Sara Jones is the co-founder of Hiring-Hub.com – a revolutionary new way for companies to recruit online. Her story, which you can read below is inspirational & goes to show that you can turn a brilliant idea into a reality – so if you’ve got some good ideas, take a leaf out of Sara’s book and go for it.
Check out Hiring-Hub.com
What does your business do?
Hiring-Hub.com is website designed to make online recruitment effortless and accessible to all businesses, from SMEs to blue chips.It offers employers a free web-based Vendor Management Tool and Applicant Tracking System, in addition to its core services: an online recruitment marketplace for technical and skilled roles, and low cost multi-post job board advertising for lower level commercial roles. The marketplace connects employers to a network of specialist recruitment consultancies that will fill their roles for a fixed placement fee that the employer sets, while shielding the employer from unsolicited agency approaches. While the marketplace has been designed to act as a gateway between employers and recruitment consultancies, Hiring-Hub.com also caters for those seeking non technical candidates through its low cost job board advertising bundles. The bundles are aimed at those seeking to fill unspecialised roles with salaries below £25k. Employers submit their job advert/description, which is enhanced for online search by Hiring-Hub.com’s in-house copywriters and posted on all the UK’s leading job boards. Employers using this service can place one advert for £199 yet hire multiple candidates, making it an ideal solution for administrative, retail and telesales roles.
The idea behind the website is simple: it was built to provide a free, one-stop resource for employers seeking permanent staff, whether through third-party recruitment agencies for skilled roles, or direct job board advertising for non-skilled roles.
What made you decide to start your own business?
Following my law degree, I worked in recruitment for six years. I love the industry and I enjoyed working with employers and candidates; it is extremely satisfying when you place a good candidate in their dream role. However, I believed the whole process could be streamlined by applying the principle of Web 2.0, making it more accessible for even the smallest employers. I am a bit of a technology and Internet geek and I believed that the traditional model of recruitment needed to updated, so I set about developing a platform that connects employers to recruiters. The principle is not dissimilar to sites like expedia.co.uk, which connects consumers to the best flight deals, or confused.com, which connects people with insurers. Hiring-Hub.com’s online marketplace acts as a gateway for employers to find specialist recruitment consultancies that will fill their vacancies for a fixed fee that the employer sets. In addition to the marketplace, I designed a few web-based tools that would make the whole process easier for employers, and indeed recruiters, all of which are free to use.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Raising the seed capital was not easy, but I found a private backer who agreed to fund the platform’s development in return for an equity stake in the business. Actually building the website and getting my ideas across to the software developers was tough, but we burnt the midnight oil and worked through each process methodically to ensure that Hiring-Hub.com’s backend functionality and navigation is intuitive. I think I’ve yet to cross my biggest hurdle, which I believe will be successfully marketing the business on a tight budget. Getting the message to employers that the website and technology exists, and that it’s free to use, will be difficult. We have to educate them, and show them that this web-based model is more efficient in every way than traditional offline recruitment.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Some people would call me tenacious, but my business partner calls me stubborn, although the same could be said for him! I know what I want and I set out to get it. I think if you have a good idea, a clear vision and a solid business plan you will find someone to back you.It is not easy, but if you can articulate your idea and refuse to accept no for an answer then you will get there in the end. Resilience and persistence is key.
What advice or tips would you give to other business owners?
I don’t think I’m really in a position to give advice to other business owners. They will know their business and their market better than me. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be surviving in the current economic climate.
The only people I could possibly advise is other young woman in business, and to them, I would just say: “go for it.” Find a way to make it happen and throw yourself into it. Good things come to those who work hard and are prepared to fail. My only other bit of advice is: don’t pay full price for anything – haggle with all your suppliers to get a good deal.
What’s your favorite quote?
Definitely not the first quote I got from a creative agency to build my website, they wanted more than twice the amount that I finally paid! I think they saw a 26-year-old girl in their office and thought I was a bit of a push over.
On a serious note, Oprah once said:
“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.” I agree with that.
Who inspires you?
As I said, I’m a bit of a tech geek so I find Internet entrepreneurs inspiring, especially those whose businesses have revolutionised an entire industry. There are also a few woman entrepreneurs whose stories inspire me. To be honest, I find everyone in business inspiring. Setting up your own business is a big leap of faith and there will always be people around you saying it cannot be done. Overcoming that takes courage. I respect the man that runs my local sandwich shop in the same way I respect someone like Alicia Navarro (www.skimlinks.com); they have both taken that leap from the sanctuary of employment and opted to make their own way in life and take control of their own destiny. That inspires me.
Find out more about Hiring-Hub.com