“It’s about what you can do, not where you’ve been”, is what Jack Parsons, yourfeed CEO believes when it comes to careers.
An online network aimed at showcasing your people’s skills, yourfeed and Jack are all about skillsets and less about C.V. writing. We caught up with him ahead of yourfeed’s launch to discuss how businesses and millennials can benefit one another.
Why did you start yourfeed?
“I left school at 16 and I didn't go into further education. I started out as an apprentice but the company lost their funding from the government and went bust. Without qualifications it was hard to get a job, so I had to work for free to get in the door of my first recruitment job and prove myself. The more people I spoke to, the more I realised that this was a huge problem for young people, or #GenerationNow as I call them, all over the UK. CV’s do not do anyone justice; it’s about what you can do and your potential, not where you’ve been. That’s where the idea for yourfeed began.”
Why are you championing millennials so much?
“I am a millennial. I don’t pretend to be an expert in any area, but everything we champion at yourfeed is based on experience from the past 18 months where we’ve met and heard from a huge amount of young people who have experienced the same problems when looking for employment. #GenerationNow are looking for opportunities but there’s too many young people not in education, employment or training, or they are in jobs they don’t enjoy just to work.
“Staff retention is also a huge issue, with 66% of millennials wanting a career change by 2020. I believe that through skill based hiring, brands can recruit employees who they know have the skills they require and the personality to grow and adapt with their business. I call this the 80/20 rule. Hire someone who’s 80% fit for the role so that there’s 20% to learn and grow, rather than someone who’s 100% of a job specification. #GenerationNow want to be loyal and create an impact and if brands hire through skills and personality then #GenerationNow are more likely to stay.”
How does Yourfeed support this new generation in the workforce?
“yourfeed is giving #GenerationNow the opportunity to showcase their skills, projects and personality on a profile that matches them with the relevant people, content and opportunities they need to progress their career. It also enables brands to showcase themselves and helps young people to find brands they want to work with and vice versa.
“Alongside this, we’ve also pledged to connect 2 million young people to commercial opportunities by 2020 and are going on a UK tour to launch that this year. We can’t just talk about a problem, we have to make an impact and will be out on the road creating real opportunities. We welcome anyone and everyone to join us!”
Jack with printed.com's HR Manager Catherine Boland
How can millennials help themselves when it comes to either finding employment or creating their own start-up?
“Take action! You have an idea? Run with it. You want to work somewhere? Reach out to the brand and show them why they should hire you. I used social media to find mentors and get yourfeed to where it is today. We have direct access to brands, leaders and peers but it’s up to us how we use it.”
Being a young entrepreneur yourself, has it been challenging to be taken seriously? What advice what you give to business newbies wanting to start out, but maybe lack confidence?
“You don’t know what you don’t know and no-one expects you to either. There’s plenty of people out there who will support you, you just need to ask. The sooner you find a great network, the quicker you can build on an idea and make it happen!”
2016 was a big year for you, starting it with no job or salary and ending on a big high with yourfeed and 60 business partners. What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
“The launch of yourfeed! The last 18 months has been crazy and we’ve had so many sign-ups for early access on www.yourfeed.com, it’s really exciting. We’ve also got the UK tour to launch our pledge to connect 2 million young people to commercial opportunities and taking the online, offline. Seeing the impact is what it’s really about.”
yourfeed is an online network that showcases young people’s skills, talent and ambitions to those who matter in their professional life. It connects young people with relevant brands and experienced professionals, and provides young people with opportunities to network, upskill and progress in their careers.
Sign up for early access at www.yourfeed.com