Rookie Recruits describes itself as the next generation in youth recruitment, specialising in finding and placing “guns for hire”.
The business was founded in 2009 by Jason Murray and Andy Springer, who identified a niche in the market for helping young professionals find work.
Springer talks to StartupSmart about flying the flag for Gen Y job candidates.
What inspired the idea for Rookie Recruits?
The idea first germinated when Jason wanted to get into sales when he lived in the UK. In Jason’s case, recruiters and sales managers would not consider him as he had no experience and was only 19.
Jason finally found a recruiter who said he would make him his “project” because he had an awesome attitude. The recruiter worked hard to get Jason in front of companies and eventually he met a couple of Kiwis who said they were willing to take a risk on a rookie.
Six years later as a hiring manager, Jason wanted to find young talent with awesome attitudes and recruiters kept sending him people who had skills and experience but an average attitude.
He sacked the recruiters and started hiring friends and colleagues whom he knew had the right attitude to succeed.
I had also been placed very early in my career by a recruiter that backed my attitude instead of focusing on my inexperience and knowledge. It was my second placement in IT sales where I got my really big break.
Two business owners took a punt on a young guy with no sales or tech knowledge, and invested time in training and developing me. I went to on to start my own IT companies and, in my mid-20s, achieved good business success.
I attribute a great deal of credit to the personal development I received along the way, thanks to a series of mentors and coaches that took the time to help me develop and refine my skills.
It was at a series of pub meetings in 2008 where Jason’s idea for attitude-based recruitment, and my coaching and personal development passions, aligned to form what we now know as Rookie Recruits.
Rookie Recruits exists to do on a massive scale what recruiters and coaches have done in adding value to Jason’s and my lives throughout the early stages of our careers.
How long did you work on the business before you launched it?
Rookie Recruits was conceived as an idea in 2000 and then conceptualised as a business in 2008. We finalised the complete product offering when we added the coaching model and program in 2008.
From the outset, we got serious and started to develop the brand, customer value proposition, coaching model, etc. We launched in July 2009 once the economy started to look a little healthier.
How did you fund the business?
As we are a service business, start-up costs were low. Like most entrepreneurs, we operated out of homes, requiring just basic IT and salaries for the directors.
We’re self-funded – friends, family, credit cards, bank loans, etc.
How did you promote the business?
By far the majority of our early customer base came from the “warm market” of the directors – approximately 80% in our first year.
We also had a focus on business networking and have had some success with email marketing.
How did you monetise the business?
We were monetised from day one by simplifying the way we charge for our service by applying a fixed price fee, which is in contrast to the way more traditional recruiters charge for their service.
What are your revenue projections for 2011/12?
How many staff do you have?
10 full-time employees
What’s the biggest risk you face?
Like most companies, we are somewhat susceptible to the downturn in the economy, less hiring and a tendency to want to do things in-house.
However, our biggest risk is some employers’ attitude that, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The challenge is changing employers’ mindsets to give more consideration to hiring people with absolutely awesome attitudes rather than simply focusing on number of years’ experience.
Recruitment companies are becoming pretty popular. What are your points of difference?
Rookie Recruits provides service beyond belief and value beyond compare.
We only do career start – we’re the career start specialist. We only represent candidates with an absolutely awesome attitude.
We align the natural talents and needs of a candidate to the unique needs of an employer, and we include a 12-month coaching and mentoring program included within our fixed price fee.
What advice would you give to other start-ups?
Understand what consumer or business challenge/problem your product or service is solving before you begin. Will people pay for it?
Ask for loads of feedback and make changes to your concept to meet the market’s needs. Love every customer like they were your only one. And most importantly, hire well – your people are your business.