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Jobyourlife, not just another professional social network

How to challenge LinkedIn’s leadership betting on targeted ads and geolocation

Jobyourlife, not just another professional social network

Alberto D'Agnano

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If you think that launching a competitor to LinkedIn in 2013 might be naïve or at the very least a bit unrealistic, you might want to listen to Andrea De Spirt's reasons, because he has done just that.

The startup he leads, Jobyourlife, is one of the first to be hosted by the new business incubator founded by Milan's Politecnico and is composed of a team of seven people. They have received ?200 thousand from angel investors so far, using those money to implement and launch a beta version of the website which has been online for 8 months, gathering more than 8000 subscribers with no marketing activity whatsoever.

Observing a strong decline in the effectiveness of online generic job advertisement, with just one per cent of candidates receiving a reply to their applications, due to a strong mismatch between their curricula and the requirements posted by the companies, Andrea and his team suggest a way to reshape the recruiting process by inverting it: through Jobyourlife, the announcement will reach only candidates which are truly a potential fit to the advertised position, thus preventing others from wasting the recruiter's time and resources. The main innovation, however, lies in the fact that such a process will be based on the geographic location of the job-seeker, who will be able to state three location preferences, and on his or her own network of connections.

The first feature differentiates Jobyourlife from LinkedIn, which furthermore was not designed as a recruitment instrument, but rather as a social network that aims at getting professionals in touch with each other. The target market is another way through which Jobyourlife departs from its well-known competitor: De Spirt's startup, in fact, does not target top managers, but rather middle and low level employees that constitute a so far unexplored market niche.

The next step is a ?1.5mln financing to be invested in marketing activities in order to start a sort of what is commonly known as the egg-and-chicken-paradox cycle: expanding the network of subscribers will attract new companies, which in turn will help to get even more subscribers, a thing that will make companies even more interested and, Andrea and his team hope, so on and so forth...

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