Interview with Jeff Boodie
JobSnap is Tinder meets Snapchat for Jobs. JobSnap is a video interviewing software tool for job applicants new to the workforce, with geo-location capabilities for mobile and desktop devices. We are dedicated to democratizing the job search process by efficiently matching employees with employers based on a 30-second resume video. Our focus is servicing the restaurant and retail industry by replacing the paper resume with a more personal introductory video that saves employers' time, and results in a better hire. JobSnap was founded on the idea that no young adult should be without job opportunities because of lack of experience or connections. As a social enterprise, we reinvest a majority of our profits to achieve sustainability, grow our reach and ensure the fulfillment of our mission.
Jeff Boodie is passionate about Generation Z and how video technology will play a big part in their lives. He is open to speaking opportunities with a request in advance. He also sits on the board of YouInspire.org and is actively involved with Shesthefirst.org
Could you please introduce JobSnap and what led to your co-founding the company?
JobSnap is the first web app that helps connect job recruiters to generation Z. We focus on early time job seekers, people who have very little to no experience, who tell us about themselves in 30 seconds or less, and employers then invite them to apply and they can answer three questions. Then if the employers like how they answer those questions they swipe left or they swipe right, and they connect with those that they're interested in. What led me to co-found JobSnap? Ultimately, I wanted to connect people that didn't have experience or connections, but have personality, drive, and have the ability to communicate well. While you can say those things on digital paper it's easier to see that through video or ultimately person but a lot of the time there are algorithms that prevent candidates getting to the interview in person. So we make a middle area where companies can see candidates before bringing them in.
What was your experience being featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list?
I've been on the Forbes, I was nominated for the Forbes 30 under 30 in 2013 and it's been an incredible ride ever since then. I think what it does is incredible, the doors that have opened for people that have been interviewed. Just the experience of going, I've made lifelong friends. I think it's because the people that are like-minded, they might not have the same idea but they all have the passion to change the world and make an impact, and because of that we have so many minds and type A’s who are all driven to succeed in whatever industry they are in. I think magic happens, and I thank Forbes for bringing people together to see what true creative minds can do if they're all in the same room. I think that's pretty cool. So it's been an awesome ride and shout out to everyone who's been nominated as well.
How does JobSnap differentiate itself from other hiring platforms like LinkedIn and Ziprecruiter?
That’s a really great question. At JobSnap we differentiate ourselves from other hiring platforms, like LinkedIn and Ziprecruiter, by only focusing on videos that are only 30 seconds or less. We really hit the market for generation Z, mobile mavericks. The people that are millennials and up you're more likely to use LinkedIn or Ziprecruiter. We really focus on those entry-level, first-time job seekers, people who never had experience and so a resume doesn't really make any sense. If you’re on LinkedIn, you have to have some experience so you’re profile is even compatible. If you’ve never worked or had an internship, Linkedin is not for you. Ziprecruiter targets a higher end of the market. We are focused on, again, on the people that have never had a job, that have personality and can show that in video rather than writing it down.
What challenges and rewards have you had since co-founding JobSnap?
So I think some of the challenges when it comes to the recruiting market has been that the recruiter market has existed for so long so it's a greater challenge to convince investors of the disruption that you are making on in a market. I always tell people that we’re not sexy like bitcoin, like VR, or AI, and that destruction is needed in how we hire. They are some of our bigger challenges. I'm always rewarded when new customers come on and tell us how simple yet and innovative what we've done is. So I think it's cool just to continue to bootstrap and watch everyone else come to where we already know we're gonna be. Sometimes it’s just staying in and pushing through and it's exciting to see JobSnap continue to gain more momentum and value as we are staying in the market and for people to see how we are differentiating ourselves.
You've worn many hats throughout your career. How do you manage your different roles as an entrepreneur, consultant, speaker and blogger?
A good thing about an entrepreneur, I know the term is used so much, is that when you're building a business, entrepreneurs are the people that go all in, they execute on one idea and use that momentum, whether that's to sell, or for acquisition, then to go on to do other things. I think with my main focus is always on JobSnap. With that, I can sell businesses on business development and what it takes to bring in new customers. With the speaking thing I know that it balances out in advance, that I know when I'm away, I can commit or not commit something depending on the value that it adds to JobSnap or my resume. The blogging thing is great because it allows us to stay relevant with Gen Z and allows us to pick up when it comes to SEO. To make sure that we're still picking up on being one of the first platforms that focus on Generation Z when it comes the workforce. Honestly, you find a balance to figure it out that's all I can say. If I had to sit back and think about it, and how I do it, I wouldn’t even start.
What are some key lessons you've taken away from the MSC Incubator Program at the University of Southern California?
USC is an incredible network and I'm so grateful for the USC incubator allowing us to tap into that network. Believing in us enough to back us and introduce to an amazing amount of partners. So the experience and program at USC is incredible for really getting your foot in the door when you're a start-up. As a startup you need resources, and it allows you to never be afraid to ask because there are so many people there, whether it’s legal work or whether it’s for streaming with Amazon web services, there are these resources out there, and companies that want to help you as a start-up and as an entrepreneur succeed. USC helped facilitate that process and helped us know that it's ok to ask for help.
When did you first realize you had a penchant for entrepreneurship and business?
I think back then it was probably at high school when I was a junior, and I was selling candy. I started going around the school for 6 months and selling candy. I think then I realised margins and how much I can buy M&Ms and Skittles for wholesale. At school in between lunch and before school I realised there's a hole in snacks, and I love a good snack, because there was this gap of you couldn't find anything if you didn't bring it in yourself. We have all got a sweet tooth, especially in high school, I capitalised on that. After that and I knew that I loved the idea of putting in a certain amount of money and investing something, in this case, M&M’S. Then charging and upselling because there was a demand in the market, and no one else was doing at the time. So that's when I knew I had this hustle to figure out problems and problem solve and it's been a crazy crazy ride ever since.
What's unique about the Generation Z workforce?
I think what's unique about Generation Z is that any generation before them we didn't have smartphones and I think because smartphones exist, and because of things like this video that I'm doing right now, this generation is now equipped with so much on their fingertips and are able to express themselves way more around the world digitally and socially than ever before. I think because of that blend between work and social, it started with millennials but then generation Z came, the blend became so much more than this workforce is more merged with social media. So that's a unique thing and it's allowing employees to rethink what work looks like after millennials. They're going to have to track a lot more things and that keeps someone from this next generation from wanting to be in a nine to five. I think that's really what's unique about this next generation.