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  When it comes to job search and recruitment needs, one company that has come to be known as a one-stop portal for these is Jobberman. Established with a clear vision to bridge the gap between job seekers and employers, Jobberman has risen to become Nigeria’s leading job portal. The story of Jobberman’s rise to becoming a globally recognized brand is not just inspiring but also rich with lessons for Nigerian startups. These lessons centre on collaboration, innovation, resilience, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. In this article, we will take a closer look at the journey of Jobberman, beginning with the visionary minds behind its success some of the challenges they have overcome, and the remarkable achievements it has garnered along the way. Also, we will consider some lessons from their story for startups in Nigeria today.
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The Genesis of Nigeria’s Top Job Portal

Jobberman was founded in 2009 by three enterprising university students: Ayodeji Adewunmi, Opeyemi Awoyemi, and Olalekan Olude. The trio, who were then studying at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, saw a significant gap in the job market and decided to do something about it. Traditional methods of job searching were cumbersome, often unreliable, and not tailored to the digital age. They conceived the idea of a platform that would streamline the process, making it easier for job seekers to find opportunities and for employers to find the right talent. Similar to the founding story of Facebook, they set out in a small apartment with limited resources, driven by nothing more than their passion and the potential impact of their idea. They faced the typical startup challenges: securing funding, building a reliable platform, and gaining the trust of their target market (both job seekers and employers). Jobberman was one of the first job portals in Nigeria to leverage the power of the internet and mobile technology, making it accessible to a broader audience. So, their early success was partly due to their innovative use of technology. Their platform was user-friendly, and over the years they have continuously improved their services based on user feedback, which has helped them stay ahead of the competition. Today, Jobberman is not just a job portal but a comprehensive career development platform. They have expanded their services to include career advice, CV writing, and interview preparation. One of their key focus areas is providing training and upskilling opportunities. They understand that the job market is changing every day, and equipping job seekers with the necessary skills is crucial. Jobberman has also launched initiatives to support youth employment in Nigeria. Their “Jobberman Youth Engagement and Learning Program” aims to provide young Nigerians with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the job market. This program offers various online courses, workshops, and seminars, aimed at helping the youth become well-prepared for the challenges of the modern job market.

Challenges Faced Building Nigeria’s Top Job Portal

Despite their success, the journey has not been without its challenges. One of the significant hurdles Jobberman faced was the scepticism towards online job portals. In a country where internet penetration was initially low and trust in online services was limited, convincing people to use their platform was a monumental task. Additionally, they had to compete with established traditional and already established recruitment methods such as newspaper listings and other emerging online platforms. However, their commitment to quality service, coupled with strategic marketing and partnerships, helped them overcome these obstacles. They worked tirelessly to build a reputation for reliability and trustworthiness, which eventually paid off.

Some Achievements Recorded

Over the years, Jobberman has achieved several milestones that underscore its status as Nigeria’s top job portal. They have connected millions of job seekers with potential employers and have become a go-to resource for career development. Their platform boasts thousands of job listings across various sectors, catering to both entry-level and experienced professionals.
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About two years after they launched, Jobberman attracted the attention of  Tiger Global, a New York-based fund, that has significant investments in Facebook and LinkedIn. The Fund became an investor in Jobberman. In 2020, Jobberman was recognized by LinkedIn as one of the top startups in Nigeria. This accolade was a testament to their impact and influence in the job market. They have also been instrumental in several governmental and non-governmental initiatives aimed at reducing unemployment in Nigeria. One of the most significant achievements of Jobberman is the partnership that led to The African Talent Company (TATC), a Joint Venture between Switzerland’s largest international Media company, Ringier, and SEEK, a global leader in career marketplaces which is listed on the Australian stock exchange. Today, with branches in Nigeria (Jobberman Nigeria), Ghana (Jobberman Ghana), Uganda (Brighter Monday Uganda), and Kenya (Brighter Monday Kenya), now all under the African Talent Company, Jobberman has continued to expand their reach across Africa, making them a key player in the continent’s job market.

Lessons from Jobberman’s Journey for Other Nigerian Startups

1. Collaboration and Teamwork
Success is often a team effort. The founders of Jobberman leveraged their strengths and worked collaboratively to turn their vision into reality. Building a strong team with complementary skills is crucial. As a startup founder, you must understand that having in place a culture of collaboration can drive innovation in your company and help you overcome obstacles more effectively.
2. Be Innovative in Your Approach
There is no gain in reinventing the wheel. Jobberman’s success is rooted in its innovative approach to job searching, utilizing the internet and mobile technology to make the process more efficient and accessible. For you as a founder, innovation should be at the heart of all your operations. Continuously seek out new technologies and methods to improve your product or service offerings.
3. Maintain Resilience in the Face of Challenges
The journey to building any business that will be both profitable and sustainable isn’t an easy one. Jobberman faced numerous challenges, from scepticism towards online job portals to competition with traditional recruitment methods. Their resilience and adaptability were key to their success. You need to understand this, challenges are inevitable. Develop resilience and be prepared to pivot when necessary. Persistence and adaptability can turn potential setbacks into growth opportunities.
4. Focus on User Experience
Jobberman’s user-friendly platform and continuous improvements based on user feedback helped them gain and retain a large user base. This is one of the secrets of Facebook (Meta). They are continually seeking out ways to improve their user experience through feedback from their users. So, prioritize your customers’ needs and continuously seek feedback to improve their experience. A satisfied customer base can be a significant driver of growth and success.
5. Seek Out Strategic Partnerships
Over the years, Jobberman has invested in building strategic partnerships with businesses and educational institutions. One of such partnerships is what led to the birth of The African Talent Company. Forming strategic alliances can provide access to new markets, resources, and expertise. So, as a startup, seek out partnerships that align with your goals and have greater chances of enhancing your growth prospects.
6. Adapt to Market Needs
One of the remarkable things to note about Jobberman’s rise to becoming the top Job portal in Nigeria is how it has continuously evolved its services to meet the changing demands of the job market, from job listings to comprehensive career development resources. What is the lesson here for you as a startup founder? Stay attuned to market trends and be willing to adapt your offerings to meet the evolving needs of your customers. Flexibility can help you stay relevant and competitive.
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Concluding Thoughts

Jobberman’s journey from a university dorm room to becoming Nigeria’s leading job portal is a story of vision, perseverance, and innovation. Their ability to adapt to the changing job market and their commitment to providing value-added services have set them apart. As a startup founder in Nigeria, learning from Jobberman’s journey can help you navigate your path to success, drawing inspiration from the strategies and principles that have made Jobberman the top job portal in Nigeria and probably, Africa.
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This article was first published on 17th June 2024


Ifegwu-Mbonu Victor is a Personal Growth and Leadership Trainer who provides training and coaching to individuals and organizations.

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