€17M saved: How Troi is flipping the script on traditional recruitment and bringing its success to Amsterdam



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Subscription-based business models have been one of the biggest revenue trends for businesses in the past few years. While the model has been largely made popular by B2C companies like Dollar Shave Club, Netflix, Spotify, and others, B2B businesses are also embracing this model now.

According to IDC, 53 per cent of all software revenue will come from a subscription in 2022 and is largely seen to eliminate the licence model. If you thought the recruitment industry would take some time to adopt this model then London-founded Troi will change your mind. The startup is not only pushing the concept but changing the face of talent acquisition in the process.

A strange talent market

Nick Mortimer Troi
Nick Mortimer is the Regional Director for Europe | Image Credit: Troi

For decades, talent managers or recruitment managers haven’t necessarily had a major spotlight on them. But, the pandemic changed the script and forced them to not only find great talent in a different way but contend with challenges like great resignation.

For Troi though, the talent market is strange right now and one suffering from a combination of talent shortages in many industries, a mixed bag on VC investment confidence added to economic inflationary pressures, and declining levels of consumer disposable income.

“Consumer led businesses have been hardest hit through the recent months which is a huge factor in their hiring strategies and whether they implement hiring freezes or not,” says Nick Mortimer, Regional Director (Europe) at Troi.

“There is also a lower appetite for investment, which is impacting startups and scaleups again when it comes to talent acquisition. We are seeing a reduction in the needs for GTM functions within scaleups but not so much in the technology functions,” he adds.

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While there is a major challenge in talent acquisition, Nick highlights the growth seen by technology companies and thus requiring new specialist skill sets. “Companies are coming to us for support in not just hiring but the complete recruitment process to ensure they can hire and also retain quality candidates,” says Mortimer.

Another factor playing a huge role in this strange talent market is digital transformation. The pandemic proved the importance of having a slick e-commerce solution across the entire customer journey and need for hiring multi-skilled engineering teams. “Talent was required at a staggering scale to keep up with this hyper-competitive market,” adds Mortimer.

A need to revamp traditional talent acquisition

The decision by Troi to change the face of talent acquisition stems from the lack of trust in the recruitment life cycle. Mortimer terms the current approach as transactionary and one where nobody benefitted.

Johnny and Simon, the co-founders of Troi, felt that recruitment could be done better and their idea was to share the financial risk with their clients. Mortimer says this approach allows them as well as the clients to be more invested in getting the best results.

“In fact, Troi would become part of our client. The candidate then deals directly with a company and with a recruiter who is not beholden to KPIs and commercial targets,” he states.

Apart from financial risk sharing, Troi also sees this approach bringing flexibility and control for its clients. The traditional talent acquisition method through recruitment agencies is solely focussed on earning fees per hire.

Mortimer says, “Our model is a monthly subscription model on a flat fee basis, regardless of the amount of hires that we make, we are there for when businesses need us.”

A cost effective and expertise approach

In the past five years, Troi says its identity is more than just hires. The startup has worked with over 150 companies to hone their recruiting skills and offer a complete end-to-end recruitment service.

The product from Troi covers areas such as:

  • Employee branding and value proposition
  • End-to-end service
  • Salary and package benchmarking
  • Omnichannel inbound/outbound strategy
  • ATS/implement/manage/cultivate
  • DE&I Process redesign
  • Onboarding and retention

The startup has helped save over €17M in recruitment costs compared to traditional recruitment agency spend.

“Our team of talent experts go through a thorough analysis of the present HR function and benchmark future hiring against the marketplace and competitors to ensure the company we have embedded with are advertising in the right places, with attractive salaries and retention packages to ensure we attract the very best in talent,” says Mortimer.

With each Troi recruiter having a minimum of 8 to 10 years of experience in recruiting specialist tech and commercial roles, focussing on hiring quality over quantity, Troi has certainly flipped the traditional recruitment industry.

European expansion with Amsterdam and the Netherlands

Troi team
Troi has an expert team of recruiters who are trying to change traditional recruitment | Image Credit: Troi

The Netherlands has clearly emerged as one of the prominent places for tech talent in the European Union right now. With expertise in specialist tech talent acquisition, Troi is expanding to Europe by choosing the Netherlands as its base.

“Opening up a headquarters in the heart of Amsterdam allows Troi to partner with global tech firms that are expanding into the Dutch territory, providing a complete end-to-end embedded recruitment service,” says Mortimer.

“There’s also a fantastic startup and innovation scene across the Netherlands, from the scene in Utrecht, to the academic-led spinouts in Delft and the amazing work being done in Eindhoven too in the electronics space. Amsterdam is a great launchpad for that too,” he adds.

With a hiring landscape filled with accelerators, co-working spaces, and events geared towards attracting high quality candidates seeking fast paced working, career progression, and first class retention packages, Troi sees the Netherlands as one of the world’s most interconnected economies.

“It’s simply a country set up for startups to thrive,” says Mortimer. “The phrase ‘work hard, play hard’ resonates throughout Dutch culture. They are professional in the workplace but they place a large emphasis on having fun too,” he adds.

One of the reasons Troi chose Amsterdam for its European HQ is because of its concentrated focus on invention and entrepreneurship. As a global talent acquisition company, Troi sees Amsterdam as the perfect choice for global companies to expand into Europe.

“The Netherlands is at the forefront of using technology to tackle the world’s problems including smart mobility, green energy transition, the circular economy and using tech to have a positive social impact,” Mortimer says, as he prepares to lead Troi into this vibrant community.

Changing social and political turbulence

When asked about evolving behaviour around finding the right talent, Mortimer says senior management will have a huge role to play in ensuring the success of employees. He sees them as directly responsible for ensuring that employees are able to cope with changing social and political turbulence and work-life fusion with the continued advance into hybrid working.

He also sees employee well-being along with diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) to continue to be a major factor in both employer and employee mindsets. With technology already playing a major role in the hiring landscape, Troi feels companies with robust digital transformation processes will continue to navigate the turbulent times successfully.

Mortimer explains, “We have seen a huge shift in hiring criteria to include niche technology roles that encompasses almost every function in any given business and this will certainly continue into the future.”

He says for companies the goal should no longer be about hiring talent with specialist skill sets but also offering the right retention and reward packages. “It is less about what salary is on offer and more about employee wellbeing and culture,” he says.

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