Another niche job site emerges in Germany

06 Dec 2016

The trend for job sites to specialize continues in Germany. One of the newest niche sites to enter the market is Join Jobportal, a Berlin-based start-up that went live early in November with its website Jobinnovator.com.

Courtesy of Join Jobportal UG

Courtesy of Join Jobportal UG

The platform aggregates jobs from career sites of companies offering progressive workplace benefits in five areas:

1) flexibility (e.g. flextime or home office options);

2) commitment to professional development;

3) family-friendly policies;

4) flat hierarchy, and

5) part-time/job sharing options.

Using a web-crawler, it locates positions containing certain keywords that point to at least one of these benefits. The Join team checks the company websites (not each job) to ensure consistency to the focus, before the system adds and categorizes the jobs.

Each job is listed showing the corresponding benefit(s) the company offers. Candidates select which of the five benefits weighs heaviest with them, before they search jobs by keyword, industry and location. Currently, Jobinnovator.com lists around 25,000 positions in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart.

Jobinnovator.com, along with Careers4Refugees.com (listing jobs with companies committed to hiring displaced persons) and a number of German regional job marketplaces, are among the cross-industry, niche specialists which launched this year. Most of the other newcomers are industry-specific, among them TaylorTalents.com (freelancers in certain sectors), Staffbook.de (hospitality workers) and IndustrieJobs.de (manufacturing specialists and managers).

Although Join Jobportal launched already in 2014, co-founders Maria Gerono and Anja Dehghan took their time developing the concept before switching on the Berlin-based platform (they also went through a couple of developers).

Among other things, they built the business model around two pillars. The largest part of the site’s revenue will come from selling anonymized candidate data to companies or consulting firms, Gerono told us in a telephone interview today.

“We analyze the searches made by the users and we know, for example, what job prerequisites an engineer looking for a job in Hamburg has,” she explained. Join is now looking for partners to roll out this side of the business.

Maria Gerono, Co-Founder Join Jobportal (courtesy of Xing)

Maria Gerono, Co-founder of Join Jobportal (courtesy of Xing)

As a second income stream, Join will charge companies a fee to have their jobs placed high in candidate searches and for employer branding features (multimedia company profiles). During the start-up phase, companies may post for free. The platform will remain free for job seekers.

While there might not be any other portal doing exactly what Jobinnovator.com does, it still faces competition. Job seekers themselves can, of course, do keyword searching for workplace benefits on large job aggregators, such as Indeed or Kimeta. The problem with that, says Gerono, is that the same small number of firms always appear in the search results.

Jobinnovator.com’s mission is not just to include the companies that freely include these workplace benefits in their job descriptions, but rather “to rummage through the data and find a larger selection of jobs. That’s why we decided to build a search engine and not a job aggregator,” she added. She explained that the web crawler searches using a much larger number and variety of keywords than an individual would use.

Gerono estimates about one-sixth of all jobs listed in Germany include information about workplace benefits and Join’s aim is to capture and list those.

As for future plans, Join wants to expand to the rest of Germany, and then to the other German-speaking markets Austria and Switzerland. For that, though, it’ll need investment, which will also be a task for the next business phase. Gerono believes securing partnerships before approaching investors will give them a stronger hand. To date, Join has been bootstrapped.

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