As I was writing earlier this morning, I heard The Boss (on Grooveshark) tell the audience at the Apollo Theater that he was playing in part to bring, “a whoop-ass session on the recession.” In his own way, CEO James Brookner is looking to do the same. He’s co-founder of the startup JobVidi, a social media recruiting tool.
Brookner hopes to swing his own wrecking ball through the obstacles that keep job seekers and recruiters from finding one another. He likens JobVidi to “LinkedIn on steroids.” Job seekers sign in to JobVidi through LinkedIn–hurrah, you don’t have to create a new profile or fill out yet another CV–and use their social network to leverage employment.
Some distinguishing features of JobVidi include a guaranteed response to all job applications. Job candidates can also post anonymously to avoid friction with a current employer, making it more likely for some to spread personal information. And a “Value Request” sent to recruiters gives job seekers on opportunity to assess their general marketability and determine whether it pays to stay put, move on, or transition into another sector.
So far, JobVidi has secured substantial angel funding and was named “Startup of the Week” by Wired Magazine. Brookner took the KillerStartup stage to share his company’s music with the audience and blast away those job-hunting blues.
How did you go about starting your company?
I came up with an idea for a new social recruitment product, which I subsequently pitched to a couple of investors, and people within the social media recruitment sphere. As a group, we picked the idea to pieces and refined it, which lead to the development of the JobVidi product.
When do your best ideas come to you? In bed in the morning? During dinner? After working for 16 hours? While out jogging? On your third beer?
My best ideas usually come to me during the working day. I find that while I am working on JobVidi, I am continually having new ideas on how I would like the business to evolve.
We want to know about where you spend your day! What’s on your desk right now?
I like to keep a fairly clean desk. I have my laptop, a note pad, and of course a cup of coffee.
Favorite book? Author?
The Beach – Alex Garland
Can you share what your latest “WOW” moment was?
Being announced as Wired Magazine’s “Startup of the Week.” As an avid reader and subscriber to the magazine, I was very proud!
What’s your office environment like? Is it the kind of place where everyone is bumping away to house music or is it more traditional?
There is a good ‘buzz’ around our office. Despite it being a very busy, we do find time to kick a ball around, play the occasional prank.
Who or what inspires YOU? Role models? Quotes? Running? Video games? Snack food?
“Above all try something” – Franklin D. Roosevelt. Role models are people like Reid Hoffman and Steve Jobs – true innovators and inspirational entrepreneurs.
Web App or site you couldn’t live without and why:
Twitter… I have become a bit of an addict recently! It’s gone from being a website I used rarely for short snippets of news to becoming our key method and first-port-of-call when contacting Press and investors for JobVidi.
Dogs or cats?
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
It’s rewarding to see a concept that we imagined all those months ago now helping people find jobs in the current competitive climate.
How do you handle frustration? When/how was the last time you dealt with frustration?
I usually take myself to the gym when something becomes too frustrating. I am then able to come back with a clear head and tackle the problem head on. I had a pretty frustrating episode this week where we were trying to add some new functionality to the site, but, despite our developers best efforts, it did not seem to work. Eventually there was a breakthrough, but the afternoon was spent wondering how long it would take…Frustrating!!
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend?
At the moment, we’re looking to raise in the region of $500,000 for further investment in JobVidi–so I think I know what I would do if given that sum of money!
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence pursue yours full steam ahead?
It’s a bit cliché, but I think fear of failure is the biggest block holding people back from pursuing their big ideas. After reading numerous autobiographies of entrepreneurs that I admire, and understanding the number of times these great individuals had failed before eventually succeeding, it gave me the confidence to leave my job and give JobVidi the best chance of succeeding.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
In 5 years time, we picture JobVidi as a market leader in the social recruitment space, at the forefront of innovation, helping millions of people find work all over the world.
We also love to know the fact and figures: revenue, profit, investments, year of funding / amount of funding, number of employees, etc. Any details that you’re comfortable sharing with us?
We’ve raised £100k in angel funding and only launched in July 2012. We haven’t started generating revenue yet.
Where can our readers get a hold of you? Facebook? Twitter? Google+? Personal blog? Any other projects you’re working on that we should check out?
Anything else we should know about that makes you and your company so special?
What makes JobVidi so special is our unique approach to social media recruitment. We spoke to job seekers and tried to understand the key frustrations people currently face when searching for a job online, and built every feature around resolving them.