Startup founders — have you checked Dave’s references?

So here you go, you finally got Dave to join your startup. Dave is a full stack developer and knows his stuff. After graduating with a top computer science degree, Dave joined Twitter’s graduate program where he got to work with the latest technologies and super smart guys. 9 months after, he then got an offer from Pinterest he couldn’t refuse to work on their in-app messaging system. 6 months in the job, Dave did a fantastic job leading a small team to a Beta version.

You’ve met Dave at Demo day and got fascinated by his career so far and track record. You had numerous questions on his technological prowess. Dave responded diligently even showing interest in your startup and product. This is when you dare to ask the question: “Dave, we happen to be looking for a top full stack to help us build Twitter meets Pinterest meet Education”. To your surprise, Dave is keen. You immediately arrange an interview with your co-founder. You and your co-founder both have extensive experience in Education and have a vision to revolutionise how information is shared within and between universities. Interview goes superbly well and you make an offer to Dave slightly higher than what he gets at Pinterest to justify the move. With this new hire, you have about 5 months of running rate before you spend all the co-founders personal money.

You live the dream for the first few weeks. Dave seems busy. He definitely puts the all nighters considering how tired he looks when you meet for follow-up meetings. Four weeks later, you ask Dave to show his progress and he walks you through some incredibly complex lines of code. He seems confident you will have a MVP in three months. Two months later, the co-founders invite Dave excited to see a demo of their Beta. Dave asks for three more weeks as he has encountered some unexpected technical challenges. The co-founders get increasingly worried so they call in a friend who happens to be head of engineering in another tech startup. They show the app progress on Github. This is when the friend breaks the news: “This has been made by a dog. This is nowhere near a MVP. You can throw it all”. Five months have passed and they are back to square one. The co-founders have spent all their money and have nothing to show for it.

“This has been made by a dog. This is nowhere near a MVP. You can throw it all”.

If the co-founders had checked Dave’s references, they would have known he is not the world class full stack developer he’s pretending to be. The reality is that Dave cheated his way through Twitter graduate program. He got sacked but was clever enough to land a job quickly at Pinterest who at the time didn’t have stringent tests and reference checks. When the co-founders spoke to Dave, he had already been sacked by Pinterest for always showing up late and most of the time drunk.

The reality is that Dave cheated his way through Twitter graduate program.

Checking references is a tedious job. I believe we don’t do it as we are unconsciously scared to see what’s under the bonnet. It takes so much time and effort to attract someone who ticks the boxes. We usually end up with only one contender. We want to believe she is just the right one! But here is the reality, checking references is probably the most important thing you will do when you hire.

Checking references is probably the most important thing you will do when you hire.

Checking references means calling up people the applicant has worked with. Ideally three people the applicant has given the contact details of and two people in your network who might know her. It’s got to be a conversation (not an email with the usual questions). Ask things like “Why did she leave the company? What didn’t you like working with her? Would you hire her if you started a startup? How did her performance compare with other team members?”.

“Why did she leave the company? What didn’t you like working with her?”

If you ask the right questions and look for clues, it would give you a great insight about the applicant. It will even help you work with her as you know her strengths and weaknesses and personality traits.

Names, companies, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously

Joss Leufrancois is the founder & CEO of crowdsourced recruiting platform for startups, Visage. He has worked for 10 years recruiting in Europe, the US, South America, Asia and the Middle-East.

Crowdsourcing for Renewable-Energy Talent

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Remember how you recognized early on that renewable energy was the wave of the future? That’s why you’ve put yourself in a position to be at the forefront of this trend. Whether it’s solar, offshore wind or any other form of renewable energy, the industry is expanding so quickly, in fact, that it can be difficult to find green energy talent.

Visage helps you fill your renewable-energy jobs with people that are not looking. Passive talent makes up 75% of the talent market. Our platform helps clean energy employers connect with this talent instantly.

Crowdsourcing “Green” Talent

At Visage, we take the time to find the best candidates for renewable-energy jobs and put them right in front of you. We know how hard it can be to find suitable green energy talent. After all, more than 200,000 people already work in the solar industry alone. Even more impressively, experts expect this number to double by 2020.

It’s not just solar energy that’s experiencing growth though. In fact, 2015 saw the largest annual increase in renewable electricity in history. The only unfortunate aspect of this growth is the fact that it leads to a shortage of green energy talent as more renewable-energy jobs become available.

