267: Emmanuel Crouy – GrabJobs

267: Emmanuel Crouy – GrabJobs

 

Podcast highlights:

  • [09:20] Let's talk about GrabJobs. What is the problem you are trying to solve? -- We are trying to solve recruitment inefficiencies, particularly into mid-level tech jobs in Asia. We found the traditional model of recruitment is filled with lots of inefficiencies, lots of time spent opening CVs in email for example. So we saw opportunities to improve how recruitment is done. The result has been our app.
  • [24:15] So can all of this be improved just by using your chatbot? -- Our goal is to improve every step in the recruitment process. The chatbot is just a first step. Another feature our app has is the ability to standardize CV formatting. Employers don't have to deal with all the various combinations of doc, docx, gdoc, pdf, etc. The app will put all the information into a standardized layout to speed comparisons across applicants. An additional feature we plan to rollout soon is interview self-scheduling. If during the interview with the chatbot an applicant scores above some target, the bot will automatically schedule that candidate for an interview.

Podcast notes:

  • [00:05] Welcome Emmanuel Crouy, co-founder and CEO at GrabJobs to Asia Tech Podcast Stories.
  • [00:55] Why are we talking to a lot of French entrepreneurs in Asia at the moment? -- Good question, maybe we are all networked together. The French generally are a nomadic people. They like to seek out opportunities.
  • [03:30] When you started in recruitment, you first company was more of a traditional company in this space, correct? -- That's correct. We looked at the big players in the field and did similar things. We opened in 2013, and at that time, there was a lot of competition for tech talent in Singapore. It was certainly more of a risk trying to enter this space than it is now.
  • [09:20] Let's talk about GrabJobs. What is the problem you are trying to solve? -- We are trying to solve recruitment inefficiencies, particularly into mid-level tech jobs in Asia. We found the traditional model of recruitment is filled with lots of inefficiencies, lots of time spent opening CVs in email for example. So we saw opportunities to improve how recruitment is done. The result has been our app.
  • [12:48] As someone trying to hire, it's clear almost everyone has well-rehearsed answers to standard questions. How did you come up with novel questions to ask like, "What do you like about our brand?" -- First of all employers can customize the questions sent through our app. They also are able to request voice answers from applicants. This allows employers to see if the person they're considering has good communication skills. What we've found is this helps weed-out so-called "serial job applicants," people who apply for every job listed even if they're not qualified.
  • [18:50] Tell us a bit about how your chatbot works. How did you develop it? -- We developed it here in Singapore. Employers can customize many features including questions. They can add multiple-choice questions and specify varying point values for answers. Afterwards, it's easy to select the top applicants based on their scores with the chatbot. It's clear this cannot completely replace humans in the hiring process; but it greatly simplifies the most time-consuming aspect.
  • [22:22] Who is your target for using this service? -- Clearly employers with high turnover rates can greatly benefit from automation. They may, for example, have to look at 10,000 CVs. This is just a massive workload.
  • [24:15] So can all of this be improved just by using your chatbot? -- Our goal is to improve every step in the recruitment process. The chatbot is just a first step. Another feature our app has is the ability to standardize CV formatting. Employers don't have to deal with all the various combinations of doc, docx, gdoc, pdf, etc. The app will put all the information into a standardized layout to speed comparisons across applicants. An additional feature we plan to rollout soon is interview self-scheduling. If during the interview with the chatbot an applicant scores above some target, the bot will automatically schedule that candidate for an interview.
  • [28:28] There have been many smart people working in tech in Asia. Why hasn't someone done something like this already? -- Our advantage was coming from the recruitment industry. So not only did we know the tech, we knew the business of recruiting and where the bottlenecks were. This gave us insights others may not have had.
  • [32:28] Let's talk about your venture capital financing. You're in the process of seeking a series A. What is the situation now? -- At the moment we're completely founded by friends and angel investors. Now we're looking to go to the next level and find institutional investors.
  • [37:15] As you've moved to this next round and refined your presentation, what are the things you've learned to emphasize more? -- Our early presentations focused on our growth numbers and didn't show enough about our business model and the general profitability in our business model. Bigger investors want to know how long will it take you to be profitable.
  • [42:15] If you had to do it all again. How would you advise someone? What are the mistakes you might avoid? -- When it comes to fundraising, never stop! If you have an idea how long it will take you to reach a target, double the time you budget. You will always find it takes longer to raise money than you anticipate. Don't make decisions based on how you think you might be funded. In our case, we expanded too fast and didn't have the funds to follow through. Finally, track everything you're doing. Get the data so you can use it and learn how your business is doing.