The new Estonian startup, Jobbatical, is unique as a marketplace for short-term jobs with life-changing experiences, matchmaking between employees looking to take a working sabbatical and employers looking for a shot of creative talent for a short-term gig.
The world of work is changing, and who else would be at the leading edge but an Estonian start-up. Jobbatical, first highlighted by Estonian World earlier this year, has now launched to the public, supported by €260,000 angel funding from the early stage venture fund, SmartCap, and six angel investors. Jobbatical is unique as a marketplace for short-term jobs with life-changing experiences, matchmaking between employees looking to take a working sabbatical and employers looking for a shot of creative talent for a short-term gig.
Inspiration for the concept comes from personal experience, as Karoli Hindriks, CEO of Jobbatical, explains. Having taken her own sabbatical some years into a successful career as a TV executive, Hindriks quickly found that the prospect of an extended break sipping cocktails on a beach was actually not all that appealing to a young professional used to the stimulus and challenge of working life. And yet, when she searched for interesting and enriching opportunities for short-term work, she found her choices limited to the sort of fruit-picking, pint-pulling jobs more aimed at teenage gap year travellers than young professionals.
Hindriks resolved this challenge by taking herself to Silicon Valley and arranging her own “jobbatical” with a start-up there; an experience which gave her the opportunity to explore a new area and industry, make new friends and contacts, and still return refreshed from the break from her regular job. The experience set her thinking.
Her research proved that she was not alone in her desire for fulfilling work during her sabbatical; and also that employers could benefit hugely from being able to use the new, globally mobile talent pool created by the rise in numbers of professionals taking sabbaticals.
“Four out of ten companies in the UK and close to three out of ten in the US allow sabbatical breaks for their employees, and six out of ten of the people planning to take a career break would like to work on an interesting project. There is an unused pool of talent out there which organisations across the globe could use to bring new ideas and skills on board,” she explains.
And so, Jobbatical was born with the aim to become the world’s leading professional short-term hiring platform focusing on full on-board experiences.
With opportunities currently being offered including a chance to become a spokesperson for a charitable organisation working to save rhinos in South Africa, become a game animator in Berlin or a developer in Silicon Valley, the value of Jobbatical for professionals seeking a short term gig is obvious.
Key to the appeal of Jobbatical for recruiting employers is the quality and motivation of the professionals they can access this way for short-term hires. Unlike traditional interim and contract agencies, which tend to operate on a functional level, Jobbatical offers appointments that can be seen as lifestyle choices as much as career opportunities, with significant benefits for the individual in terms of personal development, social life and expanding professional horizons. As such, the talent pool accessible through Jobbatical will naturally include individuals who would not be tempted to look at short term positions through traditional agencies, opening up a different, global pool of top talent for the benefit of employers across the world.
With the “war for talent” raging on, and now fought on a battlefield without national borders, it makes sense that successful organisations need to use all means available to tempt the right people for them – and Jobbatical could be a useful tool in the armoury of any modern recruiter. Sabbaticals are already well established in mainstream employers, and their use set to increase, so the marketplace created and cornered by Jobbatical could well see them become another of the Estonian Mafia’s great successes.