Janeous is an American / Singaporean digital company that aims to revolutionize how businesses conduct their hiring process. Using advanced algorithm matching in its platform, all matters pertaining to job seeking, candidate sourcing, and interviews can all be streamlined without ever leaving the platform. We’ve recently had the opportunity to interview Shana Lynde, the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer to gain a better understanding of the company and what it does.
Can you tell us about your role and what you do at Janeous?
I’m the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer. My role is to help lead the company from a marketing and creative perspective. As Co-Founder, I take on a lot of duties that the typical CMO would not, like pitching to investors, seeking funding, and building our website, product testing, and that’s just a very small insight into a “day in the life.” My CMO role has me doing interviews like this, writing blog articles, building our social media foundation, press, brand image, and much more.
Can you tell us a bit about Janeous as a brand? It’s history and It’s brand values?
Of course, we are so excited about bringing Janeous to market! Blake Hawkins, our founder, initially planted the seeds for Janeous around 2011. He had been a Captain in the United States Air Force with duties ranging from the project manager for a $10M/y wargame software program to an AFROTC instructor and recruiter. During his transition out of the USAF, which resulted in a job at Ernst and Young, he was part of a military transition program which culminated in a multi-interview condensed job fair. The physical nature of the event made it unscalable and the technology was not yet sufficient to support it online. It took many years for the technology to catch up with his vision of a mobile-first video interviewing platform that would revolutionize recruiting and hiring. Fast forward to 2017 when the timing was right, Blake began building what is now Janeous.
We are a talent matchmaking marketplace that uses advanced algorithms to match the right candidates with the right companies for live video interviews. Our mission is to humanize hiring, one digital interview at a time. Companies interview matches during industry-specific digital job fairs in the time it takes to have a cup of coffee. It’s best described as ML-driven speed dating for jobs. We value both sides of the market but think the candidates are underserved so our values focus on providing them a better candidate experience through integrity, honesty and hard work.
What are the challenges you faced in your role?
I think it’s always challenging getting a startup off the ground. We have a high-tech product that has the ability to scale fast and take over a nice chunk of the very profitable global talent identification market. We need funding with the right investors to grow our company to the degree we envision. I think many of our challenges originate from the simple fact that we are a startup that is bootstrapped. Having previously bootstrapped a company from the ground up, I find the key is to be creative in the challenging moments. Also, it’s important to recognize that these are the most precious, exciting times at our company and they are worth savoring.
How do you decide when to do a partnership? and which have been the most successful ones.
At this point, we are looking for clients who are a good fit for our platform. So far the most successful ones are those who a) could gain value from using our services, b) are willing to try our platform even though we are a new startup. Other partnerships are proving invaluable, like those we are making in the startup world. Some have blog platforms and there is a benefit on both ends to share content or give interviews. Others host pitch events so we have access to angels and VC’s and they benefit from having us attend.
How does your company carry out partnerships?
We approach various partnerships differently. For clients, we prefer developing a long-term relationship with them whenever possible. Other times, companies approach us for partnerships and if things are aligned we follow through.
If you could change one thing about the process of partnerships, what would it be?
We are a global company that is based in Singapore. Our current market and target audience is Singapore, although our focus is expanding to the US this month. Since I am located in Santa Barbara, CA, cultivating in-person partnerships in Singapore is primarily the responsibility of our founder, Blake Hawkins. That means my job as CMO is to work on building online partnerships. This is easy in today’s virtual society and it aligns nicely with our digital platform – matching and interviewing via video from anywhere in the world. Still, navigating different online platforms to initiate a partnership relationship is challenging, because online etiquette is very particular and everyone has different expectations about what is ok. What is the right way to begin to communicate with someone? How many times do you need to “like” or “comment” on a person’s social media posts before you send them a message, so you don’t offend them? In person, you can walk up to someone and start talking, but if you send a LinkedIn message out of the blue (aka a cold message), they might be offended and you’ve ruined your chances to connect with an otherwise invaluable contact.
This is all to say, there is no one way to cultivate partnerships, online or in person, for that matter. This is probably the biggest thing I would like to change: I wish there was one universal, streamlined process that is accepted for initiating and developing business alliances.
What did it take to make Janeous a successful brand?
We are in the very early stages of our startup. I would say that we have been successful in bringing on high-value clients who are willing to work with us during our prototype phase. This has a lot to do with Blake, his passion for Janeous, and his tremendous ability to connect with people. They believe in him and our product, as they should, his word is gold. Once we have launched our beta and have gained more traction, we can speak more to Janeous’ success as a brand.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Great question. Our USP is that we are humanizing digital hiring. We are doing this by bridging the gap between HR tech and human connection at the earliest stage of our hiring process. We do this by automating the recruiting process which removes otherwise lengthy steps of hiring. Also, one of our main focuses is improving the candidate experience because it has gone awry. A bad candidate experience doesn’t just affect job seekers but companies as well. The average (US) company is losing 22,000 customers and $2.2M annually when 10% of their candidates have a bad experience.
Many of our competitors have created automated tools like chatbots, recorded video interviews or AI-focused platforms, which are working to address the lengthy hiring process and other recruiting headaches. These tools fail to integrate what we believe is most fundamentally broken in hiring; the lack of human connection. By blending tech and human interaction from the start, Janeous is improving the candidate experience and saving hiring professionals time and money.
What is one interesting insight you have as the Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer?
There are mountains of advice available for Co-founders, but ultimately what matters is that you listen to your gut and rely on your partner/ Founder because you both know your company better than anyone. You will be the ultimate team to steer your startup to success. And a solid partnership with your Founder/Co-Founder is nothing short of critical, I am so very lucky!
Thank you Shana, for doing this interview with us!
Want to share your thoughts about partnerships? Send us an email, we’ll follow up!