Hiring Hub raises £1.4m to put “trust and transparency” back into recruitment

The Startups 100-listed and Young Gun-founded online platform is set to develop AI processes, grow its leadership team and boost marketing activity

Hiring Hub, a Startups 100-featured business which connects companies with trustworthy recruitment agencies through an online marketplace, has raised £1.4m in an investment round led by Maven Capital Partners on behalf of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Founded in 2010 by Young Guns Simon Swan and Sara Jones – the latter of whom exited the business in 2016 – Hiring Hub aims to put “transparency and trust” at the forefront of an industry which has historically tended towards a reputation for dishonesty and inefficiency.

The Manchester-based platform, which hosts a community of independent recruitment agencies, says it also aims to help these smaller businesses compete with larger firms – as more entrepreneurs start their own recruitment businesses, Hiring Hub states that the UK is home to around 11,000 agencies with fewer than ten team members.

Using Hiring Hub’s platform, employers post vacancy adverts and set the recruitment fee they would be willing to pay. Agencies, having been selected by the employer, then submit candidates via the platform, consolidating the entire process in one place.

Hiring Hub is used by some 400 employers, including BASF and B&M Retail, with the platform claiming that it can reduce the time it takes to hire a new employee to an average of 20 days, as well as cutting recruitment costs and improving the quality of hires made.

Currently, the business uses performance data to rank recruitment agencies by quality, and is developing an AI (artificial intelligence) based process to improve the way it recommends agencies to employers alongside offering them better market insights.

Tackling an industry which was valued at £35bn from 2015 to 2016, Hiring Hub plans to use the £1.4m investment to further develop its platform, drive growth by funding marketing processes, and bring “an illustrious line-up of proven specialists” on board its leadership team.

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Swan, CEO at Hiring Hub, said: “Recruitment was the original people business, yet nowadays it feels increasingly impersonal and commoditised, which has led to recruitment agencies being viewed as a necessary evil rather than professional advisors that deliver a valuable service.

“At Hiring Hub, we’re using technology to enable better relationships between employers and agencies, and address many of the industry’s core issues.

“This Maven understood, and with the market shifting towards smaller, independent agencies – who now represent over 80% of the supply chain – Hiring Hub is well-positioned to challenge the bigger brands while helping companies find the talent they need faster, and at a lower cost through specialist suppliers, rather than a large, traditional recruitment agency that deliver a slow, expensive, and commoditised service.”