A Meeting of Minds01 dec 2017
Q&A with Peter Linas, EVP Corporate Development and International, Bullhorn and Gijs van Heijst, CEO of Connexys and VP EMEA, Bullhorn.
Tell us more about Connexys. What were the events which lead to the acquisition?
Gijs: Connexys provides recruitment software to businesses across mainland Europe, with strong expertise in ATS. Our team of 85 staff – who now join the wider Bullhorn family – are based in Rotterdam. We believe we are one of the most dynamic and creative players in the field, so it’s very exciting to be joining forces with Bullhorn, as the company’s first international acquisition.
Peter: Connexys and Bullhorn first encountered one another when Connexys purchased the bullhorn.nl web domain!
Gijs and I met to resolve the issue and we got on well from the get-go. Bullhorn was looking to expand in the region, and Connexys seemed like an ideal European acceleration vehicle. Gijs and I discovered that we had a lot in common, that our company cultures were similar, and that our business objectives were aligned, so we started to talk about maybe working together.
Gijs: It was truly an interesting turn of events. Once the domain name dispute was resolved, we took the first steps towards developing our future relationship. Everything started happening very quickly.
How have the first few weeks been since the acquisition?
Peter: Despite a unique introduction, Bullhorn and Connexys are a great fit. We’ve already developed a rapport, and communication and collaboration across the offices are very natural and strong.
Gijs: I couldn’t agree more. It’s only the start – but it’s a great start.
What does the acquisition mean for current and future customers?
Peter: Our combined solutions will support our customers in realising enhanced productivity, better candidate interactions, and improved operational efficiency. These three areas will be crucial for the growth of recruitment companies in the years to come, and Bullhorn and Connexys are committed to adding value where it matters most.
Gijs: Connexys now has the backing of a 600-strong international organisation, so we’re in great shape to realise our five-year plans for innovation and development. In fact, we’re in a good position to do so within the next year and a half.
Peter: The acquisition represents a renewal and expansion of our commitment to delivering an incredible customer experience. We believe Bullhorn offers the most user-centric, value-adding recruitment CRM available today – both in Europe and across the world.
What are the biggest opportunities for Bullhorn and Connexys in the mainland European market?
Peter: Bullhorn’s acquisition of Connexys puts us on a great footing to grow our presence in the Netherlands and Benelux region. It also lays the foundations for future growth in the German-speaking DACH markets.
Gijs: Both companies have already made significant inroads in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and the number of Connexys users in DACH is growing rapidly. We’ve got valuable local knowledge, and with a system built on the Salesforce platform, we can help Bullhorn gain further traction in the European staffing market.
What will be your biggest challenges as a combined organisation in the next five years?
Gijs: Growth is a huge part of our business strategy, but we don’t want to sacrifice customer experience in the pursuit of rapid expansion. Scaling the business and keeping our customers happy at the same time is both a challenge and a priority for us.
Peter: Finding the right employees will be a crucial part of fulfilling this goal. We need to deliver incredible customer service in regions like Germany: we may think globally, but we act locally. It’s always been a key principle of ours and we aim to stay true to it in future – even as we accelerate our European expansion. Hiring new salespeople, customer service representatives, and consultants will be key.