When job hunting, how do you summarise yourself in a single page? Your experience, from school to jobs to hobbies. Your personality, the way you’d fit into a team. Same goes for businesses – how do you neatly compose a job listing that tells a potential hire exactly what makes you so special?
This is where tech startup PreviewMe comes in. PreviewMe is a video-led platform, enabling businesses to streamline the hiring process, and job seekers to put their best foot forward.
We speak with Johnny Farquhar, CEO and Founder, and Sarah Worthington, Head of Growth EMEA, to learn more.
Time to change
PreviewMe was born from experience that a CV and Cover Letter were not enough to secure a job pre-pandemic. A friend of Johnny’s found it impossible to summarise why his attitude and drive made him a suitable candidate for roles. He grew disheartened at the process – something many of us have experienced.
Johnny says, “Securing a role relies on so much more than what you list on paper. I knew a video resume would enable job seekers to introduce themselves at the beginning of the recruitment process, hero their soft skills, attitude, aptitude and ultimately demonstrate their fit early on.”
Starting life in New Zealand, where the team worked to try, test, fail, learn and rebuild, PreviewMe was originally focussed on supporting candidates. However, with lockdowns making video a more prominent part of our lives, the team explored a B2B strategy for the UK, followed by a successful launch in London in April 2021.
“Our goal was changing the way people apply for jobs. But through live market research we found businesses are equally motivated to find new ways of standing out when promoting vacancies, their products and services in the same way a candidate wants to shine when competing for a job,” Johnny explains.
PreviewMe has since expanded into the world of video-led business development and sales. It empowers businesses to create and share video to drive more human connections earlier in the sales cycle, enabling them to stand out from the competition, drive up click throughs and speed up the sales process.
For a business, a short video describing the role, team, culture and mission leaves more of an impression than bullet points ever could, and the same goes for a candidate using a short video or voice note, rather than a paper CV.
Johnny tells us, “Whether a business is promoting or a candidate is applying, and where both are relying solely on words, there will always be a missing piece of the puzzle and that is establishing chemistry and fit. We can help both parties discover these qualities earlier.”
It also saves the most precious of commodities: time. “PreviewMe can shorten the application process by narrowing the number of applicants down to those who genuinely like what they see and put in a little extra effort,“ Johnny adds. “Then when the interview rolls around it’s a conversation between parties who, in a way, already know each other.”
Making life easier
For a startup striving to grow in the aftermath of a pandemic, it was vital the team managed as much of the business operations and processes internally as possible.
Sarah explains, “When we launched in the UK we had to be very resourceful. There were many hurdles to overcome, but accounting wasn’t one of them thanks to Xero. As a non-accountant I was amazed how easy it was to get up and running on Xero..”
Now, Sarah uses Xero to manage employees’ leave requests, payroll, pension, expenses and most excitingly, client invoices. “As a tool for startup businesses Xero is so seamless and easy to use. It’s supporting our business management and growth.”
We ask the PreviewMe team for their thoughts on the current small business climate. According to Johnny, “There is a pinch of uncertainty in the air. We have a lot of conversations with businesses big and small, and nobody knows where the economy is going and how to respond – is money safer under a mattress, should we contract, should we expand?”
He adds this is one of their toughest challenges: “Positioning PreviewMe in response to uncertainty is much tougher than having a clear roadmap.”
As for tips for other businesses, Johnny suggests you continue having conversations with customers, working hard to get to the root of their problems: “Every industry will be facing something different. The faster you can learn what this is, the better poised you will be to respond, pivot, adapt, batten down the hatches or even double down and go for it.”
Look to the future
Finally, the team describe their hopes for the future:
“We believe in keeping our finger on the pulse with the current market, using real insights from real people to continuously learn from our customers,” Johnny enthuses. “”We have a diverse range of clients and consumers using PreviewMe to promote themselves, their products and services, and we hope to achieve our goal of making “send me a Preview” the norm.”
Sarah concludes, “Our agility over the past few years has meant we’ve built a really strong foundation. We’re ready to grow.”