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Monday, 5 September 2011 | By Michelle Hammond
RecruitLoopRecruitLoop is an online recruitment platform, giving employers flexible recruitment support, including innovative new technology for recorded video interviews.


The Sydney-based business was founded by Garry Visontay, Denis Zubkov and Michael Overell, who promise to provide employers with a stress-free recruitment process.


Overell talks to StartupSmart about revving up the recruitment industry.



What inspired the idea for RecruitLoop?

The concept for RecruitLoop grew from one of the founder’s frustrations in recruitment over many years.


Even with a successful national business of 40 employees, Garry couldn’t justify the cost of using a traditional recruitment agency but he did know a consultant who would help him recruit for an hourly rate.


When many of his friends started asking for her contact details, it was obvious that many businesses felt the same pain.


This was the catalyst behind the RecruitLoop model, which gives employers flexible recruitment support from expert recruiters, charged at an hourly rate. This slashes the cost of traditional recruitment support by up to 80%.


Our online platform also streamlines many stages of the recruitment process to save hours of time for everyone involved. A major innovation is recorded video interviews, which allow employers to screen candidates in a fraction of the time.


When did you launch the platform?

We launched the site earlier this month after a three-month period of beta testing to refine the online product and grow our initial network of recruiters.


During the beta period, our recruiters helped more than 25 Sydney-based clients recruit new talent online.


We’ve done no marketing to date but a very positive sign is the number of referrals and repeat business we’re now seeing across our entire customer base.


How long did you work on it beforehand?

The concept itself had been in early development for roughly 12 months before we decided to actively pursue it at the start of this year.


From there, it was five months of heavy product, customer and early community development.


During this period, we had a full-time development team working on the online product, and actually engaged the support of a specialist recruiter to help attract and verify our first recruiters.


In that respect, we became the first client of RecruitLoop, using the exact model to “recruit” the initial recruiters. This gave us real confidence and excitement that the model worked, which was then boosted by feedback from our initial clients.


What was the biggest challenge? How did you overcome this?

The biggest challenge was probably very similar to any other business in a pure start-up phase – you’re trying to turn an idea into a functioning business.


There’s an endless list of priorities and areas to work on – everything from customer and product development, strategy, marketing, corporate structuring and administration.


The challenge is knowing what to tackle and when, and where a snap decision is okay versus something requiring more detailed analysis.


To overcome this, we’ve taken a bias to action. Make a decision and act on it early. The progress you make from moving quickly almost always outweighs the risk of making an irreversible mistake.


How did you fund the business?

We’ve been entirely self-funded to launch. Garry is an owner/investor in a number of other businesses so he brings a lot of experience to the team.


Beyond that, there have been countless hours of sweat from everyone involved. I won’t go into total start-up costs, other than to say building a custom web application from the ground up generally requires a considerable level of investment and commitment.

How did you monetise the site?

We have a transparent business model that benefits everyone involved.


Employers only pay for the recruitment support they need, which can include a recruiter’s time, job advertisements, recorded video interviews and candidate testing.


Pricing is itemised and completely on-demand. RecruitLoop takes a commission from the hourly payment and shares the revenue from other services with recruiters.


The total cost for an average recruitment project is well under $2,000. This is an 80% saving compared to traditional recruitment methods.


The model is equally attractive for recruiters, where an hour worked is an hour they’re paid.




What are your revenue projections for 2011/12?

As a true start-up with a new business model, it’s not easy to make forward projections. We aim for rapid growth in all regions, across multiple industry verticals.


How many staff do you have?

We have three founders and are close to announcing the involvement of a fourth team member with nearly 20 years’ experience in the recruitment industry.


The recruiters in our network are not “staff” but they are the ones who work directly with clients. There are currently 20 recruiters across the east coast, with an average of 10 years’ professional experience each.


We’re actively working to grow that network further.


There are so many recruitment sites nowadays – what makes yours different?

Recruitment is a competitive space but we bring something unique.


There’s no site (or service) where an employer can “select” from a range of independent recruiters, based on their industry experience and feedback from previous clients.


Our recruiters offer flexible recruitment support charged at an hourly rate. This is dramatically different from the traditional recruitment model.


And our technology is the first of its kind in Australia, allowing employers to screen candidates via recorded video interviews.


This is a massive benefit to everyone involved. Employers don’t waste working hours meeting the wrong candidates.


And candidates don’t need to sneak away from their current job to take an interview. They can complete the recording at home whenever it suits them.


Is there anything you would have done differently?

With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, we would have moved faster and made fewer mistakes at lower cost. But that’s part of the fun of a start-up.


There’s nothing we’d do to significantly change the model or where we’ve ended up today. But we’re constantly learning, iterating and improving.


I have no doubt that in three months’ time, there’ll be a number of new, improved or different elements to how it looks today.


RecruitLoop team