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CEO TalentEx’s Yojiro Koshi: social recruiting opens a new channel for employers to discover talents they haven’t reached before!

Fortunately, I’ve met several interesting entrepreneurs even before they started their startups in Thailand. One is David Jou from Lazada, and Yojiro Koshi while his venture was in stealth mode. We’ve had several coffee talks and Koshi openly shared about his business concept without hiding anything. That made me somewhat surprised about what so call “Japanese’s style”. Now he has launched his social recruiting platform for few weeks with attention from the online community. Let’s get more “behind the scene” insights from him.

What do you think about working in Thailand? What do you like best? Do you hate anything here? And why Thailand to start?


Working in Thailand

makes me more alive.

[quote]The best thing I love here is that Thai business scenes seems very relaxed most of the time, but it explodes with energy when

we come to a scene we can not pull back.[/quote]

I do not hate anything here. Of course there are a lot of times where I get irritated by the cultural difference (when people don’t come on time, etc) but that’s something I need to get fit and nothing to hate.

talentex team
TalentExt Team: Thais, American and Japanese

[quote]I chose Thailand for my startup because Thai people are fair.[/quote]  Of course there are other reasons like market situation, competitive environment, etc, but I would not have started up in a foreign country if they did not have this fairness and trust in making business.

Note: yes, I agree. Thai people are fair ! That’s one of the reasons why Thailand is top the world as the best place for expats in 2013

Please share about your background and what did you do before starting TalentEx

I was a business strategy consultant, and then international business development for a startup that was acquired by Japanese telco group. I came to Thailand on that mission.

When and Why did you come up with the idea of TalentEx?

TalentEx team
TalentEx’s Key Team

I came up with the idea 3 months after quitting my previous job. I was thinking of starting an eCommerce business first, but everyone was into eCommerce and thought it might be better to aim for other fields.

[quote]I felt Thailand’s job market had a lot of potentials with this much of size and so few services people can choose from. After interviewing 40-50 managing directors, I was positive with my idea.[/quote]

Then how did you meet your current angel investors from Ookbee? and why did they believe you and poured their money into your startup?

Behind the scenes: discussing with Khun Moo from Ookbee
Behind the scenes: discussing with Khun Moo – Ookbee‘s CEO, TalentEx’s angel investor

I was working with Ookbee directors in my previous job. Then it changed to plain friendship after resigning the job, and from time to time, I asked for their advices.

[quote]I’m not 100% sure of the reason why they bet on me, but Khun Moo once told me besides the personal trust, I see the market and is hard working, so he counted on me.[/quote]

Here’s the quote of Khun Moo from Dec’s news release:

“As a startup founder at Ookbee, I use various job posting services in Thailand. When Koshi discussed with me his free-to-post service with an interesting business model three months ago, I was thinking this is a service every startup founder and HR manager will love. [quote style=”boxed” ]I and my co-founders, Charn and Joe, also know Koshi and believe he’s the right person to run this. K.Moo said”[/quote]

Note: I just wonder why Koshi didn’t have any Japanese angel investors even though he has his ex-boss as an advisor for Talent Ext. Perhaps Thai people could take more risks than Japanese guys?? I don’t know. You know?

What is TalentEx’s platform JbTalents about and how can it help employers and employees? Why should employers and employers register and post their recruitment and CVs on JbTalents?

JbTalents is a market changing startup for SEA.

Screenshot from website

For employers, social recommendation  features which makes it easy for them to have their staffs and friends to share their job posts on Facebook timelines to open a new channel for them to discover talents they haven’t met before [/quote]. It is post-for-free/pay-per-hire model, so they don’t need to waste money if they didn’t meet good candidates.

Note: It’s more like a CPA model for recruitment.

Bart - Venue Hub
If you want to know more who is Bart, then check this post out!

Note: this is more like an extended version of recruiting via internal referral, the most popular and efficient recruiting way of most of companies in the world.

In JobTalents, job seekers can get a cash bonus of ฿1,000-2,500 when hired, depending on their salary.
In JbTalents, job seekers can get a cash bonus of ฿1,000-2,500 when hired, depending on their salary. Note: Coincidentally, I’ve just featured CEO of Interspace (ACCESSTRADE) two weeks ago.

For employees, it also has 3 cool points:

(1)  social recommendation feature bring a new way to discover jobs

(2)  job seekers can get cash bonus if they find a job through JobTalents

[quote](3)  job posts will have pictures of office, team, products which gives you more ideas of what the company is like. [/quote]

Can you describe the target employers and employers group?

We do not limit only to these, but IT and tech companies are the majority in employer side now because they are keen in trying out new service in online.

[quote]For the job seeker side, we are expecting junior level, meaning fresh graduates to people before becoming managers. These are young people who utilizes the internet in job finding.[/quote]

Note: I just found a clip on YouTube about what they’re doing. Let watch if you can!

There are some online job recruitment sites: Jobsdb, JobStreet, StartupJobs, Monster, or even LinkedIn are also focusing to this field. Jobsdb and JobStreet are very actively in Southeast Asia. Some of the giant guys: CareerBuilder from US aqquired JobsCentral in Singapore, VON from Vietnam, En-Japan did the same thing with VietnamWorks. So what are the competitive advantages of to differentiate from these players in Southeast Asia?

First of all, none of them has features like us that I stated above.

[quote]And giants are too slow to catch up for new technology and ever-changing customer demands. Speed is critically important thesedays, and we, startups, are much more advantageous in that sense. [/quote]

Your angel fund is $US 30k, what would you do with this money? And what would be next after the money running out?

Angel fund is used to launch, and try the product to the market.

Hurry up, money is running out, Koshi!!!


[quote style=”boxed” ]Since job business is fast in revenue generating, we are aiming to be profitable before the fund runs out.[/quote]

Note: Hurry up, Koshi-san!

The last question: pleas tell the truth, did you recruit your team members via the same social way of JbTalents?

No, I did not, since my product was still under development, lol.

All my founding members gathered through referral or happened to meet by luck. You could say it was the same in a sense that “friends’ connections” gave us the chance to discover each other, and we want to make the same thing happen online, more systematically and conveniently.

Thanks for your sharing and good luck with your new venture, Koshi!

PS: And you, what do you think about this business model? Would you use it for your company’s recruitment?