Elevator Pitch: RecruitLoop

Elevator Pitch is a new regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Michael Overell, cofounder ofRecruitLoop.

In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.

Recruitment agencies are expensive. DIY recruitment can be extremely time-consuming. For employers, they're both painful options. RecruitLoop.com is a marketplace for recruitment services, for employers to automate and outsource the recruitment process, on-demand.

Employers post a project to outsource any part of the hiring process to independent recruiters, saving 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the cost compared to a traditional agency. RecruitLoop connects recruiters with employers through an integrated set of tools and technology including high quality recorded video interviews. We know all about the headaches involved in hiring great people. RecruitLoop gets rid of them.

What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?

We have offices in Sydney and San Francisco, and as a business cover timezones across the US, Asia-Pacific and Middle East. We're focused on growing our network across all these locations, through a combination of online and offline efforts.

One of our main strategies for growth is based on our users. On the supply side, we see recruiters referring other recruiters. Then in terms of business growth, recruiters are actively marketing to employers, and bringing clients into the platform.

What's the biggest challenge facing your business?

We sometimes describe RecruitLoop as an 'oDesk for recruitment'. But one main difference is that recruiters can't just post a profile on our website. We're building a highly curated marketplace of quality professionals, to counter the negative perceptions many people (rightly) have about the industry.

This is a marketplace based on quality, not just quantity. So one of our big challenges is scaling the platform, while maintaining the high quality of the recruiters within the community (the human element in our business model). We accept only 10 per cent of the recruiters who apply to RecruitLoop because their experience and calibre is paramount to our success.

We're taking a deliberate approach to growth, which brings some obvious challenges. But we think it will give a much stronger and more defensible position long-term, and most importantly give greater benefits to the businesses that use RecruitLoop.

What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?

Phone: Google Maps. It's the killer app for someone constantly lost in a new place.

Tablet: Zite. I love it for personalised content that gets smarter the more you use it.

Laptop: Google Docs. It has completely changed the game when collaborating in a remote team.

What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?

Focus. (Even the advice follows that advice!)

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