By Chrisl Welsch
Claudio and Roberto Sponchioni, brothers from Milan, came up with the idea for their social enterprise four years ago after facing the same problem from different angles.
Roberto was working in Dublin in information technology, and a friend asked him if he could help him with his job search. Roberto was surprised at how limited the options were online for helping his friend. There wasn’t an easy, systematic way to match his friend’s skills with what jobs might be available, nor was there a way to get a clear picture of the job market in the larger sense.
At the time, his brother Claudio was working for one of the largest European staffing firms as a project manager in Milan. And from his side of the issue — working on labour policy projects aimed at supporting ways for job seekers to get hired — he was also seeing a big gap in the market.
Together they started talking about creating an online toolbox that would help both job seekers, the institutions that serve them, and companies looking for employees. After two years of research, working nights and weekends, the result was Jobiri, a digital career advisor that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help job seekers and employers make a good match.
“Right now the situation is very traditional,” Claudio said on a sunny summer afternoon in Jobiri’s workspace in central Milan. If you’re looking for a job and you need support, “you have to sit across from a real person who is supposed to tell you what to do, or if you do it by yourself there is a high risk that you make mistakes, waste time and lengthen the job search.” But the brothers realised that model was being overwhelmed by rising levels of demand.
“We understood there was an opportunity. … Right now people have to change jobs seven to 10 times in their lifetime,” he said. “The career support institutions — schools, staffing firms, employment centres — aren’t able to support all those people physically.”
The platform that the Sponchioni brothers built is a one-stop shop for job hunters, who pay a small monthly fee for access to the website or gain access for free through one of the institutions that serve them. In one place, job seekers can get career coaching, advice, and find job opportunities.