Venturocket – Making Searching For a Job Suck Less.
If you haven’t heard about Venturocket already, you’re about to. But before I give you the low-down of this awesome company, let me first tell you who they are. In short: Venturocket can be seen as the AdWords for job search. Sort of. Like AdWords, increased competition increases the price of keywords. But unlike AdWords, where paying more money makes your ads more visible and thus more likely to be clicked, on Venturocket, it it is NOT the case that if you pay more then you increase your visibility by employers. VR uses money as a FILTER and NOT as a promotion. In fact, if you are honest (e.g., you say you’re intermediate instead of expert at certain skills), then the price will be LOWER and you will actually INCREASE your chances of landing an interview and therefore a job too.
Diving a little deeper: Venturocket is a job/talent marketplace and “talent discovery platform” (TDP) that automatically connects job seekers with the most relevant jobs for their skills without any searching or job applications. Venturocket eliminates costly job posting fees, subscriptions, and premium job seeker accounts. Instead, Venturocket uses a novel market economy solution to determine the relative prices of skills based upon job seeker competition and uses this to verify job seekers’ credentials. When employers or recruiters connect with a prospective candidate they both pay a small connection fee (typically $5-$15) equal to the price of the matching skills. This creates a disincentive against exaggerating one’s abilities and an incentive for being more accurate and more honest by getting job seekers to “put their money where their mouth is,” and effectively ends the problem of “résumé spam.
The company recently closed a $700K Series A led by Runa Capital, with contributions from Talent Equity Ventures, an affiliate of Ward Howell, and AnchorFree co-founder and CEO, David Gorodyansky. MobileMinute had the opportunity to interview Marc Hoag, CEO and co-Founder of Venturocket. We dove into a few questions about what makes Venturocket what it is and more importantly, why you should care.
What made you and your team want to start Venturocket?
The story really goes back about 12 years, when I realized that it was very hard to connect groups of people. Even in today’s day and age it’s still very hard and the only thing people have available to them is to “search” for things. The fact of the matter is, you shouldn’t have to search for things anymore given where we’re at.
When we looked at the jobs industry, we couldn’t believe how tragically broken, how abysmally inefficient it was, in the sense that it’s completely unregulated. And with a little research, you soon arrive at the alarming conclusion that the entire jobs industry is in fact premised on the notion of keeping it inefficient, of keeping it difficult to find a job or talent, and therefore, of keeping it expensive. This isn’t just socially wrong, it’s morally reprehensible. And it needs to change now.
- Charging employers to post jobs.
- LinkedIn charging job seekers to be at the top of the list (if they have the premium membership).
- Job boards that utilize a CPC revenue model that requires job seekers to click-apply/spam every job they see, instead of selectively applying to only those jobs for which they’re a genuinely good fit
Those among other things led to the creation of Venturocket.
How do you think Venturocket is disrupting the market place?
1) We don’t want people to actually do any work, looking for work. That, let alone spend money looking for work.
2) We’re not trying to replace other employers’ current processes.
We’re trying to say:
“Use our platform, see how it goes, you don’t have to pay for anything unless and until you actually connect with a candidate who’s a good match.”
Job Seekers love the fact that there is no searching for jobs, no applying, no waiting. The idea that, they can just get in the system, sit back,sit back, and then pay if and only if they get a connection with an employer for whom they’re a good match.
When it comes to the employers, we’re eliminating resume spam. Usually from applicants who aren’t even suitable for the job in the first place. This really allows them to cherry-pick who they really want to work with, or who they believe will be a good fit.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced thus far and how did you guys overcome it?
Well, we formed up at the end of 2010 and the company came together in early 2011. Since then the main challenge has been building a 2-sided market place. Our biggest focus right now is bringing Job Seekers on board.
Another challenge is really educating people about the state of the job market today.
“If any other marketplace were as inefficient as the job market, we wouldn’t even call it a market.”
So the first step is to really get employers to open their eyes. Then, for job seekers, why are we spending so much time and often money searching for a job when an easier way exists?
Do you have any advice for a start-up entrepreneur who thinks they have a great idea?
First thing is, location kind-of does matter. Frankly, if you’re not based in San Francisco, you need to get here. It’s the place to be. That’s the way it is.
Second, you need to understand that “doing a start-up” is not just a thing you do. It’s an internal need that manifests inside that can’t be ignored, it’s something you HAVE TO DO.
Just as you know when you’ve found “the one”, you just know that you need to do this.
Support is also necessary, doing it alone is rather foolish. If it weren’t for my friends and family, I wouldn’t be here at all.
Do you guys plan on bringing Venturocket all the way to IPO stage, or is your goal to get acquired by one of the larger companies?
No comment, no idea at this time.
The goal right now is to help people get connected so they can get work. We’ll begin expanding as soon as we can to other regions. We’re taking it one step at a time.
“One of the really cool things about Venturocket is that Venturocket.com is indeed a stand-alone website, but it’s so much more: we designed it from the ground up to be a platform. Because we don’t let job seekers apply for jobs on Venturocket, and we’re not an ATS, we’re not trying to compete with other sites out there, we want to work with them. That’s a pretty cool position to be in.”
MobileMinute thanks Marc Hoag, and Venturocket for their time. Check out their site if you haven’t already.