TalentRocket: Chris Platts

The recruitment start-up's founder explains how they plan to stand out in a competitive industry and why it's important not to quit your day job right away

Name: Chris Platts
Company name: TalentRocket 
Location: London 
Date launched: 28/07/15 
Website: talentrocket.co.uk

Tell us what your business does:

TalentRocket is a platform that enables companies to promote their company culture to recruit the right people. Companies spend millions each year hiring unsuitable people and then have to replace them. We enable companies to use their culture to build a talent pool of people who want to work there whether now or at some point in their careers.

We also help potential candidates to grow their career network without actively engaging in a job search. Most people feel uncomfortable searching job boards or speaking to recruiters so our platform lets people browse companies with amazing cultures, working environments and receive news and insights into what working there would be like. We think choosing your next company should be an enjoyable process not a dreaded one so we’re trying to make it as fun as possible.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

While working in the recruitment industry I noticed a shift in the way companies were hiring. LinkedIn has changed the recruitment market from relationship-based to transactional. Everyday candidates are approached by recruiters about jobs with companies they’d never in a million years want to join.

I thought the logical conclusion was to put the power back in the hands of the people; they get to choose who they want to receive jobs from and start conversations with, which means no recruiters and no spam messages. On the flip side more emphasis than ever is being put on creating a culture and working environment that encourages people to join your company, but many don’t have the resources to get their story heard amongst the noise.

How did you know there was a market for it?

After seeing companies taking extreme measures to avoid paying high agency fees! Also we spend on average just 10 weeks looking for work each time we move jobs.

Your dream move is more likely to arise outside of this 10-week window, so TalentRocket provides its users with job alerts from their favourite companies so they never miss out on their dream job.

What were you doing before starting up?

Before setting up TalentRocket I worked in the recruitment industry for eight years – so it’s fair to say I know people’s frustrations.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Yes, throughout my career I’ve always been driven by the idea of having a wider impact on society. In the recruitment sector the best way of making an impact is through using scalable technology.

Recruitment is ultimately all about relationships so I was interested to explore the role technology could play in building serendipitous interactions between companies and people.

How did you raise the money?

TalentRocket is self-funded. I was recruiting on the side to pay for the site’s development.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

We charge companies for growing a talent pool on the network and successfully hiring from it.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

Many! Finding a technical co-founder who lived the values of the company was a real challenge. One of the biggest challenges in hindsight to was surround myself with a network of great minds and ideas.

Fortunately we found that at the MassChallenge accelerator and now have four excellent mentors across everything from fundraising to pitching.

What was your first big breakthrough? 

Securing early companies to promote their culture via the platform (that didn’t even exist at the time), we currently work with big names like Moo.com, Mind Candy, Uber and YPlan.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Stairstep! It’s important to take things one step at a time and make small bets at first, so you don’t feel too overwhelmed. By starting a business while you’re still in employment you’re able to refine your concept and keep earning money as your business scales up.

Just make sure you manage your time properly.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time

Over 70% of the world’s population are unhappy or disengaged at work. This isn’t a problem, it’s an epidemic. Our vision is a world where everyone is doing something that they love. So were aiming to make an impact on a global scale.

We’d also like to be recognised as a great place to work and help people become better versions of themselves.

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