“PitchPick” provides a visionary way to view the hiring process! PitchPick’s innovative hiring solution allows employers to capitalize on the wide-spread growth of video technology to effectively and efficiently evaluate job candidates before an interview.
Below, is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. ‘Norris’ regarding his start-up “PitchPick”;
1. What is it exactly that you do and what “PitchPick” is all about?
PitchPick is a web-based video hiring/screening solution designed to help employers reduce the time, cost, and energy wasted on non-hire interviews.
After reviewing resumes, employers can send the candidates they want to learn more about a Pitch Invitation requesting them to respond to a question such as, “Why should we hire you?” In the invitation, the employer gives the candidate a deadline to respond as well as a time restriction for the pitch ranging from 30-sec to 2-minutes.
We are all about creating an equal opportunity for employers and candidates alike to help find the perfect match for not only a specific position, but a company’s culture.
2. When has “PitchPick” been founded? And what stage is “PitchPick” currently at?
PitchPick was founded in the Spring of 2011 by Reece Norris and Bryan Johnson.
While we are in a continuing effort to perfect our product, the core of PitchPick’s development was completed about a year later and in April 2012, we underwent a soft launch.
We are still in our infancy as we constantly test PitchPick’s limits ourselves and through our Beta clients.
3. What is “PitchPick”’s business model and how does it work?
We approach the overall waste of hiring from the perspective of the employer.
As of right now, we are utilizing a Pay-As-You-Go model, but are experimenting with a subscription model as well. For $5/Pitch, PitchPick is affordable and accessible for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
We offer Pitches in blocks of five at a time, so each PitchPick purchase an employer makes is in $25 increments.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
Our team is a mixed bag of talents that makes for a very unique, effective team. PitchPick’s original founders, Reece Norris and Bryan Johnson, met while in college and have been business partners ever since. The two own and operate a infusion based healthcare business from which the idea of PitchPick was born.
After several months of development, a family member of Norris recommended the two bring on Jeff Talmadge to help with marketing, sales, and content creation for PitchPick. The two eventually distinguished Talmadge with the honor of the title of Co-Founder and has since helped with testing and managing PitchPick’s relationship with its Beta clients and users.
Recently, the team recruited software developer, Daniel Haedge, to make the final touches to the product and help PitchPick as it continues to evolve.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
PitchPick separates itself from its limited number of competitors by providing a product that is not only affordable, but accessible. With its Pay-as-you-Go model, PitchPick doesn’t require much for a small business to get started, yet it is scalable enough to handle a clients hiring hundreds of new employees every year.
Additionally, PitchPick is unique in how it allows a user to submit a video. With its variety of options for submission, any device that records is what we call a Pitchable Device. Whether it’s from a webcam or an iPhone, a user can easily record and submit a video pitch from anywhere, anytime.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has “PitchPick” achieved so far?
Currently, our growth rate is very steady as we continue to test and bring on beta clients to help us improve our product. That being said, we have an incredibly stable product which is a milestone by itself given the nature of tech start-ups.
Our goal is to have 1000 Pitches submitted through PitchPick by December 31st, 2012. WHEN we accomplish this goal, we will know PitchPick is ready to take on a global scale.
7. Who are your competitors? And what is “PitchPick”’s competitive advantage over them?
The idea of video hiring is a very hotspace right now, and has recently seen companies like TaketheInterview.com and GetHired.com get involved, however, they are not solving the problem the PitchPick was designed to eliminate.
Our competitors provide their products to replace the interview, while PitchPick was created to compliment the interview. Through PitchPick, employers can screen out those candidates that would waste an hour’s worth of time, and now, employers can bring in only those candidates they want to learn more about.
Additionally, PitchPick allows candidates to formulate their responses and truly articulate themselves before the Pitch deadline. Something that allows the employers to see and candidate respond with a script, much like a salesman knows how to do.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
Software development has been a constant challenge for our team, and we overcame this obstacle by seeking out and recruiting a seasoned profession, Haedge. Other than that, we’ve faced the normal challenges of a bootstrapped start-up, trying to do the most with the resources we have.
Fortunately for us, our biggest assets are our personnel. Our core team has a very diverse background ranging from entrepreneurship, to health care, to law, to advertising, and to programming.
Additionally, we are able to gain key insights about growing a tech start-up from our distinguished board consisting of Allen Sockwell, Nigel Dessau, and Trey Weir. All three have been instrumental to our development and will continue to be as we mature and evolve as a company.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
The current online hiring space creates a cluttered atmosphere that makes it difficult for candidates to stand out from one another. All an employer has to go off of is a resume and maybe a “personality” test.
There’s limited means for being able to judge the character of an individual and how they might fit into a company’s culture.
PithPick helps fill this void by giving candidates an opportunity to articulate responses to questions that an employer answers giving deeper insight into how a candidate is able to communicates. This is something a resume can’t say to an employer.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
Besides the drive and dedication of its founders, PitchPick is going to succeed because it is an excellent, cutting edge product that solves a very real problem with regard to hiring.
Too much time, money, and energy is being wasted on non-hire interviews by companies of all sizes, and PitchPick is perfectly designed to alleviate much of these pains. Second, we provide our product at an unbeatable price point and with unbelievable accessibility.
Lastly, our user interface has been tested and retested so that it is as intuitive as possible.
11. If “PitchPick” succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
The great thing about PitchPick is that it lends itself to many different areas of improving one’s business. When PitchPick succeeds, we will expand its benefits as not only a tool for hiring but for honing the sales pitch.
