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Acclaimd leverages your social network to help you find the right job candidate!

Social connections across your online networks can be a powerful tool for filling an open position, but reaching out when in need can sometimes be a difficult proposition. Acclaimd is a startup out of Columbus, Ohio that helps recruiters and small businesses avoid any networking faux pas with a web platform built to easily utilize contacts.

With Acclaimd, businesses of all sizes can tap into their personal and professional networks, to send notifications via email and social networks, target the most likely candidates for referrals, and keep track of potential candidates. “A lot of people are connected with talent that’s a perfect fit for a job opening and they probably don’t even know it,” explained Acclaimd co-founder Derek Edwards. “We want to help them tap into that pool of people.”

We chatted with Edwards about his entrepreneurial evolution from wanting to start a game studio to where he is today, and how, for him, happiness is much more about enjoying the journey over reaching the destination.

What is the inspiration behind Acclaimd?

This is my fourth startup now and prior to this I worked with a few other small companies and finding good people -- especially when it comes to things like development, design, and marketing -- was a real challenge. We noticed that traditional job sourcing tools, like a job board and recruiters and even some of the social recruiting tools price us out of using those options.

We thought that there was definitely a need in the small business space, especially for one or two main shops. We wanted to figure out a way to not only serve those customers but also help put some structure around one of the mechanisms that we did see that provided success, which was referrals through friends and colleagues.

When did you know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I’ve actually known that I’ve wanted to go down this path for quite a while. It sounds funny to say it but actually as early as eight or nine for me I wanted to do something, I wanted to build something, I wanted to run something of my own.

Initially I had aspirations to run a game studio, wanted to build games for PC and for consoles. I thought that would be a very cool space to get into. Over time it evolved into something bigger -- there were bigger pain points that I wanted to go after, more defined markets.

What keeps you motivated day-to-day?

I hope by the end of my career I will have made a mark of some kind. I want to leave some kind of legacy behind, in the sense of solving some real pain point, making a positive impact (whether it’s business or whether it’s a social impact).

I want to know that I’ve done something that will have a lasting impact beyond just myself and beyond just a given company. Even though there are a lot of challenges on a daily basis and a lot of ups and downs I know that I’m doing it all for a reason.

What was the first job you ever had?

The very, very first job I ever had was actually a paper route. I did that for several months -- I was delivering one of the local suburban newspapers.

It was one of those fun little outdoor jobs, outside of dogs chasing me on a couple occasions and a freak tornado that came in the area one day when I was on a route and had to duck and cover in someone’s house.

The first serious job after that was working for a life sciences company as a junior developer. I actually gained a lot of the experience that I use today in web development and software development there.

I got to join up and help out and I ended up taking the lead as their product developer and ended up having a hand in every one of their product lines by the time I left. That really built a lot of my experience on that side and gave me a lot of insight into the business and technology world.

If you could have one super power, which would you choose? What would be your kryptonite?

The one super power I wish I could have would be the ability to see into the future. I’d love to have better insight into trends, where things are going, have a better idea of what the outcome is going to be so I could make better use of my time.

On the flip side I guess the biggest weakness for me is not wanting to give up on an idea even though it’s not necessarily the best use of my time. I always want to make the most of something that I’ve worked on and sometimes that can kind of be my downfall.

What is your idea of happiness?

I get a lot of joy out of the journey. As much as there really are a lot of ups and downs, I enjoy constantly discovering more about the current space I’m working in. I’ve sort of hopped from one industry to another, which could be viewed as a weakness in and of itself but I have tapped into a few different industries and more than anything else I’ve just enjoyed learning everything that I can about what makes this industry tick, what are the nuances, who the influencers are, who I can talk to to find out how they’ve done things.

More than anything else that’s what I really enjoy about being an entrepreneur, about working in different industries. Being able to just work on these things day to day and knowing that I’ve had the chance to really build something from the ground up, that to me is happiness.

What’s next this year for Acclaimd?

We’ve had some pretty exciting developments here in the last couple of months. One of them is that we’re beginning to roll out some major channel partnerships. The hope is to take this from a one-off product that we’ve been putting in the hands of recruiters and companies locally to really get some national exposure.

The expectation is that hopefully people start to see this out there, see more mention of us and the hope is that we can be in a position to help everybody find the next best talent for their venture.

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