YBorder, that’s a daily kicker sessions at lunch, sometimes embarrassing 80s music from the loudspeakers, free Nespresso capsules in the kitchen, wine in the fridge and scooter helmets next to the door which tends to be open all day long.
The offices at 1 rue Ambroise Thomas in the centre of Paris are owned by Baptiste and Jean-Noël, two major players of the French digital tech recruitment scene in their early thirties.
Having been managing successfully the recruitment agency Mobiskill for almost five years they most certainly know how the wind blows in the French and international start-up environment and digital sector. The two Frenchmen just developed a concept to make recruitment go international: think of it as a mix of Uber and Tinder for the recruitment of the most qualified geeks the web has to offer internationally. Let’s find out more.
Bonjour Jean-Noël and Baptiste. Tell us, was it destiny that brought you two together or simply luck?
Probably a bit of both. We were invited for interviews for our first job and found ourselves waiting together in the waiting area. It must have been love at first sight or a match made in heaven as from that day we were literally inseparable…(laughter)
One might think that one start-up is already enough to handle. How come you have decided to create a second company?
The idea for YBorder emerged from a problem we and our recruiters were facing on an almost daily basis at Mobiskill. We had – and still have – access to amazing and highly qualified candidates who would be interested in new opportunities – that’s the good news. But – and that’s the bad news – only abroad.
Why is that bad?
Well, Mobiskill wasn’t able to cater for their needs. No placement means missed opportunity. Missed opportunity means no revenue. It’s as simple as that. We realised that recruitment agencies all over the world might find themselves in a similar situation since they mainly operate in their local market and not internationally. In addition, Western countries already face an important shortage of web developers in their own countries. Looking for international candidates is thus also in the interest of the company.
But why didn’t you simply go and look for international clients?
Mobiskill had already placed candidates internationally. However, companies abroad are typically already working with recruitment agencies. Choosing one recruitment firm abroad to hire international candidates is good but also limits a company’s access to a relatively small pool of candidates. Looking for several good recruiting firms in X countries would have implied a lot of resources too. When it comes to recruitment done internally, HR wouldn’t be able to classify a candidate. A British recruiter wouldn’t necessarily know the good schools in France for example, even less in Belarus. There are people who wouldn’t even be able to place it on a map.
Get it. So YBorder brings together the candidate from Bucharest and the start-up in Berlin…
Yes, and even more. We mentioned the company’s problem to qualify an international candidate. This is done by one of YBorder’s partners, that is local recruitment agencies. A recruitment agency from Romania would qualify our Romanian candidate. A French agency would qualify a French talent; they are able to tell if EPITECH is a good school or not. The Romanian recruitment firm most likely not.
Okay, so we have the candidate from Bucharest and a great start-up in Berlin…
…and the recruitment firm in Romania. They make the profiles comparable internationally.
Understood. So in short, YBorder brings together all actors involved in the hiring process on an international level. And what happens next?
Correct. What’s next? Once invited to the platform, a qualified candidate can be contacted by any company on the platform that is interested in our talent. But it is the candidate who decides whether the company is interesting or not. You could say the YBorder is a mix between Uber and Tinder created to facilitate the recruitment of excellent tech talents…worldwide. The company likes a profile, the candidates decides to go further or not.
…and to live happily ever after. Speaking of the future: What does the future hold for YBorder?
In January 2017, we announced our first seed funding from the French fund ISAI. The objective this year is to extend our presence in Europe and Canada by partnering with more recruitment firms and companies. We have plenty of ideas to develop our product further so that all parties can take the maximum out of it. We are looking forward to the end of the year to see how all our efforts will bear fruit.
Who is “we” exactly actually?
In the beginning “we” was only us two and Maya who used to work at Mobiskill. We decided that we should take advantage of what the internet and globalisation has to offer for recruitment so we brainstormed a couple of ideas that then got more and more precise. Then Jérémie joined and became our technical brain. While we were the architects of the project, Jérémie was clearly the builder, setting the foundations, pulling up the walls etc. Jérémy is now helped by another developer, Benjamin. There’s also Jared, our account manager coming straight from San Francisco, California that is supported by Romain to help us grow across Europe. And our latest recruit is Camille, our evangelist in charge of the YBorder community on social networks and on this blog.
Is it the team for success?
Definitely and with no doubt! At YBorder, we are very selective in the recruitment process. We are looking for skills, of course, but also for ideas and personalities. We want to hire people with the same state of mind, people who view the world as a whole…a world with no borders.