After entrepreneur Joe Meyer sold his mapping startup, HopStop, to Apple in 2013, the recruiters started calling. It was nice to feel in demand, but there was a problem: He didn't want any of the jobs they had to offer. After working on mapping for nearly seven years, he wanted to tackle something new. But all the recruiters offered him jobs exactly like the one he had. "I passed on 99 out of 100," he says. "But what happens to those 99?"
He quickly realized that C-level job opportunities weren't listed on job boards—they came through friends or colleagues. So he decided to share the 99 job opportunities he didn't take with his network, building an informal online community of high-level professionals. The hope was that his professional contacts would share their unwanted "hidden" job opportunities, too.
Over time, the informal sharing evolved into a site, called ExecThread, that shares information about potential openings. Members gain points by sharing job opportunities; job seekers use points to see details like the name of the executive-search firm, the recruiter, or the hiring manager. From there, it's up to them. "We're just equipping professionals with the information that is extremely hard to get on their own," Meyer says.
Over the past two years, the site has grown by word-of-mouth to 15,000 self-described "high-caliber" members. Of those members, 80 percent are vice president-level or higher. Cumulatively, they've discussed more than 7,000 jobs.
Beginning Thursday, anyone can apply—but you may not get in. ExecThread vets applicants based on recommendations from existing members, how networked applicants are, how willing they are to share job postings, where they've worked, and what titles they've held. Existing members vote on incoming applicants.