Sometimes the skill you learned in school does not lead you to the career you thought you would get. It happens all too often in Nigeria.To illustrate, Forbes magazine interviewed Jobberman’s co-founder Ayodeji Adewunmi. Follow the interview carefully and see what you can learn from him.
What is Jobberman? Share a few little-known stories about the birth of the site?
Jobberman.com has its roots at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. We were all students at that time and on the 9th of August 2009, I struck gold while reading the making of Naukri.com in the book Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal. I often tell people, your next million dollar idea might be breathing in the shelf next door! I called up two friends, Opeyemi Awoyemi and Olalekan Olude, and shared my idea of Jobberman.com with them. We all became co-founders of the site.
A week later, we were set and ready for operations. I have always believed that allies are essential in business and life. These two individuals are some of the most driven and committed individuals I have ever known, so the selection was only natural.
Jobberman started out only in 2009, but it’s already one of the most popular job sites in the African region. What’s been the catalyst for such rapid growth?
If you are going to be huge in Africa, Nigeria must be a key part of your strategy. This is so true, ‘Africa is the gun, Nigeria the trigger’. So by sheer market size, we are addressing a very large and interesting problem. Nigeria is a large country, large working population, and internationally growing. We are intense, focused, disciplined and I’m proud to say we have some of the best intellectual horsepower in this niche. The business got its legs early on because we focused on social media earlier, harder and faster than our rivals. We kept asking ourselves, “Where is our audience?”, and social seemed to be the platform.
The Nigerian web space is crowded with a legion of job sites and recruitment boards. What’s your comparative advantage? What does Jobberman do differently from Njorku, or any other classified websites for jobs?
I often joke a lot with friends and associates, “There are more job sites than actual jobs.” It sounds ridiculous but I think I’ve lost count of the number of new entrants since summer of 2009 when we launched. Highlights of our advantage: We’ve got more jobs than anyone else; jobs you won’t find anywhere else. We’ve paid relentless focus to quality listings, anti-spam and products that people generally want. Our product is one of the best in its class – edgy and intuitive – and we have consistently reported one of the highest engagements based on time spent and page views in this niche. We are spending heavily offline and online on marketing, and increased significantly our budget for research and product development to ensure we are the job site of choice for both employers and job seekers.
One significant thing we have done this year was to bring together the human resources community in Nigeria by hosting the first online recruiting conference in the country, Recruiting 2.0, providing insights and intelligence on online recruiting trends and facilitated by international speakers in the space.
What is Jobberman’s business model; is the company funded by venture capitalists?
The core of our revenue comes from listing fees for posting a job. Unfortunately, I will not be able to comment on revenues at this time. Jobberman.com is backed by a stellar group of investors with lots of experience in emerging markets.
Have you ever gotten any feedback from previous job-seekers who got hired after applying to vacancies they found through your site?
Yes! We have over 1,000 people who have been hired via our portal and we constantly hear of life transforming stories.
Give us a glimpse into the future. Where do you see Jobberman in the next 5 years?
The future is never clear with constant competition and natural selection. There will eventually be a preeminent industry leader as we see more print migrate online and online becomes the preferred choice for job seekers and employers. Jobberman.com is positioning itself for this leadership spot.
Jobberman.com is West Africa’s most popular job search engine and aggregator. Jobberman.com went live in August 2009, and today the site attracts over 50,000 unique users each day. Through simple, yet cutting-edge technology, Jobberman helps link qualified personnel to the right job opportunities.
Its co-founder and chief visionary is 27-year-old, Nigerian-born Ayodeji Adewunmi. Despite a solid educational background in Medicine & Surgery from one of Nigeria’s most storied Universities, Adewunmi found fame, fortune and fulfillment in an entirely different path.