How to Expand a Startup in a New City

How to make the most of London’s booming startup scene? Finding the right advice, following trends in tech and the startup community is not at all easy. That’s why Jobbio are launching a Jobbio meets… series, in which we meet creators, innovators and insiders in these industries to share insights, learnings and experiences. Today’s conversation features the Head of Jobbio UK.

I am Laurence Sangarde-Brown, UK Country Manager for Jobbio. Our mission is to fix the hiring process. Someone had to take care of it, so we created Jobbio’s streamlined process to hire and be hired.

Tell us about your history at Jobbio.

I joined Jobbio in January 2015. The first 6 months of Jobbio’s UK story were spent on laying the foundation for growth. Since then, we have taken on six new staff and we are continuing to scale with our growth in company and Talent numbers. We’ve been pretty successful in creating excitement around our product, not least because we have a brilliant solution.

This hard work is now resonating in our creature – EXPAND London – the event, created in partnerships with leading organisations like Microsoft Ventures, General Assembly, Hackney Council and UCL. We will bring together 500 attendees, 50 startups and a selection of incubators and accelerators, including Seedcamp, Startupbootcamp and Level39. Plus, General Assembly workshops and a top lineup of speakers including Barry Maloney, Balderton Capital (Founder and Partner), Jessica Butcher, Blippar (Co-founder and Director), Laurence Kemball-Cook (Founder of Pavegen) and Jeff Lynn, Seedrs (Co-founder and CEO). And it’s not even a full list! What else would you dream of?

Elaborating on the hard work you mentioned, what does it take to grow a small team in a new city?

The first hires are the most important. Primarily, you need a good core team. These people must have the right skills sets; they’re trustworthy, intelligent and passionate about the mission. It gets a lot easier from there. Once the core team is established, you should ensure they have the appropriate tools and support for growth. Definitely ensure smooth cross-channel communication. It will all reward itself in a successful marketing-sales-growth cycle.

What’s your top tip for anyone heading a small team?

Before anything, ensure you have an appropriate reporting and management systems. Your team members should have clear tasks set and know how to report.

It’s really easy to fall into a trap of planning too much too early. It is more prudent to spend time ensuring you have an appropriate structure worked out, so that growth can then be driven from there.

"I believe in individualities and I know that every one of us is more than a piece of paper." Laurence Sangarde-Brown

“I believe in individualities and I know that every one of us is more than a piece of paper.” Laurence Sangarde-Brown

What is the biggest challenge Jobbio UK is facing right now?

Growth is a tricky balancing act, we try to ensure the majority of focus is spent on what will make a difference today, while keeping an eye on what the company will look like next year. It’s like a Rubik’s cube. Focus on aligning one piece of the puzzle at a time and if you do this you’ll complete the whole.

In turn, this ensures manageable growth. Generating ideas is good, but their actual realisation relies on a few factors:

  • correctly assessing achievability
  • delegating it to the right person/people
  • setting deadlines

All this is attainable when each member of the team feels appreciated. Once you’ve made sure your tasks are reachable, keep focused and stay on track. Don’t let restlessness waste a good idea!

Why would you recommend your product to your best friend?

Let’s be honest, all the hassle with paper CVs and recruiters is something each and every one of us has experienced and hated in one way or another. I believe in people and I know that everyone is more than a piece of paper. Jobbio gives both companies and Talent the chance to represent themselves better.

It also feels good to have happily employed friends, so take care of your friends too.

Are you ready to do some quick fire questions? Fire them over!

"There are no problems, only challenges!" Laurence Sangarde-Brown

“There are no problems, only challenges!” Laurence Sangarde-Brown

I work for Jobbio because I am passionate about our idea and helping it grow.

The secret to successful hiring is asking problem-solving questions related to your challenges. My killer interview question is pretty simple but very effective – I ask the potential employee to elevator pitch me Jobbio’s proposition.

If you are a digital marketer never start anything without a proper reporting mechanism.

My best advice for any growing company in London is to never stop talking about your product. We’re part of one of the best startup ecosystems in the world, never stop networking and create strategic partnerships. Your product is by people for people, so go beyond the screen, make your users your advocates. Putting together EXPAND London was also based on the understanding of the importance of networking and cementing your partnership. What we want to achieve is not only providing the grounds for people to network but to actually help them connect with the industry leaders.

What has killed the cat? Anything but curiosity. So, be curious!

Football or rugby? Rugby, by all means.

Problem or challenge? There are no problems, only challenges!

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Want to be part of Expanding London?

Find the line-up of the speakers, opportunities for a startup and a Talent

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