An exclusive interview with Luke Pitkin, Co-Founder and CEO of Sniiper. Sniiper is an online marketplace built to make recruitment Simple, Transparent & Trustworthy. Sniiper does this by providing an online portal where employers can anonymously connect to an extended community of trusted recruitment consultants that are vetted by other external employers.
Tell us about yourself?
After growing up in Southend-On-Sea (Essex), I left home at 18 to study a Sports Science Degree at the University of Hertfordshire. I ended up spending 5 years at University completing a BSc degree in Sports Science and an MSc degree in Nutrition before then landing a role as a recruitment consultant, which was miles away from what I envisioned I would do.
I worked for an IT recruitment firm locally in a town called Billericay before getting offered an opportunity to go and live a work in Sydney. So before I knew it I was on a plane and then spent the next two years working as an IT recruitment consultant for a company called Precision Sourcing.
It was during my time in Australia that I came up with the concept of Sniiper and made friends with Martin Hunter, who eventually became my business partner.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Growing up, I always had the ambition to open my own business but I was never sure what it was that wanted to do. When I was 4 years into working as a recruitment consultant I realised that there are multiple pain points in the industry that I believe can be solved by the use of technology to help both employers and recruiters gain more from the process.
It was my own frustrations with the industry that caused me to take a look at recruitment and question “Is there a way that we can alleviate these issues through the use of technology”?
How much potential market share can you achieve in next 3 years?
That’s a very tricky one for me to call at this stage, I’m unsure if I could give you an accurate answer.
What I can tell you is that in the year of 2016-2017 the recruitment industry was worth £32.2 billion to the UK, so there is a big market to play with.
What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?
There are so many books that I’ve read over the last 15 months that have been massively influential to my personal growth and the way that we’ve built Sniiper.
To name a few:
– The Lean Start-up by Eric Ries
– The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*CK by Mark Manson
– Start With Why – Simon Sinek
I’m a massive advocate for reading & self-development and think it’s vital that anyone that’s looking to start a business is constantly learning and finding ways to increase their knowledge.
What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
I’m not sure what the worst purchase is that I have ever made, that’s a tough one. As I’m unable to think of one I will share two of my best with you. 🙂
The first one is my Mac – Hands down the best bit of kit that I have bought and has been so valuable to building Sniiper.
Second is my Kindle – Going off the back of the importance that I place on reading, it’s so handy to be able to carry all my books in one device.
What takes up too much of your time?
Sniiper… without question the business is what takes up all of my time. I believe that this is a good thing though. When you’re passionate about something it makes it so much easier to invest a lot of time into it. For me it’s become an obsession but I believe that’s because I’ve found a mission that I believe in and can see the value that the platform can provide to the recruitment industry.
What three pieces of advice would you give to college students/new startup business owners who want to become entrepreneurs?
My first one is to ‘Keep Learning’ – As I’ve mentioned before I think it’s so important that you’re constantly improving your knowledge and skillsets. All the books that I’ve read have had a massive impact on how we’ve built Sniiper. I’ve gained so much value from investing time into learning.
The second one is to ‘Utilise the people around you’ – Starting a business is a massive challenge and there will be so many aspects and elements that you will need to master to get it all right.
I think if you can lean on people that have experienced what you’re going through it can provide a lot of value to you and the business. You’ll be surprised how many people will be willing to give you their time and advice if you ask. Again I’ve gained so much value out of meeting with people to share knowledge and ask for advice.
The final one is to ‘Start Today’ I think that sometimes people can get caught up in waiting for the perfect moment before taking the leap. I believe that you will never be in the perfect position to start a business so I think the best thing you can do is jump in at the deep-end, start learning and start failing and then you will look back in 12 months’ time and be impressed by how far you have come.
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
This is an easy one… Elon Musk, the guy is incredible. I try to keep up to date on all of his ventures, I love how hard the guy works and think it’s amazing that all of the businesses he runs are looking to make a big impact and change the world for the good. His autobiography is a good read if you want another book recommendation.
Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.
I think Sniiper is easily the greatest challenge that I have faced to date. There have been so many issues that we’ve come across and had to overcome. When you start a new business you will constantly be faced with challenges in all areas that you will have to deal with.
We still have a very long way to go with Sniiper, however now that we have started to see placements happen through the platform, it means that we’re starting to turn over money and to get to this stage is definitely something that I am proud of.
How people should connect with you?
To find me online it’s pretty simple!
I am also open to people dropping me a message via E-mail