Name: Curtis M. Greenwood
He’s worked as an assistant to actor Hugh Jackman and media mogul Tyler Perry, and has been the chief of staff for hip hop artist Sean “P Diddy” Combs. But in his latest venture, as the sole founder and owner of an online platform that connects job seekers to high-paying, private service positions, Curtis M. Greenwood is his own boss. We talked to Greenwood about the digital platform he developed while living and working here in Raleigh.
What is PrivateService.Jobs exactly and how does it work?
It’s a platform like Uber or Lyft where job seekers and employers can interact. Job seekers can search the job board for free, by employment type, key words or location. Should they find something of interest—if they see a city, a salary or a job title that meets what they’re looking for—they sign up for a premium subscription and their application, resumé and online profile are sent to the employer. We’re not involved in the actual hiring, so it’s not a staffing agency, but a purely digital platform where job seekers and employers can connect and, hopefully, make a match on their own terms and time.
What do the subscriptions look like?
We offer three plans: weekly for $19, monthly for $49 or annual for $199. There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time. When you sign up, you get full access to the site, access to every job description and you can then apply for unlimited worldwide positions. A customer may even be discovered by an employer somewhere in the world and get contacted that way. As for the employer, the other side of the equation, they’re able to post unlimited positions, 100 percent for free, 100 percent anonymously.
What kind of jobs are available and how do you vet the employers?
Positions range from everything from executive assistants, personal assistants to estate managers, butlers, nannies, housekeepers, governesses, bodyguards, chefs…I have almost 15 years in the private service industry, having been a candidate and a job seeker myself, so I am familiar with all the reputable, trusted, vetted agencies and recruiters in that niche sector. We use only agencies and recruiters we personally know and have worked with. Outside of that, we could be referred by someone we trust. We would do our research and look into the referral, but for the most part, everyone on our site is someone we know.
How did you identify a need for this kind of service?
There are few resources online to find positions like this. I was at a point in my career where I only wanted to see high-paying positions and wished I could just access them instead of having to seek out recruiters and go through countless interviews. It was a personal need that turned into a personal platform and I felt like, in today’s world, it would be fantastic if you had instant access to an online portal that offered, specifically, positions that were high-paying. The site isn’t for everyone, so it sort of filters out those who don’t have a lot of experience and really just deals with top-tier talent. So customers feel like they can sign up and likely secure a position through the premium subscription and it will be worth their while.
Why did you develop PrivateService.Jobs in Raleigh rather than one of the larger U.S. markets where employers are based?
I was brought here from Beverly Hills to work in the corporate marketing department at one of the city’s large public tech companies. Every recruiter I speak to says something to the notion of, they no longer have an office. I work with someone who used to have an office in the Empire State Building and she realized no one even wanted to come in and interview with her, they just wanted to do it over Skype. I can commiserate with that. Everything is virtual now, everything is online, so it didn’t matter where I built, developed and launched the website. That website is in every city right now, upon everyone’s phone, tablet and computer.
Did you find the community here to be supportive while you were developing the company?
I worked in every coffee shop downtown. Jubala on Hillsborough Street, I like to joke, was our corporate headquarters. So, a big thanks to all the coffee shop owners in downtown Raleigh helping to support entrepreneurs and put us on the map. Raleigh turned out to be a super exciting city to be in. Between RTP and the growing tech scene here, there was a great support system. There were a lot of people I could lean on, be it for advice or freelance work. I hired a freelance developer to code the site for me, a Raleigh local.
How is PrivateService.Jobs doing since you launched in January and how do you see it growing?
We’ve had tens of thousands unique individuals connected to the site through either premium subscriptions, our job listing newsletter or social media. We have hundreds of high-paying positions on constant rotation, and that number is growing every day, and hundreds of paid customers in what is now 12-16 weeks. So, it is going really well, better than hoped. We’ll continue to do a lot of business development and court trusted employers. Equally important is exposure, getting the word out. Most of our new customers are from referrals, from happy current customers. We’re currently in North America, across the United States, in major cities, LA, New York, Atlanta, Miami, in the UK and across Australia. It’s important for us to grow around Europe and the Middle East, to make sure it is truly a worldwide platform.