When JobProd co-founder Romain Brouard walks into the Cole Street office, he apologizes for not being based out of Paris. The JobProd team, he explains, is a bit all over the place – he’s in Nantes, one person’s in Lorient, two in Paris, and one employee is based in Colombia! But he quickly adds they see that as a strength.
Romain, the CEO and the co-founder that came up with the idea, lays out the terrain for me: his co-founders,Eric Langrognet and Guillaume Besse, are both Paris based, and are serial entrepreneurs who put money in, but only spend a few hours a week on his startup – which totally works for Romain, as he gets the benefits of their experience and network, and it allows them to work on multiple projects, as senior entrepreneurs (read: the ones with a successful exit under their belt) often do.
Helene, their #1 employee, manages their community, and their coder is an employee too – in Colombia!
The problem that JobProd solves is that recruiting developers, as it is today, is painful and expensive. Recruiters charge a lot of money and often deliver so-so work, and for job seekers it’s hard to have any visibility to how it is to work for the employer.
JobProd solves this problem by curating their marketplace on both sides: the employees are curated by talking to the CTO and their existing developers, and the job seekers all take tests online to validate their technical skill sets. As it turns out, most of the employers that are on their website today are startups! Who knew there was a shortage of developers in the startup world!
As this requires a team ‘on the ground’, JobProd limits itself to jobs in France for the moment. They find it absolutely necessary to visit the office of each of their clients, and talk to the existing team, before accepting the job postings, to assure quality.
The business model is a ‘success fee’ – that’s recruiter talk for getting paid if you successfully place someone in a job. In the traditional recruitment world, you often get paid in three steps: one part on placement, one part when the employee is there for three months, and the final installment after 6 months. JobProd doesn’t work that way: their full fee is due on placement, and if the employee leaves before the 6 month mark, they will re-recruit for you for the same fee.
As of right now, JobProd has about 70 active clients at any given time, and a community of 7000-8000 active job seekers, both on their website, LinkedIn page, Twitter and Facebook. They are fully self-funded, and are not looking for any funding at all!
Their client list includes startup stars like BlaBlaCar, Stupeflix, DocTrackr, DashLane, but also traditional IT companies such as Zenica and Itelios.
How did they find themselves in the recruitment business? Romain explains that he spent one year at a certain French LinkedIn-like company, and found himself completely turned off by how things were done. When looking at recruitment, he noticed that there’s a lot of pain in development recruitment especially, and started talking to potential clients and slowly fine-tuned his product.
Their future plans are twofold: one direction they want to look in is freelance developers. They realize this is a very different recruitment process, and it’s harder to make money, so they are still in the decision phase. Their second goal is to expand geographically: London and Berlin are at the top of the list, and the budget for a person ‘on the ground’ is available. They’re also starting to do events, with a first one at EPITECH, one of Paris’ best computer science schools.