Master in Management student Banafsheh Hosseini caught up with classmate Selene Camargo to interview her about her final project in the Master. Selene shares her experience working with skeeled, a start-up launched by EADA alumni.
- What are the strengths of skeeled both as a corporation and in terms of company culture compared to competitors? Do you have any weaknesses?
skeeled is a young start-up that offers recruitment software for the Benelux market, and it was founded in 2014 by two EADA alumni (Mike Reiffers and Nicolas Speeckaert). The fact that it was born at a business school is a strength in itself. The entrepreneurs benefited from the extensive network and experienced staff at EADA, and they had easy access to young talent as well. This is extremely important for the fast-changing products and uncertain environments in which start-ups grow. Mike and Nico have been in touch with EADA since they graduated, and this year they collaborated with current MiM students to develop the go-to-market strategy for skeeled Spain.
It is somewhat difficult to compare this experience with that of their competitors. In our market research, we identified at least thirteen competitors – and that’s only in Spain. We do not know their specific cultures of the competitors, but we know that there is great diversity: some of them are big ERP or SAP providers that offer recruitment tools as add-on applications, others are specialists in recruitment software that work independently offering solutions for every stage. Nevertheless, some of the small-sized competitors do not have in-house developers as skeeled does, which allows skeeled to design better and faster responses to recruiters’ needs.
- What is the mission and vision of skeeled?
The mission of skeeled is to innovate the selection process by providing a software that automatically matches applicants with job openings and ranks them accordingly. Their vision is to become the international reference of HR software by automatizing the first stages of the recruitment and selection process (for instance, the posting of job openings, the initial screening and matching of CVs, and facilitating the video interview). Bear in mind that these are the most demanding, time-consuming, costly and error-prone stages, where recruiters can overlook the right candidate simply by not dedicating enough time to hundreds of applications. A recruitment software such as skeeled tries to save recruiters time by helping them focus on interviewing the most suitable candidates and making the final decision.
- I have noticed that LinkedIn is not listed as a competitor. Do you consider LinkedIn an indirect competitor? If so, how does skeeled plan to differentiate itself?
In the business plan, LinkedIn (Recruiter) is actually listed as one of skeeled’s thirteen competitors. Nevertheless, it is clear that LinkedIn and skeeled are different platforms that offer different features. LinkedIn offers a standard set of tools for recruiters that facilitate the search and screening process. skeeled’s distinguishing feature is that the modular way of working and the flexibility of operation. This means that recruiters can choose the features that best serve their needs. That said, the competition with LinkedIn is going to increase in the near future. skeeled is developing new features, such as multi-posting and a database of candidates, competing directly with similar professional online networks. With the multi-posting tool, for instance, the recruiter can automatically post job openings to various job posting websites, and not only in one (such as LinkedIn.com, jobvite.com, Monster, etc.). This offers flexibility, saves recruiters valuable time and leads to a greater pool of applicants. This is highly valued in sectors that aim to create a pool of high-quality candidates, such as IT, consulting and finance.
- How does skeeled plan to adapt to the technological changes of the next 10 years in order to maintain its competitive advantage?
That is the million dollar question! skeeled is already part of several revolutions –the digital, the machine learning and the people analytics revolution–, and it is difficult to forecast in which particular direction technological developments are going to evolve. On one hand, companies must adapt to these new technologies and make the most of them. Every HR department must find the way to successfully introduce HR technologies, and reinforce a culture that favors and encourage these innovations. On the other hand, we believe that customers are going to shape the future of the recruitment software industry. Case in point: in recent months, we have observed that both entrepreneurs and developers learn the most –and are most successful– when listening to the needs and expectations of their current and prospective customers, and when analysing the problems of existing solutions. That is why we believe that skeeled must keep developing new features. For instance, in our market research, we discovered that recruiters valued the possibility of linking keywords in CVs to questions in the video interview, or including motion and stress measurements during the video interviews. The possibilities are many! This is a good way to create a competitive advantage.
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER
Banafsheh Hosseini is from Canada and is currently an International Master in Management student at EADA. She graduated from York University summa cum laude with a degree in psychology, where she explored the relationship between behaviour and environment, part of which relates to her interest in the world of start-ups. She has experienced working in the legal sector for a family law firm in Toronto, Canada. She speaks English and Farsi fluently and has an intermediate level of Spanish and French.
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEE
Selene Camargo Correa is from Argentina and is a current student in the International Master in Management at EADA. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Barcelona with a dissertation that explores job-search patterns of university graduates and the employers’ demand for skills in the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. She has experience in consulting and the non-profit sector promoting social projects based on entrepreneurship and micro business management.