What inspired you to launch this product/service? How does it fit into your career and what does it mean to you personally?
There are a lot of great job boards out there, but who has the time to post to more than a couple? It was a problem that bothered us when we were hiring for past companies, so we set out to solve it for everyone.
Our goal has been to make the process of posting to multiple job boards easy. This wasn’t about changing the way people find candidates. This was about making the whole process more efficient.
What does it do for for job seekers/recruiters that’s new?
In a nutshell, we sell speed. ZipRecruiter enables recruiters to post an ad to 20+ job boards with a single submission.
In aggregate those job boards get MILLIONS more job seekers per month than either Monster, CareerBuilder or LinkedIn, but ZipRecruiter starts at only $59 per month (for up to 3 open jobs at a time) versus the $300 average posting fee on those other sites.
What can you promise that no one else can?
We promise you can create an account and get your first job ad fed to 20+ job boards in less than 5 minutes. It’s dead simple.
When did you launch the business and why?
We launched ZipRecruiter in March of 2010. We’ve matured a lot since then, but the core focus has stayed the same. The majority of hiring is still done by employers/recruiters posting to job boards. We aim to make that process more efficient rather than reinvent it.
Will you give us a measure of your success in numbers? Monthly unique visitors, annual revenue, number of employees?
We don’t disclose customer counts or revenue numbers, but we are a profitable business and our customer base breaks down almost equally between recruiting firms, small businesses, mid-sized companies, and larger corporations.
What are your goals for the company?
We expect ZipRecruiter to be the fastest way to fill open positions on the market. This will go beyond job board distribution and social network integration, into areas that will be first of their kind. We think we’re building something pretty special right now and can’t wait to show it off.
If you’ve been in business for a while, why do you think you succeeded when many others failed early or failed during the last couple years of recession?
Our initial success has stemmed from keeping it simple. We do one thing extraordinarily well – get your job ad everywhere fast. And we do it at the lowest price on the market.
What questions do you ask yourself that help guide your choices about directions to pursue or avoid in business?
We operate under the golden rule – treat others as we would want to be treated. That can sometimes mean making both spending more or making less money. For example, we refuse to use a phone tree because they annoy us when we’re the customer. Call our support line, and you’ll get a human being answering the phone. We also refuse to charge job seekers for anything because we believe they can least afford to pay.
Who do you consider to be your competitors? Mentors?
We assumed there would be many companies in the job distribution space when we launched, but that has turned out not to be the case. We integrate with job boards and ATS solutions so we don’t consider them competitors. Right now, knock on wood, we appear to own our niche.
There have been a number of mentors for us both from the recruiting world and from the startup world. We’ve received great advice from owners of job boards and recruiter networks.
What do you hate about the online recruiting industry?
This may sound trite, but honestly we love the industry. The community has made us feel welcome and every day we talk to customers or fellow business owners who give us tips on how to increase our success.
What do you enjoy most about your business?
The most rewarding part of our business is getting positive feedback from customers. One of the things that happened to us this year is that our the number of new customers coming from word of mouth has been outpacing our predictions. To have customers come in because they were referred is something we consider a great validation of our business.
Has anything you’ve tried failed?
Oh yes. Nationwide posting was a magnet for scammers. That lived a very short life on the website.
What industry changes do you see coming?
I think the biggest changes we see coming are that the traditional walled garden pay-per-post job boards are going to need to evolve to survive. Indeed and SimplyHired are two great examples of companies driving significant value on a pay for performance model and they both continue to grow at an impressive pace.
What advice would you give an aspiring Internet entrepreneur?
The key to success is not brilliant initial execution, but rather persistent execution. You don’t have to nail the landing — you just have to keep improving.
What have you noticed that they don’t teach in school that you look for when you’re recruiting? What nonindustry related skills are you teaching in your office?
One of the things we do when interviewing anyone to work at ZipRecruiter is ask them to review the website and tell us what we SHOULD be doing. We force them right from the beginning think about the business like an owner rather than telling them “your job will be x”.
Many candidates struggle with this. They not only don’t feel comfortable offering ideas, they also don’t have confidence in the suggestions they make.
Internally we tell our support reps that their job is not just to answer questions, but to advocate for the customer. Hear more than one customer ask for a feature? Demand it! See a place where customers are repeatedly confused. Give us the solution! We like to be told what to do.
Ian has played an executive Product and Technology role at a number of early stage to mid-size start-ups including CitySearch, Stamps.com, Rent.com, and Pictage. The idea for ZipRecruiter sprang into Ian’s head while contemplating all the things he would rather do than read through a three inch stack of applicant resumes. Ian creates the product roadmap for ZipRecruiter as well as being the designated “talker” for the company.