As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pascal Lorne CEO & Founder Gojob.
A serial tech entrepreneur and French native, Pascal Lorne graduated in engineering from the University of Konstanz in Germany and also has an MBA from the EM Lyon Business School. He began his career at Renault, accompanying Carlos Ghosn, then Director of Operations for Renault in Turkey, to launch Renault in Brazil.
By the age of 25, Pascal Lorne co-founded Ismap, a start-up which he later sold to Benefon, a Nokia subsidiary. Pascal subsequently founded Miyowa, the first startup based on a system for sending and receiving emails on mobile phones which became Microsoft’s official supplier for the development of all mobile applications.
Between 2007 and 2011, Miyowa became a Facebook partner, developing all mobile applications for Facebook and Twitter based in the US? After selling Miyowa to the US company Synchronoss, specialising in address book synchronisation, Pascal returned to France.
In 2013, he founded one of the first social networks for teenagers, Let.com. This was followed by Gojob in 2015, a digital disrupter in temporary recruitment with social impact and a mission to build a more inclusive labour market, which focuses his passion in the fight against discrimination in hiring and full employment.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
In 2005, after I sold my previous start-up, I didn’t work for three years and realised that having no job was dragging me away from society. One day, my kids came back from school and asked “Dad, but what do you do as a job?” And when I replied “Nothing, I just retired”, I felt like a disappointment in their eyes and less valued. Having a job, is essential to our self-respect. That’s when I decided to create a platform to simplify access to jobs for all.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
I believe we are entering a new era where more and more people want to drive their life themselves and want to have a purpose. The great resignation is a very good example of what is happening. People don’t want to work only to make their boss richer anymore. They want to take their own destiny in their hands. We empower people with more job opportunities. They can decide when, where and in which conditions they work.
They can choose.
Many platforms do this for white collar workers, but we are the only ones to do it for manual temporary workers. We developed a smart AI algorithm that matches millions of job offers with people to give workers a picture of what opportunities are best for them in just seconds.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Initially, I was so confident of finding workers jobs 24/7 that I guaranteed they would
be paid for full time hours every month regardless of how many hours they actually worked. I slowly realized that it was not a sustainable business model, as customers need flexibility to meet the peaks and troughs of demand.
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
Tom Fisher, a previous CTO at eBay, has recently joined as one of our board members. He had — and still has — a significant impact on Gojob. He helped us to find some of our investors. But he also challenges a lot of our product marketing and technical architecture to ensure it will be globally scalable.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
In most cases, when you are engaged to achieve a transformation, the goal is to have a positive impact.
Our mission is to provide a job and opportunity to progress to all those who want to work.
What’s disruptive is that Gojob has banished resumes to speed up hiring. By developing the first Artificial Intelligence laboratory ‘Gojob AI Lab’ fully dedicated to human resources and employment issues, Gojob disrupts the temporary employment sector.
This disruptive approach, launched last December, uses next generation machine and deep learning algorithms to better serve both workers and employers equally.
So, for me, disrupting is always good.
Can you share five of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
Hire the best people : It took three years to build a strong Executive team.. The company really started to take off once I had a dream team around me.
Cash is king: In a fast growing environment, I always make sure I have at least 12 months of cash available, so I am never in a situation where I need to take drastic decisions.
Stay agile: Most of our very successful new product lines are very agile before we scale them. As an example, we developed a Gojob Wallet called “My Cash” in less than a week with no-code. Now 40% of our Gojobbers are using it every month and we only started to develop it with serious coding 24 months after launch.
Get our hands dirty: Everyone at Gojob stays very operational with boots on the ground. For example, every week, everyone including myself, takes 30 minutes to call Gojobbers to ask about their working life, and product experience.
See big: At Gojob, we believe it’s never achieved. So every quarter we set new objectives and ask everyone to target at least 30% above objective, to remain in a “see big” mindset.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
We hope that Gojob will never stop growing and shaking things up! We aim to do this by intensifying our R&D in Artificial Intelligence, opening new offices, particularly in the US, where we want to consolidate our international deployment. We want to spread our mission that work is fundamental to human dignity, and recruit more and more people internally and externally. I want to change the world of work through high-level technology with a tangible societal impact which allows everyone not only to find a job, but to find the right one.
Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?
The book that inspires me the most is probably the “Tao te King” from Lao Tseu. I am not particularly Buddhist, but this reading inspires me to make a lot of wise decisions when it comes to life crises, in private, or in business.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“When there’s a doubt, there is no doubt”. I believe humans are extraordinary intuitive. When it comes to personal life decisions such as buying a house, dating someone, gut instinct is always right. It’s very true in business too. When it comes to hiring people, or evaluating a partnership, I tend to follow more and more my instincts.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I strongly believe that a well balanced life with a good job is a path to human dignity. By providing more and more jobs, we have the potential of changing millions of lives and to inspire people to give back. Giving back a more positive attitude. Giving back by being more responsible with their kids’ education. Giving back by training other people.
Globally, we want to rebuild the social contract of tomorrow. Initially this is by helping transform the world little by little into a place with a better and more inclusive temporary labour market One that is fair, fully-inclusive and non-discriminatory — regardless of age, gender, origin, qualification or experience.
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