Jobandtalent's quest to disrupt the recruitment sector

For those who are open to a job change, but reluctant to invest time in the process, jobandtalent has created a new platform fusing traditional job postings with complex analytics. GrowthBusiness finds out more.

For those who are open to a job change, but reluctant to invest time in the process, jobandtalent has created a new platform fusing traditional job postings with complex analytics. GrowthBusiness finds out more.

After observing back in 2009 that he didn’t like where the jobs market was going, Juan Urdiales decided to do what any entrepreneur would do – he’d create a solution to the problem.

Fast-forward five years and the result is jobandtalent, a language and career path analysis technology helping people find a more suitable job. The company has now received $14 million in new venture capital funding as part of its effort to continue technology development and deploy in new markets.

Urdiales, co-founder and co-CEO of jobandtalent, says, ‘Before, it was a case of professionals spending a long time browsing for job. But it should be jobs finding the professionals without any effort from them.’

Jobandtalent works on the premise that users upload a CV and biog, and are then kept regularly updated with vacancies that fit their specification. The positions put forward are honed based on feedback, with algorithms whirring in the background.

The business began life in Urdiales and co-founder Felipe Navio’s native Spain, before its operations and sales were moved to London in 2012. The decision to split the company across two countries, while seemingly problematic, is working well for jobandtalent, Urdiales says.

Jobandtalent founders

‘Having asked our Spanish developers if they wanted to move to London, they told us they didn’t want to. We then realised it was far more expensive and competitive to have a development team in the UK,’ he adds.

‘We know people who have done it and they have to pay more to each developer, with the other issue being that original developers then jump to new projects – so retention is much tougher than when you are in Spain.’

After a bit of careful research, the decision was made to leave the development team in Madrid. Setting shop in London, he reveals, is due to its position as an international hub in Europe. With the other options being building an operational team in a native country – making it tough to grow – or moving to somewhere like San Francisco or New York, Urdiales believes that London provides great connections between Asia and North America.

Customer adoption

The recruitment sector is one of a number of sectors that are experiencing disruption driven by technology. Having spent the first two and a half years of its existence focused on platform development, jobandtalent has experienced fast growth when it comes to users – up from 20,000 in 2011 to 1.75 million today. In the last year the service has signed up over a million new users and is now growing at a rate of 200,000 a month.

Jobandtalent platform

Explaining the basis of the growth, Urdiales says, ‘One reason for the growth has been our mobile adoption, which was launched in 2013 and has since been fine-tuned. It’s been very useful as a lot of users right now are utilising mobiles in their search for jobs – instead of a desktop computer.

‘The other factor has centred on some of the social actions that we have introduced to the platform, where users can suggest jobs to friends. This has worked well to increase growth due to word of mouth.’

In terms of competitors, Urdiales points to a business acquired by LinkedIn back in February this year as the venture closest aligned. The purchase of Bright for $120 million represented the biggest acquisition in LinkedIn history, but the platform has since been shut down ahead of an expected relaunch once integrated with LinkedIn’s offering.

With evidence of how lucrative an exit can be in the sector, jobandtalent’s new Series A is set to propel the business into new markets – namely European expansion, Latin American traction and early steps into the US.

Jobandtalent had closed three funding rounds prior to its current eight-figure one, starting with early seed and angel deals before working its way up to more institutional involvement.

‘To start with we just went to the most relevant business angels in Spain and other nations, and then it was a case of pitching the idea and demonstrating the product. They believed in what we were saying and saw the market opportunity.

Experienced entrepreneurs

One of the investors added in 2013 was Kibo Ventures, a $60 million fund that is primarily funded by Spanish corporate Telefonica. Kibo has now joined the new $14 million investment alongside Qualitas Equity Partners, FJME Ventures and business angels Pelayo Cortina Koplowitz and Nicolas Luca de Tena. 

As one of jobandtalent’s earlier angel investors, Felix Ruiz was responsible for setting up, a business that was sold to Telefonica for $100 million. The entrepreneur has now joined the senior management team, bringing with him skills that Urdiales hopes will help with the company’s growth push.

‘Ruiz is very successful when it comes to user acquisition, and knows what we have to do to make this company massive.

‘Another new hire we’ve got coming on board is a data scientist, whose PhD research involved the job market. He was trying to analyse both sides – the demand and offers – to find some kind of structures and equations explaining the sow sides of the market.’

On the surface it appears jobandtalent is just another company using data to make an aged sector more economic. However, with workers ever more mobile and open to new opportunities despite operating in a time-poor existence, jobandtalent promises to go beyond the traditional job posting boards of the past and create and more social and tailored employment offering.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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