Starting your own business takes a lot of hard work, a little luck, and the support of a range of industry specialists. Jamie Robshaw, co-founder of Recruiterly, explores the story behind the Recruiterly platform, giving his advice for new entrants into the staffing industry, and his reasons for wanting to crack the US market.
Why did you decide to start the Recruiterly platform?
I helped start the Recruiterly platform because I felt there was something not quite right about my industry – the one that I dedicated 12 years of my life to. I’ve not seen anyone else try to fix it… only replace it.
One of my goals for Recruiterly is to provide a platform for professional recruiters to be professional – a true expert, and not just a “salesperson” as we are sometimes perceived – particularly with the poor branding and business practice witnessed on LinkedIn.
I also wanted to provide a home where a recruiters’ hard work and excellent customer service can actually play a part when a client is trying to choose a recruitment service provider.
What experiences in your career do you feel added the most value to starting Recruiterly?
The last four years have seen me take on the role of employer as well as recruiter. I was an HR & Recruitment Manger for a business in Australia, and during my time there, we expanded across multiple locations in different states. My network was limited to one particular state, so when the time came to expand into a new area, I needed to supplement my hiring strategy with recruiters.
The process then began where I looked for a small selection of recruiters that were good, that I could trust, and who knew my industry. They also needed to understand the skills that were needed, and to have a local network… easy, right?
Many would suspect that I could just call a few recruitment companies and the job would be done, but far from it. The process was expensive and extremely time consuming – two things that you do not want when scaling a business. I knew there had to be an easier solution out there.
What prompted the decision to move operations to San Francisco?
For Recruiterly to be a global hit, we have to solve problems in the biggest recruitment market in the world – North America. San Francisco made sense due to the network we already have in place.
We’ve spent significant time there and found the people we met to be some of the most hospitable and accommodating business professionals I have ever come across in my career to date.
What is your favorite aspect or feature of the Recruiterly platform?
My favorite aspect of the platform is undoubtedly our ‘Reputation Manager’ element. Recruiters and employers need to be able to trust the people they work with. We have spent weeks on the thought process and logic of this tool to ensure that the placements reviewed are trusted and accurate.
This tool can have a direct impact on revenue for the recruiter, and will also set apart a good recruiter from a bad one with our ranking process. It’s our aim to have these good reviews follow a recruiter through the rest of their career journey.
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given in business?
The best advice I’ve ever been given comes from Simon Sinek – it’s one of my long-term goals to meet the man face-to-face. He advises any businessperson to ask “why?”. Why am I building this? Why am I calling this person?
It’s so effective that I also use this personally, as well as professionally. Life can be a rush and you make decisions on the fly in milliseconds. But if you just take a step back, look at the bigger picture and ask yourself why, then far better decisions can come from it.
Recruitment is becoming a far more challenging environment in which to operate. What advice would you give recruiters looking to become more competitive?
There are some great tools out there to help recruiters, and some great influencers and bloggers giving superior advice. Recruitment shouldn’t be more challenging in 2018, it should be easier. If I had to give one piece of advice it would be about personal branding.
Writing blogs and sharing opinions are great, but recruiters need to get their names out there by responding to people’s questions online, through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Quora, for example. This shows that you have a genuine passion by spending time trying to help people. It will undoubtedly pay dividends to your own personal brand.
From a practical point of view, having a network of people prepared to help you (because you have helped them) is a key competitive advantage.