Recruitment marketplace Emprego Ligado has been helping Brazilians find employment by the million, all thanks to the explosion in cellphone usage across Latin America. Backed since 2012 by a number of high profile investors, the firm has just won Series A funding from a new rash of venture capitalists. The funding - to the tune of $7 million - will be used for continental expansion.
If Brazil is anything to go by, Emprego Ligado’s expansion across the region will prove fruitful. Founder Jacob Rosnbloom claims to have created more than 2 million interview opportunities for blue-collar workers during 2014; 18% of them were offered a job the first day they signed up. Even more crucially in a country where long commutes are commonplace, he has helped jobseekers find work closer to home (within an average of two and a half miles, according to Rosenbloom). The proximity of worker to workplace is helping companies and employees cut thousands in costs.
The international expansion of Emprego Ligado is not indicative of a major shift in the company’s model, which asks users to upload resumes and filter job opportunities via text message. The process takes just a few minutes. By opening the recruitment process to citizens for whom the only connectivity tech they possess is a feature phone, Emprego Ligado has increased potential job matches ten fold.
Rosenbloom is almost as passionate about his role in reducing commute times as he is helping people find jobs in the first place. “People will spend over 3 hours a day in traffic to get to the downtown area for work,” says Rosenbloom. His idea was to enable people to find work closer to home so they can “spend more time with their families, be more productive at work and stay longer in their jobs.”
By turning text messaging into a recruitment tool, Emprego Ligado has contributed to Latin America’s employment boom. In Brazil - where only 7.5% of the population has a data plan - such growth wouldn’t be possible without SMS. Millions of nationals have found gainful employment using the platform, and as they expand across Latin America, millions more hope to do the same.