7 minutes with Toni Gimeno

I started to follow Toni Gimeno in LinkedIn around three years ago, when he was leading Talent Clue, a cool start-up which was reinventing the way companies recruit by applying a methodology of his own called inbound recruiting.
Destiny wanted me (as always happens) to personally meet Toni a couple of weeks ago, over coffee and a croissant in El Born, Barcelona. He is now based in Porto and just launched his own project. As an entrepreneur, he helps organisations to finally develop a sexy way to attract talent.

1. What’s inbound recruiting?
It’s a recruitment methodology which is based on the candidate, instead of based on the company (as is done nowadays). It involves every single need the candidate could have throughout the search process. For example, in the attraction phase, it’s important to consider what kind of information would be needed by the candidate about the company and the role. In the application process, we will make sure the form is easy to fill in, the offer is simple and easy to understand, the candidate feels at ease and he/she receives all the information needed. Once hired, we must make sure the candidate receives the proper onboarding, so that the new hire feels happy with his/her choice. From the company point of view, inbound recruiting means marketing techniques must be applied to make sure the brand’s awareness is the right one to be attractive to candidates.
The company, then, will use the same sales techniques it would use with its external customer but, this time, applied to its candidates. In this way, we create a client centric experience. We also need of course to have the right software.

2. How would you define the way in which companies attract talent nowadays?
They are frozen in time. Companies are still focused on a one-way relationship with job seekers. The message is “I am the one choosing you” instead of considering that it’s about choosing each other. So, companies must do their best to be attractive to the candidates. The message still is “I am the company, I am giving the information I consider relevant and I will then decide if you are a good fit”. It has been the same methodology for the last 15 years: just posting job offers and praying to receive good CVs. In fact, the company needs luck to have the right candidates who match with its culture. Organisations need more marketing and sales knowledge. There is a lack of tools to enable them to change the way they are recruiting now.

3. What are the best practices? Is there any organisation to get inspiration from?
The best examples are in tech start-ups. IT profiles, due to the high demand, are very demanding. Salary is not an important difference, so companies must struggle to offer an exciting culture and workplace, which are key in inbound recruiting. Otherwise, the company would be rejected.
Decathlon is doing it very well, with plenty of video content. HubSpot has special accounts to show the company inside out. Inditex is also a good example.
Platforms such as the French Welcome to the Jungle, which just launched its Spanish branch, are doing a brilliant job acting as a showroom of companies who want to show their most attractive side to their candidates.

4. What’s the role of AI in inbound recruiting?
AI automatizes every single task which does not bring any value to the recruiter nor to the candidate. Examples of such tasks are: when subscribing to an offer, when sending communications to the candidate, when segmenting, when searching through the database, when measuring the common features of the best candidates, … The big challenge is how we are going to use technology in an integrated way. Nowadays, plenty of new tools are being launched, but what is really important is how we design the process and the interconnection of the different tools for an end-to-end experience for both sides.

5. How can platforms such as Glassdoor represent a benefit for a company?
Glassdoor plays the same role as Booking or TripAdvisor thanks to the reviews of its users, who are candidates, employees and former employees of a company. Which information would be more trustworthy? The information appearing on a company’s social media or website? Or the reviews of anonymous people? Testimonials are crucial when we are talking about consuming tangible or intangible products, therefore, you must work with a platform like Glassdoor to communicate what you are like as a company and to work out your sexiness. But the management of such a tool cannot be random. In the same way that a restaurant can improve its ranking by asking its customers to upload their reviews on Google, it’s very positive to ask candidates and employees, with whom and thanks to inbound recruiting we will have a very good relationship, to post their opinion about our company on Glassdoor. Many businesses might panic about it, but if we are delivering value in our procedures, if we are honest and our communication is impeccable, it will be very positive to ask for a review, which will be good for our company awareness.

6. What do we need to implement inbound recruiting in our company’s routine?
We need to know ourselves as a company: why do we exist, our purpose. On the other hand, we need to have solid culture and true values, which are the ones defined by all company members, not the ones which could be chosen by a board of directors and written on a poster afterwards. Lastly, we need to know what the profiles are we want to attract and not only from a hard skills perspective. What do they like, what makes them happy, what do they value the most when changing jobs or what do they fear most … In this way, we will be able to create a value proposition and then implement the methodology successfully: our website detailing all kind of information about our company, so that the candidate can choose us, social media so that our company can have its own personal voice, offers more focused on why a person should work with us (more than focusing on “what”), good recruitment software (where we can upload videos, easy subscriptions, automatic messaging configuration, KPIs). In short, it’s about offering the best possible experience to our candidate.

Many thanks for finally making recruiting a human process, Toni!

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