Listed in Forbes ‘Cloud 100’, Santa Monica based ZipRecruiter CEO Ian Siegel discusses his entrepreneurial journey!

When Ian Siegel & his co-founders started building ZipRecruiter in 2010, they were solving a problem they faced daily in their own professional lives – hiring great employees fast, so they could get back to work. “We started out with humble ambitions, to bootstrap a lifestyle business,” says Ian Siegel, “that first year and a half, it was just us four guys, working at each other’s kitchen tables part-time while still working our full-time day jobs.” For its first four years, ZipRecruiter was only funded through the profitability of its product, “amazingly, we were able to grow our business to over 3,000 customers before hiring any other employees…but it really took off on us.”

ZipRecruiter’s growth skyrocketed after four years of bootstrapping the business to profitability, when the SaaS SMB recruiting company announced its first ever outside funding: a massive $63 million Series A round. “When I look back now, bootstrapping is a great discipline for bringing out the best in a company, because you have to be among the strongest,” he says. “But in retrospect, there came a point where we were maybe being foolish not taking money. There were opportunities we had to skip.”

Fortunately, those missed opportunities don’t seem to have had long-term adverse effects on the company. Two years post funding ZipRecruiter is growing faster than ever, with over 450 employees and offices multiple offices in and outside the U.S. Looking back on ZipRecruiter’s growth and sustained success, Ian admits “we were very fortunate. The biggest challenge we faced was how rapidly our business grew. Six years later, we’ve blown away all of our expectations. Every day it still feels like I won the lottery.”

What insights does the CEO have to share about running a business? “When you’re starting your own business, one of the hardest parts is the shock when you learn which things you aren’t the best at. For example, if I’m a chef, I want to launch my business and open a restaurant. But do I know how to hire people? Market myself? File my taxes at the end of the year? There are so many skills that are unrelated to your success, but are so necessary.” Even though ZipRecruiter has proven itself now, Ian wasn’t always so assured that the company would be the innovation machine it is today, “for me, it felt a lot like jumping into very dark, cold water and trying to swim. The two defining characteristics of entrepreneurs are courage and resilience. Anyone can look at something and tell you how to make it better. Creating something from nothing is an act of will.”

Ian cites the launch of ZipRecruiter as the greatest accomplishment of his career, and he now gets to focus on helping other people find their calling. “In the beginning, we were a small business just like a lot of the customers who used our service. The hiring managers I spoke with were delighted to find out they were talking to the CEO. Whatever the problem, they knew the buck stopped with me. We’ve worked hard over the years to maintain that level of care for everyone using our service.”

Comments are closed.