Q&A with Javier Ortiz, COO of Mitula

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After a mere four and a half years in existence, the Spanish job search engine Mitula exists in 36 countries. eFinancialCareers talks to COO Javier Ortiz about the company’s history and how the way we look for jobs is changing.

So, what exactly is Mitula?

Mitula is a vertical search engine – a search engine that focuses on a specific type of content – for classified adverts. It’s basically the Google of classifieds and it deals with adverts for jobs, motor vehicles and real estate. The site is essentially a springboard. We get lots of traffic running through our pages, but it doesn’t stay there. Mitula sends the traffic to the webpage with the details of the job advert.

How does it work?

We surf the web and gather content from classified sites from 36 countries around the world. We then crash that data, process it, organise it and present it to users in a way that allows them to search through it easily. We operate slightly differently to other search engines because we form partnerships with the jobs sites we link to. We think of ourselves as a friendly search engine and we pride ourselves on being open and communicative with our partners.

What are the company’s origins?

I’m not one of the founders, but I joined Mitula when the whole company could still fit in one taxi. And I only joined in January 2010! Mitula was started by three internet entrepreneurs, who spent the late 90s and early 2000s setting up various internet companies. They learned a lot about how the internet works – search engines, SEO, web publishing and online media. They noticed that aggregators had started to spring up in the US and other places in Europe – firstly with news, travel and hotels, and more recently with classifieds. It all went from there.

Why is Mitula different from other job sites?

Our jobs search engine isn’t actually our strongest area. There are quite a lot of job advert aggregators out there, so there’s more competition. But that doesn’t mean that our jobs function is weak. We are still unique. We have access to 30 million job adverts in total, so it’s a pretty complete offer of what is out there. We tend to think that our usability is second to none and our design is very much liked by users.

Has the way people approach a job search changed?

It has changed so much and I don’t think job sites have adapted to it yet. The way companies advertise jobs online is still very old school – just a description of the tasks involved – but I think the way people approach jobs has changed since the financial crisis. People are more and more conscious that a job isn’t for life. They want a job to teach them new skills and give them new experiences. Some companies have adapted and frame their job opportunities as ways for individuals to accomplish personal goals while accomplishing the goals of the company. The places that have taken this new approach are the ones that attract the best talent.

Are there differences between the various markets you operate in?

There are obviously more job seekers in some countries than in others. In places like Spain there is a huge demand for jobs. It’s actually a good opportunity for our site because employers aren’t spending as much money on distributing their job adverts, but there are still a lot of talented people looking for jobs! In financial services, in particular, there are some brilliant people desperate for a job, where two or three years ago they were stars in their own sectors.

Are you confident about Mitula’s future?

I am confident. Four out of six of the world’s top websites are search engines and investors are starting to view vertical search engines as great investment opportunities. These days there’s so much information out there that it’s difficult to tell right from wrong. With Mitula you get a very precise and objective view of what the best information out there is. Mitula acts as a filter and stops a user from getting lost in the noise.

For more information, visit Mitula's website

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