“They don’t like to be part of the masses,” explained Ivy Exec founder Elena Bajic (read her entrepreneur journal) about the site’s 25,000 members. “They’re looking for a way to differentiate themselves, an exclusive club and a network of peers. So the fact that they have to get approved to be members of Ivy Exec is very important to them.”
Initially free to join, Ivy Exec recently started charging a monthly fee that ranges from $22-$42 depending on the package. On the corporate side, Bajic charges an average of $8,000 for her selective recruitment services, which include pre-screening all job applicants to find a better match. In this way Ivy Exec operates more like a dating site for job seekers.
The recession has been both helpful and hurtful for Bajic. It slowed her growth as firms cut back or stopped hiring altogether, but allowed her to take advantage of lower infrastructure costs, like rent, furniture and office supplies, to streamline her business. When the economy picks up and companies start hiring again, Bajic hopes Ivy Exec will be well positioned to cash in on the abundance of over-qualified candidates looking to land high-level jobs.
To facilitate that Bajic is seeking to raise $1.5 million in funding to assist Ivy’s sales and marketing push and to upgrade the website. Bajic said she wants to boost Ivy’s membership to 100,000 by the end of 2010, which would significantly increase revenues.