Interview with Ben Chatfield, CEO and Co-founder at Tempo: Making Recruitment Exciting Again

Tempo CEO and Co-founder Ben Chatfield

Tempo is a hiring platform used by some of the most exciting companies in the world to recruit non-technical people.

Companies are automatically matched to candidates from our marketplace and can then run the entire hiring process through the platform – internal recruitment teams utilising our technology are 2.5x more efficient than those without.

Jobseekers can explore a tailored list of roles and companies, based on their preferences, and deal directly with the hiring company rather than going through a third party. They also have a chance to showcase themselves beyond a simple CV, adding things like video and ratings to their profile as well as demonstrating their ability to learn job-related skills.
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How did you come up with the idea for the company?

We experienced the problem first hand far too many times! Getting recruitment right is absolutely critical to every company’s success but almost all businesses struggle with it.

If you’re hiring non-technical roles a big part of the problem is density. You put up an advert and can very quickly get hundreds of even thousands of applicants. The majority will be irrelevant and many will have CVs with very similar experience, especially at junior level, so the only way to screen people is to call them – which becomes incredibly time consuming. At City Pantry I was doing 16-18 hours of telephone interviews a week!

This creates a knock-on frustration for jobseekers who find themselves in slow, unresponsive interview processes or trawling through job boards and applying to anonymised job adverts based on job title alone. They really, really hate doing this but their options are very limited.

I met Ollie whilst he was working at an Atomico-backed recruitment technology business who operate in a different vertical. We saw eye to eye on a lot of things and our different experience of the problem complemented each other nicely. We knew there was space for a product that made the hiring process quick, easy and curated for both sides so we teamed up with a brilliant CTO and got building!


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Be wedded to the problem not the idea.

Once you’ve found a problem so painful that it justifies building a business to solve it, don’t stress too much on what your first solution is. Inevitably as you grow and start speaking to customers your solution will evolve a great deal, sometimes beyond recognition.

If you’re too committed to one specific idea you might ignore crucial feedback or miss an opportunity to pivot. So get something into customers hands, or potential customers hands, as quickly as possible and spend as much time talking to them as you can – this is especially true when you’re first starting out but applies the whole way through.

What can we hope to see from Tempo in the future?

Over the last 3 years we’ve built a marketplace of 100,000 candidates and thousands of those most exciting growth businesses in the UK – including the likes of Uber, Bulb, Monzo and NextDoor. In that time our technology also made internal recruitment teams more than 2.5x more efficient.

Thousands of people have found work through Tempo, which is incredibly satisfying, but we’re only just getting started and we want to support people as they build their careers, and this goes way beyond the hiring process itself.

We were recently approved as part of the UK Government’s Kickstart Scheme to get 16-24-year-olds into work amongst one of the largest unemployment crises the country has ever faced. Through Tempo we can provide opportunities at some incredible companies, access flexible benefits as well as ongoing employability support. This is something we’re really excited about as millions of people find themselves switching careers.