Irishman John O'Donoghue never dreamed he'd end up running a website when he moved to Jamaica to be an insurance adjuster.
But that's exactly what he's doing now, after being approached by some associates who were looking for someone to run their jobs website. That was last May and since then, Mr. O'Donoghue, SplashJamaica. com's CEO, has made the job posting site — not unlike Monster.com — the go-to place for Jamaica-based employers, as well as local and overseas job seekers.
Splash is looking to expand into other Caribbean markets and also into Bermuda. "We're very excited about Bermuda, because from our feedback, we heard that it would be a good place to do business," Mr. O'Donoghue said.
Splash will enter a fairly crowded market, with a number of local sites, some of them well established, already featuring or specializing in recruitment ads.
As for when Splash would have a presence here, Mr. O'Donoghue said a conservative estimate was two-to-three months.
"If possible, we want all locals," he said.
Each new market would use the Splash trademark but localize the domain name; the job site here would be SplashBermuda.com.
The goal is to eventually have a presence in every major island market in the region and to streamline the site so that visitors first have to select a country before continuing.
The site's launch in Jamaica faced challenges, Mr. O'Donoghue said, but the pace with which the site caught on convinced employers to get on board.
"When a local employer sees other local employers are already using [the site], then it sells itself," he said.
SplashJamaica now averages 1,500 hits by first-time visitors a day and just under 10,000 hits a week, according to Mr. O'Donoghue.
"We're delighted with the outcome. We wouldn't have had the capital funding without the success we've had in Jamaica."
The site makes its money by selling site space to employers, whose job postings also act as advertising for a particular company. Employers can buy one 28-day posting, or three, six or 12 month packages.
"[Employers] essentially own the space," Mr. O'Donoghue said, adding that jobs of all types are posted.
Job seekers can post their resumes on the site free of charge; companies will often search for the type of employee they desire, rather than post an ad.
So why the name Splash? "It doesn't mean anything," Mr. O'Donoghue said. "Like Yahoo or Google, they're just words. Splash is kind of a Caribbean word … something you just remember."