Nailing that first job is one of the most anxiety-causing elements in any student’s or recent graduate’s life. Out of Chile, First Job has launched to calm those fears and set young professionals out on the right path.
First Job facilitates entry into the working world for students and graduates with up to two years of experience. Through an integrated recruiting system that entails employer branding and video interviews, it matches companies with new candidates in an easy, efficient manner. It tackles the issues of high turnover rates among young professionals and the disconnect between university studies and job possibilities head-on.
The results posted by First Job thus far are impressive. The startup claims to help companies save up to 50% recruiting costs and timelines, and it says it increases the chance of an interview for candidates 10 times over. Its database has over 20,000 resumes, and it has made more than 400 matches to date.
When it comes to acceleration, First Job has made the rounds. It has already completed the Wayra Chile program and was most recently selected by 500 Mexico City to form part of its third class.
Company CEO Mario Mora told us more about the up-and-coming job platform.
Emily Stewart: What’s the back story of the company?
Mario Mora: We truly believe that you never forget your first, especially your first job. The first job is a very important issue in our lives – it is the beginning of our professional and personal futures. We understand that it does not consist only in finding a job; it is about giving young professionals a chance at happiness. Hence, we do our best to help students and graduates to show their talents, and we’re working to make the best match between candidates and companies.
ES: You’re dealing with a sort of marketplace where you have to get two very different types of users on board: job seekers and job providers. How do you address each group?
MM: They really are very different groups. On one side, you have users who are actively or passively looking for future work. They have different preferences for some companies and workplaces. However, it is the market’s movement that determines what positions are available, and this can be frustrating for users who don’t see offers for their majors. This is what we are working on.
On the other hand, you have the clients. In Latin America, there exists a fear of new projects and especially of trusting young people. To our clients, which are really big companies, we have proven ourselves with results, because they have to trust in us and in our ability to reduce costs and recruiting time, especially helping them find the right people for their organizations. For our users, we provide hope, and for our clients, security.
ES: You did Wayra and are now doing 500 Mexico City. How did your experience in the first accelerator prepare you for the second?
MM: We had the luck and honor of being part of one of the best Wayra academies in the world. The Chilean startup and entrepreneurial environment is becoming more consolidated every day, and the fact that Wayra accepts just 10 top projects per year (in comparison to Start-Up Chile which chooses 200 projects) ensures that only the best tech startups will get on stage. Having passed through the incubation and validation process, in addition with the consolidation of our team, facilitated us the incorporation into the 500 Startups family. Our participation this year in Geek Camp 4 with Incuba UC in Silicon Valley enabled us to better envision the future of FirstJob.me.
ES: What particularities have you noted about the jobs market in different countries?
MM: We have two different types of countries in Latin America: those with high unemployment rates, and those with low unemployment rates. In the first case, like Mexico, there is an intention to hire young people, but companies need to assure the quality of their skills. Moreover, they don’t want to spend time filtering the high amount of candidates they have in their databases. In the second case, we have countries like Chile, which have a lot of jobs, but the hard part is to attract and retain candidates, as there is a huge percentage of job rotation. You also need to verify a candidate’s talent. In both cases, a tool that enables the attraction and retention of young professionals is needed.
ES: How do you curate job offers?
MM: We do not publish any jobs offers that are not internships or entry-level positions. We filter the company’s quality and the chance of a job. If we think there’s a trust issue, we don’t publish. That’s why we only work with big companies. Most of our internships are paid jobs, unless the company gives other benefits to the intern.