The platform helps to connect university students and graduates with small business owners more effectively, through virtual career events. These career events are video meetings, webinars and Q&A sessions which allow candidates and employers to network within an online environment. The aims of VidCareer are to promote the benefits of working for SMEs, help them find the most suitable candidates and reduce the cost of recruitment.
An EIRA microfinance grant enabled her to perform market research into the value of such an idea, which has become even more relevant during the pandemic.
The challenge was to understand difficulties faced during the hiring and job seeking process through market research and gain feedback on the VidCareer platform and its overall business idea through focus groups and surveys.
The grant was spent mainly on online surveys and incentives paid to focus group participants. The market research consisted of both 5-10 minute online surveys and more in-depth focus groups lasting up to 1 hour. Two target groups were interviewed: candidates and employers.
The original plan was to conduct the focus groups in person. Due to the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic, the focus groups took place online instead, via Zoom. As venue hire and travel costs were eliminated, more funding could be allocated to the market research itself, allowing for more insights to be gathered.
Conducting the online surveys and focus groups allowed Sybil to gather valuable feedback from both candidates and employers. The final few data gathering surveys and interviews are yet to take place and then Sybil will collate and analyse the data with a plan to create a final report detailing her findings, which will be available on the VidCareer website. She discovered several trends indicating the value of the project, from both the employers’ and candidates’ perspectives in relation to direct recruitment, as well as challenges that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. All are valuable features which Sybil can take note of in her business development plan.
Sybil Mayard, Founder of VidCareer said:
“The support I received from EIRA and the University of Kent was vital to the success of my market research. The microfinance grant funding enabled me to explore current and future recruitment trends and how I can build a robust solution that will meet the changing demands of the industry.””
Sybil Maynard, Founder of VidCareer
VidCareer has benefitted from the grant-funded work as Sybil has gained a deeper understanding of who her potential clients are, whether there is a need for it in the market, and what improvements need to be made in order to meet its users’ requirements. The next stages are continuing VidCareer, both in terms of building the start-up and developing the platform.