Welcome to Future Sharks Lucas! Tell us a little description about yourself:
Lucas is an experienced business consultant and co-founder of Filtr, a new job seeking platform that makes it easier and more simple for both employers and job seekers to connect. Lucas has been involved with Filtr for just over six months, and played a crucial role in preparing the platform for launch in February 2017. Since launch, Lucas and business partner Steph have been busy connecting employers with job seekers from all over New Zealand. They now plan on raising capital to continue growing in the New Zealand market and begin exploring other potential markets.
City where you’re from: Wellington, NZ
Hobbies: Outdoors enthusiast – spearfishing, snowboarding, surfing and hiking
Favorite quote: “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure” – Colin Powell
LinkedIn: Lucas Gammie
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
My interest in entrepreneurship first started back in high school. I still remember attending a workshop on the basics of starting a business and being filled with a weird sense of nerves and excitement. During the workshop we formed teams, attempted to solve everyday problems and pitched our solution to a panel of judges. After losing rock-paper-scissors, I was chosen to pitch my team’s idea to the judges. I spent the next five minutes nervously explaining how our cycling gloves (with indicators on them) would be in such high demand with cyclists riding at night. Long story short, my team didn’t win. But that didn’t matter. I got a real sense of achievement from creating a mock business and now wanted to make it real. The problem was, I didn’t fully understand what it meant to become an entrepreneur. Like many of us, I’ve had business ideas, but didn’t pursue them because I was too preoccupied with what people would think or worried that my ideas would just fail.
It was only last year when I realized that if I took a risk, worked hard and ‘hustle’, sooner or later opportunity would find me. I was seeing friends and family around me succeed and wanted to create my own success. The best decision I made was to get involved in the Wellington startup community. This gave me access to networking events like Startup Weekend where I managed to find people with the same ambition and drive as me. People I knew I could help and who could help me. As fate would have it, it was here I met current business partner Steph. We shared a passion for changing graduate recruitment and decided to do something about it. So we launched Filtr.
Who were your biggest influences? Was there defining moment in your life?
The two biggest influences in my journey have been my dad and a bunch of my close mates (although they probably don’t know this – until now). About three years ago, my dad brought a business called Journal Surf. This company gives teachers access to literacy materials so they can plan out their classroom lessons. I still remember when dad got the company. He went straight down to his office and started mapping out his goals and strategies for the business. Over the years, it’s been fascinating to watch the outcomes of each decision come to life. Some decisions worked, and others didn’t. The thing is, he never got disheartened when a decision didn’t pay off. Instead, he tried to understand how he could make a better outcome next time. Seeing this play out has been really inspiring. It has challenged me to focus on my own decision making. Regardless of the outcome, I’m always trying to make a better decision.
My other inspiration has come from watching a couple of good mates start their own businesses. Seeing them quit their full time jobs to do what they’re passionate about has definitely challenged me to ask more of myself. Their ability to risk a stable income, a 9-5 job, and a career to decide of their own futures has been eye-opening. And to their credit, they have all tasted success at different times, and in different ways. For me, this epitomises “fortune favours the bold”.
What are you working on?
I’m currently working on Filtr, a new job seeking platform that takes the hassle out of recruitment by making it easier and more simple for both employers and job seekers to connect.
For employers, Filtr provides instant access to the student and graduate market. No more posting lengthy job adverts or ‘pesky’ applicants taking up all of your precious time. Employers now deal directly with the job seekers who fit their requirements (we help Filtr the rest). This helps employers focus on what really matters, making great hiring decisions.
For job seekers, we make getting jobs easy. Once a job seeker creates a profile (this includes personal information, ambitions, competency profile and a video elevator pitch), interested employers can contact the job seeker directly and share a role they have available. No need to search and apply for jobs anymore. The employers find you.
How did you come up with this idea?
The idea came from Steph and I seeing an opportunity to challenge the way graduate recruitment was being performed. We had both seen friends struggle to get jobs and experienced some of the frustrations ourselves. I had helped write CVs for a number of my friends, and Steph had seen intelligent friends miss out on jobs because employers were looking for someone who “knew the industry”. What we quickly learnt was job seekers were not the only ones frustrated with the current process. Employers were feeling the pain as well. One employer told me a story of when they received over 300 applications for a role and 95% of them were not suitable. The worst part was it took 20 hours to look through these CVs and find this out!
How is your product/service different and unique?
Filtr fundamentally changes how recruitment is performed. The current process of using job boards and CVs doesn’t work well. Too much time is lost searching for jobs, applying for jobs and filtering through CVs. We change this by redefining the recruitment process. With Filtr, ‘the hunter becomes the hunted’ – i.e. employers can now search and find (only) job seekers that fit their requirements. This means employers don’t wait for applications and job seekers are contacted by employers interested in them. We also equip job seekers and employers with the ability to assess cultural fit by specifying what type of job seeker/employer they are looking for and creating a 60 second video clip to ‘sell themselves’. Finally, Filtr has been designed with simplicity in mind, profiles take less than ten minutes to set up and employers can find job seekers in a matter of minutes.
Give the readers the best entrepreneurship advice you have.
It’s pretty simple really, commit to an idea and hustle to make it succeed. If you’re not willing to execute on your ideas, they will only ever be ideas. As Wayne Gretzky (professional ice hockey player) put it, “you miss 100% of the shots you never take”. If you want to succeed, you need to commit to an idea and hustle to make it a success. This means sacrificing those nights out to stay home and code or trying to constantly make the best out of any given situation. The results will speak for themself. The question you need to ask yourself is what are you willing to sacrifice to make your ideas succeed…?
Where do you see yourself and your product in a couple years?
I hope to be the co-founder of the number one graduate job seeking platform in New Zealand. Although ambitious, we believe Filtr does enough to distinguish itself from competitors and creates real value for employers and job seekers. We’re also very determined to take our service both abroad and into different industries based in New Zealand (watch this space).
Thank you for joining us here on Future Sharks Lucas!