I had the opportunity to speak with Claudio Sponchioni, CEO of Jobiri. Jobiri is an online platform who provides services to job seekers, education institutions and companies. Claudio shares his experience starting a business and how he managed to find new clients. Tools recommended: ActiveCampaign*, Prospect Labs & Mailchimp.
Tell us about your background
Before starting his company Claudio studied management at university. After university Claudio worked for a number of companies mostly in consulting for multinational companies. He worked on business plans, business due diligence and advisory.
Claudio’s last job was as a manager in Ernst & Young. It was a job he liked, the salary was good, his team members were great but somehow Claudio felt something was missing. He eventually decided to resign to launch his own business. Claudio felt the need to start something which would challenge him more and allow him to help others. He wanted to be a social entrepreneur.
What are the benefits of Jobiri?
Jobiri has 3 main customers. The first are job seekers. They provide an artificial intelligence based career advisor. The AI advisor is able to support people during the process of finding a job. To aid in the process they have over 150 video lessons. They also have a number of tools such as a CV & cover letter builder. They provide interview simulations which allow you to practice and record yourself answering questions so you can improve your responses.
Their next clients are education institutions such as universities and schools who provide career advisory services. Jobiri works with these institutions to digitise their career services and to also automate their support using artificial intelligence. This allows these institutions to be more efficient and they can also support a larger audience.
The third client is companies. Companies want to find the best talent as quickly as possible. Jobiri as access to to a vast audience of job seekers. This allows companies to publish job opportunities within the Jobiri network and find the best talent as soon as possible.
In comparison to Linkedin or Indeed, Jobiri offers career advisory services to all those candidates on its network. This results in better prepared candidates for the job search and recruitment process.
Also, from a social perspective, companies know that the money they spend goes towards helping young people improve their skills. Jobiri also has the added benefit of having a large pool of young people who are not accessible through Linkedin.
“Jobiri is a user friendly and well-structured platform for job searching. It has a wide range of job offers, and useful video tips for CV, cover letter, interview, finalizing the contract and even for the first months at work. In case of need, informatic assistance is efficient and effective. The IT team is committed to providing quality service for example by asking for feedback to improve the user experience on Jobiri platform.” Elisa, Holland
“I found Jobiri while looking for a job. I was initially unsure; but I decided to give it a try. I have been using Jobiri for a bit over a month and I can definitely say this service is awesome. .. Jobiri is helping me finding a job with very well structured lessons, resume examples and showing me jobs that I might be interested in….” Conor, Ireland.
How did you get your first customers?
Claudio states he had to knock on a lot of doors to get those first customers. Jobiri’s first product launch was based on perception of reality. The first iteration was not fully aligned to their customers’ needs.
After a number of months of working closely with their customers they understood what was important for them and because reshaping their services. They even changed how they communicated to their customers.
After a number of months of product refinement they began to receive a number of enquiries and requests to use their services.
Recommend Tools for Sales
Claudio recommends using a tool by prospect labs which automates how you contact people on Linkedin. He also used email marketing to grow his business using both ActiveCampaign and mailchimp. They currently use both for different goals.
They use ActiveCampaign to manage selling activities, to automate the selling process and to contact potential customers at a faster pace.
They use mailchimp for standard communication when you don’t need to build a funnel. Mailchimp works best for a simple sales process. Claudio recommends using ActiveCampaign if you operate a more complex sales process.
Claudio makes the point that it is incredibly important to speak with customers. “If you don’t understand what their pain points are, you’re missing your main mission. You waste a lot of time and you don’t reach your goals.” There is no point in using tools if you don’t understand your customer who will allow you to survive.
Most difficult challenges as an entrepreneur
When starting a business you are faced with a number of challenges. You need to find funding, you are faced with challenges with competition. Claudio believes the real challenge everyone is facing as an entrepreneur is that you are alone. You are in a huge ocean with a lot of waves and sharks.
Claudio believes a good entrepreneur is able to face and manage the feelings they have. You will encounter a lot of stress and challenges. If you don’t have a strong belief in your business you will get discouraged and you will lose an opportunity.
Having to make decisions alone and being responsible for those in your company can be demanding. You have to have a very strong mind to face these challenges and all of the problems that arise from being an entrepreneur. This is the real challenge everyone is facing. You have to work on your mind and strengthen it. If you don’t you will lose this constant battle.
I asked Claudio if he had any additional advice for those considering starting or growing a business. He said, you have to be very passionate about what you’re doing, to see it like a mission. You can go through all of the challenges of finding new leads and trying to convert them into new clients.
If you feel you have a mission to accomplish rather than making a lot of money 80% of your job is done. The remaining 20% is using the right tools, luck or knowledge and so on. It’s important you feel you are doing something really great as a mission you run the risk of missing opportunities.