Thanks to the zillions of bright ideas brought to life by startups popping up all over the city, Barcelona has a homegrown app or website to help you solve pretty much any problem whatsoever (you’ll know this if you follow our stories). We’ve discovered yet another promising startup that’s making headway in the recruitment field – what’s more, they’re specialized in junior profiles. Whether you’re a tech student looking for opportunities to kick-start your career, or a startup in search of young candidates to join your team, Workkola is your genie in a bottle.
The Case of the Tech Talent Pool and the Jobless Student
Anyone who’s ever tried to hire a developer or an engineer can tell you about the remarkable paradox that rules the global tech talent market: there are more open positions than could ever be filled by the disproportionately small number of available talent, but, the next generation of tech all-stars, who are still fresh graduates or undergraduates, are having trouble finding work due to lack of professional experience.
It is true that a lot of young people in their twenties suddenly find themselves in the middle of a third-life crisis when they finally complete their studies and realize that they have zero work experience and absolutely no clue what to do next. However, not all kids are late-bloomers when it comes to career considerations. Some of them like to think ahead and make an effort to lay the foundations of their future professional lives. Some are even willing to work for free in exchange for some relevant professional experience and the hope that they’ll get hired once they graduate. The trouble is, searching for such opportunities often results in a lot of time wasted on bumping into walls and meeting dead ends.
Bridging the Gap Between Students and Startups
How can a student find a company that’s willing to train them? Wouldn’t it be in everyone’s best interest to provide these half-baked, kind of raw-in-the-middle, but highly motivated young technophiles with a chance to learn actual skills and invest their energy in things that companies can benefit from?
We have some good news: this is exactly what Workkola, a young startup based in Barcelona is trying to do. They understand how desperate the situation can get even for students who are hard-working and full of action, and they’ve also recognized that there is a market that hungers for exactly the type of readiness and freshness that students have to offer.
“Workkola is a platform connecting students specialized in tech profiles – designers, developers, online marketers – with startups, young companies that are always short on both money and time, and are always looking for young candidates with lower salary expectations to join their team,” explains Giorgio Fidei, a young growth hacker in charge of business development for Workkola, who was hired through the company’s own platform.
So how does it work?
“Startups can publish projects on our platform. They have two options: they can either publish a basic project, which is a remote collaboration with students, or a recruiting project, if they’re not only looking for someone to collaborate with, but also for someone to hire after the project is finished. The latter option basically serves as a pre-assessment process before hiring. Then, the students whose skills match the ones required for each project can apply to it, and if they get selected, they’ll be the ones to deliver value to the startup,” Giorgio adds.
Bridging the gap between students and startups is something that should have been done long ago, and it’s easy to see how this can benefit both parties.
“It’s a win-win situation, because nowadays, students really need to prepare before entering the job market. Your university degree doesn’t say anything about what you can do, and it doesn’t differentiate you from the crowd. With the help of Workkola, you can start building your own network, building a portfolio, and developing your skill set, while you are still in the process of completing your studies. And startups can get access to highly motivated students who are aware that they need to do something if they want to succeed in the job market. This kind of motivation is something that adds a lot to their productivity. Both sides need each other, and we facilitate the process so that they can find one another easily,” Giorgio sums up.
Bright Days Ahead for Workkola
As for what their plans for the future are, Giorgio highlights:
“Our primary goal is to consolidate our market here in Spain. We were incubated in Boston, so we have some startups and students registered from there, but of course, our main market is here. In the long term, we would like to scale up, because the problem that Workkola is meant to solve is common in most European countries. In Spain, there’s an unemployment rate of 45% among young people, and the same problem exists in Italy and Portugal as well. We have also been speaking with schools in England and Denmark, and we keep hearing positive feedback. Our platform seems to be something that many technology schools would need,” he says.
Workkola, recently accelerated by Startupbootcamp, is based in Poblenou, with a team of five working on connecting startups and students. They are currently searching for a Social Media Manager and a Web Analytics Manager to join their team, and of course they’re looking for students too, using their own platform.
Girogio believes that right now, Barcelona is the ideal place to be for a young startup.
“It is one of the best places to be in Europe for innovation and digitalization. Based on what I’ve noticed so far, there are many accelerators, business angels and VCs, and there is a lot of value in the network that you can create here. It’s definitely a booming startup hub,” he concludes.
Do you have your own startup story to share? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, we’d love to hear it!