Meet the co-founder Q&A: Matthew Gibbs discusses how to change recruitment for the better

Recruitment as a sector has been stagnating for the past two decades in terms of how we operate. Whilst new tools such as LinkedIn have made the industry more streamlined, we still approach our key strategies with the same thought process. As a result, and despite recruitment being extremely lucrative, very few outside the industry fully appreciate or value the work that’s being done – even if they’ve been placed by a recruiter or used one to find a candidate themselves.

Here, Matthew Gibbs, co-founder of Recruiterly, gives us his take on what’s needed to pull the staffing industry into 2018.

Why did you decide to start the Recruiterly platform?

Jamie and I have approximately 20 years between us in the recruitment industry and it’s surprising just how little it has changed. The only thing that’s different is the perception of the industry – it’s now much worse.

It’s frustrating for the excellent recruiters out there who provide great value to employers and candidates – they get tarred with the same brush and have to overcome similar objections all the time.

With this in mind, plus our passion for the industry and our desire to make a big, positive impact in the world, we thought that building something to improve the reputation of the industry would be a fantastic idea.

With Recruiterly, we’re looking to enhance the connections between recruiters, candidates and clients. From there, it’s grown and grown into far more than that initial idea, and we’re confident in achieving our mission plus much more…the feedback so far has been truly amazing.

What experiences in your career do you feel added the most value to starting Recruiterly?

Without question, our recruiting background adds the most value to what we are doing at Recruiterly – we’re building the platform with the recruiter in mind. From my own career, I know exactly what value recruiters can provide clients. We want to make that connection easier, while simultaneously building tools to help recruiters achieve more.

I’ve worked in the industry for over eight years now, across three continents. Throughout that time, I’ve managed, grown and launched new recruitment businesses (twice) and have worked with diverse clients across multiple industries. Collectively, through Jamie’s and my experience, we intimately understand the industry we’re building tools for. We understand the pain points of recruiters, employers and candidates and will work tirelessly to solve those as we continue to improve the platform.

What prompted the decision to move operations to San Francisco?

Our mission has always been to improve and disrupt the industry. To ensure we can have such a meaningful impact, it makes sense to launch in one of the largest recruitment markets in the world.

Another factor is the unique ecosystem that San Francisco has that we will hopefully tap into – combining globalisation with a strong demand for niche local specialists.

Our vision for the platform is truly global and the strategy behind Recruiterly means that it will become more and more valuable to recruiters, candidates and employers as we scale into new countries.

What is your favourite aspect or feature of the Recruiterly platform?

I love the transparency that Recruiterly will bring to the industry. Every part of the platform is built to remove the ‘smoke & mirrors’ that act as barriers to hiring the right recruiter, as well as addressing the most common misconceptions everyone has about recruiters.

We make it so simple for employers and candidates to validate the right staffing partner to work with, and we create higher levels of engagement to ensure recruiters perform at their highest level. In the end, employers can hire the best candidates in the market by working with the best recruiters in the market.

I also love our exciting private social community tool we have built for recruitment companies – we’re solving the common challenge of cross-company communication, collaboration and engagement.

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given in business?

I’ve been given heaps – I read as much as I can, to learn as fast as I can, so would be doing a disservice to name just one influencer.

However, a few of my favourites that have, and continue to, impact me are:

  • Just get started, you’ll be ahead of 99% of everyone if you do
  • Anyone can make something complicated – it takes someone smart to keep things simple. Similarly, Mark Cuban himself believes that business plans should fit on one page
  • The rule of momentum. Create it, however small, each day and you’ll be amazed at what can be achieved
  • Most overnight successes took a long time to achieve
  • You cannot try to do something, you either do it or you do not do it
  • The harder you work the more opportunities and luck you’ll have
  • Don’t tolerate too much… it takes too much energy

Recruitment is becoming a far more challenging environment in which to operate. What advice would you give recruiters looking to become more competitive?

I would give two very specific pieces of advice. Firstly, specialise. We too often see recruiters look for the largest scope possible to recruit in… but that often means spreading too thin. No one knows who you are, and it’s hard to really get to know the intricacies of the industry you recruit into. Only look to expand once you’ve have dominated a niche market.

The second piece of advice is to focus on building a brand. Learn to become a digital marketer, not just selling your candidates, but also yourself. This is the future of recruiting.

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