Get the help of the crowd to find the right candidate: Interview With Fillip’s CEO Nir Sorek
Fillip is a decentralized recruitment platform that allows companies to get the help of the crowd to find the right candidate.
- Startup Name: Fillip.co
- Founders: 3
- Year Founded: 2015
- Number of employees: 4
- Location: Jerusalem, Israel
- Raised: Self-sustained
Tell us where it all began?
“While working as an information systems director for Ex Libris, a leading software as a service (SaaS) company, I found myself spending an enormous amount of time recruiting staff and I understood that something was wrong with the system. I really struggled to find the right people for the job, I started calling my friends and offering to buy them dinner if they could find me a Linux developer.
Within weeks, the positions were filled.
One of the keys and fundamental things I realized is that a large part of the talent right for the job remains below recruiters’ radar as it is mostly hidden in the non-active-job-seekers out there, and if a broker, or a connector, is operated, motivated and rewarded, then the right person can easily and quickly be pointed out and tracked down.
All the current economy technology around us is based on asking what we want, searching for it, putting our interests in forms and allow machines to connect supply and demand. We understand that the biggest market (80%) is hidden – those potentially interested people that don’t actively search for what they need and want. The only way to reach them is to use brokers that will remind them and draw their attention to the opportunities that await. We all can be great brokers if we will get the right reward!”
How did your team come together?
“Gil and I are friends since first grade. We never thought about building something together until a well-known founder came to me and asked if I happen to know a great technological guy for an idea he had. I made the connection between him and Gil but he wouldn’t accept me not joining. We started working and Gil and I quickly understood that changing the current status-quo and building a new one, allowing anyone to participate, is much more exciting to us.
We started thinking and understood that a key skill-set we need is user experience expertise. We then asked Erez, also a long time close friend, to jump on board.”
How different is your current product from the product you initially envisioned?
“The product changed dramatically a few times based on signals that we got from the market but we remained with the same concept. Allowing people to use the crowd as a connector.”
A lot of being a startup is pivoting – editing, iterating, streamlining, optimizing. What’s been the best advice you’ve received, and how did it prompt you to pivot, even if in a small (but important) way?
“I got some great advice from a member of our board of advisors (Alan Cutter, Owner and CEO of AC Lion recruitment firm) about the importance of remaining lean and mean. We are giving extra focus on that and without it, Fillip couldn’t reach any milestone. It demands us to hit the market really soon in our development lifecycle in order to get feedback from the ground. You can waste a lot of energy building the most amazing technology and discover that no one wants to use it. Our main investment is to hear our users out.”
Tell us a little bit about your first all nighter working on this project. What was the first thing that kept you in the office through the night?
“We give a huge amount of focus on building strong relationships between each other and now with our employees. This strong relationship is a key factor for having fun together and having many “white nights”. We just enjoy being together.”
At a standard meeting with your executive team, what’s your number one priority? Are you talking about your product first? Your market strategy? How do you and your team orient yourselves to make an impact?
“We don’t have such rules. The focus changes based on the current situation. In General we focus on the business side.”
And with that, been the most powerful way you’ve seen your project make an impact. Putting aside fancy terms like proof of concept or product validation, when was the first time you really saw – and felt – that your product could make a difference?
“One day Gil called me and told me that there is unusual traffic from a specific source. When we analyzed it we discovered that someone built a website with our opportunities, to attract candidates through SEO and forward their details directly (machine to machine) to our site. For us, it’s a dream come true because when we said that Fillip.co is a crowd wisdom platform this is exactly what we meant – everybody taking the opportunities we are publishing to their own area of strength.
A 8200 soldiers, professional headhunters, Social marketing experts, an IOS developer, a SEO technical experts, basically; everyone’s knowledge, combined, finds relevant people for any position on the planet.”
And finally, how to do you hope to expand your impact in the near and extended future?
“We understand that our target market is the US and we are working hard towards hitting it pretty soon.”