The Future of Recruitment? Wise Man Say speaks to Marc Hoag, CEO of Venturocket

Posted May 28, 2012 - By | 3 Comments

Hello Marc
Hi Wise Man Say, great to connect!

Marc, it’s late there and early here, so let’s get right down to it – give me the hollywood pitch. What is Venturocket?
We are literally reinventing the job market from the ground up. We are getting rid of CV’s……even the application process itself. Through our auction system, we allow job seekers to verify their abilities by placing a dollar value on their skills and then match them with the perfect job for their particular skills. 3 steps, 5 minutes, boom. that’s it!

Rewind it back for me Marc….
Sure. Recruitment has gotten away from the fundamental question…can this person, do this job? Everything else that we have and use for assessment – technical fit, competencies, cultural fit and so on, are important, but if the guy can’t do the job, it wouldn’t matter. So Venturocket is an attempt to solve the problem of skills verification by asking candidates to put their money where their mouth is. If you think you are good at a certain skill, then back it up with a dollar bid.

…I like the money where mouth is….there’s a lot of big mouths out there. Walk me through it Marc – how does it work?
The job seeker comes onto the site, and enters up to 30 skills – or just imports them from LinkedIn – starting with your job type, followed by functional skills, then those intangible skills which everyone says they’ve got but that we’ve stopped paying attention to because we haven’t previously had a way of verifying them, like “team player” or “fast learner”. The job seeker manipulates a slider on each skill to determine the degree of experience or proficiency they claim they have on that skill. That degree of experience correlates to a dollar value. The more experience you have the more the bid will be. We are penalizing those that exaggerate and rewarding those that are accurate. In effect, it’s Google AdWords for human capital. We allow talent to advertise themselves through a skills auction model – a human advertising model.

Can’t I write down whatever I want?
Sure, but there would be no point – you would simply get to an interview for which you were unsuited, and of course, there would be a financial penalty for the wasted interview. There is no incentive for rating yourself on skills which you do not possess. Similarly, the employer is charged the exact same amount for a connection, so there is a parallel incentive / penalty scheme for the non-serious employer: we help ensure they’re serious to set up an interview with that job seeker. What we are doing is eliminating ‘resume noise’ for the Employers, and ‘vacancy noise’ for the Job seeker.

Give me some numbers Marc. How much is this going to cost me?? Might it become prohibitive?
That’s an interesting question. It’s a question of supply and demand, and ultimately what is prohibitive is going to come down to personal choice. To give you a ballpark, in a highly competitive market, it’s probably something like $20-$25 bucks. Now that may sound like a lot, but if you truly believe you are highly skilled in what you do but still have problems landing a job, we see this is a fast track alternative to all those applications you would have otherwise had to make. A lot of people have wondered….what about the people who really don’t have any disposable income. Well, we’re not saying that we’re the only solution out there. On the contrary, we think that you should definitely still use the traditional free job boards, you should use LinkedIn and everything else. What we’re saying is that we are a new entrant on a mature eco-system and an additional platform where job seekers who are confident in their talent can get connected to serious employers faster and more accurately. So if you’re sick of spending months and months applying to thousands of companies or if you need to land something quickly, hey, spend a few bucks, and fast track the process with us.

How does it work from the employers POV?
Exactly the same UX as for the candidate, but on the other side. You start by defining your posting, setting the experience you need on the skills you input. Then you immediately get a list of matching results, based on match quality. We have 3 categories on the view – the skills that match and the degree to which they match, the skills which are NOT matched, and then the skills that the job seeker has that the employer did not even think about. Rather than parse through non standard text on countless resumes, you can within seconds of viewing a chart, see who matches the job and how close in percentage terms that match may be.

….and there’s a big green button which says connect….?
…right! Except that’s it’s not green, but actually “VR Orange,” (laughs) But let me be clear on how the pricing works. You only pay for the skills that match – you don’t pay for skills that don’t. So if you have 10 skills but only 8 match on a candidate you want to connect to, you only pay the sum of the 8 skills. What’s great about this is that all employers and recruiters can post jobs for free. You only pay when you connect with a person that is a really good match for your what you are looking for.

Love the UI. Talk to me about the UI!
I’m a huge fan of orange. Lamborghini made us all fans of orange right! No but seriously, it’s just a great color that really draws the viewer’s eye in, and really contrasts nicely with our otherwise pleasing grayscale color scheme. And ultimately, it was all about keeping the entire process stupidly simple: I mean, the entire thing really does take five minutes, and just three steps. In fact, the entire website is only four pages deep from registration to match results. That’s pretty awesome. Show me another jobs site that’s that fast, that simple, that accurate, and that affordable. It doesn’t exist.

And how long until world domination?
Our initial attack plan is of course to keep expanding here in the United States, but the long term vision is to take it to the places that need it. We are living at a really weird time in human evolution: for the first time ever people in developing nations have disproportionately more technology than the economies of their countries would seem to allow. Look at Africa, even people in extremely impoverished countries still have mobile phones now. In Brazil and India, there’s a hugely talented population base who simply can’t get connected. So naturally we’ve received a ton of demand from those countries asking us when we’re going to get out there. So if we can be part of the solution to this critically important problem in the world, then we’ll be pleased: we will have accomplished our mission of helping make the world a more productive place.

Thanks Marc, this has been fascinating. Good night
My pleasure, Wise Man Say, have a good night

7095357821 fce5859365 o 300x225 The Future of Recruitment? Wise Man Say speaks to Marc Hoag, CEO of Venturocket

Thanks to Marc Hoag, CEO of Venturocket. Check out Venturocket at launch HQ and ollow Marc on twitter @marchoag and Venturocket on @Venturocket

Wise Man Say is The Social Recruitment Guide. I solve recruitment problems for companies looking to scale. Thinker / Trainer / Doer on social recruiting. Contact me on 0207 739 9358 or

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  • Paul May 28, 2012

    Really interesting interview and for once an idea that could shake things up in recruitment. I think could have some serious legs Hung. One to watch for the future.

  • Hung May 29, 2012

    Thanks Paul. I’m glad you found it interesting. Let me know if you see any others that are trying anything similar. Best wishes, Hung

  • Paul May 30, 2012

    Will do. I think you have touched on something with the word “others” Hung. It seems to me that there is a new web based technology business setting up everyday. A couple that have caught my attention are Recruiterbox (they seem to be an Indian/American team and if they keep going the way they have started, they could be huge) and Cloudsuite (British based, which is refreshing and promising an outstanding system).
    Not sure if its my imagination but India seems to be an ever increasing force in cloud deployment, the Americans historically feeding off Silicon Valley are seeing a huge talent move to a new powerbase in San Francisco and the UK very low on development teams. I’m hoping that Cloudsuite can show the way forward.



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