- Simon Mortimer
- Founder & Co-CEO
- James Shelley
- Founder & Co-CEO
- Talent Point
We sat down with Simon Mortimer and James Shelley, our Co-CEOs and Founders, to find out what their plans are for 2020, discuss the shiny new Talent Point brand, and learn what's up next on the company's roadmap.
James: I'll tell you what building teams from within means!
Simon: [laughs] Oh God, it's Alan Sugar! [both laugh]
Title: #1 What are Talent Point's plans for 2020.
James: So over the next year the key goals are: rebrand. We want to make sure that every single business out there understands Talent Point as the business that builds teams from within. We need to look at our internal culture right now, so we're looking to make sure that, from an internal perspective, everyone understands the key goals they need to achieve for their career and they're motivated by those goals. We've also got to establish our longer term plan too. [0:00:30] One of the key things we've got to get ourselves aligned on is gonna be "where is this business going?". We do know we want to grow, so right now we serve primarily London and Home Counties, we've got to make sure we go UK wide. Thereafter, we do know we need to go to Europe, we do know we need to go to the US, though we haven't defined the exact territories as yet and with that there are two key benefits. First of all, of course, we get to be involved in a bit more of a global recruitment space which we're really, really interested in.
James: The second is that every single person who works for us, they are ambitious, they are a very, very [0:01:00] ambitious group, so to limit them just to London markets when we know for a fact that they all want to go and travel the world a bit, go and do some time in, I dunno Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Singapore... if we cannot offer that opportunity to our employees and assuming that our model does scale which we're pretty confident it will do internationally...
James: ... it's gonna be a helluva ride for them.
Simon: Berlin, Amsterdam, um, New York Dubai, Singapore, and Manchester, they will be the key.
James: Hawaii will be really, really good, they need our service.
Simon: [laughing] Yeah.
James: Malibu I've heard have got [0:01:30] real problems with regards to how their companies are hiring.
Simon: Because I'm talking about...
James: Anywhere there's a beach nearby.
Simon: I've mentioned the five hottest recruitment cities.
James: They're hot right now... they're hot right now!
Simon: They're right hot! Seriously hot! [both laughing]
Title: #2 What does Building Teams from Within mean to you.
Simon: So do you know why we actually created "building team from within"? Because in the industry the buzzword became "on site" or "embedded", and for me [0:02:00] on site literally means you are there, on site, doesn't encapsulate what you do when you're there. Embedded is a bit closer to what we do but really, building team from within really encapsulates for me being part of that business that you're working with,acting as an employee, feeling like an employee, and always sort of acting on behalf of that business as you would if you worked there yourself. [0:02:30]
James: Over the last three years we've refined our methodology, our way of working. The fact that we define vacancies using data, we document those vacancies to appeal to the target audience, that we use ATLs to track all interviews conducted and that we've got the training there, as well, for interviews to ensure complete consistency and an unparalleled applicant experience. Building teams from within is applying that methodology with our customers. So no longer are we a third party, someone at the end of a telephone call; no more do an account manager need to telephone in advance to book a meeting with a hiring manager [0:03:00], it creates that that distrust, that unnatural relationship. So the purpose of building teams from within is very much now central to what it is that we do. We work in collaboration, on site with our customers applying the Talent Point methodology internally.
Title: #3 What are your key challenges for 2020.
Simon: So 2020 for me is working very much around employer branding it's become more and more important isn't it. I think it's so crucial these days that if you don't have a good employer brand [0:03:30] you simply will not attract or retain staff. You can do all of the things we're talking about, but if your social media presence isn't strong, if you're not attending events, you know, if you're not watching your Google reviews or your Glassdoor reviews, all these things are really, really important.I'm not a massive fan of Glassdoor,however people do look at Glassdoor, they do read it and if they read it, just like we do in the tabloids, you can't help but believe it a little bit, so it's really, really important that we help our customers around their employment branding.
James: I think [0:04:00] we've also got our own challenges too internally with regards to our culture, our growth, our business.So going through so much change there's a lot of training required of all the consultants who work for us. We ask a lot, we expect a lot, we put them in some very difficult situations sometimes and I think we focus so much on making sure our customer's okay, I think next year's probably more focused on making sure that we're okay, making sure our employees are happy and looked after. We're well aware that the culture could be improved right now.
James: And that's something we're very much focused on [0:04:30] over the course of 2020.So we're looking forward to seeing how that goes.
