My Startup: Senploy, Cheshire
The country's first jobs site for the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) sector, Senploy aims to get the right people into the highly specialised roles that define the sector.
Up until now, it was served only by generalised job sites that could not find the skilled candidates for SEND roles within schools, agencies, care homes, and local authorities. Through Senploy, those same organisations can reach experienced professionals quickly and easily via a CV database of quality candidates.
Senploy is saving time and money for SEND employers and getting the best recruits through the doors, ensuring those with complex needs are cared for properly and supported to the fullest extent.
Founders: Amy Allen and Matt Allen
We sat down with Amy to learn all about Senploy.
Why did you start Senploy?
Senploy was born from the realisation that we could save valuable resources for charities, schools and other organisations within the special educational needs and disability sector.
When I originally had the idea to create a dedicated SEND job site, I was working for a national charity for children and young people with complex and severe learning disabilities. When advertising a number of roles via generic job sites, I was astonished at how difficult it was to find the right people, along with the hours wasted trawling through irrelevant applications from underqualified and unsuitable candidates. I just thought there has to be a better way to do this.
We founded Senploy based on the philosophy that ‘niche generates quality’ - it’s a job site that only advertises SEND roles, and our aim is to unite highly qualified professionals with SEND organisations searching for new talent. Ultimately, we want to simplify the recruitment process for all parties.
Tell us more about the tech behind the product.
Senploy's job board platform is powered by the Nodex job board software. The platform is composed of bleeding edge technology which delivers high performance, high scale job boards that are amongst the fastest loading websites in the entire world.
This gives both our candidates and clients a fast and secure platform to both find jobs and recruit from. The technology used at Senploy is in use at some of the biggest companies in the world including Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple. It integrates machine learning, location, keyword based and filtered searching to deliver accurate, typo-tolerant, location-aware jobs in a fraction of a second on desktops, mobiles and tablets alike.
Where are you at right now?
Right now, it’s very early days - we’re still in the launch phase of the website. Our initial plan was to focus our efforts here in the North West where there’s a thriving SEND sector, but already we’re widening the net and establishing a nationwide network.
Things are moving really fast and the feedback we’ve had so far has been absolutely brilliant.
Our strategy is to establish brand recall and nurture relationships so that we’re the go-to destination for employers when they have a new role to advertise. There's been a lot of work behind the scenes networking with some of the big hitters in SEND recruitment, and we’re beginning to reap the rewards with an influx of live job opportunities. It’s a really exciting time for us.
Similarly, we want to be the first port of call for job seekers within the industry. So we’re building awareness amongst SEND professionals looking to take the next step in their careers and sharing the message that Senploy is the best way to get your CV in front of employers that are currently hiring.
What are your aims for the next year?
We want to raise the profile of the SEND sector, support SEND provisions to increase their frontline staff and save time and money for organisations.
All my goals are based around ensuring individuals with SEND are fully supported to achieve their best possible life outcomes. If, by this time next year, we’ve changed people’s lives by matching them with their dream job opportunity, then I’d view that as a huge success.
What's been the hardest thing about getting Senploy off the ground?
It’s easy to underestimate the amount of time, energy and commitment it takes to get a new business off the ground. I’m quite a positive person, so where we’ve navigated setbacks along the journey so far, we’ve tried to make these situations work to our advantage.
Personally, I found outsourcing elements of a business that I’ve put my heart and soul into a little nerve-wracking, but trusting in the expertise of marketers and technical professionals is essential if you’re to grow and succeed.
I’m hugely passionate about this venture and hopefully I’ve proved how dedicated I am to the sector.
Why should more people be using Senploy?
There’s absolutely nothing to lose. For jobseekers, the website is free and really easy to use. We’ve made the process as straightforward as possible, so it only takes a few minutes to register your details and start searching the live opportunities straight away.
There’s also a growing pool of opportunities for candidates, with more and more jobs being uploaded each day - I’d urge people to keep coming back and checking the site daily.
For organisations currently recruiting within the sector, such as schools, charities and recruitment companies, there is an introductory offer running until the end of October whereby they can load up to 10 jobs to the site for free.
The other point to make is that it'll save you time. If you’re looking for or advertising for a SEND job - you’ll only find those types of roles on here.
How much will it cost users - and why is it worth the investment?
For employers, advertising a single job costs around £49, and we have bulk offers starting from £120. I’m also more than happy to discuss bespoke packages with recruiters that have a large amount of positions to fill.
As I mentioned, for job seekers it’s a completely free service!