Written by Irina Belsky
Sydney based startup RecruitLoop aims to provide businesses with a new recruitment solution.
The online recruitment platform lets small and medium businesses hire recruiters based on their experience and charge them by the hour, instead of a commission based rate.
The service, which operates out of Fishburners, launched three months ago and was founded by Garry Visontay, Denis Zubkov and Michael Overell.
iPitch spoke to co-founder Michael Overell about what sets RecruitLoop apart and his role in the startup’s development.
This alternative to traditional recruitment agencies is set to cut recruitment costs and simplify the process by giving businesses more control.
“We’re offering a new type of recruitment support” says Michael about RecruitLoop. “The big difference is when [businesses] engage a recruiter with RecruitLoop they pay only for the hours the recruiter works rather than a commission.”
Another forward thinking element of RecruitLoop is the concept of recorded video interviews. Michael says that the functionality is “new in the Australian context.”
The functionality allows shortlisted candidates to record a video interview using the questions provided to them by recruiters. “The questions are actually blind so we try to stimulate a live interview as much as possible.” explains Michael.
Here is what the process looks like:
- The recruiter develops an interview questionnaire and sends it to the candidate.
- The candidate receives a link to the interview via an email.
- Clicking on the link allows the RecruitLoop application to plug into the candidate’s webcam and bring up interview questions one by one.
- The candidate then records each answer within the time limit allocated.
The video interview is another way to filter out unsuitable candidates without spending time on face to face interviews.
“Its been an ongoing process of improvement so we’re constantly developing and innovating and improving the platform.” comments Michael.
It is the innovative nature of entrepreneurship that drew Michael to opportunities in the startup scene before he joined RecruitLoop. “I like the idea of disrupting and shaking up traditional industries and business models. I have always wanted to be involved in the experience of turning the ideas into functioning businesses.”
Prior to joining to RecruitLoop, Michael spent three years as as consultant at McKinsey & Company.
His involvement with RecruitLoop began when a mutual contact that introduced him to established entrepreneur Gary Visontey, who had come up with the idea of RecruitLoop after many frustrations of trying to find the right staff using traditional recruitment processes.
“He [Gary] had an idea which became RecruitLoop and he was looking to partner up. At the time I was in a career in management consulting and I was looking for other opportunities particularly in the startup space. So the friend who knew both of us thought we should talk…”
Not having been actively involved in the startup area prior to his work with RecruitLoop Michael admits that he “didn’t know what to expect.” He recalls being told that being an entrepreneur means “the highs are higher and the lows are lower”. After experiencing the process for himself he emphasises that despite the roller coaster effect, being involved in a startup is “infinitely more rewarding”.
Now, a year later, Michael finds it hard to describe his multifaceted CEO role at RecruitLoop.
“I do everything, including taking out the trash, basically whatever needs to be done. One day will include anything from sales to business development to customer support and administration to financing, investment or product development.”
The hard work will continue in the next year as RecruitLoop plans to expand its market share in Australia. “We want to establish ourselves as a really serious alternative for almost any business so that means we have a big job ahead of us.”
Corporate or Startup?
iPitch asked Michael his advice about making the transition from full time employee to entrepreneur.
“Just go for it. If it’s a decision between pursuing a startup or something new or sticking to a safe corporate role, I would encourage anyone with the right mindset to at least give it a try.”
While a major concern for many people on the brink of this decision is money, Michael suggests taking on part time work or “consulting or contracting in specific periods” as an alternative to diving head first into full time startup mode.
For those aspiring to be a part of the startup space, another way to do so is to join an existing startup or a funded early stage company. “Not everyone has to do it as a founder or a first time startup. You’re still learning a lot and having a great startup experience.”
As a final piece of advice Michael highlights the importance of networking with like minded people.
“One thing I didn’t appreciate before I really jumped in was the power of the network and the startup community that’s emerging in Sydney. I think it provides a great opportunity for people to join a startup, so the earlier they can tap into it and get involved in the community, the better.”
There is more than one path to entrepreneurship, so no matter what your current situation is, there is a way to get involved in the startup space. As Michael’s experiences and the success of RecruitLoop show, all you need is the right mindset, a great idea and great people to help you along the way.