CEO INTERVIEW -Workbean : helping digital talents find work where they belong
New Success Stories - Workbean
KASS MONZON, CEO and Co-Founder
Please share with us briefly what you do.
I’m the co-founder and CEO of Workbean. Our mission is to build Asia’s largest company culture search platform. We want to challenge the decade-long job board industry by giving an in-depth preview of different working cultures. Workbean helps companies identify and showcase their culture to aspiring talents to attract the best people to join their company whose values align with their company’s mission, purpose, and culture.
What were you doing before this?
I spent the first 5 years of my career working in sales for some of the biggest tech companies in the world. In those years, I’ve learned a lot about instilling self-discipline and following through on commitments and those are the two most important values I’ve kept with me since I started the startup journey.
We’re building a marketplace of company cultures to make it easier for people to find jobs where they think they will belong. The search criteria are not limited to the usual filters like jobs or company name, we’re now introducing a search filter based on company personality type so people can get a high-level understanding of the company’s culture. When you click on the company, you’ll be welcomed with very detailed information about their inner workings that will help guide job seekers about what it’s really like to work with them.
What are the key benefits?
Companies can now have a platform that is solely dedicated to promoting their culture that makes attracting the right people easier, and at scale. They can now have a platform that empowers them to tell their employee stories, their technology, and their overall working environment. This makes recruitment marketing easier to get started with and keep consistent
Who are your closest competitors?
Some would liken us to job boards like Jobstreet but we operate with a much deeper emphasis on company cultures hence Workbean is the first and only employer branding player in the Philippines. We have our role models in the US and Europe like The Muse and Welcome to the Jungle.
Who is your first customer and how did that happen? What were they using before this, and why did they switch?
Canva Manila was our first customer and when we approached them in 2019, one of their biggest challenges was reaching out to the right talent to know who they are and what kind of work environment they have. We presented the idea to use their culture as their hiring advantage and until today, Canva is the most viewed Culture Page on Workbean.
What motivated you to start this business?
A very personal experience of being in a work environment where I felt like I didn’t belong became the catalyst for me to re-evaluate my life and career trajectory. While my corporate job gave me the stability that I wanted, I felt that I could push myself further so I used my experience as an unhappy employee to create a product that would help aspiring job seekers to really know what kind of company they’re joining and if they will fit in the company’s culture.
What is your biggest sacrifice to make this work?
It has to be security and stability. I gave up a very good corporate career and moved back to my home country and had to recalibrate my lifestyle. As a startup founder, I had to think of our team and business’ welfare ahead of mine so I went from a healthy paycheck to a conservative living allowance just to make sure that the startup survives its first year.
How did you get funded?
Workbean has been bootstrapped since the beginning but before we launched in February, we raised initial friends and family around.
What has been your most successful form of marketing?
We raked in up to 15,000 fans of Facebook using viral marketing with a minimal budget!
Describe a typical workday
With the new work from home setup, I wake up at 7, do a 15-min playtime with my puppy, get a large cup of latte, and then I spend the rest of the day leading and attending meetings with my team, our clients, and prospects. In the evenings, I take a couple of hours to cook dinner and get another large cup of latte and then I work on our pitch deck, answer emails, review and approve product or marketing designs, and work on some tasks that I need to deliver to the team.
Who has been the greatest influence in your business and why?
Brian Chesky of Airbnb - we pitched to our first customers about becoming the “Airbnb of company cultures!”. We always ask ourselves “What would a 10-star experience look like?” and apply this in our overall experience for customers and users alike.
What has been your proudest moment in the history of your business and why?
Surviving the onslaught of covid-19 in the global economy, getting into 3 accelerator programs, getting our first paying customers, and keeping a lean team of overly passionate people who are 100% devoted to the mission of Workbean.
What is your favourite business failure (and what did you learn from it)?
During the early days of Workbean, we hired the wrong people out of desperation. They probably possessed the skills but not the characteristics that we were looking for. I learned that in building the team, culture is one thing we should protect. Our team members progressed in their roles and even began to lead people themselves. We take our slogan very seriously in creating a culture where people feel like they’re working where they belong.
If you could go back in time to speak to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell him/her?
Stop pleasing everybody!
What’s one productivity hack you can’t live without?
Today, not tomorrow! I try to max out the things I need to finish on the same day and not let it spill over to the next day so I can start each day fresh and ready to take on more things!
FOR MORE INFORMATION
LinkedIn: Kass Monzon: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kassandramonzon/