Andrew Heathcote Rich Lists editor

Andrew is BRW's Rich lists editor and is responsible for the Rich 200 and Young Rich flagship issues. He also reports on matters relating to wealth and investment for BRW and The Australian Financial Review.

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How free beer has helped turn SpotJobs into a major nuisance for its established rivals

Published 18 October 2013 12:10, Updated 21 October 2013 08:22

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How free beer has helped turn SpotJobs into a major nuisance for its established rivals

SpotJobs founders Lewis Romano, left, with Jake Williams. Their employment website is the fourth-biggest in Australia, behind SEEK, CareerOne and MyCareer. Photo: Josh Robenstone

A jobs board started by two twenty-somethings has quickly become the fourth-biggest online classified business for job-seekers in the country.

SpotJobs was founded by Lewis Romano, 26, and Jake Williams, 25, in 2009.

Research from consumer intelligence company Experian suggests that SpotJobs is the fourth-largest dedicated jobs board behind Seek, CareerOne and MyCareer.

While SpotJobs has just 1.5 per cent of the market, its presence in the top four is an impressive achievement for its young founders.

Seek, a $4 billion company, dominates the market while CareerOne and MyCareer are backed by major media companies, News Ltd. and Fairfax Media respectively.

“What’s really important is that we are number one for entry level jobs,” Romano says.

SpotJobs helps casual, part-time and entry level workers find work. Most jobs are based in suburbs as opposed to capital cities and are aimed at people who don’t have a lot of professional experience.

Candidates search for jobs by entering their postcode on the site and stipulating how far they are prepared to travel, when they are prepared to work and whether they want to work indoors or outdoors.

Free beer

The jobs can vary widely. A recently advertised job, since filled, ran with the attention grabbing headline “Do you love beer?” The advertiser in this case was seeking eight beer-tasters for an eight-week taste-testing campaign.

SpotJobs’ average user is 27 and female, Romano says. The largest demographic group is aged between 20 and 30 but Romano says the site attracts also mothers returning to the workforce and retirees.

“Our plan is to be the default provider in our space,” Romano says.

SpotJobs has had over 1500 businesses place at least one ad on the site and there are typically between 3000 and 5000 jobs advertised at any one time. It costs $50 to place a job ad. About 10 per cent of advertisers opt for extras, such as additional promotion on Facebook.

Advertisers have received about 400,000 applications in the past 12 months, most of which have come in the past few months. Revenue has not been disclosed.

Overseas expansion has been considered but is not a priority at this stage. Romano says he has been approached by recruitment businesses in the UK and the Netherlands about bringing the concept to Europe.

Their growth has been partially funded by some of Melbourne’s wealthiest investors. The cornerstone investor is the Simonds family, who own major home builder Simonds Homes. Members of the Smorgon family, who top BRW’s Rich Families list, invested in the business earlier this year.

“The financial performance is pleasing for everyone involved,” Romano says.

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