Everything was going really well in my staffing career. I was hired straight out of college by a company, and the first six months were great. Then, the recession hit and, all of a sudden my whole office was laid off – except me. The kept me on – but they moved me to a new office which was about 45 minutes away from where I lived. But things were okay, but from the volume of customers we were getting you could tell that it was shrinking year over year. But the Florida market was recovering very very slowly and it was difficult to find customers who needed administrative staffing. There were other layoffs in the company every now and again, but I could tell that it wasn’t going to be too long until I became one of those laid off – the writing was on the wall, so to speak.
The idea and concept for CanUStart really began while at work – I’d had a very frustrating day – we’d tried to hire for a really simple receptionist position and we’d spent all day scouring every job board, everything we knew trying to find someone to fill this position, and we just could find anyone, even though the pay was good for Florida. It was a Friday, it was raining, it was a very manual process of calling person after person saying “can you start Monday?” It was then I had this “A-ha” moment.
There had to be a way to make the whole process more automated – faster. I knew that there was someone out there that needed that job and could start Monday – I just couldn’t find them. There had to be a way to use technology to make that connection very quickly and very fluidly.
CanUStart is a hiring system that requires no searching by either the employer or the job seeker. No other job board does that because they all mainly gear towards what the employer wants. Here, candidates come onto our system where they can create this really cool profile – because what I learned in my career in staffing is that not everyone is an expert resume writer, and people are so much more than just words on a piece of paper – so we really gave people the chance to express themselves, either on video or the traditional resume. Plus you can pull your work history from your LinkedIn profile and, if there are gaps or other problems with your resume, we give you tips on how to make that resume stellar.
From the employer’s side, they can upload details about the job and the kind of candidate they are looking for, and then the system will look for keywords, location, and all sorts of other data to find a good match. It saves the job seeker from having to spend hours looking through five or six different job boards, and the employer from either having to spend a lot of money outsourcing to a recruiter, or spending a lot of time manually sorting through a lot of potential candidates.
We launched the company last year and we got a lot of great feedback from our users, customers, candidates and others on our site. We wanted their involvement in telling us what they wanted. Everyone wanted to be validated in some way – especially socially. We had a way that they could add any job references that they had had in the past, but what we found is that people wanted the truest and best credibility for themselves – so they wanted to be validated by people they were connected to on other social sites, like Facebook or LinkedIn, so we added that function. We didn’t think that it would go well with the employers but in fact they really liked it because especially where they were interested in a particular candidate, and especially where the position required a professional appearance, or where social presence or mannerisms came into play, they would Google that candidate and look at their social profiles anyway. So the whole social validation piece that we added went down really well with our customers.
In taking this on I just want everyone to know that I am just a girl from a very small town in Florida, I wasn’t exactly the most stellar student in school – but anyone who has a passion and an idea to solve a real problem that they can solve can do what I did. I started by reading a lot, especially technology magazines, started learning about automation and algorithms – and I literally started by thinking it out and writing down what I imagined it would look like and writing down every function.
That was fine up to a point, but when I connected with my now business partner I had to learn all about wireframes, signed up to Code Academy so I could learn the basics of coding. And all this, at least in the early stages, was all going on while I was still at my job – so a lot of late nights. From that initial learning until we launched and I left my job took six months in all. But still it was a great leap of faith to do. But in our very first week we acquired four customers. Once you let go of the fear, it is a great ride!
Favorite Book: The 4 Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss
Want to get a free audiobook version of the book recommended by this week’s guest? Click here to download it.
Favorite Resources: TedX videos; Entrepreneur Magazine
Hear the full interview below.
Tamar’s Top Tips For Hiring That First Employee
Tamar’s mission is to simplify the time it takes for employers & job seekers to find each other.
Her CanUStart online platform guides candidates on how to make an awesome first impression and employers are promised quality pre-screened applicants who are immediately available. The entire experience for both candidates and employers is virtually search free. Both sides can freely interact through video, email and text messages. Tamar is passionate about simplifying the staffing process and taking care of all the hard work for all her customers.
Currently exclusive to the restaurant and hospitality industry, she plans to expand our technology to serve a range of other industries.
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