This month, we sat down with Sylvie Fleury, CEO of Hunteed to find out more about her business and the world of digital recruitment. We picked Hunteed for this exclusive interview as we believe they are a true innovator in their field. Their unique solution makes it easier for businesses to access recruitment agencies, whilst maintaining a high quality service. In 2020, the company has had to adapt during the Covid19 crisis and we couldn't be prouder of the work they have done to maintain high levels of recruitment when so many have lost their jobs.
Right, let's get to it!
1. Sylvie could you tell us more about Hunteed and what you do?
Hunteed simplifies access to recruitment agencies for businesses. It acts as a digital platform from which companies who are recruiting can distribute their job offers across a large community of recruitment agencies. They can then meet the best candidates, qualified and recommended by professionals. Recruitment services are billed on a success basis and fees are calculated on the annual salary of the position to be filled (from 12% to 15% depending on the guarantees in place). Hunteed remunerates recruitment firms on a placement basis. This gives the firms access to new clients, enhances the value of their candidate pools and increases their turnover.
In 2020, more than 450 recruitment consultants recommended candidates from nearly 1,800 ads posted on Hunteed. Since September 2020, our solution is also adapted to the Swiss market and a team of 4 people in Geneva are dedicated to Swiss companies.
2. What makes you different from other Recruitment platforms?
In France, most recruitment platforms concentrate on connecting companies with candidates. The access to a wide range of candidates is facilitated, but most of the work regarding the qualification remains to be done.
On using Hunteed, our customers are guaranteed that one if not more recruitment professionals will be involved in the process to make it less time consuming and better quality. The benefit of productivity is also important.
We position ourselves as a high-quality service compared to a job board, at the same level as the best recruitment agencies.
3. Given that you are in recruitment yourself, how did you go about recruiting your own team and what did you look for?
Of course, we benefit from our own platform! Of the recent recruits, almost all of them were recruited following a recommendation made on Hunteed.
The profiles we look for must have experience in either recruitment, sales or digital. These are the typical skills that professionals working on Hunteed can identify and recommend.
4. Some of France’s biggest brands use your platform, from Fnac to Engie, how did you go about pitching your platform to them?
For large firms, it is the fact that they can centralize all recruitment providers within the same platform that’s attractive, regardless of the location of the positions to be filled. Thanks to Hunteed, the HR or Sales departments avoid negotiating specific pricing and contractual conditions with each recruitment firm. All employees involved in the recruitment process can work directly on our platform. They have access to personalized breakdowns of their activity, as well as dedicated reporting. For this, we have created a new offer for large accounts, the PRO account, available by subscription and which give our clients access to additional functions.
5. What do you think is the biggest challenge for a first-time founder to overcome?
The first challenge is to convince our financial backers of the legitimacy of the company to launch the entrepreneurial adventure, and to never doubt yourself, or at least don’t show it! The strength of conviction is a key element throughout the project.
The second challenge, and not the least, relates to the founder's ability to have a wide range of general expertise in lots of different fields. The entrepreneur must go from developing the 5-year plan, identifying short, medium and long-term goals, implementing the action plan on a day-to-day basis, to knowing how to manage a company’s finances, legal, and accounting needs. All in all, it is a big challenge to take up in terms of time management and daily pressures.
6. After seeing Hunteed grow so quickly since its inception in 2014, how has your role as CEO evolved?
Undeniably, the role of the leader evolves with the growth of the company. When you start with in an office of 3, the idea of hierarchy seems farfetched. Everyone gets involved in all tasks, even the more arduous ones.
Then, as the company grows, responsibilities become more spread out. Responsibilities are delegated and shared. The leader's role then shifts from a day-to-day watch, which is essential when launching a company, to a broader, more global, and long-term vision. The operational activities are then delegated as the role becomes based on strategy, economic development and representation.
7. The Covid19 has massively affected the job market, how have you adapted to the crisis?
At Hunteed the priority has been to get closer to all our existing clients to get specific feedback on their personal situations. We were pleasantly surprised to see that in the recruitment process, everything kept going. Only 15% of the requests published on Hunteed were cancelled. The others were either left up or postponed for a few months. Where the roles of our teams have really evolved is that as a digital solution supplier, we have been in high demand to answer many questions arising from this situation. How can we maintain recruitment when all the teams are working remote? How can we integrate new employees while working remotely? How can we maintain an activity if companies close?
Naturally, our customers and especially our partner’s recruitment agencies turned to us to share their concern because we were able to give them answers about the digitalization of their recruitment methods.
8. Looking forward, do you envisage a recruitment rebound during 2021?
The situation is still uncertain. Our 2020 figures are still very encouraging, with growth of +20% across the year and +50% in the last quarter compared to 2019, despite the general downward trend and major difficulties encountered by the traditional players in the recruitment sector. This allows us to be confident for 2021 for our business thanks to our current clients, those who plan to resume the recruitment they postponed in 2020 and new clients who are attracted by our digital recruitment solution. In addition, we have a great development opportunity with the opening of the Swiss market.
Concerning the market, forecasts, particularly for Apec, are predicting a decrease in executive recruitment of around 30%, but this is likely not to affect all companies of all sizes. Companies are tending to consolidate their expertise by keeping recruitments focused on middle and top management profiles.
On the other hand, it must be said that there is a real difference between the period relating to the first lockdown and that of the second. In November-December activity was good, even sustained, proof that the economic context is improving compared to the second quarter of 2020.
Thank you Sylvie!
Learn more about Hunteed here.
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