In a nutshell
Highflyers is a digital platform where top financial services companies can access a highly curated, bi-weekly refreshed, pool of professionals actively looking for a career move, significantly reducing time and cost of hiring. The first segment is chartered accountants.
Instead of candidates applying for jobs, Highflyers candidates (only the top 10% that make it through our screening) are approached by employers. Managers in fact can potentially find their perfect candidates in seconds by using filters and keywords.
In the last 20 years, we have seen very little innovation in recruitment. Traditional agencies still dominate the market, with an old and labour intensive business model.
Companies feel the pain, even more in growing industries: in the next 10 years the FS industry will have 150k more jobs in London alone. We believe that:
• Recruitment agencies seem to be unable to select and pre-screen candidates effectively
• Both recruitment agencies and job boards provide hundreds of irrelevant CVs
But also FS professionals feel the pain, being bombarded by recruiters proposing jobs that do not match their skills and desires.
Furthermore many have to either choose pushy recruitment agencies or fill in lengthy job applications: not exactly the treatment highflyers would expect. If you are one of them, you already know this.
• Attract candidates, both the ones actively looking for a career move and the unfindable passive candidates
• Select only the crème de la crème according to criteria set by our clients
• Make their CVs fully searchable within our platform, adding relevant tags and filters
With many filters in place, managers can find the perfect candidates in seconds and invite them for interviews.
By the end of 2016
• Place at least one professional per working day
• Have created employment for at least £9m combined salaries
By the end of 2018
• Place at least five professionals per working day
• Have created employment for at least £90m in combined salaries
By the end of 2025
• Become the leading platform for recruitment in financial services worldwide
• Empower FS professionals to take on the career path that they are inspired by and desire, by providing them access to the best companies in the market
• Enable the best companies to hire the talents they need timely and effectively, by giving them access to the finest pool of professionals looking for a career move
Substantial accomplishments to date
In only 120 working days, the team:
1) Published a website as a minimum viable product
2) Demonstrated to be able to attract candidates in the financial services industry
a. At scale: over 650 applications
b. Economically: at an acquisition cost below £6
c. Of high quality: 20% of recent applicants come from Big4 or FS Blue Chip companies
3) Agreed a 90-day trial period with two Big 4’s and one UK top 50 London based accountancy firm
4) Placed the first few candidates for an interview with a top notch company
When a candidate is placed, the recruiting company pays Highflyers 15% of the annual salary of the candidate, and Highflyers pays a bonus to the candidate (around £2k, variable).
Roles taken on by Highflyers fall into the £40k-£150k range and an average of £50k is forecasted for prudence.
At such rates, transactions are expected to average approximately £7.5k or higher.
The current monthly cost-base of Highflyers is £11k for a total of 6 staff members and 1 office.
In the next few months, current salaries need to be adjusted and two experienced professionals (one with a digital marketing background and one with a financial services recruitment background) recruited.
Currently the average cost per application is below £6 and the average cost per highflyer (candidate accepted on the platform) below £40.
As typical for tech start-ups that aim at building a marketplace, all profits will be re-invested to expand the business geographically and across other verticals.
Highflyers is aiming for an increase of 1 placement per month per office/segment served.
Use of proceeds
Proceeds will be used to fund the various areas of the business: candidates’ generation, clients’ acquisition, operations, account management and technology.
Approximately, investments will be used as follows:
20-25% Account Management
30-35% Business Development
5-10% Customer service
15-20% Candidates' generation
5-10% Fixed costs
Highflyers is a digital marketplace where employers and candidates meet.
Employers: We only work with top financial services companies based in London. Our target clients range from accounting firms to banks, insurance companies and asset management firms.
Candidates: Highflyers addresses high-end 3 to 10-year experience chartered accountants.
Segments and geographies to tackle:
• July to December 2015: London
• January 2016 to December 2016: New York and Singapore
• January 2017 to December 2017: Expand into other verticals (consulting, investment banking, tax)
• 2018: Expand to Hong Kong, Chicago, Sidney and emerging economies
Characteristics of target market
The following is a breakdown of our estimated market size and is based to some extent on the assumption that the percentage of workers in accounting jobs in London is approximately the same as the rest of the UK.
Highflyers is a digital marketplace and as such it needs to be facilitated by making sure that the candidates on offer on the platform are of interest to the employers. As the marketplace grows in size and reputation, there will be less and less facilitation needed.
The Highflyers facilitation happens at the beginning of our marketing process: we gather employers’ general requirements and adjust communication as well as audience accordingly. Such a focused approach is crucial to ensure effectiveness in digital marketing activities.
So far, Highflyers has attracted all its candidates through digital marketing activities. This is ideal, as digital marketing allows measurability and scalability. In 4 months (May, June, July) Highflyers digital marketing attracted over 650 candidates, for a total direct cost of approximately £4,000. This means that one applicant costs around £6.00, and a Highflyer cost (from now on CAC, a very important KPI, cost of acquisition) of less than £40.00 (this can vary according to the quality of candidates currently in pipeline and not qualified yet).
Quality of candidates and CAC has constantly improved, as the Highflyers team learnt how to target their audience and communicate to it.