Chris Abbass and Phil Blaydes: Talentful

Parachuting in to help UK Plcs find top talent, this forward-thinking recruitment company is forged from the disruptiveness of Britain’s tech scene

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Chris Abbass, 29 and Phil Blaydes, 34
Company: Talentful

Recruitment meets trouble-shooting: a dynamic business model where experts are parachuted in to work hand-in-hand with fast-growth tech companies and tell them which people will take their business to the next level.

This is the core proposition of Talentful, a company founded by two recruitment professionals who are aiming to fix the problems of their industry with a more hands-on approach – ensuring greater success rates and client retention.

Chris Abbass and Phil Blaydes previously worked for some of the sharpest companies on the British tech scene, such as Shazam and Mind Candy. They wanted to build a business which could deliver the value they provided as contractors, and devise a recruitment model which would reflect and support the disruptive companies they worked for.

Talentful’s recruiters are sent to work on-site as part of the client team, before using the knowledge gleaned at the coalface to find the right people for their vacancies. As the founders say, “we know what sort of hire the company needs, because in essence we are part of the company.”

The company has also dispensed with the success fees demanded by other recruiters; their subscription model requires only a standard retainer. This enables clients to forecast their recruitment spend in advance, without having to factor in extra costs if the recruiter does what they’re supposed so.

The final key pillar of the Talentful strategy is training. The company invests 2-3% of revenue on coaching and development, and every manager has a coach. New starters are obliged to go through the Talentful Academy, ensuring staff can take the company’s best practice out on the road with them.

This game-changing approach has borne rapid-fire results. Talentful has worked with well over 100 businesses, including household names such as Audible and Trainline.

Its operation has spread beyond London to Manchester, New York, Stockholm and Berlin, and media recognition has followed: Abbass and Blades have made our Startups 100 list for the past two years.

By next year, the founders think they will have 100 people working on the business. They say they are working on a full-stack talent approach, looking at the entire lifecycle of a hire within an organisation.

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