Willem van Roosmalen and Thomas Moes are the Dutch duo at the eye of this storm. They’re the founders of Homerun, online software that makes recruitment, well, if not quite sexy, then much better looking and engaging. That’s simply the way it’s got to be if you want to attract the brightest and best minds. “Everyone agrees that talent is the number one asset that defines the success of a company,” Willem states, “both now and in the future, but people rarely see the connection between talent and recruitment.”
The need to shake up the status quo has become more pressing simply because that’s the way Generation Y works. People who have grown up with the storytelling power of the Internet want to follow dreams, not fill positions. “Besides job security, everyone now wants fulfilment and purpose from their work,” says Thomas. “Plus people are switching jobs more than ever, so if everyone is offering great salaries and perks, you’ll need to put something else on the table as another reason for your employees to stay.”
Let the game begin
The fundamental problem, according to Willem, is quite simple. “Only recruiters do recruitment, and their degrees are based on theories and case studies from the 80s and 90s.” As you might have guessed, Willem and Thomas have a slightly different background. “We’re designers,” reveals Thomas, “So our job is to ask questions and propose solutions.” They learned valuable lessons in their previous venture, Fontanel. What started as a website featuring interviews with designers evolved into the largest creative job port in the Netherlands. Fontanel’s position straddling the front and back ends of leading creative agencies and brands gave Willem and Thomas invaluable insights into how recruitment worked — or rather, how it didn’t.
“Companies were effectively posting the same job post,” Thomas remembers, “Just with a different email address and a few small differences in the general description of the job details. But as we had done interviews at all these places, we knew that their corporate cultures were completely different.”
This was the beginning of Homerun, a system that enables companies to tell a more personal and appealing story to prospective employees. It’s a switch to a pro-active recruitment policy that employers have to make if they don’t want to lose the first battle in the war for talent. However, most people haven’t got a clue of what they’re doing wrong.