Getting To Know You: Sara Jones, Co-founder Hiring Hub

Getting To Know You: Sara Jones, Co-founder Hiring Hub

What do you currently do?
I am the co-founder of Hiring-Hub.com, which is a web-based (SaaS) recruitment platform that acts as a gateway, connecting businesses to an approved network of recruitment agencies, giving both parties the tools they need to trade efficiently online.

Employers can use our platform to set their own placement fees and choose from hundreds of specialist recruitment agencies that tender for their work.

We launched early in 2011 and generated revenue in week one. We currently have over 600 recruitment agencies within our network, serving over 400 employers. The platform is used by large organisations and SMEs, both of whom recognise its risk free nature. Employers only pay if it works, and only pay the fee they set; we make our money by deducting a commission from each successful placement.

What is your inspiration in business?
To receive feedback from our users that the platform has had a positive effect on their business is a great feeling. Businesses need talent to drive their growth and development, and we facilitate the process of placing specialist candidates with the right mix of skills and experience into companies that need them quickly. To hear that it has helped a business find that talent fast, and hire them cost effectively, is a constant source of inspiration.

Looking at the bigger picture, I think Hiring-hub.com can become a major player in the UK’s £25bn recruitment industry, and that is my vision and inspiration: to build a company that becomes a byword for recruitment in the UK.

Who do you admire?
Without wishing to reel off a clichéd list of business people in the public eye, I admire those who step-out of their comfort zone in order to achieve something they believe in. Particularly individuals who have utilised today’s technology, predominantly the Internet, to improve the sectors they operate in.

I admire my parents too, as they have built a great lifestyle for themselves, which has been carved from hard graft and from a standing start. This, I think, is where I get my work ethic; I have seen first hand how working hard can result in big rewards.

Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
I am pleased with the things we have achieved during the last 18 months, and the decisions we have made. Nothing stands out that I wish we had done differently. However, I’m not too arrogant to think that we know everything, so I’m sure there will be something in the Hiring-Hub.com story at some point, which should have been done differently, or approached in a different way.

When we started Hiring-Hub.com we had a very clear vision and business plan, and as yet we have not deviated from that. I’m sure in time we will, as we are an innovative, lean and agile startup, but to date we have stuck rigidly to our plan.

What defines your way of doing business?
Common sense. You would think it is a fairly abundant commodity, but it isn’t. I trust my gut feeling with decisions and luckily, the majority of the time, my business partner and I are on the same wavelength with the business choices we are faced with.

I’m also very honest and direct; I say what I think, so everyone knows where they stand. We’re on a bit of a mission at Hiring-Hub.com too. We want to change the way businesses, particularly SMEs, hire staff, so the desire and tenacity to achieve that goal is defining.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Surround yourself with great people and, when you’re building your team, ensure there is a good mix of complementary skills. Also, if you’re taking commercial advice on something, seek out individuals that are either doing it, or have ‘been there and done it’.

You will come across ‘business consultants’ or ‘business mentors’ that will attempt to tag along by offering you advice, guidance and introductions, and then charge you a fee for it. You have to ask them if they have actually started a business from scratch and scaled it into something credible. So many haven’t, and the advice they give can be detrimental.

Finally, enjoy what you’re doing; it’s hard work so if you’re not enjoying it then there really is no point.

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