Barrington businessman works to protect Internet reputations
Barrington resident Niel Cox, CEO of Repio Inc., offers advice Nov. 29 about manaing online profiles in web searches during a presentation at the CareerPlace in Barrington . | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 12, 2012 8:12AM
BARRINGTON — Barrington resident Neil Cox is helping people all over the country build online resumes and reputations that make individuals standout.
Since basic Internet searches can pull up scores of sites and information that is irrelevant or sometimes unfavorable, Cox’s Repio venture is designed to streamline the search and make individuals more recognizable, and not just aligned with those whom they happen to share a name.
“Repio is a platform like Facebook or LinkedIn,” Cox explained. “We’re a link manager for when you’re searched on the Internet. It’s about your online reputation.”
Cox said one of the main objectives of Repio is to help people with the job hunt. He reported that more than 85 percent of human resources professionals say that a candidate’s Internet presence has a significant influence on whether or not that individual is hired. If an applicant is not immediately found on a search, it can reflect poorly, Cox explained.
“If nothing comes up, you’re not relevant,” he said. “You determine what your Internet reputation should be.”
Repio offers one version that is free and two paid versions. When a client signs up, the program allows that person to view, control and manage a select number of links, such as press releases or other informational items.
Cox explained that search presence is important because virtually no employer is going to search through more than two pages results. With Repio, an employer can plug “Repio” and the individual’s name into the search engine and immediately find relevant information. Cox said it’s especially helpful for people with common names or individuals who share a name with a celebrity.
“The Internet records everything and forgets nothing,” Cox said. “That’s how social media is impacting the human resources process.”
Cox believes Repio, which was recently patented, has the potential to transform the job search and hiring processes. He reported that several universities have begun rolling out Repio for their graduate students.
“Your Internet reputation is part of who you are,” Cox said. “There’s nothing else out there like this right now.”
Due to the power of the Internet and the explosion of social media, Cox believes the days of hiring employees based solely on print resumes and references are over. Managing an online reputation also is important, he added, because of the way people have begun to move around in their careers.
“Nobody’s working for places for 30 years anymore,” he said. “People are more responsible for their careers than ever before.”
Although he spends about half his time at a Repio office in Newport Beach, Calif., Cox said he has always enjoyed living in Barrington.
“I’ve always kept my home in Barrington,” he said.