Jobbatical hooks employers seeking short-term employees up with those on sabbatical leave

jobbaticalEven if you have a job you love, you can encounter stress or simply feel a need for something different. Some may opt to take a break to volunteer, some may head to the beach for awhile, but others may head in search of a fresh, if temporary, start with a new company. Jobbatical is an Estonian startup aiming to connect employers with highly-skilled individuals who may be looking for a new challenge as they step away from their usual job. 

In order to get started, users can browse positions or search by by title, location (mainly United States or Estonia at this point, but also positions in South Africa, Germany, and the United Kingdom), or by company. Clicking on a position, users see basically all the information that they would want to know about the position. The length of time, location, compensation, perks, information about the company, etc. Users can apply for the position right in the window, but they are first expected to click on listed requirements if they do not satisfy them, in order to tell the company a bit about your 

A number of the positions listed are for 12 months, giving the employees enough time to get settled in the job before needing to move on again. And speaking off settling in, the job postings include an OpenMaps guide to the destination city, so prospective employees can get an idea of their new city before jumping into the position. Jobbatical does not interfere in the actual hiring process, preferring to let employers post their vacancies and deal directly with applicants. The startup opted for a quiet launch on October 22 and CEO and co-founder Karoli Hindriks told me that the number of users who signed up for the beta was “more than they expected,” but they are not revealing figures at the moment.

Hindriks tells a common entreneurship tale with regards to the origins of the company. Namely, she herself took a sabbatical from her position as regional CEO of Fox International Channels two years ago, as she has been working extensively as a television executive and wanted a bit of a break. She soon discovered that lounging on the beach did not particularly suit her, but was disappointed to find a dearth of good options, as most short-term work seemed geared towards people willing to do manual labor or teenagers doing their gap year before they head off to university. Ultimately, she says that she connected with a startup and flew out to Silicon Valley. Even though she would go on to work 14-16 hours daily at that company, she tells me that she found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of her life and decided that she wanted to see if she could help others. In March, she began to conduct market research and then, together with Allan Maeots and brother Ronald Hindriks set out to build a platform for connecting companies seeking short-term employees and highly-skilled individuals who may fill the work.

Just recently, the company closed a seed round for 260K Euro with Estonian early-stage venture fund SmartCap and a handful of individual investors.

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