Leading the Way in Green Energy Talent

Cities all over the world are working toward increasing their renewable-energy capabilities, but the San Francisco Bay Area is leading investment in green tech. Unlike some other areas, they’re focusing on more than just one or two sources. In fact, the city hopes to reach the 100 percent renewable-energy mark through solar, wind, biomass, biofuels, geothermal and hydro-powered electricity.

Regardless of your company’s location, you can connect instantly with the best green energy talent through the Visage crowdsource model. You’ll have access to our specialists, who will crowdsource up to 250 candidates and handpick the 10 with the best qualifications for your position. Forget about taking a chance with job boards or recruiting agencies: You’ll find the best green energy talent through Visage every time.

Renewable Energy is Here to Stay

While the implications of the 2016 U.S. election may have you worried about the future of solar and other renewable energies, you can put those worries to rest. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, or “NREL,” stated that “64 percent of electricity-capacity additions in 2015” were renewable sources.

There was once a time when policies could prove detrimental to the renewable-energy industry, but that time has passed. Economics alone will keep the growth in green-energy sources going strong, so it’s time to find the best-possible talent for your business.

If you’re ready to make your job easier, then let Visage help you recruit and hire the best green energy talent out there. Reach out to recruiters at Visage now, and you could have your next stellar employee in about three weeks.

Why recruiters quit their day jobs to freelance with Visage? Testimonials from our top recruiters

17% of recruiters worldwide are freelancer or independent. The trend has accelerated dramatically in the recent years with millennials in pursuit of more flexible work arrangements. Visage, a crowdsource recruiting platform is surfing on this trend to revolutionise the way recruitment is done. See how here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3vIM_sXHgE

Visage now counts 1,000+ Freelance recruiters earning cash referring candidates for hundreds of employers. Unlike all the other recruitment referral schemes, Visage pays for every suitable candidate submitted on the platform. No more waiting for the remote possibility your candidate gets the job.

Refer candidates today, get paid instantly (not on success).

Our top recruiters make $500 a week. It represents a constant source of revenue for them. They manage their time and make money leveraging on their recruiting ability and network. These are their testimonials:


Aleksandra S. — Recruit for Visage since Mars 2016

“The recruiter has to be very focused, detail oriented and to perform meticulous scan of the cv”

1. What is your Personal background?

I have been working as a recruitment and staff selection manager for more than 8 years. My field of interest is mainly hospitality and tourism industry but I have also dealt with selecting various positions in the IT, youth counselling, administration, storage, casino, sales, entertainment etc. departments.

2. Why do you work with us?

I love finding the best person for the right position. The responsibility of the recruiter in finding the most qualified staff for a company influences the future operations and success of a company as well the personal life of the selected candidates. Visage provides the possibility for people to find their dreams come true job and I am happy that I can contribute to it.

3. What is your experience so far?

Working for Visage has been exciting and challenging. The recruiter has to be very focused, detail oriented and to perform meticulous scan of the cv in order to be certain that candidates meet the position requirements. It is a real pleasure when the validated candidates confirm their interest in the job offer and they are looking forward to the new professional opportunity. The successful match making outcome is very rewarding and I love the fact that I have contributed to a successful business story.


Dawood N. — Recruit for Visage since Oct 2015

“It is an awesome opportunity to make extra income and that too with uncapped potential of earnings.”

1. What is your Personal background?

I am a Recruitment Professional with 9 years plus diversified experience of managing complete recruitment cycle, account management and business development in local and international markets. With hands-on experience of recruiting for vertical sectors such as Real Estate, Information Technology, Oil & Gas and Telecommunications, I have worked with Middle East ( KSA, UAE and Qatar ), UK and USA markets. I have got exposure of working with the market leaders in their respective industries, few of my prestigious clients were Q-Tel ( Qatar ), Du Telecom ( UAE ), Visionet Systems ( USA ), Nasco ( UAE ), Sainsbury ( UK ), American International Group and British American Tobacco

2. Why do you work with us?

Visage is future of recruitment with a unique concept of working with freecruirters. Hundreds of specialized recruiters within their respective fields work simultaneously on an open position and use their diverse skill set to engage the most appropriate talent in market.

3. What is your experience so far?

Visage makes me learn every day, they are a team of superstars to work with. It is an awesome opportunity to make extra income and that too with uncapped potential of earnings.


