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Cammila Yochabell, CEO And Founder Of Jobecam, On Transforming Workplace Diversity

March 24, 2021

The Crunchbase “Female Founder Series,” is a series of stories, Q&As, and thought-leadership pieces from glass-ceiling-smashers who overcame the odds and are now leading successful companies.


Cammila Yochabell is the CEO and Founder of Jobecam, a platform for blind video interviews that aims to make the hiring process more agile, efficient, and fair.

Born in Mossoró, RN- Brazil, Yochabell was inspired to launch Jobecam in 2016 after her own frustrating job search experience with recruiters. The 100 percent digital platform uses AI to eliminate unconscious biases in the recruitment process by concealing candidates’ identity in their video interviews.

In this Q&A, Yochabell shares more about her humble beginnings in Brazil that led to an unconventional professional journey from the oil and gas industry, to HR, to ultimately launching her own business.


Q: Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes, since I was a child I knew I wanted to be a great entrepreneur. Maybe because I grew up in a merchant family and I’ve learned how to build, run and see things happen in a business. During my adolescence, I was a jewelry seller, but I was also the jewelry designer, the maker, and the financial person. That experience is so similar to a startup, as founders early on have to wear many hats. The experience gave me even more of a sense of entrepreneurship and ambition to do something great.

 

Q: Why did you choose to enter human resources?

Actually, I fell into the human resources area by accident. I hold an oil and gas degree, and my first plan was working on an offshore oil rig. My dream was to be an oil-rig diver. I got the opportunity to work in a big oil and gas company, but not as a rig worker; as a manager of people operations. 

I accepted the challenge as an opportunity to move into operations, but I became fascinated with people management, hiring and all HR activities, and I pivoted my career goals. This opportunity provided me great experience in HR, and it helped give me the expertise and confidence to build Jobecam.

 

Q: What problems are you trying to solve with your company and how are you solving them?

The hiring process is ineffective, inefficient and, more importantly, biased. These inefficiencies lead to inadequate recruiting, lack of diversity and retention, and higher costs. Unconscious biases, unfortunately, are part of the current process and the profiles the recruiters are analyzing. An applicant’s race, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc., are judged instead of abilities, competences and experiences. I wanted to do something to change this and help companies and recruiters promote a world that values diversity, so I created Jobecam. 

Instead of paper CVs, candidates apply for a job using short videos in which their identities are obscured, and Jobecam’s technology records and transcribes what is being said. Then, AI software ranks candidates against matching keywords and Q&A responses, all without — potentially biased — human intervention. Recruiters can watch an edited video, in which AI algorithms conceal a candidate’s identity by blurring their image and changing their voice. Only when a recruiter is satisfied with a candidate’s experience and skills, can they unblur the screen and reveal the candidate’s identity. 

 

Q: What inspired you to start your company?

I was born in one of the poorest parts of Brazil. Because of this, I faced many challenges in my life, such as family problems and sexual abuse during childhood. Regardless, I always focused on becoming my best self and helping transform my community for good. But I didn’t know how to start. However, when I began to work in HR, I discovered that I could help people, and I also discovered the problems behind hiring people. 

I spent more than eight years getting experience and, in 2016, spent time in Australia during an immersion to learn English. During that time, I started looking for a job, and experienced firsthand how difficult it is to be seen as more than a piece of paper and to be valuable by competencies instead of my appearance. 

No matter if I’m Latina, a woman, or anything else, my competency is more important than everything else. So, I got the idea to change the manner that recruiters hire by helping them with more efficiency and less unconscious bias. And Jobecam video blind technology was born.

 

Q: In 2019, only 3 percent of venture capital was invested in female-only founded companies. Did/do you feel welcome and accepted as an underrepresented group in the VC space?

Unfortunately, in most of my conversations with VCs, I felt like it was a pressure game. I realize that VC negotiations are not easy and should be hard because we are talking about business and money. When I’m by myself with male investors, the conversations were different, more pressure. But when I had a male adviser with me, the situation was very different. 

Even as the founder of the company, many times the attention and the questions were directed to the male adviser and not to me. When I have had conversations with women investors the conversation was open and challenging yet more respectful. Unfortunately, I had only two meetings with female investors and more than 10 with males. Clearly there are more men than women in this investment space. We need to change this scenario.

 

Q: How did you know you were choosing the right investors? What have they brought to the company?

As a female founder you have many challenges to face, and access to money is a big one. The few VC opportunities I had, I focused on investors who respect my vision, believe in me, my team, my business and most importantly, who will help us grow as a business partner, not just a financial partner. A startup/VC relationship is similar to marriage. So, honesty, trust, communication and values must align. 

I see some founders looking for just money and sometimes forget the relationship part. When I consider my VC partner, I look for competencies, networks and availability of my investors as true partners in the journey. We have a great deal with our investors: Harvard Angels, BRQ Digital Solutions and PeopleStrategy — as well as great partners and supporters like Oracle for Startups.

 

Q: Do you have a favorite quote or “personal mantra” you use to keep yourself motivated?

My personal mantra is: Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. When we believe in ourselves, the universe conspires to make good things happen. 

My journey has not been easy, but I learned that nobody would be able to destroy my dreams with negative words or judgements. During my life I’ve learned to be antifragile, face my problems, challenges, sorrows and monsters head-on. And I’m transforming my life doing great things for me and my community.

 

Q: What is your advice for other female founders at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journeys?

Sometimes people don’t understand how difficult it is to be a woman in our society. The opportunities are not equal. Women face different and hard challenges, and the path can be twice as hard than it is for men. 

However, we need to believe that we can win; that we can do anything that we want to do. The journey will be hard, but we can’t give up and we must keep working. We need to focus on our dreams, our values, our purpose. 

We need to keep showing the universe that we are amazing woman entrepreneurs and that we can move mountains and do big things better than people can imagine. Be your best and the best will come to you.

 

Q: What qualities do you possess that you think have contributed most to your success?

Persistence, resilience and strength. Like many, I have faced (and continue to face) hard challenges. But I treat problems as an opportunity to learn and to transform myself into a better person and a great professional. 

Some people say I’m a positive person, but I believe that I’m a hopeful person — one who never gives up, even when problems seem bigger than the solutions. Without persistence, resilience and strength, I would not be here with Jobecam and doing great things to help increase the diversity and inclusion for companies.


Cammila Yochabell was born in Mossoró, RN- Brazil. She holds an oil and gas degree, and MBA in HR Strategy, and has taken several extension courses in New Zealand, the U.S. and Australia. With more than nine years of experience in human resources, she founded Jobecam in 2016 with the purpose to promote a world that values differences.