Thank you to Dan Hoff-Rodrigues for giving us a fascinating insight into the innovative journey of CX Squared! Find out how they are transforming the tech recruitment industry…
I set up CX Squared Talent solutions back in 2019 with the aim of changing perspectives of the recruitment industry whilst going against the norm of the typical recruitment agent consultancy.
We set up what we believe is the first community focused talent solutions business, which looks to invest out time and our profits in giving back to the community, inspiring the next generation of future tech talent, and working to really connect the dots of the tech ecosystem, not looking to get anything back in return.
Following 9 years of working with different tech recruitment businesses, I got quite disgruntled with the way the industry was – it’s a very transactional nature, CV passing – not a lot of focus within the businesses culture and personality fits. For me, that’s a key differentiator of what we’re looking to do as an organisation. We won’t work with an organisation and take them on as a client unless we fully understand what their culture is like, what their values are, and the sort of people they want to bring in the business.
Why did you feel that you needed to do something different?
For us, being disillusioned with the recruitment industry was quite a big thing. We knew that there was over fifteen thousand in the country – so we had to be different. The whole approach and culture and values is one thing – but when you’re looking to support the community and looking to really drive change through the digital skills gap and bridging that gap, it’s important to show your levels of energy, passion, knowledge and your keenness to affect change. Over the past 12 months, not only have we backed up what we said we were going to do, we’ve probably over-achieved in hitting those goals because we really were passionate about wanting to make a mark and affectively creating impact.
The biggest thing for us is when you go and admit you’re a recruitment business, straight away people shut off. So for people to see us through authenticity, what we’re like face to face, through giving back through all these initiatives, people see a different side. They see the human touch, as opposed to someone just on the telephone.
What does our service look like?
We’ve got 3 main routes now.
We’ve got the traditional recruitment model, whereby we charge percentage on that first annual salary on what is offered to the successful candidate.
But really we have just created a new flagship product which is called CX Squared In House – and this is full service recruitment offering, which is not just limited to hiring people, but actually has an extention to our partners, which focuses on building a value and culture if you’ve not already done so and sits as an external recruitment resource but internally within your business. So we’re able to understand and embody what your culture and what your business is like to work for. So when we’re able to voice what your business is like, market your brand, we’re really acting like an extension of your business. So by doing so, we ensure that you’re not only attracting the right people, but we’re able to minimise that time to hire through helping with the interview process. During these times we’ve already adopted video technology so we were ahead of the curve, and so we’re able to replace telephone interviews with solo video interviews and we’re able to undertake the interview process for you if you’d like us to. The best way for us to do that is work inside your organisation and acting as a partner.
All of the other assets we can do are through HR, employee engagement surveys, your benefits packages, your security checks, references, all the way to video and marketing. So we’re really trying to generate a full, tailored, talent as a service subscription model.
The other side to us, that we’re probably even more well known for, is our community arm. We’ve got ‘Inspire the Next Gen’ series which is where we work with schools, universities, colleges, to work with students to really understand what routes there are in technology, and why they should have aspirations to seek careers in tech. Let’s be honest, young people are consumers of tech more than anyone else. They understand it more than anyone else. So if they can understand what the workings are like, what those careers are like – I believe that they are the answer to the digital skills gap. Not only working with computers, but actually working with their parents, with their teachers – to really improve the consistency in terms of the careers that are available to them and actually what it’s like to seek a career in tech.
The other side of it is Brum News and our Diversity in Tech Initiative. I got quite tired of going to digital skills discussion and round tables where a lot of people talked about things but didn’t know what tangible actions were connected to it. What we were looking to do was connect the dots and say look: “Let’s put a plan in place”. We aim to put a white paper down at local and central government – key objectives: working with schools to change the philosophy of how tech is taught, working with under-represented and diverse groups within the city, and really focusing on improving digital poverty who don’t have access / connectivity to the devises and WiFi.
For us, the recruitment industry has always been much of the same in terms of the way its operated. We’re looking to add a modern approach to it by just being authentic and transparent and trying to say “Look, this isn’t about the money, it’s about leaving a legacy for our business.” And that’s really important.
What’s next for the business?
We’ve just won tech recruitment agency of the year. We’ve only been going a year so that’s a big marker for us and so we want to leverage our CX Squared In House offering and with that comes some pretty rapid expansion plans for our business. But if we’re going to practice what we preach – in terms of working with our clients’ culture and their values and people that they hire – for us its important that we do the same. We won’t hire anyone that don’t share the same value, ethics and culture points of view that we do. They’ve got to live and breathe what our philosophy is, what we’re looking to do and how we’re looking to really shape the recruitment industry.
The future looks bright! We’re really excited, and we’ve got some big client expansion plans on the horizon, whilst looking to have personal expansion plans for our own business as well.