Time For a Career Change? Jobspotting Takes Job Search ‘Out of the 90s’

By David Knight | Uncategorized

Hands up those of you out there in full-time jobs who haven’t at least thought about finding a new one in the past year? Right, put your hands down, you big bunch of liars. Changing jobs on a semi-frequent basis is now a reality for most young people. Gone are the days of one-company careers, and the accompanying perks like final salary pension schemes.

And yet finding the ideal job is, at best, a pain. Over the past decade or more, plenty of people have tried to disrupt the job search space, and have succeeded to some degree – who looks for job anywhere but sat at their computer/device?

But there is undoubtedly room for improvement, and the latest entrant to throw its hat into the ring is Jobspotting. The startup,which launched on Thursday, promises a ‘one-click-job’ experience through its recommendation engine. Rather than filter through hundreds of search results, Jobspotting allows users to find relevant positions across the Web based on skills, work experience and location.

The platform has launched in Germany and the UK, covering jobs in IT and marketing, with both of those set to expand in the coming months.

The onboarding is refreshingly simple: You input what kind of space you are interested in (media, journalism, copywriting), where you want to work (Berlin, please) and what level you are at; intern, junior or senior (senior, natch). The engine then matches your profile with the more than 200,000 jobs aggregated from jobs boards including Monster, StepStone and AngelList. The platform then learns from user interaction and feedback to increase the relevance of recommendations.

CTO Manuel Holtz explained that the platform not only attempts to understand what users are after, but also “what each position is really asking from a candidate.”

There are plenty of other people trying to work a similar solution, but the Jobspotting team is certainly makes for an interesting proposition. The idea came from Hessam Levi, an Iranian-born Swede who was also behind the popular Berlin Startup Jobs website and who previously worked at Google. Unsurprisingly, the impetus to innovate in the job search space came from personal experience: “When I first moved to Berlin from Dublin,” he said, “it was really hard to figure out where to start. Job sites are somewhat stuck in the 90s in terms of usability and relevance. I was bombarded with emails about mostly irrelevant vacancies, and it was a full-time job to filter out the noise. I was fascinated by the simplicity of recommendations engines such as Spotify Radio, Pandora, and Netflix and it just made sense that there should be something similar for jobs.”

Having founded Jobspotting together with Holtz and CDO Jan Backes, Hassem and his team entered the Axel Springer Plug and Play accelerator in Berlin, whose driving force was Robin Haak, a larger-than-life (in more ways than one) character familiar to many in the city’s startup scene. It is a credit to the team that Robin was so enthused by Jobspotting that he quit Springer and bunked down with them at their office off Torstrasse, in a building rich with Berlin startup lore.

Robin, now the COO of Jobspotting, said: “We have seen recommendation engines changing other verticals, and our vision is to do the same for jobs. We’re just starting out but our mission is to transform the way millions of jobseekers find their next job.”

Jobspotting has received €500,000 in financing from Axel Springer Plug and Play and angel investors including Dr. Stefan Gross-Selbeck, former CEO of XING and eBay Germany and currently managing director of Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures. That should give the company a serious push, and it will need one – its success will be defined by its ability to put up large numbers in a hurry. There is plenty of money to be made in job search – companies are willing to spend big to find the right people – but Jobspotting needs to stand out from the crowd, and quickly.