ProfileTree’s award-winning Business Leader series has released its latest instalment, this time featuring Locate a Locum CEO and founder, Jonathon Clarke. Sharing insights into his background as a pharmacist and the pursuit of an entrepreneurial career, Clarke guides us through his business journey and the story of his successful healthcare recruitment platform.
As the latest participant in Business Leaders, Jonathon Clarke’s contribution now joins a series which was recently recognised at the inaugural Irish Content Marketing Awards with Best Content Marketing Award for a Video Series. Insights from the Locate a Locum founder can now be accessed via ProfileTree’s Business Leader channel, featuring expert advice from sectoral leaders in tourism, hospitality, real estate and more.
Only three years into its existence, Locate a Locum has already made serious strides towards establishing itself as the UK’s market leader for locum pharmacy recruitment. The healthcare recruitment platform currently services over 8000 pharmacies across the UK and Ireland, with over 7000 registered locum pharmacists.
The platform has secured praise for its innovation in the pharmacy recruitment space, providing pharmacies and pharmacists with the tools to advertise and source locum shifts. The platform’s success was recently recognised with a multi-year deal with Right Medicine Pharmacy, solidifying ongoing relationships and allowing the continued use of the platform within the firm’s recruitment processes.
Established as an on-demand healthcare platform, Locate a Locum connects healthcare locums with their employers. “We currently do this in the pharmacy space, and we have four separate tiers of our business that make that up,” says Clarke. “We have the locum booking platform, scheduling, payments and reporting. There are also key trends that we really buy into – the gig economy being one of those. People want to work flexibly. The aging population is also a big one – there’s a lot more resources in demand. This trend is only going to get bigger,” he continues.
Speaking to ProfileTree CEO, Ciaran Connolly, Clarke shared insights into his roots working as a locum pharmacist at the height of the recession. “During that time I completed a five-year degree. There was no full time job at the end of it, but there was the opportunity to work as a locum. You would print off a business card, going from pharmacy to pharmacy to essentially pitch yourself. This wasn’t a successful way of doing things, and this gave me the initial brainwaves that led me automating that connection online. That’s what led me to Locate a Locum today,” shared the entrepreneur.
“What initially attracted me to pharmacy is that I actually believed it to be an entrepreneurial career. My business is a real swing on that, connecting both worlds,” according to Clarke. For the Locate a Locum founder, operating an online business has required real efforts around Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), paid social media advertising and other digital marketing efforts, both to scale the business and to connect with potential clients.
Establishing a successful healthcare recruitment platform has not come without its challenges, however. Growing the business and securing investment has been the result of three years of hard work, determination and industry-leading expertise from the team at Locate a Locum. “I certainly believe that a ‘mistake’ is only a real mistake if it happens twice. We learn from our mistakes the first time, and move on from that. We take the people side of our business very seriously, and we are lucky to have a world-class team,” shares Clarke.
According to the recruitment guru, moving online has been an essential step towards innovating in a risk-conscious space. “Typically, the healthcare industry has been quite slow to innovate,” he says, “and there are some large players who are waiting to be disrupted”. For the platform, mobile accessibility has been an essential, with 90 percent of traffic coming through mobile on the Locate a Locum app. “There is some talk that apps are coming to a saturation point. But certainly with us, the app has been very beneficial. It’s never been easier to be a locum.”
“It’s amazing how technology is transforming things. Look at AirBnB or Uber, for example. If someone had pitched me the idea for Deliveroo I would’ve laughed at them – but look where they are now. We buy into that and we hold very high ambitions for the company. We will continue to push to be a larger player in the future.”
ProfileTree are an award-winning, Belfast-based agency specialising in web design, digital marketing and content marketing. To enquire about participating in the Business Leader series, get in touch with the team today.