INTERVIEW with Robert McGonnell, founder of the new Irish video recruitment web site: Jobkey.ie.
How did you come to the idea of starting the site (tell us about yourself here a bit)?
My background is primarily recruitment orientated having managed a busy Sales & Marketing desk in a Dublin based agency and having dealt with some major market leading FMCG companies. I also worked as a Grade IV Office in St. James’ Hospital in Dublin where I was responsible for the wage processing and recruitment administration of over 400 Nurses, Attendants and Clinical Nurse Managers. But my work history has also included employment in the high end equine breeding industry, motor vehicle sales and tourism so I guess I like the challenges that a bit of variety can throw at you. This experience coupled with an academic business grounding from the Michael Smurfit Business School in Blackrock had the cogs turning in my brain about how to deconstruct and re-approach the online recruitment business model.
What was the gap that you found out in the crowded market of job sites in Ireland?
Basically I found that many of the mainstream recruitment websites in Ireland offered very little differentiation and I wanted to launch a recruitment site that had a “help-centric” focus. I decided to focus on presenting an alternative website that offered a benefit for both job seekers and employers.
Granted the mainstream recruitment websites in Ireland are well established and have thousands of registered users, high traffic volumes, brand recognition etc but in many ways they’re just a talent swamp. The main problems I identified; if I as a candidate upload my CV on one of these websites it’s tricky to stand out from the crowd and get noticed which ultimately translates to a reduced likelihood of securing an interview/job. A CV can’t effectively demonstrate how a candidate may present, give an indication of their personality, communication skills etc. Jobkey.ie offers candidates the opportunity to upload a 60 second Introductory Video Profile to accompany their standard CV application. A Video Profile gives a candidate an opportunity to bring their CV to life and give a personal touch to their job application.
The main benefit of a Video Profile as an employer is this. If a recruiter posts a job they’re likely to receive dozens if not hundreds of applications with limited tools to rank or select according to suitability. It can sometimes be a gamble when inviting candidates to interview based on their CV/cover letter alone which can often lead to disappointment and time waste. A 60 second Video Profile is in no way meant to replace a face to face interview but is intended to be a useful stepping stone by providing a recruiter with an immediate online first impression prior to interview stage.
Unique selling proposition?
The Video Profile feature coupled with Jobkey.ie’s help-centric focus could save could save time, cost and effort for everyone involved in the recruitment process.
What is the intended route to market?
Mostly online advertising with planned radio advertising, “grabvertising” and guerrilla marketing campaigns planned for the New Year 2012.
The website’s build has been self-funded with a zero debt policy. It’s meant having to live like a bit of a hermit over the past year but I’m confident this sacrifice will pay off in the long run. I plan to introduce an online payment system on the site where recruiters/employers can choose an advertising package that matches their requirements. For the time being though I’d like to invite all first time advertisers to a FREE trial of the site. Simply register on Jobkey.ie and we’ll help you find new staff for the Christmas rush or New Year 2012… no fee, no charge, no catch or tie-in, 100% FREE. Contact me at email@example.com for info.
How are you finding it so far?
It’s been a big learning curve as Jobkey.ie is my first venture but the experience I’ve gained is amazing and will stand to me in the long term. Right now I’m looking forward to earning Jobkey.ie a reputation as a mainstream recruitment website in Ireland.
What do recruiters say?
The feedback I’ve receive has been very positive however there’s always going to be some reluctance and hence persuasion involved as it’s a brand new website. Recruiters are especially interested in the potential time save that Video Profiles could result in as they would reduce the reliance on having to conduct preliminary screening interviews.
What do job seekers say?
Ok, to put this question another way…’Why would a job seeker be bothered creating a Video Profile?’ I think this would’ve been a tricky question to answer a couple of years ago but essentially now job seekers really should be prepared to try any means possible to get their application noticed. The instance of the ‘Jobless Paddy’ during the summer highlights the extreme lengths some candidates are willing to go too just to get noticed. Couple this reality with the spread of tech savvy knowledge regarding online social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, Twitter, MySpace etc and I think it’s reasonable to say that a large section of job seekers should be perfectly capable to record a 60 second video profile on a webcam and follow the instructions for uploading it on Jobkey.ie!
The candidate will find helpful tips and guidelines on creating a Video Profile on the Jobkey.ie homepage. The merits of a Video Profile basically allow a candidate to back up any claims made in a CV, for instance if they say they have effective communication skills or fluent French the video permits them with an outlet to validate those claims. The jobseeker can also select the level of privacy for their Video Profile/CV on their private account.
A Video Profile is generally new territory for job seekers in Ireland. However recruitment is going to move more and more in this direction in the future and the feedback that I’ve receive so far has been very positive.
What re the next steps?
Jobkey.ie’s focus is to offer a help-centric approach to online recruitment in Ireland. The Video Profile is the first step. Jobkey.ie plans to introduce innovative new features and solutions on an incrementally basis as the site goes from strength to strength so stay tuned.
What are the next milestones?
Jobkey.ie’s mission is to become a mainstream online recruitment solution in Ireland. However there’s no sense in having an unrealistic expectation that that sort of milestone is going to be achieved without a lot of hard work. So for the time being it’s going to be baby steps, the 1000th registered candidate isn’t far off now so that would be a mini triumph.
Where do you see it in a year?
I see Jobkey.ie a well-recognised brand within recruitment circles and a cost effective online recruitment solution for employers.
I also see Video Profile’s as a more accepted standard of job application method for job seekers.
How do you see the online recruitment market evolving in Ireland?
10 years ago the majority of CV’s/job applications were sent in the post, that’s pretty much unheard of today as job applications are mostly done online now. So I think recruitment in Ireland is sure to move further into the realm of online technology and social media platforms in the future. Taking this into account I think virtual interviews and ready to view Video Profiles will become standard practice.