Leading the pack | The Argonaut Newsweekly
Playa Vista Entrepreneur Launches Pet Industry’s First Job Search Engine
By Srianthi Perera
Seda Bolulu was looking for a career transition combining her talent acquisition skills with her passion for animals. What the Playa Vista resident found was a niche in the business world.
Bolulu noted that it was difficult to find jobs in this particular field. So, while still in business school at the University of Southern California, she created a job board for the pet industry.
“Through extensive market research, we found that the job boards created for the masses were not sufficiently responsive to the rapidly growing $ 100 billion pet industry, and we wanted to create the platform. form where employers and candidates can easily and inexpensively find their pack, “says Bolulu.
PackHire, the new pet industry exclusive job search and recruitment agency, serves the animal lover community through its online platform. The service is free for job seekers who can seek employment opportunities in areas such as veterinary care, grooming / boarding, dog training, rescues and non-profit organizations, food for pets, retail, pet insurance and pet care start-ups.
Employers pay to register and post jobs, search the candidate CV database, and work with industry expert recruiters to find quality candidates with niche backgrounds for their pet business of company.
Bolulu has a decade of talent acquisition experience under her belt and her husband, Fadi Rasheed, is an employment lawyer.
“Creating a job search engine between the two of us made sense,” she notes.
The couple hired technical expertise, such as web development, to fill their knowledge gaps. The funding was bootstrap.
It is a good time for applications in the pet industry. Pet ownership is at an all time high. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that 23 million households acquired a pet during the pandemic. The spike in ownership has triggered the growth of innovative pet products and services.
Research also showed Bolulu that investors have invested more than $ 2 billion in venture capital in global pet-focused startups since 2017.
According to the business information platform Crunchbase, 2 million jobs are available in the industry across the country. To meet these needs, Bolulu discovered that there was no one-stop-shop for finding a job.
When Bolulu started looking for a talent acquisition manager position in the pet industry, the search results were “really bad,” she says.
“They were inaccurate; looking for a talent acquisition manager or a marketer would get retirement home managers, event planners for a men’s club, totally hit-and-miss things that weren’t in the hospitality industry. pets or even loosely related, ”adds Bolulu.
She followed up with quantitative market research and asked pet business owners questions such as: how many job boards do they post their vacancies on, how many relevant resumes are getting? they for job postings and would they use a pet industry job board if it existed?
Bolulu asked his family and animal-loving friends questions. She also visited pet grooming and supply stores, veterinary clinics, and the like. His main question was: how do you find a job? Most of the job leads came through networks of friends.
“They said, ‘It’s very difficult and it’s all over the place,’” Bolulu said. “The results were really revealing. There was clearly a need in the market for companies who wanted to hire people for their pet business, who had industry experience, or who wanted to work in the pet industry.
Bolulu’s research, data collection and personal intuition led her to decide that a specialized job site was a necessity in today’s climate.
Since the soft launch of PackHire in February, Bolulu has received encouraging statistical results to back up its decision. PackHire has over 1,000 registered users, including National Veterinary Associates and Banfield Pet Hospital, as well as numerous boutique customers in grooming, dog daycare and supply stores.
Bolulu had more than 10,000 visitors to its website and a 10% click-through rate, which it considers “quite high”.
Pets have always been a part of Bolulu’s life. Growing up in the suburbs of Orange County, his family raised many animals, including dogs, cats, birds, a turtle, and a bearded dragon, a type of lizard. Currently, his pets, Meeko the dog and Uma the cat, help maintain Bolulu’s love for animals and inspire his career.
As for the future of PackHire, Bolulu is keen to raise funds with seed money or angel investors for its next level of development. After starting out as a job board, PackHire incorporated a search for recruiting services. After these first two steps are completed, the third is to be a digital community where pet professionals can connect with each other.
To this end, Bolulu plans to participate in community events, including one to come: she will be presented at the Pet Summit, a virtual educational seminar October 23-24 as a panelist in the “Meet the Founders: The Ins and Outs of Business In The Pet Space ”to discuss hiring trends, challenges and career prospects.