Artcher S. — Recruit for Visage since Jan 2016

“they pay a competitive rate for each candidate referral and I get paid every week.”

1. What is your Personal background?

I am a graduate of BS Psychology way back 2012 and used to work in Manila for a year as an HR, after that, I move to Dammam, Saudi Arabia in 2013 and worked as an HR Assistant until May 2015.I have passion in recruitment as it allows me to discover more about the resources of people and variety of jobs available in market.

2. Why do you work with us?

I work with visage because they pay a competitive rate by referral, depending on performance delivered every week. Also, the opportunity to work with experts is really great.

3. What is your experience so far?

I am having a great experience with experts. I like it when you communicate by email instead of phone. I realised in my experience that we can be connected virtually. I feel my success rate is improving every week. Experts are really great and how they interact, also, the response for each query is answered immediately.

Post a job here, hire a rockstar for $990

Have you recruited the best or just the best who applied?

Passive candidates make up 75% of the talent market

Passive candidates are the ones who don’t apply for jobs but would ultimately consider a job opportunity if it represents a good career move. They typically have an updated LinkedIn profile and wait for a recruiter to contact them with the job of their dream.

At Visage, we believe companies should spend 75% of their resources to hunt passive talent when recruiting. Passive candidates indeed make up 75% of the talent market. They are also of higher quality for a number of reasons: a) they know they can wait to be contacted by a recruiter b) they are less likely to be job hoppers, and c) your job offer won’t compete with 10 others.

So how do I engage with this passive talent? They are not applying for jobs. They are not responding to Inmail on Linkedin. Before Visage, the only way was to scout LinkedIn (send invitations) or engage a headhunter who will reach out to them on your behalf. Those methods are either time consuming or pricey.

This is why we came up with the idea of having a crowd or recruiters sourcing talent for our client’s job openings. Our goal was to be the platform used to find talent instantly across all roles, levels and geographies.

Employers post a job and get a highly curated list of passive candidates. It costs $250 if they decide to contact them directly or $990* if they wish to have support from one of our talent experts. We include a detailed CV, email address, and other important profile information. You can download it all and own the data.

Hello America! Joining the Alchemist

Do you ever wake up feeling something great is going to happen to you during the day? That’s the feeling I had last Wednesday morning. I knew the Alchemist accelerator results were due the night before. Although I knew we had a chance, I wasn’t overly confident having been rejected when we applied last. I decided however to trick my mind into believing an email had come saying: “Congratulations, you guys are rockstars and your product is dope”. This was the actual email:

and my reaction:

So why the Valley?

It starts with our ambition. My co-founders, Emmanuel and Barry, and I have always considered Dubai as a lab for what we think could have a global impact on the way recruitment is done. We have been able to experiment and make mistakes on a relatively tricky talent market. We knew however the local market even extended to the region wasn’t big enough. Visage’s ideal client is indeed one that requires to attract the top 10% of the talent market. It’s a client who operates in a candidate driven market where it is required to pro-actively target passive talent.

There is a reason why 98% of the unicorns are born in the Valley. This place has the most extraordinary concentration of brains, energy, and venture money.

We know it’s a cut throat place where winners take all. We embrace that. We don’t want to build another lifestyle average business. We want to revolutionise the way recruitment is done allowing talent and opportunities to connect instantly.

And the Alchemist?

We couldn’t dream of a better launchpad than the Alchemist for Visage. They only accept B to B startups and take them through a 6 months program designed to facilitate access to enterprise clients, mentors and, investors. They only take small cohorts (we will be 9 startups). The Alchemist track record is extraordinary. They’ve actually topped a survey ranking the accelerators by funding their graduates receive. Their startups median fund raise is twice higher than YC.

We are due to join the program on the 30th of November but we’ve already been connected to 3 mentors. My first mentorship session is with the former CEO of a freelance platform everybody knows…

So what now?

We are now busy preparing our acceleration program. It means making sure we carry on our growth in the Middle-East servicing clients. We are also closing a bridge round which will give us the ammunitions required to push our tech and marketing before graduating the Alchemist.

Feel free to reach out if you would like to participate in the venture. We need talent, smart money, and encouragements!

Joss Leufrancois is the co-founder & CEO of crowdsourced recruiting platform,Visage.