60 second start-up: Zartis.com

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence:

Zartis.com offers companies access to a fresh pool of qualified tech candidates (via an online platform), for a fixed fee of just 10% while also delivering considerable time savings compared to traditional recruitment methods. 

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

The platform is free for candidates and clients pay a flat fee of just 10% for any successful hire they make through the platform. Successful candidates also receive a payment of £512 when they are placed!

At the moment Zartis focuses on Dublin, Berlin and London, three tech hubs where qualified software engineers are in short supply and hiring managers are jaded from receiving unsuitable CV’s shoveled across to them in ever greater numbers. 

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

Our main competitors are traditional specialist recruiters in London who place software developers. This market is very competitive and also pretty fragmented which means there are many smaller recruiters. Zartis is a marketplace married to a software platform so is very much a technology led approach which looks to remove the need for intermediaries such as traditional recruiters.

There are a number of other market entrants such as Breaz.io (France), Hired.com (US) and Hytch (Germany). 

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Recruitment has traditionally been a service with intermediaries looking to match candidates with roles. Our approach is technology led as we look to disintermediate the process enabling hiring managers to engage directly with pre-screened candidates via our marketplace and software platform.

Our solution works particularly well for technology recruitment in Europe given the range of additional issues that this sector faces incl domestic supply shortages (which we solve given our marketplace contains EU wide talent), and the fact that many agencies supply unsuitable candidates given the difficulty of understanding very technical role profiles (which is resolved by allowing CTO’s direct access to the marketplace where they can cherry pick from a curated list of suitable candidates). 

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

We raised a seed round of €500,000 for a product we couldn’t sell. We ran out of cash in mid-2012 and we’ve been bootstrapping since then. We’ve effectively funded Zartis.com the old fashioned way: from our customers. 

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

I’ve been working on finding an opportunity in online HR and recruitment since 2009. Previous to this I co-founded Upstart Games, a developer and publisher of mobile phone games. We published games for companies including Konami, Rovio and Capcom.

We also built games for Disney and Sony Pictures. We sold the company in 2007. Previous to that I set up an Internet startup (also called Zartis.com) in 1999 and enjoyed being a multi-millionaire for about six months.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

We got funding from many of the large tech companies in Ireland including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft to attract more software developers and multi-lingual professionals to Ireland. The project was a recruitment marketing project and is still going at MakeITinIreland.com.

We had also developed a SaaS-based applicant tracking tool for SMEs. We merged the two to create the current software and service offering. It is becoming increasingly obvious that ‘recruitment is broken’ be it the client side or candidate side, and that the ‘CV shuffle’ involving ever increasing numbers is no longer fit for purpose.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Hired really smart people.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

“Upgraded” my Mac to OS X Yosemite. 

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

A Jaffa Cake. People aren’t sure if they’re a cake or a biscuit but they taste great so who cares?

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

Transferwise. It is such a brilliant service yet so simple in many ways. Banks have been taking advantage of customers for many years with exorbitant fees, and the premise so simple. 

The execution and design has also been exceptional, and they are also great at generating awareness as anyone based in London will testify to having encountered one of their many campaigns in recent years. 

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Zartis already have offices in London, Berlin and Cork and will be looking to expand further in Europe with Madrid representing the most obvious international base to consider next. We are a small ambitious team, who are very keen to support IT professionals looking to move roles without having to use recruitment agencies.

On the platform side we also believe we can add a whole range of new features which will help recruiters save more time managing the recruitment process while also supporting their primary aim of accessing quality candidates (in sufficient volumes). 

Visit Zartis.com to learn more about their talent platform. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Catch up with our previous 60 Second Start-Up: Video My Business 

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