In its inception, PitchPick was thought to be a great tool for hiring a sales force, but it will also be a way for companies to have their sales personell to practice their pitch.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build “PitchPick” based on?
There wasn’t much choice involved in pursuing this start-up idea. PitchPick chose us. It was an idea that grew out a very real problem that Norris and Johnson were facing at their healthcare business, and as their problem continued to persist, they decided it was time to create a solution. Sixth months later, PitchPick was born.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
It is hard to set aside a single item that we’ve learned from launching our idea, but if we were to choose one, it’s be that when you have a great idea others will soon follow.
Since we launched PitchPick, there has been a handful of competitors who have entered into the space. Knowing this, we’ve learned that one must strike an appropriate balance between launching a product that is “perfect” and launching a product quickly.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
Change comes everyday when building a company of this nature, so it’s very difficult to predict where we’ll be, or even what we’ll be six months from now, but for the foreseeable future, financial concerns will continue to be our biggest problem.
Being a bootstrapped company, we have to be very conscious about how we spend every penny, and one poor allocation of limited funds can result in a setback.
Fortunately, we have a team that is fully committed to seeing PitchPick succeed and will not stop until it is what we call, “a house-hold office name.”
15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?
There is a two-fold benefit to PitchPick for our employers and our candidates. For employers, PitchPick lowers more than just the cost and time wasted on hiring, but alleviates an enormous amount of frustration.
With regard to candidates using PitchPick, it creates a level playing field. Too often, great candidates get lost in the resume stack or aren’t brought in to an interview for arbitrary reasons, but with PitchPick, employers can learn more about candidates at an extremely low cost.
16. How did customers/users find out about you?
At first, PitchPick was used by friends and family who own small businesses without the resources to compete with large organizations with the means to seek out and recruit premier talent.
From their experience, we realized our tool would be of great benefit to recruiting firms as well and have had success pitching our product as such. Additionally, we acquire business from drive through traffic at our site and from word of mouth from our current clients.
17. Who are your current customers/users? Who are your target customers/users?
Because we are still in beta-testing, we are not permitted to name our current customers for confidentiality reasons, but we are currently being used by recruiting firms in and around the Austin area.
However, are target is not limited to recruiters. PitchPick was initially designed for small business without the resources to of large organizations to find the best talent, but as the product took shape, it became readily apparent that it was beneficial for just about everyone.
18. Where do new customers/users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?
Much of our business thus far has come from word-of-mouth. Our list of clients have had a very enjoyable experience with our product and have shared our vision with others.
We provide additional incentives for employers to try PitchPick by offering 10 free pitches upon creating an account. After that, they’re hooked.
19. What do your customers/users say about your product and/or service?
A lot of what we hear is, “I can’t believe this hasn’t been done yet!” PitchPick is such a simple idea with an even simpler execution that it’s hard to understand why nobody has really done it yet.
Sure, until recently it may not have been very cost efficient to do so unless you belong to a company with tremendous resources, but with the advances in cloud computing and the growing social nature of the internet, it is truly the dawn of this new era of hiring.
20. How are you going to scale?
We are steadily moving towards taking on more and more clients, but we are prepared to host as many clients as we can possibly take on. For the time being, we are marketing it regionally to clients in Texas, but we are planning on making a push nationally in the next six-months.
Fortunately, PitchPick is extremely scalable and is able to support organizations of all sizes.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?
The biggest missing feature at this time is a direct webcam record to the PitchPick site, however, this is at the top of our list right now of features to add. Now that we have Haedge on board, we are able to tackle these long awaited add-ons.
Additionally, we are building a Pitch-Push feature so that employers are able to share quality candidates with other employers or members of the company.
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
Being a internet based start-up, we fully planning to use the global nature of the internet to expand our business internationally.
However, at this time, we are not prepared to accept payment from currencies other than U.S. dollars, but this will be fixed very shortly.
Ideally, companies abroad will be able to use it to recruit talent from other countries.
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
Given that our product can benefit companies of all shapes and sizes, the sky is really the limit for how big PitchPick can get.
There’s not a company in the world that would say making hiring easier is not something they are interested in and we plan to capitalize on that universal trait.
We plan to achieve this goal by providing a consistent, stable product that is supported by the heart and soul that went in to building it.
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
At the moment, we are not looking to grow, but that is certainly subject to change as our needs evolve. We have a perfect synergy of talents and passion among our four members that it doesn’t necessitate growth.
When the day comes when we are looking to expand, we will first bring on talented developers to ensure our product is always functioning smoothly and host of client representatives to maintain the satisfaction of our client base.
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
As a bootstrapped company, we are always open to the idea of partnering with a VC, but our number one priority in taking on a partner is not the financial benefit but rather a shared vision and passion for what PitchPick can provide for its users.
The vision of making hiring easier, even a little fun, and providing an opportunity for a candidate’s voice to be heard and listened to.
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
Our advice to fresh entrepreneurs is to stay hungry and never be satisfied with something that is merely good.
If you have a vision, pursue it, but know that in order to succeed, you must have the grit and determination to make your own success.
We here at PitchPick have an insatiable appetite to be a premier hiring solution.
27. Finally, do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
We’d like to say thank you for this opportunity to spread the word about our business.
It is blogs like this that help people like us stay hungry and get a meal here or there. If hiring gives you a headache, than PitchPick will be your medicine. Thanks!