Each week we catch up with a different entrepreneur to discover what makes them tick, their top tips and more. This week we spend five minutes with Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library.
Hi Lee! Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what CV-Library does?
I’m Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library. CV-Library is a place for candidates to find jobs that match their skills, learn about the job searching process and get advice on landing their dream job. It also provides a solution for recruiters and employers to attract the best job hunters, quickly identify relevant candidates and streamline their overall recruitment process.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Fifteen years ago I was looking for a job and became very frustrated at how time consuming the whole process was – there was no central place to upload my CV, apply for jobs and be found by recruiters. Given the timing with the internet boom, I decided to revolutionise the job search by creating an easy-to-use online job board that would benefit both job hunters and recruiters looking to fill vacancies.
What inspired you to start your business and what made you want to be your own boss?
I’m an entrepreneur at heart – as a young boy I sold cold cans of fizzy drinks to fishermen on hot days and in my teenage years I ran my own car washing enterprise. From a young age I would identify a need or gap in the market and I’ve always enjoyed filling those gaps and turning them into a profitable opportunity for myself; I think being my own boss just came very naturally to me.
What time does your day usually begin and end?
We follow a very structured workday and the majority of the company works from 9am to 5:30pm each day. That doesn’t mean work stops for me at 5:30pm though – given the size of the company it’s important that I’m constantly connected to the business so most nights I find myself putting in at least three hours of extra work.
What has been the biggest challenge for your business?
One of the biggest challenges we face on an ongoing basis is ensuring we’re always the first in our industry to keep pace with advances in technology. We were successfully the first UK job board to have a mobile-ready site and a mobile app, but keeping up with the advancements in today’s on-demand world definitely adds pressure. As a result, we invest heavily in our IT department so that this can be prioritised without additional strain.
Would you do anything differently if you could start again from scratch?
When we originally developed the CV-Library website we built the platform using a very specialist programming language. If I could go back, I’d definitely spend more time learning about the technology behind the site to ensure smooth sailing ahead. While I’m no developer, today I really make an effort to understand the technologies we’re investing in to ensure they have staying power for the business.
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to anyone looking to start their own business?
Make sure you really understand the industry. In the very early days of CV-Library I joined a traditional recruitment agency to ensure I had inside knowledge of the industry. Not only did this give unparalleled insight into my future clients, it also gave me a chance to speak with candidates about what they wanted out of the job search process.
Once you’ve started up it’s really important to stay focused, find the right people for your business and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!
What do you do to relax away from the hustle and bustle of work?
I love to travel and aim to visit new countries each year. I find different cultures fascinating and I think you can really learn a lot from them. I also love to spend time on my boat – whenever time allows I’ll slip away for a weekend to relax on the water.