Creating happiness – not filling jobs
“Our purpose is to create happiness, one job at a time,” says founder Jonathan Hall, “and that is true for our clients and candidates as well as us.” Hall says this sets the company apart from its competition, “which can be aggressive and very salesy”, he says. “While we are in sales, there are ways you can adapt your approach and that’s what we’ve done.”
The London-based recruiter is set to increase its turnover by 60% and double its headcount to 30 this year. Hall believes that finding good people – and keeping them – is the key to Cranberry Panda’s success. That’s why he’s invested in creating a culture where employees feel supported and inspired to thrive.
Retaining the best people
Hall points to some key initiatives that aim to help achieve his people’s happiness. The company has invested in a mental health coach who comes to the office once a month to spend an hour with each employee. “It’s completely confidential and they can talk about anything they want, whether it’s work, home or personal,” he says.
And it’s easy for management to keep track of how the team are feeling. The company uses a system called Officevibe, an online sentiment tracker that looks at everything from general happiness and wellbeing, to how well you get on with your co-workers.
We work with 70% of our clients exclusively for their e-commerce roles and that is how we like to work.
Jonathan Hall, Cranberry Panda
From one scale-up to another
As a scale-up business itself, Cranberry Panda is perfectly placed to serve its many client companies that are looking to grow. “Seeing it from all sides, including our own scale-up journey along with our clients’ experiences, you get to see all the trends,” Hall says.
“We work with a lot of really fast-growth rapid scale-up companies,” he says. “And we are attuned to their needs of bringing in the right sort of people at the right time to accelerate and support their ambitious growth.”
Building client partnerships
Hall sees his company’s role as very much a strategic partner and he hopes to build increasingly long-term relationships. “We work with 70% of our clients exclusively for their e-commerce roles and that is how we like to work,” he says.
Simba, the scale-up mattress company, is one such company. Cranberry Panda has placed “about 17 or 18 people” with the company. Simba has the cash to hire having secured £40m in its latest funding round. Hall says that many rapidly growing companies often need extra support when looking to fill newly created roles for the first time.
Staying open to possibilities
As for the future, Hall is looking to increase the company’s turnover to around £1.75m by the end of 2018 and increase gross profit by around 30%. He is looking to achieve this growth “organically”, but is not ruling out potential mergers with other companies “to give us that instant scale”.
But his golden rule remains clear: “Investment in people will remain our number-one priority.”