CEO INTERVIEW: TechBridge Market - Recruitment Re-Engineered
Please share with us briefly what you do.
I am the Founder & CEO of TechBridge Market. We are a next-generation recruitment services business operating out of Singapore covering the APAC and Middle East markets.
What were you doing before this?
For many years previously, I ran conference and exhibitions companies focused on the technology sector.
Describe your product. How does it work?
I would describe ours as productised service. We have brought the efficiency, control, consistency, predictability, and accessibility of a product to the recruitment services industry where some or all these characteristics are often lacking.
What are the key benefits?
We supercharge internal recruitment teams so they can largely avoid talent sourcing and instead focus on interviewing from shortlists of the most qualified and engaged candidates in the market. We offer this as an end-to-end service making us very easy and simple to engage but charge a small fraction of the price of traditional dedicated recruitment support making us highly accessible to businesses of all types and sizes.
Who are your closest competitors?
Traditional recruitment services agencies.
Who is your first customer and how did that happen? What were they using before this, and why did they switch?
Our first customer was a global technology consulting company with 25,000 employees. They engaged us because they realised very quickly that by doing so not only would they dramatically reduce their agency spend, but they would also reduce the cost of their existing internal recruitment process.
What motivated you to start this business?
Our motivation has always been to make professional recruitment accessible to any company. The recruitment services industry has generally lagged behind the recruitment technology sector in terms of innovation, in particular when it comes to cost-efficiency. The existing processes and pricing structures haven’t really evolved since the 1970s and don’t meet the needs and budgets of many modern businesses. We decided we wanted to do something about it.
What is your biggest sacrifice to make this work?
The same as any founder – time, short-term pleasures, and economic stability.
How did you get funded?
What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Thus far, word of mouth and customer referrals.
Describe a typical workday
Like most founders, I don’t have a typical workday, which is part of the appeal of entrepreneurship. Generally, I’m focused mostly on growth strategies across business development, partnerships & alliances, and customer retention.
Who has been the greatest influence in your business and why?
My first strategic hire and current COO, Michael Calman, had a huge influence on the strategy and direction of the business. I think it’s critical at an early stage to bring people into the company that challenge your assumptions and bridge your personal capability gaps, especially as a sole founder.
What has been your proudest moment in the history of your business and why?
Every small win and accomplishment gives me a certain amount of pride, but if I had to pick one moment it was when the talent acquisition leader of a global supply chain company told me that she had been waiting for her whole career for somebody to bring a service like ours to market. We’re lucky to get similar feedback frequently and it feels good to know we’re solving a real problem.
What is your favourite business failure (and what did you learn from it)?
I tried to launch a peer-to-peer information exchange and content co-creation platform for enterprise technology leaders as an alternative to the traditional IT analyst firms. I still think it was a great idea and it’s been done successfully since, but we failed to work out the monetisation strategy early enough. It taught me to hyper-focus on where the money is going to come from.
If you could go back in time to speak to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell him/her?
The journey to business success is non-linear and will take longer than you think.
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