• Octagon Careers

The Story of Octagon Careers in 4 Questions

Updated: Jul 10, 2019

#1. How did the Octagon Careers begin and who is behind the idea?

About a year ago, Vanesa Cotlar together with Neil Jennings were in Ninh Binh, Vietnam discussing how they could help better connect students with employers, creating a market where all applicants would have equal access to opportunity. This is how they arrived to building on the idea of Octagon Careers in July, 2018, applying to Spinlab in November 2018, and being selected as one of 8 of over 250 teams, to transform their idea into reality. In February 2019, they met Chad Barraford, who quickly went from advisor to CTO and core team member, helping the team rapidly grow.


Vanesa, the CEO and the co-founder of Octagon Careers, worked as a Management Consultant at Monitor Deloitte, Canada. Vanesa is also a successful participant of the Remote Year Program, where she discovered 12 cities across 4 continents working remotely for her projects. That is also where she met Neil!

Neil, Co-founder of Octagon Careers, worked as a Lawyer in London, at Lewis Silkin prior to venturing into entrepreneurship. He also successfully graduated the Remote Year Program in January 2019, and believes that living in so many places in such a short time, is what enabled the quick validation of the Octagon Careers idea.

Chad, the CTO of Octagon Careers, has various working experiences in Systems & Software Engineer in the United States and globally. He joined the Octagon Careers team in February, 2019 at SpinLab in Leipzig, Germany.



#2. Why is “Octagon” chosen as a name and what is the story attached to it?

While in the remote location of Ninh Binh, Vietnam, Neil and Vanesa had a 2-day brainstorming session, to determine exactly what the right opportunity was to tackle. They initially started building an 8-principle model for helping with employee engagement, as they felt that was an issue individuals faced early on in their careers. From that, formed the Octagon, surrounding the 8 principles, and although what Octagon Careers does has evolved since, the octagon is a reminder in the name of where it started.


#3. For whom is Octagon Careers created?

For Employers:

_ Helps finding the talent that best matches the role

_ Creates an engaging candidate experience

_ Saves time and reduces costs by using digitized screening

For Students:

_ Eliminates CVs and Cover Letter process

_ Provides customized challenge with “real life” scenarios

_ Reduces biases and provides objective feedback


#4. Which is the current stage and which are the next steps?

The team is currently spending all of their time speaking to people about the Octagon Careers product and features. As the MVP was built in under 3 months and the first pilot executed, the next milestone is ensuring the product is something its users love.


#Find more: Octagon Careers focuses on transforming the recruitment industry for students and Juniors, so that the recruitment experience of the future can be successful and value-adding for both Employers and Candidates. Discover more about what we do and how we do it on our LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



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