When in 2009, Mario Mora organized a job fair in his university, large companies paid around $1000 on an average to participate in each university. Mario started with 2 companies in 2009, 8 in 2010 and moved to 25 in 2011. He realized that recent graduates from top universities do not use traditional job portals to find jobs. These graduates were regularly into social networking and hence if a job portal could make its presence strongly felt on social networking sites, there was a good possibility of attracting these students to make use of the website to find jobs. Soon, Mario along with Sofia Giraudo and Jonathan Reyes worked on an idea and founded firstjob.me.
Firstjob.me connects Latin American students and recent graduates with 0-2 years of work experience with some of the “top 500 companies”. It “provides an integrated platform of social recruitment (through social networks), verified talents (through video interviews and online tests) and employer branding that helps recruiters find right candidates in hours”. In addition, using firstjob.me, young professionals can apply to jobs in different countries of Latin America and in the USA. Its “ultra easy-sign up (applicants just put their university name, career and level of English) makes it simple to find a job despite the candidates’ lack of work experience.”
Mario Mora met Jonathan Reyes at the university and they always had the “same visions and ideas on start up models”. A friend of them introduced Sofia to them and they got along instantly. Mario is in charge of the business, Jonathan is in charge of technology and Sofia takes care of operations. Today, firstjob.me has an impressive and massive reach out. Every job posted on the site gets more than 30,000 views per day on an average. With a “strategic segmentation on Facebook, it has 80,000 users for some of the best universities.” More than 1,200 jobs were posted on the platform last year by 70 big companies.
“Being an entrepreneur in Chile is difficult” says Mario. The entrepreneurial culture is yet to reach businesses. Chile is not a silicon valley. It has no venture capital industry. Mario feels that raising $500,000 in the US is equivalent to raising $50,000 in Chile. He says, “This is a great challenge because we had to get the better of us to sell $ 200,000 a year in our second year of existence.”
Competitors and expansion plans
Traditional recruitment solutions like Monster and Trabajando do not target graduates with zero or very less experience. Firstjob.me’s value proposition is the massive reach of job posting through social networks with primary focus on recent college graduates and professionals with less than 2 years of work experience. However, there are around 7 companies in the USA that are targeting recent college graduates. “This is great for us” says Mario. “This shows that there is a market and we would love to match them in the near future”. Firstjob.me currently has operations in Chile and Columbia with 80000 users. It plans to expand itself in Argentina, Peru, Panama and Mexico this year.
Firstjob.me sells an annual plan of hiring, which is a unique idea. Prices range from USD 1500 to USD 5000 per year per company. For small and medium-sized companies, it sells jobs at USD 40 per job or sells unlimited jobs at USD 350. This year, there are plans to offer courses for candidates. The courses are picked from other platforms or universities.
Do visit https://firstjob.me/ for more information.