Netzun: a start-up competing in the job search market

The digital transformation have changed the way professionals and companies network and connect to find jobs. In this industry, LinkedIn has emerged as a winner, with more than 546 million users in more than 200 countries [1]. In Peru, despite LinkedIn’s leadership, Netzun Jobs has emerged as a platform competing in the job search business. By targeting a niche demographic and offering unique services, this start-up is fighting for a space in the Peruvian market.

 

Netzun Jobs: the job search platform for students

Netzun Jobs was created in 2015, when the co-founders decided to tackle the problems students face when finding their first job. As Netzun’s co- founder said, “LinkedIn had created a great platform for hiring professionals, as it focuses on showing user’s past experience to attract recruiters who are looking for specific profiles. But what happens with college students that have no experience? The chances of getting an internship or a full-time job in LinkedIn are very low” [2].

With this problem in mind, Netzun’s co-founders started designing a platform that could connect college students with no experience (or very little experience) with companies looking for interns or entry-level employees. In addition to uploading the traditional profile information (Education, Languages, Skills, Awards), users are encouraged to add their interests, upload a “Video Resume” and take a personality test. Netzun’s uses this data to feed a proprietary matching algorithm, to recommend companies the list of candidates that could be a good match for a specific job.

Netzun’s first challenge was to attract users and companies to their site. To reduce barriers to enroll, Netzun gave the platform for free to both sides. In its early stage, Netzun focused on recruiting the most important companies in the country and convincing them to post jobs. Having important companies posting in Netzun was critical to attract candidates, and since network effects are high, the more users in the platform the more companies wanted join. As today, the company has more than 1,900 companies hiring and more than 100,000 users.

Monetizing the platform

Netzun has launched an online learning platform, where users can take short paid courses and enhance their Netzun profile. Netzun is currently offering Excel, Digital Marketing, Effective Presentations, Photoshop, among other courses. The prices of the courses range from $15 to $31. By launching these products, the company is monetizing its user base. In addition, is increasing the value of the platform for companies, since recruiters have more information about the candidate’s interests and skills.

Looking forward

The company has different paths to keep growing.

  1. Develop more products in the peruvian market. The company could launch more products to users and companies to increase the revenues streams. For example, Netzun could develop an online tool to test candidates as a first step in the recruiting process, saving money and time to recruiting companies.
  2. Expand to other geographies. This could be a difficult move, since the company will need to create a new network, attracting new users and new companies. Although it could be challenging, this option could increase the value of the platform for users wanting to get jobs in different countries.
  3. Expand to the mass market. One of the problems that Nexun faces is that customers are not very sticky: users use Netzun to find their first job and then use to LinkedIn for the rest of their careers. Nexun could expand its offering and target the broader market competing directly with LinkedIn. Would it be a smart move?

 

Endnotes:

[1] https://about.linkedin.com/

[2] https://gestion.pe/tendencias/management-empleo/estudiante-egresado-buscas-practicas-portal-116989

[3] http://www.infocapitalhumano.pe/recursos-humanos/noticias-y-movidas/netzun-jobs-primer-portal-online-de-trabajo-exclusivo-para-estudiantes-y-recien-egresados-presente-en-expo-capital-humano-2016/

[4] https://plus.netzun.com/

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2 thoughts on “Netzun: a start-up competing in the job search market

  1. Great post and very interesting company! I think expanding to new geographies would be a more feasible play than expanding to the mass market. Netzun seems like it was created to solve a problem for a specific portion of the population. I have a hard time envisioning what their mass market value proposition could be that would lead mid-career professionals to choose to either multi-home or abandon LinkedIn for their platform. But the problem that Netzun is addressing for college students is real and one that likely exists in most countries. I would imagine that the platform playbook that Netzun followed in Peru (allow both sides to initially join for free to build scale and elicit network effects) would prove successful in other locations as well.

  2. Very interesting post! The frustrations felt by college students with little professional experience looking for jobs really resonated with me, and I can see how a platform like this would have been extremely valuable as a college student. You mentioned that users are not sticky, which may or may not be a problem for Netzun– even if one “generation” of college students stops using the platform, Netzun could still succeed as long as the subsequent “generation” of college students also chose to use the platform and continued to grow. Having said that, a few features that Netzun could offer should it choose to appeal to a wider customer base (i.e., people with experience) could include providing useful job searching tools (see Jobtreks) or advanced AI capabilities to better match job seekers to jobs (see the Japanese company GROW).

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