Simon: And I think steady growth as well. I think there's a lot of, I see a lot of companies in our space that are very driven around, whether they've got investors, we're not... we don't have investment, we're all privately-owned. I think for us I would rather that we did steady growth, working with the customers we've got and adding customers that we can really add value to without just going for crazy, crazy growth and dropping our standards in terms of delivery.
James: We've also talked about the fact that I think, to be a customer of ours takes a certain sort of [0:05:00] customer.
Simon: It does.
James: And I think as you're going through any period of change you're trying to adopt and use different ways of working, it isn't to say that the customers who have gone with you on that journey are actually the customers that are ideal for you right now.
James: So we've talked a lot about what does the ideal customer look like, and I think the reality is that if there's a customer who wants to see us as being an external party to their organisation... I'm not sure that the relationships which we're looking to form with these customers to ensure things were really optimised are going to be ideal for us. So I think there needs to bean ethos of "One Team" as in, yes we aren't [0:05:30] your company, but we work very closely with your organisation. I think for us, how we go about promoting that and building that brand so that people understand that we are not to be seen - although we are [laughs] - we shouldn't be seen as being a third party is a key challenge we've got to face.
Title: #4 Where does the rebrand fit with your goals for 2020.
James: Step one in terms of the plans this year is the rebrand which we're going live on as of January 2020.
Simon: There it is guys!
James: Which we're very excited about, new logo, new fancy colours. [Simon laughs] Okay so up until recently we'd invested very little in our actual brand [0:06:00] from a marketing point of view or from a branding perspective and I think the output of that was that everything that a third person might read about us wasn't actually true to what it is we do. So the website was about 10 years out of date. So it meant that when it came to Simon, when you tell people we do this, they were like "Oh really? I'd never have guessed that from your current website!" which was particularly static, boring. Quite frankly a bit old-manish.
Simon: Yeah, corporate.
James: Corporate, a lot of corporate speak, and it didn't represent [0:06:30] who it is we are and what it is we're here to do.
Simon: Not like the young, trendy, hip people we are...
Simon: That you see before you today.
James: Nothing like, this is much more like us.
James: So the key focus right for this year is getting our brand out there via all sorts of channels and making sure that our brand defines who it is we actually are.
James: Okay so, the two key points we want to make sure come across in our brand are, first of all...
James: We do build teams from within. Internally we've got a One Team ethos both in terms of our staff as well as with customers as well. It's key [0:07:00] that if it's not shouting out that we work with you, work in partnership with you, we're part of your team, then the marketing team have got that very much wrong.
Simon: Absolutely, everything we do is team guys.
Simon: Team, team, team! Team with our current members of staff, we're a team with our customers, we're a team [points at James].
James: We're a team.
Simon: There we go![attempted fist bump, James laughs]
Simon: Second one! [fist bump connects] That's better!
James: The second key thing we hope it comes across is data, so data is at the heart of everything we do. So we talked a bit about the content side of things [0:07:30] and how we design these vacancies, but the data is the heart of everything and we've done our best to try and encapsulate that in terms of the brand. So you'll see on the website and on other material that there's a morphing image, different colours. That is data that's fed into the website from all different sources. Primarily around skills availability, around placement... CV to placement ratio, around rejection reports. Any data that the business is accumulating is what's fuelling the morphing [0:08:00] of that visualisation. We've not got a name for it yet, but I'm sure we'll come up with a name for it quite soon, as to what it actually is, but that's the whole purpose of it. It should demonstrate that we're very much data centric and it's driving the majority of the decisions which we make.
Simon: I think for me part of the new brand, as I mentioned building teams from within is very, very important. What that actually means to me, and hopefully to James as well, is that we actually want to put people and relationships and trust at the forefront [0:08:30] of this business. I think what we've done is worked so hard on our products and our delivery, which we've absolutely nailed.
James: This is true.
Simon: And I think our customers who do that, I think that sometimes we have forgotten about those relationships and that trust. I said it's come, for me, that will always lead our business. From an internal perspective with our staff, I want our staff to feel that they trust us, that they trust our vision, that they are respected, that their careers can develop. But I also want all of the applicants and all of the customers to feel exactly the same.
Title: #5 Which areas do you most want to work on next. [0:09:00]
James: We're looking to relaunch our values too.So, new management team, Simon and I had to figure out what do we truly stand for, what do we really believe in Talent Point for, both from a customer point of view and also from an employee point of view. Now those values will be finalised early part of 2020.
James: One of the ones that we are closely aligned to right now, which we think is going to be integral to this business is "One Team". One team in the sense that Talent Point are one team; [0:09:30] customers working with Talent Point all form part of one team. So One Team is going to be one of the key ethos's going forward,hence why it's forming such a big part of our brand.