THE NORDIC REGION’S LEADING TALENT CHANNEL
StudentConsulting began more than 20 years ago, staffed by students. Today, the company is one of the Nordic region’s most profitable staffing and recruitment companies. For MD and founder Tobias Lindfors, the recipe for success lies in a methodical initiative in digital job matching.
Tobias Lindfors is a genuine entrepreneurial story personified. The company generated sales of SEK 32 million in 2005, for example. The company’s sales are now at the SEK 1 billion, and the company now generates in ten days the equivalent of its fullyear sales 13 years ago.
Today, the business concept has been expanded beyond recruiting students and hiring them out to also include graduate academics and vocational trainees. The company’s recruitment and staffing system is called TalentChannel™. It has evolved gradually over the years and flexibly and rapidly matches job applicants with employers. In 2006, StudentConsulting was the first to use digital video CVs, in which job applicants are recorded. This is a way of digitizing traditional job interviews, allowing applicants to present their personal qualities and, in combination with job seekers being able to take tests free of charge, increases their opportunities to secure employment based on personal qualities.
“We recognized early on that our candidates do not compete with 15 years of work experience but with their personalities and personal experience. Accordingly, we sought to create a complementary stage,” says Tobias Lindfors.
For customers, “just in time” staffing is becoming increasingly important as a complement to customers’ regular staff. In the TalentChannel™ recruitment and staffing system, customers can follow the job matching process in real time, through which StudentConsulting can provide staff at an hour’s or a couple of hours’ notice – in the morning, for example, when a customer needs substitute workers for the same day.
“Our system is at the forefront in our industry and, combined with the fact that we have Scandinavia’s largest talent channel with more than 400,000 candidates, we can achieve the industry’s greatest flexibility, speed and availability. Several municipalities have joined us, who value speed and efficiency when seeking substitute teachers for their schools. This is a service of substantial value for customers, reflected in the fact that we have had the industry’s most satisfied customers for three consecutive years (according to Evimetrix),” says Tobias Lindfors.
While the recruitment and staffing industry is struggling with low EBITDA margins of around 3-5 percent, StudentConsulting is able to show a margin of 7.2 percent for 2017/2018.
StudentConsulting is present in 176 assignment locations in the Nordic region and has 39 offices that job seekers can visit for personal interviews. The combination with digital matching makes the company a proper employment agency and is the key to its success.
“We have always worked with recruitment proactively. We have more than 400,000 job seekers in our database, so I’d rather call it a talent channel. We also have a new service that continuously monitors CVs for customers registering the specifications for what they want. When there is a match, we receive a success fee of between one and three months’ salary depending on the position,” says Tobias Lindfors.
During the year, StudentConsulting entered an exclusive agreement with the employers’ organization, Företagarna, with 70,000 member companies. Existing customers include Ikea, H&M, PostNord, Trygg Hansa and IT company CGI.
The company’s successes have earned it and Tobias Lindfors a number of awards over the years. Four times StudentConsulting has won the Gazelle award in the Swedish province of Norrbotten, presented by Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri, on three occasions it has been named Sweden’s fastest growing company by Ahréns Rapid Growth, and in 2010 Tobias Lindfors was named Swedish Entrepreneur of the Year.
The most recent award came in April 2017, when Crown Princess Victoria presented the Royal Patriotic Society’s Enterprise Medal to Tobias Lindfors for outstanding entrepreneurship.
“I feel extremely proud, having been a entreprenuer half my life, having just turned 40 years and having been in business for 20 years. I am touched that issues of entrepreneurship, job-creation and long-term perspective are rewarded. I believe this is very important, because it is precisely in owner-operated small and medium-sized companies that jobs are emerging in Sweden. This award means so much to me and I also believe it will inspire others to start companies and invest long-term effort,” says Tobias Lindfors.
He looks forward to a very exciting future, which will be shaped in particular by the political decisions to be made moving ahead. For example, the future of the Swedish Public Employment Service is in question and Tobias Lindfors stands ready, offering a private alternative.
The fact that StudentConsulting is a part of Mellby Gård means a great deal to Tobias Lindfors.
“My role models include Rune Andersson and Ingvar Kamprad. I want to work like them myself, developing companies long term that have ambitions to achieve leading positions, running companies and creating jobs. Both of them have been an inspiration to me,” he says.