With the economy struggling to rebound and the unemployment rate having just spiked up to 8.2 percent, WCBS 880’s news anchor Wayne Cabot other members of the Newsradio 880 team are producing a weeklong special series of reports, running through June 8, called Where The Jobs Are.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The tech industry is growing faster in New York than any other place in America, with almost 500 new companies having sprouted up since 2007, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman With The First Part Of This Story
The ZocDoc company is being held back by only one thing. They need more people. They’re hiring an average of 10 people a month.
For CEO and founder Cyrus Massoumi, it all began in the sky.
“My plane landed back in New York and I ruptured my eardrum,” Massoumi told Silverman.
His search for a doctor took four days.
“I though there had to be an easier way to find a doctor online,” he said. “I do everything in my life on the internet.”
So, ZocDoc, an online doctor appointment booking service, was born in SoHo.
“I do believe that the best companies are built during a recession,” he said.
Massoumi said it forced discipline and focus.
“Why New York? Why not out west?” asked Silverman.
“We had to be good at sales. We had to be good at marketing. We had to be good at technology. We had to be good at customer service,” he said. “And I think New York is a city that has got the diverse set of people who, in abundance, fill all of these sort of requirements.”
Now they’ve been up and running for a several years. But their office is anything but typical.
WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman: The Story Continues
Of course, there are fingers on keyboards. There is phone chatter from a cluster of cubes.
But then there is the game of ping pong.
“Visually, what you see when you walk around, of course, is games and toys, and if you look at my own cube, you probably see more toys than PowerPoint presentations,” Massoumi said.
He said sitting in a cube sets the tone in their culture.
“If the CEO is not sitting in a cornered office, how could anyone else demand one?” he said.
ZocDoc now operates in 19 cities and the only thing holding them back from more expansion is their hiring hitch.
The were 20 employees two years ago. Today, they have 160.
It’s reached the point where Massoumi doesn’t personally know each member of his staff.
“A little bit embarrassing that you don’t know people that were working with the company that you started,” he said.
“Opera singers and teachers, people who were lawyers and decided to change their careers,” said Karsten Vagner, who started as a temp four years go. “I kind of worked my way through the company until I became the Director of People about two years ago.”
The Director of People is just what it sounds like. He’s in charge of hiring, and has a recruiting team of 18.
With literally thousands of resumes coming in each month, they need ways to weed out the ones who don’t really want it.
“Our job descriptions have instructions on how to apply,” he said. “‘Imagine you’re the manager of a movie theater and a couple walks out of the movie in the middle of the movie. What would you do?’ We only read the resumes of people who answer that question in their cover letter.”
Do you know of a company that’s hiring? Please share the information in the comments section below.