Here at Placed we have decided to honour our founder and CEO Jennifer Johansson. After founding Placed the recruitment app in 2017, Jennifer has set out to revolutionise and disrupt the hospitality recruitment industry. We sat down with her to get some insight into what it takes to be one of her industry’s leaders.
What originally brought you to London?
I came to London 10 years ago for my degree, and not long after started working in the hospitality sector on the side of my studies. Initially at Soho House. It feels like yesterday, I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. London is such an amazing place, there are so many opportunities and so many inspiring people to meet.
Can you tell us a little bit about how Placed began?
After Soho House, I started working at Quintessentially – the world’s leading lifestyle management company. In my role ‘Head of Nightlife Relations’, my job was to build up relationships with London’s hottest clubs, restaurants, hotels and bars to make sure that the members had access. In my many meetings with restaurant owners and managers, I kept hearing about the on-going recruitment struggles and started to delve into the problem further. I was shocked to realise what outdated methods the operators was using. The hospitality industry is the largest employing industry for people under 25, yet the methods available to reach this younger generation were completely outdated and completely mismatched the behaviour. Having been a job seeker in this industry myself not that long ago, I saw a huge gap in the market. To do something that is a lot more focused on the candidate journey.
As a young female entrepreneur who has been your biggest inspiration and why?
My mum. Growing up, my mum had various different businesses that she built on her own from scratch. From age 11 I was helping her, handing out flyers, booking meetings and running errands. She is my biggest believer and keeps pushing me every day.
What are the most important qualities of an entrepreneur?
Drive. Whenever it gets tough, you’ve got to pick yourself up and keep going. Education, experiences, skills, network- none of that matters if you don’t have the drive to move forward. Listening to others and take on feedback is also important – but learn how to filter!
What do you like the most about your job?
Hmm.. difficult one! I love building our team. We’re now a team of 10 and everyone is amazing. I would say we are a little team of entrepreneurs the whole bunch. Everyone is very self sufficient, they drive their own projects, come up with awesome ideas and solutions, and we’re all very customer focused. I also love being out speaking about our product to clients, potential clients and job seekers.
What advice would you give to any budding female entrepreneurs?
Enjoy!! Put the stress aside, put the pressure aside, at the end of the day – what is the worst that can happen?! Enjoy the journey, every minute of it, it is developing you in to a very strong person in a way that no other experience can.
What is your favourite Place in London at the moment to blow off some steam?
Monday 7.50pm spinning class with Ben at Virgin Active Wandsworth.
What is your secret to success?
I think I have say drive again… If you combine the drive with enjoyment. Putting stress aside, a few spinning classes every now and then to clear your head, and then back to pushing forward. Making sure you’re around great people and helping them to drive forward, I think you have a successful concept!