Shaking Up Job Search Space, Canadian Startup Neuvoo Anticipates Big 2013

Lucas Martinez doesn’t shy away from discussing the future of his industry: “generalist job search websites will die unless they change their business model.”

He’s likely right too: most job search sites require employers to pay a large fee, costing as much as $600 per post. Martinez and Montreal-based startup Neuvoo developed the technology to aggregate all those jobs—and it’s free.

“That was the main problem that we wanted to solve: we wanted to make sure that every single job available on a career website was on our site,” said the 29-year-old sales director. “Every other website you have to pay. What we say is the jobs are available for free and if the companies want to pay for visibility they can.”

Founder Benjamin Philion started the company in October 2010 when he was still working at a Montreal bank. He taught himself how to program, built a prototype in his spare time, and quickly attracted the attention of both Martinez and CEO Maxime Droux.

The company differentiates itself through a model similar to Google AdSense where employers can set a monthly budget and promote all their posts. Charges only come when candidates click on posts that appear on the top of searches.

“The reason these [competitors] can’t go all around the world is because they need to target business-to-business and talk to companies for them to post their jobs,” said Martinez. “We don’t need companies to.”

In January 2012 two European investors kickstarted Neuvoo’s growth. Andrew Stott of the UK and Maite Barrera of Spain recognized the company’s potential and invested $600,000 in seed funding.

Now Martinez is overseeing an aggressive expansion throughout the world. They attract over 400,000 monthly users in Canada alone and are planning on being active in most of Europe and Latin America by the end of 2013. They’ve already opened in France and Switzerland and are planning for launches the UK, Spain, Germany and Mexico.

“When we opened Switzerland the best company had maybe 5000 jobs that people posted. The first day we opened we had 25,000 jobs,” said the 29-year-old. “Now we’re focusing on Mexico for the end of January and we’ll have 114,000 jobs at least.”

In an industry that has experienced change through the likes of LinkedIn, perhaps the future for all job search websites is unclear. Not true, says Martinez. LinkedIn tends to cater to passive job searching for recruiters while studies show that 80% of job seekers use Google to drive their search.

Martinez acknowledges that Neuvoo does share its market with niche job search websites. But these sites answer a different need he says, offering original content that job search aggregators often do not access.

“We’re going to miss five to 10 percent of jobs that are not advertised on career websites,” he said. “And I believe that these specialized career websites can answer this localized need.”

In between expansion the company is moving its sales portion to Toronto and is also looking for a second round of financing. According to Martinez the company will be cash flow positive in 2013 and they’re focused on building a better team.

“The only reason we’re looking [for financing] is because we want to grow faster. We want to hire the best sales people all around the world.”