Featured Founder: Jim Schimpf of Chattr, Formerly Hire Humanly
Welcome to our Featured Founder series, where you’ll meet startup founders from Tampa-St. Pete who are building and scaling their ventures to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. We interviewed Jim Schimpf, the co-founder and CEO of Chattr (formerly HireHumanly), a people-first recruitment technology and marketing company that is reinventing the way candidates and employers connect
Welcome to our Featured Founder series, where you’ll meet startup founders from Tampa-St. Pete who are scaling their ventures to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
What were you doing previously and what inspired you to launch your company?
I have been the managing partner for a direct mail marketing company since 2005. Prior to that, I worked in the IT staffing industry for the largest staffing company in the US.
The inspiration behind Chattr (formerly Hire Humanly) came from both an interest and a challenge. After reading the book “BOLD” by Peter Diamondis, I became wildly fascinated with Artificial Intelligence. I strongly felt it would be the next game-changing technology. I knew I wanted to be a part of it although I didn’t know how. Then as I was recruiting new salespeople for my marketing company, I realized how laborious and had become. It was basically another hat our team had to wear…yet we were out of heads to place the new hat! As a person who constantly studies how to optimize my own life, I knew there had to be a better way. That’s when it hit me…Artificial Intelligence is the ultimate optimizer. I thought, what if AI could do most of these time-consuming tasks so it frees us up for what really matters…meaningful work that makes meaningful impact.
What pain point is your company solving?
We’re juiced our technology is solving two massive employment recruiting pain points simultaneously.
Today’s employment market is in the middle of the perfect storm:
For job seekers, the application experience is simply dreadful. Long applications are eventually followed by the “black-hole” submit button which ultimately activates the “no-interaction/feedback” philosophy the majority of companies adopt. What should be a very motivating experience quickly strips the job seeker’s enthusiasm…leaving them frustrated and bitter. With unemployment at an all-time low and the competition for good talent at an all-time high, company’s need to start treating candidates like they treat customers. In fact, data is now proving that a negative employment brand and candidate experience is adversely impacting sales and profits. Our technology mitigates this problem by deploying an AI chatbot, we affectionately call “Recruiter Concierge,”that guides a highly interactive conversational application ultimately making the job seeker feel acknowledge, valued and engaged.
For emerging companies, recruiting is the life-line for growth and CEO’s need to go further, faster…with less resources. “More hats, less heads.” However, on average, each job will attract over 250 resumes with only 4–6 interviews eventually occurring. Multiple that by, let say, 25 to 50 job openings and how does a company, without a dedicated recruiting team, handle that? Not efficiently.
Recruiter Concierge optimizes this hectic process by virtually eliminating all of the mundane tasks like sourcing, pre-screening, answering FAQ’s and scheduling interviews…tasks that steal time away from meaningful conversations with good candidates. Think about it as an always present, ultra-helpful, Virtual Recruiting Assistant.
What gets you excited to go to work every day?
My personal mission is to wake up inspired so I can inspire others. Consequently, I get excited with the people and the process. You rise or reduce to the level of the people around you and I’ve made it a priority to surround myself with superstar people, who hold themselves to high standards, fuel our mission and are gritty enough to not only withstand the grind but actually embrace it. “The gifts are in the grind.”
As for the love of the process…We launched this company around our core values first…our cause, second…and the product, third. We passionately believe a cause driven by core values, never goes out of business. We want our brand to represent our strong AO, “Always Optimize”, philosophy. Whether it’s our product, our customer’s experiences, our internal processes, or our team’s productivity…we’re always optimizing to create more meaningful work.
Name the biggest challenge you faced as you’ve launched your company. How did you overcome it?
It would be easy to say a lack of resources, time or funding but if I’m being ultra-candid, my biggest challenge is staying optimistic daily. All entrepreneurs have small moments of doubt and it doesn’t help that our brains are physiologically hard wired to protect us from danger and keep us safe and comfy. You have to constantly override…actually…intentionally reprogram that hard-wired system to be comfortable being uncomfortable and keep pushing towards your goal.
I firmly believe each of us has the ability to manifest greatness. But it starts with the basics: Faith, Belief and Enthusiasm. Unwavering faith in my abilities. Concrete belief in our impact driven mission. Endless enthusiasm for what we’re doing…attitude is everything. It’s simple, but not easy.
Where do you see your company headed next?
Our technology will continue to impact other steps in the employment process like recruitment marketing, onboarding, ongoing employee engagement, and team development, all centered around the mission of making work more meaningful. Our more aggressive BHAG is to have far greater impact than just technology products and services. We’re passionate about helping emerging small to mid-market companies…the results are very tangible and fulfilling. So we want to be the #1 brand, within that market segment, synonymous with making work meaningful through our “Always Optimize” movement.
Give us a tactical piece of advice that you’d share with another founder just starting out.
Learn, implement and remain firmly focused on the “Critical Next Step. We call it the “CNS”. Founders are overloaded with seemingly important tasks. But being busy doesn’t always mean being productive. Actually, all too often, being busy eventually leads to being broke. So after each conversation, phone call, or meeting, our team gets myopically focused and identifies the one glaringly obvious thing that either propels us towards our goal or breaks through a progress impeding barrier. Those who practice the CNS, in both their life and business, are constantly proven to accomplish more.
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