Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Hiring Hub raises £1.4m to solve recruitment’s problems

Innovative platform set for growth following investment led by Maven Capital Partners

Hiring Hub, an online marketplace that helps companies find and work with trusted recruitment agencies, has raised a £1.4m round of investment led by Maven Capital Partners, on behalf of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. The investment will enable Hiring Hub, which is based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, to further develop its proprietary platform, invest in marketing activity to fuel growth, and strengthen its leadership team with an illustrious line-up of proven specialists.

With the goal of putting transparency and trust at the heart of the recruitment process, Hiring Hub’s marketplace connects companies to a community of independent recruitment agencies. Employers post their vacancy for free, and set a fee they would be willing to pay an agency if the agency found them a candidate they wanted to hire. Agencies the employer selects can then submit their best candidates allowing the employer to manage their recruitment activity in one place, streamlining what can be a admin-heavy process, avoiding lengthy calls to multiple recruitment agencies, and helping them fill their positions faster.

The platform, which boasts some 400 employers including BASF and B&M Retail, is proven to reduce time-to-hire to an average of just 20 days, cut recruitment costs, and improve quality of hire. It uses historic performance data to rate and rank the recruitment agencies within its community, and is developing an AI solution to improve its recommendation engine and give employers greater market insights.

The UK recruitment industry itself is vast, valued at £35bn in 2015/16, and has fragmented dramatically in recent years with some 11,000 independent recruitment agencies with fewer than ten employees now operating. Hiring Hub aims to consolidate this supply chain to better enable those small recruitment agencies to compete with the larger firms, using the aforementioned data and reviews to help employers navigate the market to quickly find the right agency in the right moment.

Founded in 2010 by CEO, Simon Swan, and Sara Jones – who exited the business in 2016 – Hiring Hub has recruited a dynamic Board and leadership team with a blend of technology, marketing, financial, and commercial experience. This includes: James Kydd, ex-Virgin Brand and Marketing Director; Interim CFO Pete Wade, formerly of eBay in San Francisco; CTO Anna Dick, who’s led teams at Moneysupermarket, On The Beach, the BBC and Co-op; and ex-Laterooms Marketing Director Georgina Crosswell.

Hiring Hub were advised on the investment by Sam Mabon, Partner at Brabners LLP, and Sam Davies, Director at Knight Corporate Finance.

Simon Swan, CEO at Hiring Hub, said: “Recruitment was the original people business, yet nowadays it feels increasingly impersonal and commoditised, which has led to recruitment agencies being viewed as a necessary evil rather than professional advisors that deliver a valuable service. At Hiring Hub, we’re using technology to enable better relationships between employers and agencies, and address many of the industry’s core issues. This Maven understood, and with the market shifting towards smaller, independent agencies – who now represent over 80% of the supply chain – Hiring Hub is well-positioned to challenge the bigger brands while helping companies find the talent they need faster, and at a lower cost through specialist suppliers, rather than a large, traditional recruitment agency that deliver a slow, expensive, and commoditised service.”

Gavin Bell, Investment Manager at Maven, said: “We are delighted to invest in Simon and Hiring Hub’s innovative technology platform. With a strong board and entrepreneurial team, we believe that the business is well-positioned for rapid expansion as it disrupts this growing market. NPIF investments continue to support innovative businesses like Hiring Hub to fulfil their potential, and we look forward to working with the team.”

Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank, said: “Maven has already supported a number of businesses in the North West, and we are pleased to be making a real difference to economies across the Northern Powerhouse region. This latest deal in the Greater Manchester area will provide vital jobs to the city and fuel the growth of an innovative company.”