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Startup Career Discovery platform Zealify chats to Startacus
by Startacus Admin
Andy Parker is the Co-Founder & COO ofZealify,a career discovery platform, showcasing the opportunities and working environments at exciting, high-growth startups and SMEs. Post listing their Startup in the Startacus showcasing area for startups and ideas, Andy shares, amongst other things, details on what Zealify is all about, their journey, their vision for the future and some valuable advice for other young entrepreneurs just starting out.
Give us your pitch - what’s your startup all about?
Zealify is a platform showcasing the culture, working environment and career opportunities at exciting high-growth companies. For SMEs, it’s an opportunity to build a strong employer brand and attract great talent. For jobseekers, it’s a way to see inside startups and SMEs, and learn everything about them before applying for jobs with the ones you feel you’re a great fit for.
Why are you on this journey?
Whilst at university, my co-founder and I set up a society within the Business School to connect the student body to small and medium sized companies. When hosting guest speakers they began to ask us for recommendations to the talented graduates. We noticed a huge gap in information and accessibility to these companies; most people just didn’t know where to look to find jobs outside of the large corporates. Having graduated over a year (Autumn 2013), we looked back on these problems and felt there had to be a better way.
What mistake did you learn the most from?
My co-founder, Lauren Hine, and I started our first company, Incredibli straight after our graduation. It was the steepest learning curve of our lives. Ultimately, the startup didn’t work out; it took us the best part of a year to realise that the business model wasn’t viable. More importantly we realised that we just weren’t that passionate about the problem we were solving (it was collecting payments when organising group events). This taught us that our next venture had to be something we were truly passionate about; the passion is what helps you keep going.
What one piece of advice would you pass on to other Startacus members?
Accept that it’s going to be hard. Startups are hard work and require persistence and patience. On the wall in our office we have two quotes, one from Max Levchin about how it took him 5 attempts at building a company before he succeeded with PayPal, and another which says “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”
Are there any particular skill sets you need or need to hire in order to advance your startup?
The two things that advance Zealify more than anything are a) high-growth companies that are hiring and realise the importance of a great employer brand and recruitment marketing. b) ambitious people open to joining an exciting company and helping them towards their mission. If you’re looking or considering a new job then I’d urge you to check out the opportunities on the platform.
What is your long term goal/plan?
The mission to completely shake up the way that companies hire, and the way people discover careers. We want companies to be more transparent and realise that in order to attract great talent, they have to build a great employer brand.
We also want the job search process to become more favourable for candidates; they should have information readily available about the companies and be able to self-select if they’re a good fit for the company or not. They should also realise that there are so many great companies out there, they should be striving to find a great company that they fit with the culture; not just settling for the first opportunity that lands in front of them.
How are you planning on funding your startup? Crowdfunding, investors etc?
We’re fortunate to have raised our initial seed funding for from some great investors who are really behind our mission. Nick Wheeler, founder of Charles Tyrwhitt shirts invested initially, followed by some successful recruitment entrepreneurs. We’ll be out to raise more money from other supportive investors later in 2015.
If any other collaborators wanted to lend a hand with your startup, how would they do so? Contact information? Actions?
Everyone is always welcome to get in touch @Zealify or @ParkerACS. We love speaking with ambitious people.
Cheers Andy and we wish you and the team all the best with Zealify.
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