Customer Story — Gavin Teehan
Written by Guest Post on Nov. 13, 2015 .
My name is Gavin Teehan, and I have been profoundly deaf since I was a baby. I was born on 17th April 1983. I am revolutionising recruitment and making change for the better. Founder & COO of Introview.
The second I was born, doctors knew there was something wrong with me — I had a Diaphragmatic Hernia which meant that my stomach was all the way up to my chest. I was rushed to Crumlin Hospital where I had immediate surgery. I was 3 hours old. An accident happened during the surgery…. I had an allergic reaction to Septrum, I broke out in a rash followed by a seizure, the drip in my right hand came out and my hand burned under the operating theatre lighting. I still bear the ugly scar to this day.
I was in an induced coma for the first 4 months of my life on a life support machine due to the trauma I had suffered during birth and the operation. Weeks followed by and doctors tried to turn the support machine off, I didn’t breathe. The second time, the same again. For the third and final time, because I was on life support for so long my body wouldn’t breathe itself, I was given a baptism and last rights. There was no sign that I would breathe again but after some long seconds, according to my parents, the machine beeped and I did breathe but not without difficulty.
Time went on and doctors told my parents that I would never walk or be able to do anything for myself and would be very dependent on others.
When I was 19 months old my mother brought me to get my hearing tested as I never spoke and I wouldn’t respond to sound. I eventually got my first hearing aids when I was 22 months old. After tests and meetings, it was confirmed that I was not born deaf but I had suffered severe nerve cochlea damage due to the trauma I had been through as a baby.
I was surrounded by close family and friends who thought me how to speak clearly and what the sounds from different directions were.
I eventually learnt to speak as normal as other hearing people. Doctors and others around me were amazed. I have a severe hearing disability and I can hear sounds I shouldn’t be able to, I speak so clearly that people don’t even know that I am actually deaf. I can walk, run, jump when doctors told my parents that I would never do any of that.
I went to my local mainstream school, after a huge struggle from my parents. I was the top in every class in my local secondary school. I was the top in language classes when I was told not to do any languages but I was hesitant that I would be studying Irish and German.
At 15 I suffered constant ear infections, I had to undergo open surgery. A junior doctor operated on me and a slip up was made during the operation which resulted in a bad bleed. Fast forward a few weeks ahead, I actually had a part time job after school and weekends at this stage, I started hearing strange sounds in my ear, not my head. I suffered very bad headaches from it. I also noticed that I couldn’t hear much in my right ear, which was my best ear to hear.
After a return trip to the hospital, it turned out that I have tinnitus but I never suffered from ear infections ever again….. So to me… It’s one thing or the other, I am just so happy to not have constant painful ear infections and decided life must go on and to come to terms with my hearing loss and tinnitus.
I worked for 11 years straight from the age of 14 to the age of 25. As a jobseeker I applied to, literally, hundreds of jobs! While my qualifications and experience impressed employers and recruiters, every missed phone call was a missed opportunity.
My hearing disability made it even harder to secure a position or even an interview since I cannot really hear that much on the phone, it wouldn’t be very professional for me to ask the recruiter/employer to keep repeating themselves!
This was very frustrating and daunting but I never gave up. Everything I have ever done, I succeeded.
Every job I have ever been in I succeeded and exceeded expectations through sheer hard work to prove that I was capable when everyone doubted me.
I played GAA when everybody told me I couldn’t do it, I even went on to become one of the best players.
I became a qualified trainer and forklift instructor when everybody said it was not safe for me to drive… Again, I proved everybody wrong and passed the safety assessments with flying colours.
When everybody doubted me in anything, I always succeeded and proved everyone wrong.
I was tired of working my hardest and going nowhere. I was tired of being overlooked for jobs I applied for knowing full well that I could do the job as required. So one day, out of frustration, I decided to do a video pitch of myself to prove that I can speak normally, to show my confidence and my creativity.
I came upon the idea to get employers/recruiters to actually see me and hear me speak, I can speak very well actually. I used a video pitch and attached it to my website with the title “Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Hire ME?” as a creative approach to my job search.
Link to my site, although the pitch is now gone: My Job Application
I started receiving phenomenal attention, job offers, interviews, well wishes etc.
Months flew by, I started to do extensive research. I found out that there was no way of recruiters to search for me or for other jobseekers. There were no options for recruiters to search and select their own candidates and auto shortlist candidates based on exactly what they were looking for. I discovered many other problems and came up with solutions to those major problems.
I found a much easier route to recruiting, a more efficient, faster way to get hired. A way for recruiters to hire using a more innovative, creative approach by using video pitch. Other products include live screen (Introlive product) and a automated screening (Introview Schedule product). An all in one recruiting platform was born.
Throughout my constant and rather long research process I realised that the ever changing and daunting world of recruitment was in dire need of live screen interviews/pre interviews. I used the idea to create Introview to accommodate both parties — the job seekers and the recruiters.
I then brought in an expert team to build the site and help sell/promote the platform with me. We all worked extensively, day and night, to get this platform off the ground. We made it possible to provide everything needed for recruiting for job seekers, recruiters and companies all on one platform. Rather than having to subscribe to multiple platforms and agencies we provide recruiters with a more user friendly and less daunting process.
We secured interest from some of the biggest recruitment agencies in the country, some of the biggest corporate firms in the world along with many job seekers looking to sign up to Introview.
We now have a solid user base and growing traction on the site. We are now rebranding Introview as Jobsource — Introview will just be our core products and Jobsource will be our new name to accommodate the expansion of our features and products. We will launch Jobsource as part of Introview at the Cork Jobs Expo on 19th November in front of 14,000 people.
It wasn’t easy but we got there…
The moral of my story is that through determination, hard work, never giving up and defying all odds against you, you can do anything!
Originally published at www.restoredhearing.com on November 13, 2015.