Landing.jobs is a tech jobs marketplace with a human approach to recruitment and aims to increase efficiency between job openings and talent.
We met with the founders, Pedro Oliveira and José Paiva, to understand how they managed to come up with a leading European tech jobs marketplace.
Miguel Carvalho: Landing.jobs is now leading in the European Market with offices in Lisbon and London. Tell us, why those two cities?
Pedro Oliveira: We started in Lisbon, the reason I move to London was more of a strategic reason and was mostly to meet investors, partners, but also for business purposes. By the way, we also have people working in Barcelona and Brazil. As for the person in Barcelona, he’s doing mostly business development and operations and the person in Brazil is doing product development.
“If you compare Lisbon today to 6 years ago, it’s an astronomical difference. I mean, there are so many more startups. Just the whole ecosystem like incubators, accelerators, and the government as well.”
MC: You and José Paiva co-founded Landing.jobs. Can you walk us through the process, and inspiration, leading to the Landing.jobs project?
PO: Both of us were somehow involved in the career management industry since the beginning. When I was at UNI I was the VP of the enterprise contact group and I was matching students with companies. So essentially I was doing Landing.jobs but focused on my small little world. I guessed it and had to happen for me. As for José, he has hired two thousand people in his life. He managed a lot of careers, so I just guessed at some point we would go into a business like this. We just didn’t know it was going to be together. We have 19 years age gap. He has two more decades than me, so that helps.
“I think it was important to come up with alternatives to the .COM monopoly.”
MC: Your website uses the new top level-domain .JOBS, the same way we do .NEWS. How do you feel about the growth of the new TLD industry over the next few years
PO: I think it was important to come up with alternatives to the .COM monopoly. I think the public is not yet ready for new TLDs, but in the tech industry everybody’s fine: .IO, .JOBS, .NET, .ORG, .NEWS.
I just felt it made sense for us. After we raised some venture capital, we did a re-branding process and the domain was always there as an eventual path to go. We didn’t stay with the .COM because that would limit us a lot. And the name Landing.jobs just came after that rebranding process.
“We don’t have to aim to be the next Berlin, the next London or the next Silicon Valley, we have to do our own thing. There’s a lot of things to do yet. Web Summit is a really great opportunity and it’s going to be 2 years in a row, so we got to take it. We’ve got to take those days to make contacts.”
MC: The world keeps talking about Lisbon startups. Journalists tend to like to draw comparisons to Silicon Valley. What’s your view about the current evolution of new startups in Portugal?
PO: If you compare Lisbon today to 6 years ago, it’s an astronomical difference. I mean, there are so many more startups. Just the whole ecosystem like incubators, accelerators and the government as well. Everybody is moving in the same direction. Especially in Lisbon, Porto Braga, and Coimbra. Basically, I just see there’s so much space to grow. Especially because I live in London, I see what we can aim for. We don’t have to aim to be the next Berlin, the next London or the next Silicon Valley, we have to do our own thing. There are a lot of things to do yet. Web Summit is a really great opportunity and it’s going to be 2 years in a row, so we got to take it. We’ve got to take those days to make contacts. When I say us, I say the whole startup industry and more than that, the tech industry, everything.
“The unique selling point is that we, Landing.jobs, know tech. We know tech professionals, we know how to get them hired and how to land them jobs.”
MC: Your website says recruiting to be a rewarding process for everyone. What’s the value proposition your company brings to the market and the added value for both employees and employers?
PO: OK, so the USP (Unique selling point) basically is that we, Landing.jobs, know tech. We know tech professionals, we know how to get them hired, how to land them jobs. I and José have a technical background, so we really know the industry. That’s why we decided to create Landing.jobs. In the beginning, it was not a recruiting marketplace, I’m not going there. I’m just saying that we are the target and we know what they want. I have to say compared to all the competitors out there, whether it’s the typical competitors, startups, online businesses, whatever. I would say that the key difference, and that translates into the product that we built is the fact that it focuses on tech, not anything else. We had a moment in our life when we tried to focus on sales and marketing and it didn’t work out. So we focused on what we’re good, and we’re good at tech recruitment.
“We review all applications to make sure that a candidate application matches a job offer.”
MC: Can you summarize the candidate process for us? For instance, an employee who whats to get a job, what does it have to do?
PO: From the candidate perspective it’s very simple. They can search and look for jobs or if we detect they’re really top-notch, we give you a call and say, look you’re in the top five percent. We actually onboard them via phone, which is actually the best onboarding you can give someone. We can’t do that with everyone but we can do that with the top five percent of candidates.
As for the rest, they can still do the whole process for themselves, it’s automatic. We just make sure for the candidates, and this is an important point, we review all applications to make sure that a candidate application matches a job offer. We guarantee that and that benefits the company because they know they are vouched by us. And for the candidates, they know that they have our vouch for the company and that we do the engagement afterward. So it’s beneficial for everyone. The idea is that anyone has a really rewarding experience when they’re changing jobs or careers.
MC: What about the employers. How does the process work?
PO: On the employer side they have to post their job offers and choose the model they want. There are a couple of models, one is the pay-per-hire model which is a similar model to agencies. So they pay on hire and have some extended guarantees. We also have a pay per application model. This one is slightly cheaper than the pay-per-hire model but doesn’t include account management, pre-screening, and sourcing. The pay-per-hire model is a bit more full-stack.
“Our long-term goal is to be the best and biggest tech jobs company in Europe.”
MC: Where do you see your company going over the next 5 to 10 years?
PO: Our goal is to be the best and biggest tech jobs company in Europe. That’s our long-term goal. In terms of vision, it’s different and it’s related to the career management I was talking about before. On top of the marketplace, we want to build a career management tool for tech professionals and the two will work really well together. The career management will try to steer tech professionals careers throughout their lives with tools, content, access to people, the advice they need and whenever they need it. And when they need to change jobs, they’ll go to the marketplace to connect with each other.
MC: One thing I found amusing was the Landing.jobs festival. What’s that about? A big party boat with everybody?
PO: Yes, so we only did two until today. One in 2015 and one this year. To be honest, the first year I had no idea what we were going to do, it was more of a brand awareness thing. We had just changed our name to Landing.jobs.
“If you want to be the biggest tech jobs marketplace in Europe you need the proper branding right? So we went for landing.jobs and it works.”
MC: What was the previous name?
PO: The previous name was Job Box. I invented it. I was a computer science engineer and didn’t know anything about branding at all, but it was enough in the beginning. If you want to be the biggest tech jobs marketplace in Europe you need the proper branding, right? So we went for landing.jobs and it works. We did the festival to revamp that, to tell the market Landing.jobs is here and we’re going to make some moves and it was amazing. Now this year, it was like three times bigger and we had 4 boats on the Tagus river, we had the Lisbon marina, we had 30 companies, half of that were outside Portugal. We had a thousand candidates coming over, 20 percent were internationals. We had people from Brazil, flying over just for the festival. It was great. And I hope next year we can do 2 or 3 times bigger and better.
MC: Pedro, thank you for this interview.
PO: Thanks for having me.