Finnish Matchmaking Platform Heebo Takes the Edge Off Recruitment

Recruiting platforms have already popped up in our news feed a few times during the past week, so since we’re at it, why not expand our coverage of matchmaking startups a little more?

Unlike Cruitway and Games Jobs Finland, which are, despite being highly specialized platforms, quite traditional in their matchmaking approach, Heebo takes recruitment processes towards a more philanthropic path.

Heebo is a Helsinki based startup that started business in 2010. The company was founded by current CMMO (Chief Match & Meet Officer) Susanna Rantanen, a determined individual who clearly seems to hold her principals in high regard. During the ten years she’s spent in HR, she told us in an interview how she realized how a majority of companies were hiring the wrong persons for the right reasons, but that in the end of the day, it was the matchmaking criteria that were to blame.

“Hiring is quite a mundane task and it’s usually done by line managers who aren’t necessarily experts on the subject. Many time this is visible, though it doesn’t change the fact that for the job seeker finding a job both hard and important”, Rantanen says.

“When I was working in HR, I noted how companies would commonly use recruitment agencies to whom job seekers were nothing but a number. The agencies were only interested in serving the paying client company. On the other hand, when companies do the recruiting themselves, they don’t have the time nor the interest towards other candidates than the one who they want to hire. This can seriously harm the company’s reputation”, she adds.

The pending need for a change in recruiting came to her while she was working and looking for new employees at Management Events. Their recruitment was focused on the attitude and culture fit rather than the past work history and it resulted in really good matches. Basically this meant looking for someone who would grow and develop into the job based on their personality rather than letting the candidate’s background do all of the evaluation.

This turned out to be more easily said than done, and finding an agency that understood or media that supported the task proved to be difficult. Frustrated but inspired, Rantanen started searching for people who were on the same pace. Eventually, the final decision to go solo settled down during her maternity leave in 2009 and two years later, the early version of what we see today saw daylight.

Currently Heebo’s product isn’t strictly speaking a full-cycle recruitment process. Instead, it’s a highly designed tool for companies who are ready to do the actual hiring themselves, of which the importance is emphasised by the company policy. The actual platform focuses strongly on identifying matches and of course, maintaining the user databases, while the company does profiling and content marketing.

Heebo’s launch back in 2011 wasn’t easy, as back then (which wasn’t that long ago) companies we’re only starting to realize the value of communicating and reaching to people branding wise, making Heebo a newcomer that was almost ahead of their time, but only almost. Today, with more than 4000 registered users, bulks of good feedback and several larger Finnish companies as clients, it seems Heebo’s human touch in recruitment not only paid off but is also making everyone happier, both the job-hunters and the employers.

It seems that giving the candidate’s personality type more value gives their sense of importance more value as well, though keeping the unaccepted candidates in the loop of communication could also be a big factor on that. Companies in their turn, will have to get personally involved in the hiring process, forcing some level of initial get-to-know-who-you’re-dealing-with attitude. Generally speaking, it’s more fun and interesting (and definitely less stressful) way to hire people.

While technically speaking they’re a recruitment agency, Heebo doesn’t like to be compared with other “competitors”. Their methods underlines quality over quantity and encourages not to outsource recruitment completely, keeping the most important selection processes in the hands of the client. For example, while matchmaking and most arrangements are done by Heebo, the final candidate interviews are done by the hiring firms.

“The company needs to have an open mind if they are going to use Heebo’s services. I’ve even refused to work with some companies because of their wrong attitude”, Rantanen says, an individual with principals in high regard, as I recall saying.

Heebo received series B funding last August which was mostly put to use in their software development. Heebo’s future plans are behind no secrecy; their goal is international expansion and a fully functional platform working in English. For now though, they are probably seeking another round sometime in the upcoming year for mastering their product to perfection and building more steady ground here in Finland.

They are also looking for a talented web developer to drive their cause, so do get in touch if you feel you have what it takes!