Professional Diversity Network
Jim Kirsch and Rudy Martinez
For the past decade, Hispanics reaching for the next rung in Corporate America have turned to iHispano.com
, the country's largest job board and networking website focused on Hispanic professionals. Convinced that iHispano's formula could be replicated to create further popular sites for multicultural talent seeking jobs, its founder, Rudy Martinez, a former executive recruiter, partnered with serial entrepreneur Jim Kirsch in 2004. In 2007 they founded Professional Diversity Network to do that, using about $2.1 million of their own money. Simultaneously, they launched AMighty River.com for African Americans, and the site quickly gained traction. To keep up with demand for job postings on AMightyRiver and iHispano, the duo that year struck a licensing deal with Monster.com
, whereby the career listings giant pays PDN to post its jobs. Today, Kirsch, 49, and Martinez, 50, say PDN's two sites list over 90,000 jobs and have nearly 850,000 registered users, with around 5,000 new users joining on peak days. In addition, 12 professional associations, including the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, use PDN's software to build and run their own internal job boards. Kirsch says the 16-employee, Chicago-based business is profitable, had over $5 million in revenue in 2009, and is on track for a 38 percent increase in revenue in 2010. By mid-2011, he expects the percentage of revenue from corporate sponsorships and Monster to be about equal. Up next: an interactive tool that guides career-seekers to education providers and recruiters, plus new sites for women, Asians, American Indians, veterans, and people with disabilities.
—Nick Leiber (posted on August 4, 2010)