working in palo alto

This is a guest post by contributor Angela Swartz

Indeed,, Craigslist, Simply Hired and Careerbuilder. What do they all have in common? These job search sites cater to a broad range of career seekers looking for internships, part-time and full-time work. Palo Alto startup hopes to break this model, offering up a part-time employment specific site, starting in San Francisco Bay Area cites.

Launched in beta this month, JobArrive’s founder and CEO Tomoe Ishizumi, 31, worked for Google until this past December. She got the idea for the website four months prior to departing her job as a senior strategist working on Google Shopping. This isn’t her first business venture though, she founded the Toyko, Japan startup incubator Salop&Co. and participated in a variety of Japanese non-profits.

For now, JobArrive features retail and office type jobs, primarily in San Francisco, San Jose and Palo Alto, geared toward those looking for one to 34 hours of work per week. Ishizumi just began to seek out funding for their first seed round to raise as much as they need to expand operations to acquire employers, expand geography and open a Palo Alto office.

She said the website stems from witnessing her New York-based opera singer mother struggle to find a part-time singing gig. This, along with her own half year of unemployment after graduating from Harvard Business School in 2010, inspired her to want to help others find part-time work more efficiently.

Ishizumi said the company’s business model is one of the ways they are differentiated from similar existing job listing sites. JobArrive pays customers $10 if they get a job, while businesses pay for advertising only after they hire people from the site. This is a $50 fee, which she said would make her potential market size billion of dollars if the number of part-time jobs matches up to the number of part-time job seekers.

According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, as of February 2013, there were about 26 million Americans looking for part-time jobs a year, which could double when turnover is taken into consideration.

“I knew from my experience that it takes time and a lot of iterations to hire great people, so I wanted to build a product that addresses employer’s needs and concerns,” she said. The site will give a full refund to employers if the hired person leaves soon after they are hired.

“Part-time jobs can help people who are in transition, trying to pursue their dreams or just need something to support themselves,” she continued.

The primary competitors are job-search sites specialized in hourly jobs in certain industries, like Snagajob and Shiftgig. She said a big problem with other job sites is that they redirect users to third party sites to apply for work, whereas one can apply for jobs on the JobArrive site and save their data there.

“The biggest difference is our focus on part-time jobs, business model and design. We don’t charge upfront fees to employers,” Ishizumi said.

She is running the production bootstrapped with only interns. Post-funding, she will be seeking software engineers and salespeople who know the small business space.

Ishizumi said the biggest challenge will be growing the content and keeping the quality of applicants at a certain level. She wants to maintain the close relationship with both employers and applicants, which she sees as the key to success and what differentiates her job-search site.

angela swartzAngela Swartz is a former city news editor for The California Aggie at UC Davis. She has written for several branches of the hyperlocalized online local news source as a freelancer and sometimes guest editor. Her work has also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle’s business section.

Follow her on Twitter @angelaswartz 

Top image / Angela Swartz