When we started SkillSolved we want to be the 1st Thai recruitment company that comes to mind when hiring. Not only that, we want to be the testament to the recruitment industry that Thais can go regional without the backing of an international firm.
Don’t ask me how the hell we came up with this idea!? Because the journey toward greatness was a god damn roller coaster ride …
We’re not anywhere near the potential we could be, but we did do enough things right to win the Global Recruiter Awards Asia Pacific for Best Newcomer.The winner of the award demonstrated a strong all round performance and delivered a positive impact for everyone with whom it worked with during the first 3 years of operation.
We have heard so many anecdotes about the things that were done right in order to win. Let me switch things up and share with you the things that went wrong for us to be where we are today.
Letting go off the gas pedal too soon
When we started in 2016, there were 7 of us in the service office. We were motivated for early success and having our own office. When we arrive in 2017, our hard work paid dividends. We exceeded our annual budget within Q3. We celebrated with a company trip to Japan and we thought it was easy (or I thought it was easy). In Q4, we had the 2nd worst quarter in company’s short history. We started 2018 with a banging theme: “how do we turn things around!?”
Expand too quickly
A strong 2017 led us to increase team size way too quickly, rather than pacing headcount growth. Individual contributors became first time managers. The learning curve was steep and individual sales were impacted from increasing responsibilities. Time management was a big issue. Low productivity is the result. We experienced higher employee turnovers at the end of 2017 & early 2018 as people felt unsuccessful. The company had to right size itself.
Underestimate the importance of strong process and time to develop leaders
When you’re 20 something people trying to become 30+ company, a system of execution needs to be in place. Due to size, there were fewer 1-on-1 time with managers. That was the problem. Fewer quality conversations meant fewer opportunities for coaching. Coupled with not having a training & development guideline to execute, people were loss with what to do or what NOT to do. No wonder why MNCs were MNCs. Without strong process, SMEs will remain SMEs.
My key takeaway in 2018
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret any of the mistakes that were made the past 3 years. It made us stronger than ever to take on the next challenge of automation and people development. For the next 3 years, we want to grow slowly & sustainably, while developing our staffs with the right fundamentals to become great recruiters that solve real client’s pain. Our ultimate goal remains the same. We just have to operate differently… starting… NOW…
Thank you so far for believing & using us.
We will try our best to not disappoint you.