“Beggars can’t be choosers” is perhaps the phrase that least applies to technical talent today. Developers, designers, programmers and UX experts pretty much have their pick of the litter when it comes to taking on projects, and the unemployment rates among such professionals is essentially non-existent. In other words: there’s a lot of technical talent out there, and they know just how valuable they are.
Job platform Get on Board is looking to tap into that much desired pool of professionals in developing tech markets – namely, Chile, Argentine, Peru and, most recently, Miami.
Powered by Continuum, Get on Board is a “job board for Web pros, by Web pros,” the members of its team drawing from their own experiences in finding new jobs and projects online. “We have deliberately chosen to be where we can be part of the community and have first-hand experience with what’s happening there,” explained Sergio Nouvel, one of the co-founders of Get on Board, in a recent interview with PulsoSocial.
Nouvel filled is in on what seems to be a nice proposal for both companies seeking technical talent and Web professionals looking for new projects. He also had some interesting things to say about what sorts of positions and opportunities are popping up where – take a look, you may be surprised.
Emily Stewart: There are a lot of platforms out there aiming at the same sort of online job searching thing, from LinkedIn to Red Innova and even job platforms on TechCrunch or Mashable. How do you compete?
Sergio Nouvel: We are primarily focused on emergent, less crowded markets, where the need is greater and the direct competition we may face is relatively smaller. Also, we try to keep a strong bond with the community of entrepreneurs, devs and designers in each location we are present. It would be easy for us to scale the platform and include 50 more countries, but we have deliberately chosen to be where we can be part of the community and have first-hand experience with what’s happening there. This also explains our choice of markets.
ES: What makes you stand out?
SN: We go to great lengths to ensure our audience is only seeing high-quality job postings. So, we curate content, feature and reward companies we know personally, correct mistakes and often take ads down if they don’t comply with our guidelines. Also, we give users the ability of rate companies based on their salary, environment and career opportunities, and even blacklist them from their customized newsletters.
We acknowledge the particularities of our niche: they won’t stand working in bad places, because they get to choose. I think that has helped us to earn the respect of our audience. Twenty-five percent of all our visitors show interest in a particular job offer. Most positions get five to 10 candidates within a day or two of publishing. That makes us proud.
ES: You’re present in Chile, Argentina, Peru and the United States. How do the job markets differ?
SN: One can sense the effect that programs such as Start-Up Chile have in the market, and I think that’s the reason why Chile has a larger share of startups looking for Ruby/Python developers, mobile experts and UX professionals, while Argentina and especially Peru still have a stronger presence of traditional tech companies and media outlets. It is rare, for instance, to see someone asking for Ruby devs in Peru (other than remote jobs), and PHP gets the lion’s share there.
In the States, we are only present in Miami, which is an emergent tech market just as Latin America. We have seen a fairly low rate of new job positions for Web and mobile pros in Miami so far, but we expect 2014 to be a thriving year for the tech community there.
We ourselves try to push forward the adoption of new profiles and standards. For instance, we have been one of the few job boards in Latin America to advertise UX positions. We are also glad to see more and more companies asking for business analysts and people expert in metrics, SEM and data-driven optimization. There is also a rising shift from asking for Web designers to UI designers and front-end developers. Recruiters are educating themselves on getting the exact shade of expert they need.
ES: How do you approach getting both job seekers and companies on board? Who do you go after first?
SN: Our approach has always been to get the pros first, and the companies will follow. That’s why we have launched the board only in communities where we are connected. The companies know this is the go-to place if they want to find the best-of-breed professionals. We try to make the job board we would want to visit if we wanted to move. That said, we occasionally invite some cool companies to join Get on Board, or even publish their ads on their behalf if we think they are worthwhile.
ES: What’s your business model?
SN: We match the job preferences of our users with the specs of our job postings. This works both ways: users get a semiweekly newsletter with the jobs matching their expertise (for free), and companies can access the profiles of matching users for a fee. We only match users that are explicitly open to offers. Companies also have up to three free ads per country; from then on, there’s a publishing fee involved.