- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 17, 2006

Todd Forest has the habit of being in the right place at the right time.

He was at AOL in 1999 to debut the company’s “You’ve Got Pictures” service on the eve of the digital-photography explosion.

Now, Mr. Forest is chief marketing officer at Market10, a second-generation online job marketplace that he and founder Rob McGovern expect to revolutionize the job search.

Unlike some of its well-known predecessors — such as CareerBuilder.com or Monster.com — the McLean company matches applicants and employers by rating them on a scale of compatibility from 1 to 10.

“A lot of people have referred to us as the EHarmony of the job space,” Mr. Forest said, noting several ways Market10 has enhanced the online job-hunting experience.

The first wave of job sites do little more than encourage applicants to post resumes and employers to post jobs, Mr. Forest said, causing companies to waste hours sifting through hundreds of applications, many of which they find lacking.

Market10 surveys both job seekers and employers on a range of 10 factors, including, among others: ideal work environment, travel opportunities and income to education requirements, location and benefits. It then assigns a compatibility score based on the preferences of both parties.

Market10 also enables applicants and employers to store each other’s information as “favorites” and allows each to see if the other has selected them as a favorite. That way, job seekers can avoid what Mr. Forest refers to as the “black hole” — when they submit their resume for a job but never hear back.

“It helps create combustion” by giving both parties an idea where they stand, Mr. Forest said of the feature.

Mr. McGovern, who also founded CareerBuilder.com, said Mr. Forest will improve his new company’s visibility.

“His remarkable experience building brands and driving online acquisition at world-class companies like AOL and Nike is critical in our next phase of growth,” said Mr. McGovern, chairman and chief executive officer of Market10.

Prior to joining AOL, Mr. Forest held senior marketing positions at Nike Inc. and Sara Lee Corp.

About 100,000 job hunters have visited Market10.com, which debuted in the District and Atlanta in summer 2005. Currently, about 1,000 jobs are posted on the site.

“My ultimate goal is to build a national brand,” said Mr. Forest, adding that the company will rely on television and radio spots, as well as search engine advertisements. Ideally, he said, satisfied job seekers will spread the word to their friends.

Employers who use Market10 are charged if and when they make a hire, paying a $2,000 flat fee per employee. Applicants are not charged. But like the site itself, the pricing model most likely will change as new features are added, Mr. Forest said.

“You can make it better and better. There are endless possibilities,” he said.

“No one knew what Google was back in 2000, 2001; Yahoo was the clear leader. But Google came up with a better product and the bigger, entrenched companies didn’t react. It’s a similar opportunity here.”

Mr. Forest, 38, lives in Arlington with his wife, Christy, and their 5-year-old son, Tasmin, and 1-year-old daughter, Callie.

Kara Rowland

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