We started in 2012, when we noticed a problem: on average, it was taking eight weeks (and a lot of paperwork) for small businesses to apply for a loan. Worse still, more often than not, that process was ending in a ‘no’.
We knew that bakeries, building firms, salons, and solicitors deserved better. They deserve to be able to grow – hire more hands, invest in stock, market themselves – without all the hold music and absurdly rigid criteria.
We’ve now been around for a decade, and in that time, we’ve:
- grown to a team of 290 iwocans
- worked with over 50,000 small businesses across the UK and Germany
- redesigned the whole business loan process from start to finish – our record is three minutes, 26 seconds.
It’s a good start, but it’s just the beginning. Our mission is help one million businesses who need us, so we still have a long way to go.
Here’s what we’ve learned about lending along the way
- Technology is the way to change this space
From automated decisions to API integrations, tech has the potential to create the changes small businesses have been waiting for – so we can’t stop innovating.
- Embedded finance is the future
More and more, we’re reaching customers by embedding our loans within the apps and systems they use everyday. Our partners are people like neobanks, online marketplaces and accountancy software companies.
- Payments and credit are converging
Lots of small businesses struggle with cash flow; often getting invoices paid from their customers months after paying their own bills. Loans can help them pay these bills, but we also want to tackle the problem at its root by improving payment terms.
- New products are always possible
We’re working to create new loans of all shapes and sizes, and we’ve recently launched iwocaPay to help with these cash flow conundrums.
We work hard to make iwoca a place where everyone feels welcome, where you can confidently be yourself. We understand that diversity isn't an optional add-on, it's the core ingredient of what makes us great.more smart, hands-on people to help us reach this goal. Get in touch if you think you might be the right person for our team.
- Work with teams from across iwoca, to understand recruitment needs and achieve quarterly recruitment goals
- Develop clear role profiles, then use traditional and alternative channels to reach out directly to great candidates and develop a strong pipeline
- Rigorously manage external agencies and other paid-for searches, to ensure they deliver “bang for buck”
- Develop tailored strategies for hiring across different roles and levels – e.g. students, interns, experienced hires, part-timers, remote workers, etc.
- Manage every step of the recruitment process to ensure that all candidates have a great experience when they interview with iwoca - conducting interviews, coaching the hiring team on how to interview candidates, implementing SLAs (e.g. around time taken to provide feedback to candidates, time taken from application to offer, etc.)
- Develop salary recommendations (to be agreed with hiring manager) and negotiate effectively to bring new new hires on board
- Continuously look for ways to enhance the recruitment process, e.g. by gathering feedback from all candidates and researching techniques used by other firms to attract talent
- Promote iwoca and our employee value proposition among prospective candidates, and understand what matters to candidates in different roles and at different levels, in order to feed ideas for how to make iwoca’s employee value proposition highly attractive within the marketplace
- Experience in recruiting, either internally or at an agency, ideally within the financial services space.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills – able to manage stakeholders from across the business, and shepherd candidates through the recruitment process in a way that is efficient, friendly, trusting and respectful
- Comfortable with numbers and able to draw insights from analytics to make our hiring process smarter and more efficient
- Highly organized – able to stay on top of the recruitment process for each candidate, manage SLAs
- Able to balance both the day-to-day recruitment as well as strategic projects to develop ways of further enhancing our recruitment drive
- Able to quickly understand candidates’ motivations and needs, as well as the needs of hiring managers
- Excellent negotiation skills – able to use what you learn about each candidate’s situation in order to craft the right pitch each time, that maximizes their likelihood of accepting (which doesn’t hinge entirely on remuneration package)
- Hungry to find the best possible talent – ambitious, driven, hard working and uncompromising
- Able to spot ways of doing things better and willing to “test and learn” from new methods when it comes to sourcing candidates
- Excited about joining a fast-growing start-up, and the role of fintech / disruptive financial services
- Smart, motivated, humble
What’s life like as an iwocan?
We all enjoy:
- Bright, modern office spaces in Fitzrovia & Leeds. We have always supported flexible working however during the current pandemic the majority of iwocans are working from home. We have taken every precaution to keep our offices COVID-19 secure for those that need to use them.
- A calendar of ‘remote friendly’ events each week including Bingo, Comedy Nights, Escape Room challenges….
- Two company retreats a year (in places like the French Alps or Spanish seaside)
- Pool, ping pong, foosball tables and tournaments
- Virtual Yoga classes every Tuesday and Thursday morning
- An ever-growing number of clubs including climbing, chess, football and boxing
- Plenty of drinks and snacks in our office kitchen
Just for you:
- Medical insurance from Vitality, including discounted gym membership
- We take your well being incredibly seriously, so you’ll have instant access to emotional and mental health support services via our partner Spill
- Share options
- Enhanced maternity and shared parental leave
- A workplace nursery tax benefit scheme. Save £££ on your nursery costs
- 25 days holiday per year and an extra day off on your birthday
- All the equipment you need to set up your home working space up
- Paid volunteering time for you to support your chosen charity
- Extra leave if you want to travel or study
- Special celebrations for anniversaries and long service including sabbatical
- Flexible working arrangements
- Cycle-to-work scheme
And to make sure we all keep learning, we offer:
- L&D budget including a book budget to encourage you to keep learning
- Company-wide talks with internal and external speakers
- A calendar of meetups we host at our office
- Access to learning platforms like Treehouse if you want to learn to code.