10 years later
June 30th 2006. The Dutch artist Marco Borsato dominated the national charts with his song ‘Rood’ and Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende announced that the Dutch government had fell through. Leon and Jan Peter decided now was the time to quit their jobs and start a business... Time flies, doesn't it?! Today, Endouble celebrates its ten year anniversary. We’ve flourished and bloomed and are extremely proud of where we are today. Let’s take a brief walk through the 'rollercoaster ride' of the last decade.
How it all started
Having been colleagues for a while, the founders Leon and Jan Peter had often gone out of their minds with the inefficient ways of working of the recruitment industry. Looking for insights on the reason why someone is willing to work with you and how a candidate is hired, gives you an understanding on how the process can be improved. This ‘why’ behind the hire was the key principle of the new business. Be more forward-looking, dare to distrust your gut feeling and find out why candidates would like to work at your company. This insight provides cost savings but especially causes satisfaction. Why not make you work more efficient and fun?At the recruitment agencies, where they worked before, the founders noticed unnecessary huge margins and sky high retainers which had to compensate the enormous amount of drinks, marble and BMW’s. Nonsense, if you’d ask them. They started with sourcing before it even was called sourcing. ‘Search per running meter’ and ‘You do not only get a candidate, but data and market feedback as well’ were sentences clients never had heard before. The days of the ‘walled CV gardens’ were surpassed by the open Rolodex called ‘LinkedIn’. Netwerven - the former name of Endouble - had a great start.
The first clients were in shock: ‘So fast, that quality for such a low price?’. Soon the next question followed: ‘If you are so disruptive, could you then learn our recruiters how to do that?’. Of course we could have given this a fancy name like Sourcing University or Academy for Social Recruitment, but we decided to leave some space for others to fill this gap. The business flourished: by the end of 2008 Endouble had 15 employees and we worked for companies like Dirk van den Broek, Nuon, Monsterboard en DHL.
The first pivot
The moment we weren’t seen as the lazy money sharks of the recruitment industry anymore, corporates started asking us to think with them at a strategic level how they could attract candidates with their own means. Here we got to know a second industry which didn’t outshine in transparency and efficiency. More and more often we joined conversations of our clients with ATS suppliers, media sellers and employer branding agencies. It became clear it isn’t easy being on top of things, when you have to fill in vacancies by the end of the week - next to organising your means. Time to reinvent ourselves. We became consultants who dare to ask the bold questions:
- Why should an employer branding agency have web-technology knowledge?
- Is building an employer brand the best answer for your sourcing problem?
- What is the return on an Industry Award for line managers who are not able to fill in their jobs?
- Your jobs are not listed in Google via your ATS? Why not?
- Why didn't your web agency take your mobile visitors into account?
- Have you already had a look in Google Analytics to investigate your recruitment bottle necks?
Yes it’s true, we dare to ask the bold questions. This is key to put on innovation and change. We noticed the answers we got were unsatisfactory and customers started looking at us in a way like "If you have such a strong vision, why don’t you do it yourselves then?”.
The second pivot
The career site market was an ugly duckling when we started. Often it was an item at the grocery list of an employer branding agency. Besides the shoot in South Africa or Himalaya, huge stands at job fairs, fancy lanyards and ad template, there had to be a website as well. Or even worse, some ATS suppliers offered websites as a side-product. In both cases the experience was dramatic, from usability and e-commerce perspective. No one could or would prove the added value.
Nowadays employer branding research is replaced by analytics, multi-posting turned out not be the holy grail and some ATS suppliers still try to digitize the mailroom. Web agencies want to turn every visitor into an applicant and many employer branding agencies are good at throwing parties.
Put our money where our mouth is. We started investing in development capacity. We started with 2 developers, but now we are counting 70 employees of 18 different nationalities. Nearly 200,000 people visit our platforms on a daily basis through sites we have built for clients like Agoda, Ahold, Booking.com, Driscoll’s, Eneco and ENGIE. The enormous amount of data we gather today resulted in a cooperation with the Mathematics faculty of VU University Amsterdam, regular speaking sessions at HR Analytics seminars and clients in every timezone of the globe.
The third pivot
In 2014, USG People acquired an interest in Endouble. The temp-industry makes a move to online as well, even within the online field. The first hybrid platforms, where Endouble delivers the technology and USG the people, are born. With Recruit as USG People's new owner, our global footprint only will increase.
Over the years, the industry has became more and more professional. More often we cooperate with ATS suppliers who believe in sharing information in a seamless way (API-economy). Also, we see employers building strong employer brands. It makes us proud that the ones who do the ‘real’ work build the employer brand in stead of the employer brand managers.
Obviously we are also proud of the awards we won:
- DIA award for the career site of Bol.com
- FD Fastest growing companies in 2013, 2014 and 2015
- Top 10 position in NRC Career ‘Best Employers’ research
- And most recent, our newbie https://werk.ah.nl/ won the Dutch Werf& Award
But most important: our clients, some of them for already ten years. It is in our nature to clash every now and then, but in the end we always go for 1 goal: improving based on data. It’s (almost) impossible to disagree on that.
The fourth pivot?
One thing is for sure: we will keep on changing. How? Partly we’ll keep that a secret till our 20th anniversary, but our mission is clear. We want to help clients finding the why behind the hire. Why is it organized the way it is? Is there prove for the approach? Is the talent acquisition strategy sustainable? How much should you invest in employer branding and why? This requires us to use and exchange more data with the clients and partners in our eco system.
We are not here to build sites; we want to keep discovering the best ways for our clients to improve their talent acquisition. To make this possible, we have to stay sharp and criticize ourselves. Daring to admit you are wrong makes sure you remain modest, despite the fact that something extraordinary was achieved. Not every startup makes it till their 10th anniversary, therefore we are pleased of what we’ve reached so far and what’s to come. We can’t wait for the next ten years!