Tal­ent quest

This dis­rupter has a new way for you to find the right per­son for the job

The Australian - The Deal - - Contents - Story by: Glenda Korporaal

Glenda Korporaal on a fresh way for you to find the right per­son for the job

Joanna Wei­den­miller joined the Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter univer­sity but by 22 she was out on her own, set­ting up a sales and mar­ket­ing com­pany that she sold two years later. “It was a very good les­son for me to learn that I liked be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur and that I am most pro­duc­tive work­ing in a cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ment that is based on merit,” says the 32- year-old.

Her fa­ther Pa­trick Ri­ley’s best-selling book, The One-Page Pro­posal: How to get your busi­ness pitch onto one per­sua­sive page (HarperCollins, 2002), gave her the idea for a new ven­ture. In 2009 they set up 1-Page, an em­ploy­ment sourc­ing plat­form that al­lows job can­di­dates to sell them­selves to em­ploy­ers by work­ing on a so­lu­tion to a real prob­lem fac­ing the com­pany. Last year San Fran­cisco-based Wei­den­miller listed 1-Page on the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change – the first Sil­i­con Val­ley com­pany to do so.

She and her fa­ther had al­ready raised $US3 mil­lion from in­vestors in Sil­i­con Val­ley and needed more funds as their cloud­based re­cruit­ment plat­form be­gan win­ning busi­ness from big US com­pa­nies. But they felt ven­ture-cap­i­tal in­vestors wanted too much eq­uity, and that the New York Stock Ex­change and the NAS­DAQ over-the-counter mar­ket had too many con­di­tions for a small start-up. A busi­ness con­tact in Aus­tralia sug­gested they look at the ASX. In a back­door list­ing, they took over the shell of an ex­ist­ing listed com­pany and raised al­most $10m.

“You have to give up a lot if you want to list in New York but in Aus­tralia the min­i­mum con­di­tions are eas­ier,” Wei­den­miller says. “My in­vestor base is just the same as if I had listed in New York. In­vestors around the world can in­vest in ASX-listed com­pa­nies.”

While the bulk of her busi­ness is based in the US, she is gain­ing in­creased in­ter­est here in her in­no­va­tive ap­proach to hir­ing the right tal­ent. One fan is Busi­ness Coun­cil of Aus­tralia CEO Jen­nifer Wes­ta­cott who met Wei­den­miller on a re­cent study trip to San Fran­cisco and Sil­i­con Val­ley. Wes­ta­cott hosted a lunch for the Amer­i­can when she vis­ited Aus­tralia last month and in­tro­duced her to hu­man-re­sources ex­ec­u­tives at BCA mem­ber com­pa­nies.

Wei­den­miller ar­gues the re­sume process no longer works for ei­ther the re­cruiter or the job seeker be­cause find­ing the right per­son in­volves know­ing what they can do in the fu­ture, not what they have done in the past. Un­der the 1-Page process, com­pa­nies ask ap­pli­cants to write a one-page pro­posal out­lin­ing how they would solve a spe­cific prob­lem fac­ing the busi­ness. 1-Page then analy­ses the re­sponses and ad­vises the com­pany on the best peo­ple for the job.

“We can score ideas based on how peo­ple come up with new,

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