FIRING SQUAD: SBOJ.com's CEO Nick Gray


There's already too many staffing solutions in the UK, right? Nay! says this month's Firing Squad guest, SBOJ (it's jobs backwards, get it?). Let's just see how right this start-up really is on this Talroo exclusive.

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Chad: Talroo is focused on predicting, optimizing, and delivering talent directly to your email or ATS.

Joel: So it's totally data-driven talent attraction, which means the Talroo platform enables recruiters to reach the right talent at the right time, and at the right price.

Chad: Guess what the best part is?

Joel: Let me take a shot here. You only pay for the candidates Talroo delivers.

Chad: Holy shit. Okay, so you've heard this before. If you're out there listening in podcast land and you are attracting the wrong candidates, and we know you are, or you feel like you're in a recruiting hamster wheel and there's just nowhere to go, you can go to talroo.com/attract. Again, that's talroo.com/attract, and learn how Talroo can get you better candidates for less cash.

Joel: Or, just go to chadcheese.com and click on the Talroo logo. I'm all about the simple.

Chad: You are a simple man.

Announcer: Like Shark Tank? Then you'll love Firing Squad. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to put the recruiting industry's bravest, ballsiest, and baddest startups through the gauntlet to see if they've got what it takes to make it out alive. Dig a foxhole and duck for cover, kids. The Chad and Cheese Podcast is taking it to a whole other level.

Joel: Aw, yeah.

Chad: Here we are.

Joel: Let's do another Firing Squad because our fans love it. All right, guys. Today we have, geez, I'm going to say this wrong. SBOJ, which is-

Chad: Spooge.

Joel: Yeah, Spooge is what we're calling it. But it's SBOJ.com. We have Nick Gray, CEO and Londoner. Nick, welcome to the Firing Squad.

Nick: Hey, and thank you very much for having me. It's an honor.

Joel: Hope you've got your bulletproof vest on today.

Nick: Yes. Well, there's plenty around in London, so your president tells us.

Joel: Yeah. Hey, with your prime minister, I'm not sure you can talk.

Nick: No, exactly. You're not wrong. He's the Britain Trump, isn't he?

Joel: Yes, yes. Well, we know that you know the rules of the firing squad, but some of our listeners don't. So Chad, why don't you run through the dilly dilly?

Chad: All right. All right, Nick, you will have two minutes to pitch SBOJ, Spooge. At the end of two minutes, you're going to hear the bell. Then Joel and I are going to hit you with rapid fire Q&A. If your answers start rambling, then Joel's gonna hit you with the crickets, and that's your signal to move along and tighten up your game. At the end of Q&A, we're going to grade you with either big applause. You should at this point, get your bank account ready because you knocked it out of the fucking park. A golf clap, you're getting there, but you can do better.

Joel: Got some work to do.

Chad: Yeah, you have lots of work to do. Or, the firing squad. Hit the bricks, close up shop, pull out the drawing board because that shit sucks, but that's the firing squad. Do you have any questions?

Nick: No, that all sounds very clear. Hopefully I don't get the last one.

Chad: Excellent. Okay, Joel, let's do this.

Joel: Ready, Nick?

Nick: Yes, go for it.

Joel: Two minutes starting.

Nick: SPOJ.com is a new platform which disrupts the employer-recruiter relationship. Taking the example of real estate, 15 years ago when you were looking for a property you'd visit the local estate agents, who would then send you houses in your budget they thought that you'd like. Now you use an online platform, such as Zoopla in the UK or Zillow in the U.S., and you search for the house you'd like, and are then put in touch with the agent that represents it.

Nick: Essentially, staffing firms still work in the same way that realtors used to. Employers recruit in three ways, one by advertising roles and getting direct hires; two, by using an in-house team to scrape LinkedIn, their network, and to leverage referrals to find direct hires; and three, by using recruiters or staffing companies.

Nick: SBOJ just focuses on number three. It's a tool for in-house teams to use alongside their ATS which aggregates and manages all of their applications from recruiters. There are lots of staffing firms, so employers manage noise from recruiters by having a PSL, a list of recruiters they can deal with. I always thought this was kind of stupid because, one, the perfect candidate might be using a recruiter they don't deal with, and two, all of the recruiters who are not on the PSL constantly call up the employer to try and get on it.

Nick: SBOJ screens existing relationships, manages duplication, and reduces conflict with recruiters, plus allows an employer to use any recruiter on guaranteed terms. No humans are involved; everything is processed by algorithms. SBOJ just manages the introduction. Recruiters still do the same stuff they do now, and employers can still protect their employer brand in the same way. The difference is just that the starting point for the relationship is our platform.

Nick: For employers, SBOJ immediately manages all noise from recruiters and in the longer term will allow them to search an aggregated database to recruiters candidates, like you now do on Zillow for houses, which isn't something that they've been able to do until now. SBOJ is completely free for employers to use, so it's been conceived as a bit of a no-brainer. There are also a lot of reasons why recruiters want to use it too. We just got a big investment from a former Dragons' Den investor, which is obviously a huge stamp of approval. To find out more, please visit SBOJ.com or email me, nick@sboj.com.

Chad: Very good.

Joel: Tight patch. Did you write that down?

Nick: I've been doing it all morning.

Joel: That's what I'm talking about.

Nick: Thank you. I tried it with my girlfriend earlier, and I was sort of adlibbing it, and I'd got about a third of the way through it and she's like, "That's two minutes."

Joel: Yeah, we are typically disappointed by CEO pitches, but that one was pretty damn good.

Chad: Significant investment from Dragon's Lair star, is it Richard Farleigh?

Nick: Yeah, Richard Farleigh. Dragons' Den is kind of the same as your Shark Tank. I think, well, we kind of invent ... Well, I think actually the Japanese invented it. Then we had Dragons' Den, and then you had Shark Tank like three or four years afterwards.

Chad: Yeah, so were you on Dragons' Den?

Nick: No.

Chad: How'd you get his attention?

Nick: No. So basically, we kind of knew a couple of sort of mutual people on LinkedIn and I sent him a few emails and he said, "Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, it sounds kind of interesting," and then he didn't really come back to me at all. And he kept looking at my profile and I was like, "Well, you know, if you're going to look at my profile then you need to hear what I want to say." And so effectively I went along and met him and another guy.

Nick: It took about six months of loads of meetings and so on and so forth because I think he's very careful with what he does, obviously, which is why I didn't get into the position he is. But he's backed a lot of companies. He tends to do larger investments with far more established companies. But he's a nice guy. We kind of get well, and I think he can see that he can make a bit of a difference with it and we can perhaps do something cool with it.

Chad: Do you know if he's investing in this industry at all right now? Are you the only investment he has in this industry?

Nick: I think I'm the only investment that he has specifically in recruitment. I don't know a sort of recruitment tech, but I don't really know. He's got his fingers in a lot of pies, put in that way. Funnily enough, actually, I think he was replaced on Dragons' Den by James Caan, who came up in one of your recent podcasts, I think, cause you were mentioning his name, saying, "Oh, Caan. Is that the actor or ..."

Chad: Right.