Karoli Hindriks, 34, has lived over half of her life as an entrepreneur. She founded her first company at 16, and later created an agency to bring channels such as MTV, Fox and NatGeo to the Baltic region. Now she is the CEO of Jobbatical, a cross-border hiring platform that is celebrating its third birthday this week. I caught up with Karoli to talk about her experiences and what she is bringing to the stage at Slush 2017.
Jobbatical has grown greatly during its three years of existence. They have organizations in 49 countries, connecting to talent in all but two countries in the world. The idea came from Hindriks’ personal experiences at a Singularity University summer course in Silicon Valley.
“I call my summer in Silicon Valley my own ‘jobbatical’: a sabbatical with a job!” Hindriks recalls her studies in California. “When I was there, I wondered why people come specifically here, to create world changing companies. I started to think about my own life and the opportunities of talent mobility across global networks. What if we could distribute knowledgeable people across the world, wherever they are needed?”
Jobbatical is more than just a job-listing service. Hindriks and her global team have geared it to prepare for how talent mobility can change the global society as we know it.
“We are building a borderless world through jobs, and we do it by connecting the community of ready-to-relocate tech and creative talent to the employers lacking skills locally,” she describes Jobbatical’s vision.
When we change the way we work, we will change society…
Immigration is also a part of the phenomenon: “In 32 countries, we are also able to help with immigration. As every seventh person on the planet is a migrant, this is an age of high human mobility. In this era, people decide where to move, and they will define where economies will succeed. I’m curious to see how the roles of nation states and cities will change in the next 10 years.”
Hindriks’ goal is to solve how talent mobility can be used to create an equal and diverse talent pool globally. An important mission, considering how much the world of work will transform in the coming years. While technology can set us free however, Hindriks does raise a concern about how people would use that freedom.
“Today, education is more accessible than ever. A teenager with a smartphone has access to more information than Bill Clinton did during his presidency,” Hindriks elaborates on how the world has already changed. “We have access to information that people used to pay thousands of dollars for, in tuition fees. On top of this, automation can free humans to use their creative capacities. So people have the resources and the time. The problem is how to guide them in using these resources.”
Working with Slush every step of the way
Hindriks’ journey with Jobbatical has a long history with Slush too. “I started to work on Jobbatical when my daughter was 1 year old. I came to Slush in 2013, looking for other ideas to be a part of, but I left knowing that my idea, which would turn into Jobbatical was the one I need to follow,” she explains.
“In Slush 2014, I was pitching in the FiBAN pitching competition and got my first investors. The year after that, I was a keynote speaker!”