Fun, ambition and dynamism at work in the French tech recruitment sector
The door to the offices of the French YBorder partner is always open, soft house music quietly playing in the background is setting the rhythm for ringing telephones, talking consultants – some of them standing to better express themselves – and the sound of fingers typing on keyboards. Today we are meeting with Janelia and Raphael, the two twenty-something team leaders at Mobiskill, the French YBorder partner, for coffee. The two of them joined Mobiskill founded in September 2010 quite early in the company’s history quickly moving their way up the ladder from an internship that started their professional experience a couple of years ago.
Fun, ambition and dynamism at Mobiskill to make clients and candidates happy
After sitting down in the kitchen, we start the interview by asking Janelia and Raphael to describe Mobiskill in only a few words. The key terms they agree on are “Fun, ambition, family, dynamism and future orientation”. Apart from the foosball table in the office, yearly incentive trips and regular after-work drinks, these terms are also represented in the way their team is set up: “We are all quite different but united in spirit and in our ambitions: All our consultants are intelligent, independent and curious individuals equipped with a great sales fever and a start-up spirit who love to breathe the digital air and who are passionate about the sector.” Growth shows that candidates and clients alike approve of these characteristics: Mobiskill has grown from 2 to 14 employees in 5 years.
An adapted business approach for the French digital sector
We wonder if Mobiskill reflects a typical French company: “The French are culturally very rich and free. The consultants at Mobiskill definitely reflect this with their curious nature and their openness,” explains Janelia. In terms of the business culture, both agree, however, that Mobiskill has accepted a more “Anglophone” approach with flatter hierarchies and few management layers – one of the reasons why Janelia decided to join the then young business. “We don’t only look at obstacles and problems, we look at overcoming them,” finishes Raphael reflecting the fast-moving environment of the digital sector they work in. And with problems, or rather their client’s problems, they are faced with the whole day: The French start-up scene and digital sector is developing strongly adding annually about 1,000 startups in Paris alone and looking for 47,000 ITC talents in 2015 as estimated in a report conducted for the European Commission.
Becoming developer “rockstars” by going abroad
With this great growth potential of the French sector in mind, we wonder why candidates from the country of wine and cheese would at all consider going abroad. The consultants’ explanation might be surprising for some: According to the Mobiskill team leaders, French developers are partly looked down on by others which stands in stark contrast to the demand they are in and the qualifications they have. Other countries would not have this reputation problem and programmers are considered “rockstars”. Janelia explains further that “French software engineers are interested in new professional experiences, financial incentives and cultural differences. They are especially drawn to international, often American success stories based abroad.” In that context, Raphael highlights that some practices are better developed outside France giving the example of the Scrum Master: “Americans were ahead of us for a while. It took 3 or 4 years for Scum Masters to arrive in France.”
YBorder and Mobiskill – sending the internationally curious abroad
It is lunchtime and the first Mobiskill consultants have already dedicated their attention to the foosball table. Before letting Janelia and Raphael continue their normal workday activities and have lunch with their colleagues, we are curious about their candidates’ feedback concerning YBorder. We leave it up to Raphael to summarise: “Our internationally curious candidates very much like the idea of the platform, the concept is well-presented and well-perceived. Mobiskill has a very good reputation among companies and candidates in France. Both know that we are honest and reliable and that we don’t just sell anything for the sake of selling. YBorder is an interesting option for all those who have already considered an international professional experience abroad.”