the right would-be hires.

“Open Web consolidates all the information recruiters have had to work so hard for in the past,” says Winter. “It’s the fastest, most efficient tool for recruiting that I’ve seen. It’s perfect, like one-stop-shopping for technology recruiters.”

On the verge of emerging from beta testing, Open Web leverages information from billions of web pages and 50 social networks – everything from Facebook and Vimeo to Github and Stack Overflow – to build individualized profiles for tech pros currently on a job hunt and for “passives,” potential job candidates who have yet to take so much as a first step toward leaving their current employer.

The depth of the profiles and the ability to gauge not only skill sets and resumes, but also personality and community style, make Open Web a versatile tool for judging cultural fit, says Winter. “Not only do the profiles help me understand a candidate better – their passion, their interests – but having that kind of background information helps you tailor your pitch about new positions,” Winter says. “I like it because it’s not just a flat profile, where you’re kind of guessing what the person is passionate about. Now, I can figure out so much more. You can get all of that from what’s consolidated here.”

CaseStudyCalloutWinter points to two critical distinctions that have made him an Open Web evangelist: Readily available personal contact information and the ability to shift past the usual suspects to find hidden gem job candidates. Says Winter: “With Open Web, I put in a search string, check the person’s information, go into their profile and find the contact information. In the majority of cases, Open Web has email. That to me is key. I can immediately contact the candidate directly.”

As for micro-targeting hidden gems, Winter says that comes from Open Web’s capacity to mine huge amounts of professional, public information coupled with a versatile search engine capable of targeting by geography. “I love that you can find people who haven’t been hammered with offers, which you know happens in this market,” says the CEO.

Already, Winter has found multiple successes – and fewer reasons to say “if only” – since GravityPeople began using Open Web. One such example? The match Winter made between a “Chief Architect/Big Data” job opening and a tech pro who had no clue he was even in the job marketplace.

“The role was perfect for him, a small company four or five miles away from his house. He was surprised that I could find him and maybe a little mad,” Winter explains. But he said he’d be interested in having a discussion related to the position and he put together a short resume for me to use with my client.”

The moral to the story? “He’s a candidate that other recruiters that don’t use Dice won’t be able to find because he’s staying off the radar,” says Winter. “And I was happy to present a qualified, unique, terrific candidate to my client.”

That’s Open Web in a nutshell: Killing the phrase “if only” – a few thousand technology job openings and a couple million social profiles at a time.


Jeff-WinterJeff Winter is the founder and CEO of GravityPeople. Located in San Francisco, Gravity is one of the largest technical recruiting practices in the Bay Area specializing in recruitment within the enterprise and consumer software sector. Jeff has been a search professional in the bay area for 14 years and manages a team of professional recruiters providing recruitment services to venture-capital backed startups, as well as Fortune 500 clients.