Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

RECRUITMENT SPOTLIGHT - Neil Armstrong, Chief Commercial Officer at Tribepad

Onrec sat down with Neil Armstrong, the Chief Commercial Officer at Tribepad. Tribepad empowers people finders to do what you do best: hire the right people into the right jobs where they’ll thrive.

Onrec: How did you get started in recruitment and how did the idea of Tribepad surface?

Tribepad was started after our founder Dean left internet service provider Plusnet, having been part of the team which sold Plusnet to BT. Whilst growing Plusnet the biggest challenge was always finding and keeping the best talent. So Dean wanted to use tech to help improve the broken recruitment processes. In 2012 we launched our ATS for Sodexo and we’ve been growing rapidly ever since.

Onrec: The recruitment software market is very inflated. What makes you different from your competitors?

Our mission is to create more smiles at work: happier recruiters, hiring managers and candidates. And we do that by making recruitment fairer, faster and better for everyone. We stand out by combining a great user experience, loads of functionality, anti-bias tools and top-class service. Customers value our ethos of people first, product second and profit third.

Onrec: What exciting new trends are you noticing?

We see recruiters really trying to deliver on their ED&I agenda which is great; introducing more structured interviews, better assessments and anti-bias tools. That’s got to be better for our whole society. We also see increasing demand for AI and automation to help reduce the administrative burden for recruiters and to speed up recruitment. That’s essential in such a competitive candidate-driven market.

Onrec: What do you think will be the next big thing in online recruitment?

Wider adoption of web-based or app-based integrated skills/aptitude candidate assessments like Arctic Shores or Amberjack, instead of hiring managers reading loads of CVs. They’re proven to be more effective in identifying the best talent and they reduce bias. We all know CVs are a terrible way of assessing talent fairly.

Onrec: Biggest challenges we face in 2023?

Continued pressure on candidates and employers from the increasing cost of living and shortage of talent.

Onrec: How many people do you employ globally?

As of May 23 we have 49 in our team and expect to grow by 10% by Christmas

Onrec: Where do you see the recruitment industry in 5 years?

I’d like to see recruiters more valued by their employers, I want to see a better experience for candidates with zero ghosting and definitely hope to see fairer recruitment practices which focus on skills, attitude and ability, rather than experience and background.

Onrec: COVID hit the industry hard. How did you manage and adapt?

As a small tech firm we already offered flexible working, so were easily able to adapt quickly. We had a range of customers in different situations though; some went into hibernation, while others were hiring like crazy. One of our customers received 1 million applications in a single week which was incredible!

Onrec: Do you have any other plans to expand? And if so, where?

Definitely. We’ve been growing organically over the last ten years and will continue that. We received funding from BGF this year and will use that to invest in our team, and our platform to help more customers hire fairer, faster and better. We recently launched Tribepad Gro which is ideal for bringing enterprise-grade software to smaller firms of 100+ staff, so we can bring Tribepad to a whole new audience.

Onrec: What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

It’ll all be fine. Do what you’re doing and keep having fun. But be a bit braver, what have you really got to lose?

Onrec: What do you enjoy outside of work?

Mountain biking in the Peak District, films and games with my boys, food & holidays with my wife.

Onrec: What is your career low and how did you overcome it? And what is your career high?

One company early in my career was very high pressure and some elements of the culture were toxic. That wasn’t good for my health and as a manager, I did some things I’m not proud of.

The highlight has been receiving the BGF investment at Tribepad - it’s a strong validation of how proud our team can be in what they’ve built and shows the value we’re adding to the industry. We’ve created a people-first culture at Tribepad where everyone feels valued and can be themselves.

          Mini Q&A          

 Onrec: If you were stuck on a deserted island, what 3 things would you take with you? 

SAS Survival Handbook by Lofty Wiseman - a book I loved as a child, which should be really useful! Suncream or I’ll be a lobster on day one. A snorkel so I can explore underwater and enjoy the marine life.

 Onrec: If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why? 

A sheepdog. I like being outside, I think I’m a good companion and I like getting things done while having fun.  

 Onrec: What was the last gift you gave someone? 

Some chocolate-covered liquorice for my wife. I think it’s gross but she loves it.