Can you give us a brief overview of you and your business?
Sure, Hiring-Hub.com makes it easier for companies to find, and work with third-party recruitment agencies. It’s an online marketplace: it’s free to upload your vacancy on the platform, and when you do you specify a fee that you’d be willing to pay a recruitment agency if they found you a candidate you wanted to hire. If you hire, you pay the fee. If not, you pay nothing. We have nearly 1000 approved recruitment agencies in our network, so one of them is bound to have the right candidate. If anything, it’s crowdsourcing for recruitment!
What has been your biggest achievement in the past 12 months?
Getting profitable. We’ve grown well over 100% year-on-year, and we hit break even in March 2014 and have since grown further, organically, and with a relatively small team, to achieve month-on-month profit. This, to me, is significant as in the early days we were proving the concept, and I feel that we have done that now – it works! By getting the company to profit, we’ve now proven the business model too, which makes it far easier to plan our growth. We also secured investment in November last year to really accelerate growth in 2015.
How have you been disruptive in your market during that time?
Our model has been described by its customers as “a breath of fresh air” within what is a fairly traditional sector. Our sole aim is to make recruitment easier and faster for everyone – both companies and recruitment agencies – by providing a neutral environment through which they can trade together easily online. It’s proving to fill specialist vacancies three times faster than offline, so it’s disruptive but, more importantly, it works.
Why is being disruptive so important in the current business/economic climate?
I don’t really believe it is. I mean, you can setup a normal business, do normal things, and build a good solid business. That, however, has never really excited me. We’re on a mission to fundamentally change an industry, and make recruitment better by taking it online. It’s a bigger goal than simply building a successful business. And it’s what drives me and the team. It just so happens to be disruptive too. It’s in Hiring-Hub.com’s DNA not to accept the status quo and to seek ways to improve something.
Is triggering change in your market, or creating a new one, critical to success?
Yes, absolutely. People told us they didn’t like cold calls from recruitment agencies. They told us they couldn’t find decent candidates quick enough. They told us they didn’t feel like they were getting good value. They told us that managing recruitment agencies on their preferred supplier list took up too much of their time. So we built Hiring-Hub.com – the change they were looking for.
What in your view is a great example of a business that has been disruptive in the past 12 months, and why?
I like what the guys at Lovespace are doing. Ditto VentureFounders, who are taking a different approach in what is getting a very ‘crowded’ crowdfunding market – if you’ll pardon the pun. Plus there are a few more firms up here in Manchester, where Hiring-Hub.com is based, that are doing interesting things, like Formisimo, Wakelet and ResponseTap.
What has being named in the Future 50 helped you to achieve?
It gave us a platform through which companies could find us, so it helped boost brand awareness, and certainly resulted in new business. As a growing company that’s our focus, so anything that contributes to that has to be a good thing, right?
Did it change the way you think or approach business?
No. I mean, there was no fundamental shift. I guess what it did do was validate that we were on the right track, so we kept plugging away.
Has it opened up any opportunities?
Yes, going back to my point on new business, we got a good bit of PR coverage from the award which stirred up a flurry of new customers posting vacancies on the marketplace, and those customers are still with Hiring-Hub.com today. It also supported our fundraise, again validating our product and business model, making it more attractive to investors.
What sort of businesses are you hoping to see in the next Future 50 list?
I respect anyone that builds a business, whether it’s disruptive or not. However, personally I like businesses that do things differently, that look for ways to make something better. That, like Hiring-Hub.com, have innovation in their DNA.
What advice would you give to businesses hoping to make the next Future 50 list?
Be honest, and really think about who you are, what you’re all about, and how you can tell a story that will ensure you get noticed in what will be a deep pool of great businesses.
What do you think the biggest challenges UK business are currently facing?
Finding the right talent is a key talking point at the moment, which is good for us at Hiring-Hub.com as we can help firms do exactly that! But it is a challenge and the government really does have to focus on two things: skilled immigration for the short-term skills requirement, and education in the long-term to ensure we’re training a new generation of engineers and software developers.
Are there any other messages you would like to see communicated?
Hiring-Hub.com is brilliant and if you haven’t used it already, get your jobs on there now – what are you waiting for?! Embrace change! Do it. Now!