Client review

Busfor

On the important role of decision-making speed in hiring and situations when a recruiting agency can take on the role of an in-house HR department more effectively
Andrei Arefiev
CTO of Busfor

For how long has Busfor been working with Hi, Rockits?

We've been working with the Hi, Rockits! for about three years now. There were different periods: when we were hiring almost every week and when we're didn't hired anyone in 6 months. With Hi, Rockits! we cooperate exclusively on software development positions – front-end (we use React) and back-end (Ruby on Rails), – and Quality Assurance.

The most recent candidate from Hi, Rockits! came to us in August or September 2020. Right now our company undergoing the process of restructuring and integration after the deal with BlaBlaCar. That means new recruitment policies and principles have emerged.

What benefits you see in working with a recruiting agency?

There was no in-house HR in our company since the beginning. And I should say this is a pain of Busfor that lasts for many, many years. At first, no one in the company believed we need this position. There were attempts to hire a full-time HR specialist, but it didn't work out.

In addition, Busfor was always a well-invested startup, so paying money to an agency to solve immediate problems was more efficient than building our own recruiting structure.

So in fact, on our side I was the only person responsible for whole IT hiring.

Have you worked with other recruiting agencies?

Before working at Busfor, I did not work with any agency, and I was looking for people either through open sources, or through my contact list, or I used the services of private recruiters.

At Busfor, it was decided to work with an agency. We were introduced to the Hi, Rockits! team and a couple of other agencies we had contacts with. So it happened that we just continued working with Hi, Rockits!

One of my goals was to build the team. When I came to the company there were 3 or 4 software engineer. We started to grow fast and a year later there were 17 of us already. Busfor needed a rapid growth of the product team, so it was wise for me to work with an agency that could provide this growth for me.

How did the cooperation process look like?

Usually the process looked like this: I realized what position we needed, wrote to the contact person on the Hi, Rockits! and said that we have a vacancy or several, let's work on it. So the contact was just at the level of messengers, some formal applications were never even filled. There was no need in it, you know.

If the position was new or difficult, we arranged a 30-40 minutes meeting between our team and the agency's recruiters and talked through all the details about the position.
But since we have fairly standard developer vacancies, there were rarely any specific requests. And Hi, Rockits! always understood very well what exactly we needed. I have not come across the fact that I had to somehow separately explain the nuances.
Of course, at the start there were cases when the incoming CV's were out of our scope, but the flow of candidates was good so we were absolutely satisfied. By the second year as we worked together, we had no complaints about the quality of the CVs. Rather, the problem was that I myself did not have time to process them in time, because on our side i was the hairpin of the process.

We understood that Hi, Rockits! is ready to make a flow for us and make it fast. Funnel conversion, in my opinion, was also always amaizing. We invited to interview every second person who was brought to us by recruiters. And since we didn't have a multi-stage selection process, we made a lot of offers. Last year, when we were looking for backend developers, we made 5 or 6 offers in 3 months.

Is there any special moments in the cooperation with Hi, Rockits! that you especially appreciate?

It seems to me that HR's work is generally very individual work. Especially in the IT area. Developers here are capricious people with their own requests, that you should address to if you want to find a good one, because the market of IT talents is overheated, this is the candidate's market, not the job market. Good candidates are picked up in hours. Therefore, the main value for me, that the agency's recruiters are able to solve the issues individually, according to a person and a situation.

It's important for us not to turn into a corporation, where the hiring process took weeks, with five plus interviews, with many approvals from finance, accounting, lawyers, security and so on. We work in an agile style: if the candidate is good, and we want him, we hire quickly. If there are some doubts, ok, we give a test task to the candidate.

What else have always been pluses:

Firstly, a short personal communication. We solved 99% of communication through Telegram messenger.

I think I was very lucky that I worked with Tanya Akwa. Perhaps such a relationship would not have worked out with someone else. Tanya is an exceptionally empathetic person, and operationally efficient.

I remember that a couple of times we got into unpleasant situations (a person accepted an offer, and then refused it, or it was necessary to bargain at the stage of the offer, when the candidate was interesting to us, but we had to agree on the money), but we always found a way out of that that worked out best for everyone.

Secondly, I often did not have enough time to give feedback on time, to make an offer on time. And in such cases Hi, Rockits! acted as internal assistants who coordinated my work: they said, 'This one is waiting for an offer, this one needs to be given feedback, this one should not be missed, because he has three offers and time goes on for hours, not days'. So I could focus on what's important. I really appreciate this.

Did Hi, Rockits! come to the rescue in difficult, non-standard situations ?

Yes, always. Surprisingly always. There have never been any conflicts like 'we don’t work like that', or 'this is not in the contract'. There were cases when recruiters came to me personally and said 'we have a problem, you delay feedback and we loose great candidates because of that'. And such cases were always resolved in a very human way.

All of this made it possible to react quickly. We have always tried not to delay payments, feedback, or stir up competition. If one person was led by several agencies we've been working with, Hi, Rockits! tried to sort things out: they gave it to the one who brought him first, or vice versa.

Once or twice it happened that we could work for 2 months on a vacancy and have no result. So they initiated a conversation between us about the fact that something is not happening, something is wrong. Either we are looking in the wrong places, or we have badly miscalculated salary range. Or we are looking for the wrong ones, and we should look for not a team lead, but an overgrown middle who wants to be a lead, but he is not allowed to grow in his current place.

I have always received very adequate advice on surebets to keep us in the market. Sometimes, when you work with a recruiting agency, you get a feeling that the agency is trying to sell a candidate to you at a higher price, inflating his price in order to increase its percentage and increase the chance of accepting the offer.
In the case of Hi, Rockits! we felt that they were on our side and sometimes helped to bargain on the amount of the offer to low it down. In general, it is a very important feeling that the agency is on your side.

Do you want to complain about working with Hi, Rockits?

There were different periods in or relationships. Sometimes we were more satisfied, sometimes a bit less. Sometimes we saw more CVs and candidates, sometimes less.

In the first year of our cooperation, it seemed that they were working on a too wide funnel. There was a feeling of streaming work: the guys went to major job boards, set some filters, got 20 resumes, and all 20 were sent to us. A couple of times candidates were completely unsuitable for us.

It passed with the time.

We realized that we didn’t have very piece goods, not uniques who were courted for a long time, taken to restaurants and so on. To find a common front-end junior developer, all you need is just to get through a bunch of unusable options, and pull one out of 20 that will fit. And it is clear that the recruiter is not always able to do this work for the employer.

And in comparison with how some other agencies, including very large and expensive ones work (for example, I saw the case when a Java candidate was brought in for a JavaScript vacancy), there was no situations when I had to say 'Guys, what the hell are you doing? Let's learn how to read the job description at least'.

Thanks to Hi, Rockits! for that.
About the client
Busfor (a part of BlaBlaCar) is the first online service that directly connects passengers and bus carriers. The service provides customers with a simple and convenient service for finding and buying cheap bus tickets.

Does your company also need frontend and backend developers?

Hi, Rockits! specializes in the selection of IT personnel and is ready to help you with the finding of React front-end and Ruby on Rails back-end developers of any level for the tasks of your project