Photo: Assured labour
David Reich has visited more than 50 countries.
Throughout his travels, he noticed a problem. Most emerging markets don’t have easy Internet access, let alone computers in their homes.
It turns out many more people have cell phones (4.8 billion) than Internet access (2 billion).
That makes many online properties almost useless in parts of the world that only access the Internet once per week from local cafes.Job searching, in particular, is difficult without a computer. “When people only have one hour per week to spend online, they’re not going to spend it searching for jobs,” says Reich. “Most people in Latin America search for jobs in newspaper classifieds. I’ve even seen cars with loudspeakers drive around announcing openings.”
Reich and his cofounder Joseph Bamber set out to solve this problem three years ago in MIT’s media lab. They created a service that allows job seekers to receive text messages from companies that are interested in their resumes called Assured labour.
Job seekers only need to access the site once to fill out a brief pre-formatted resume. From then on, they’re contacted via text message when one of the 800 employers on Assured labour is interested in them. Employers pay Assured labour to contact a certain amount of candidates each month.
Reich and Bamber bootstrapped their startup for two years before securing a $1 million angel round. Now Assured labour is the largest job site in Nicaragua and it’s growing rapidly throughout Latin America.
Eight months ago Assured labour launched in Mexico; now more than 150,000 are using the text-a-job-listing service.
Today, Assured labour announced a partnership with a $4 billion Latin America media company PRISA Digital. “Prisa will leverage their digital assets to send traffic to Assured labour’s website, EmpleoListo, while Assured labour will serve ads as part of Prisa’s ad network,” says Reich.
We have to say Monster, why didn’t you think of this? Until computers and Internet access become prominent in emerging markets, Assured labour is successfully tackling a very real problem.