The labor market in Latin America is large and complex. Our team — 2 designers and 2 management consultants — examined this space from the perspective of employers and the employed, students and job seekers. The team listened to many stories and points of view, and identified interesting insights and opportunities for innovation. They developed concepts and tested and refined in the market until two ideas, once to help salespeople connect with jobs, and another around car repair centers, began to take shape.

The Journey

From conversations to ideas to MVP

Understanding the labor market

Of the 23 million people able to work in Colombia, only about half have formal employment. 40% are informally employed, and 10% unemployed. Of formal workers, one third change jobs annually. These dynamics result in widespread career uncertainty, and the market is made opaque by factors like the disconnect between education and industry, and a worker bias of unrealistic growth expectations.

A desire for clarity, opportunity, and growth

Many in Colombia have trouble finding, stable, fulfilling careers. For job seekers, profiling oneself in the best light is difficult through available employment search channels. Employers, as well, waste time and energy recruiting the wrong talent. Once one has found a steady job, substantial growth opportunities are limited due to a lack of large, professional corporations in emerging economies like LatAm.

Opportunities and Iterations

The team brainstormed and tested hundreds of ideas with users. One concept was Vincu, a specialized employment platform for job and talent seekers, cutting down on time-to-hire while improving UX. Another concept loftily proposed to provide quality, growth careers through the creation of a chain corporation that could consolidate a fragmented, informal market, like the auto repair industry.

The ventures today

After numerous rounds of testing validation, the team realized that an employment tool with a narrowed focus could provide more value to job and talent seekers. Vincu became VincuVentas, a marketplace platform for careers in sales, a substantial segment of the labor force. Autolab is a chain of car care centers providing quality, growth jobs in shop operations, sales, technology and management.

The Team

Labor & Employment 2013

Kevin McElroy
Advisor @ Polymath

Salvador Zepeda
Founder & CEO @ Autolab

Bart Verschoor
Founder & CEO @ Vincu

Catalina Alzate