Case Detail

Case Summary

Career Central Corporation: Building Critical Mass

Case Number: 5-104-030, Year Published: 2004

HBS Number: KEL093

Request PreviewBuy

Authors: Mohanbir Sawhney; Edward Arnstein; Paul Leinwand; Craig Michaels; Michael Nelson; Beth Winson

Key Concepts

Partnerships and Alliances, Value Proposition Design, Growth Strategy, Network Externalities, Entrepreneurship


Jacob Matthews, chief strategy officer for Career Central Corporation, was faced with the challenge of growing the client base for CEC’s database of job seekers. While CEC had gained traction in signing up potential recruits, the number of employers using the site was still low and if the trend continued, the recruits might soon start leaving the site. To grow dramatically, Matthews was exploring the possibility of partnering with executive recruiters, search firms, and other online search firms. But how could he structure such partnerships without compromising the confidentiality of his candidates? How could he minimize the risk involved in trusting a third party with the company’s valuable database of employees? What was the value proposition that CEC offered its clients who currently used its competitors both online and offline? Refining the marketing message, structuring strategic partnerships, and consistently delivering on its promise were the issues that CEC had to address to grow its business.

Number of Pages: 27

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Marketing, Technology

Geographic: USA, West Coast

Industry: Executive Recruiting

Organization Name: Career Central Corporation

Organization Department: Executive Management

Organization Size: Small

Decision Maker Position: Chief Strategy Officer

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 1998