Magnetude Consulting gives you a closer look into the startup community. We interview tech startups and other entrepreneurial leaders to bring you their stories, as well as insights into marketing techniques that have helped them along the way.
Today’s interview is with the founder of Interview Rocket, Craig Brown. Interview Rocket is a company that provides video interviewing services tailored for recruiters and job seekers.
How did Interview Rocket get its start?
A few years ago, I was doing freelance consulting in telecoms and looking for my next career move. I attended a speech in which the keynote speaker was one of the head solicitors at Google. At the end of the event, the MC asked a very open question: what’s next for Google or the Internet as a whole? The answer was video. I began looking for an industry where there was a significant pain point and decided to focus on the job market.
You always hear about people unable to find jobs and employers unable to find the right talent. I spent 6 months interviewing over 50 recruiters across 7 different countries to see what they thought about it and what features they wanted. We launched in February 2012, and I started working on Interview Rocket full-time in November 2012 after we received our first round of funding.
How would you describe your value proposition?
We save recruiters time and money getting through the first round of screening interviews. Typically those are done using telephone or Skype, and a lot of companies are pressed for time and have difficulty getting through. We primarily focus on two types of organizations: companies with high turnover of personnel and companies who hire from long distances.
What was the process to decide when and how to expand to different verticals?
Over a period of months we started getting contacted from organizations who were interested in interviewing, but not for recruiting purposes. We built a second website developed for those solutions. Through this website, we started working with angel investors, universities, and charities. The demand for this solution led us to expand beyond our original intent.
What were earliest or favorite successes since launching?
One of our more unique customers is a U.S. based startup that makes solar energy boxes, and they were looking to hire across Africa. One of our areas of focus was to make sure that our technology could be used at low Internet speeds. Our technology works all the way down to .34 megabits per second. This relationship showed us that our technology can be used just about anywhere.
From a marketing perspective, what do you attribute to your successes?
We’ve participated in a few trade shows. The key with tradeshows is they have to be a perfect fit. We don’t attend general HR trade shows, but we’ll go to trade shows in specific industries to make sure we get right to the heart of the matter with our clients. In terms of online marketing, we use marketing automation software that has been quite helpful in organizing our online presence and helping us track leads.
Were there any non-obvious sources you went to for advice?
There’s a real inclination to keep your great idea to yourself, but I found it works better to talk to people because you can gain new perspectives. I spoke to industry experts all around the world who were involved in HR technology. Some of them provided me with valuable advice going forward.
Do you have any advice for first time founders?
They say its 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. You should really spend a lot of time thinking about your idea, milling it over and talking to people before you start pushing forward. Make sure that you’re addressing a major pain point in a marketplace. Make sure the clients you’re looking to target have the money to spend on it and are willing to do so.
If you’re interested in being interviewed for the Magnetude Startup Spotlight or you would like to learn more about our marketing services for startups, please contact us today!
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