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September 22, 2023

From Paris to Silicon Valley: The Power of Global Mindset in Business Expansion

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Meet Robin Choy, Co-founder & CEO at HireSweet:

Robin Choy, Co-founder & CEO of HireSweet, joins us on the Default Global podcast. Originally from France, Robin founded HireSweet in 2016 in Paris with co-founders Ismael and Paul.

HireSweet started as a software for assessing software engineers but quickly shifted focus to solve the real challenge: finding the right talent. They expanded to the U.S. in 2019 and joined Y Combinator in 2020.

Today, HireSweet offers two key products: the Talent Marketplace, an automated hiring agency, and HireSweet CRM, an automation software for candidate engagement.

Robin’s journey is a testament to adaptability and innovation in global hiring and tech leadership. Tune in for insights into the evolving world of employment, contracting, and remote work.

Watch Now: Vit’s In-Depth Talk with Robin Choy

Quick Read: Robin Choy, Co-founder & CEO at HireSweet, Interview Highlights

From Paris to San Francisco: Building a Global First Company

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Robin Choy, co-founder and CEO of HireSweet, on my Default Global podcast. Our conversation delved into his journey from being a Frenchman living in Paris to co-founding HireSweet and moving to San Francisco.

“We created HireSweet in 2016 in Paris,” he said, “and I moved to San Francisco a year ago.”

Robin shared how the company’s first product was a software to assess software engineers, but they quickly realized the main challenge for companies was not assessing talent but finding it. He noted:

“Companies are fighting for talent.”

This insight led HireSweet to focus on sourcing talent, leading to their current products: a talent marketplace and HireSweet CRM.

Global First Mindset

When asked about what it means to be a global first company, Robin stressed the importance of a global expansion mindset from the start.

“We wanted a product that we can sell to any country,” he said.

He revealed that the company started expanding to other countries early on, selling to the UK, Europe, and the US.

Challenges of Transition

A significant challenge for HireSweet was expanding from the French market to the US market while the team remained in France. Robin noted that the traditional playbook of investing heavily in a short period often leads to failure. Instead, HireSweet chose a contrarian approach, focusing on building credibility and relationships over time.

“It takes a lot of time to build credibility, and this time can’t be bought with money,” he shared.

Effects of Different Time Zones

Robin acknowledged the challenges of managing a global team across different time zones. To overcome this, HireSweet moved towards more asynchronous communication using text and screen recordings. Additionally, they promoted leaders within the team to make their own decisions, likening his role to that of an investor in each department of the company.

Shift in the Hiring Game

Reflecting on the changing landscape of hiring, Robin noted an increase in the number of applicants and the difficulty companies face in managing their inbound volume. He stressed the importance of companies stepping up their game and showing their competitive advantages in the current market.

Advice for Recruiters and Tech Talents

When asked about advice for recruiters, Robin’s first recommendation was to determine if they want to stay in recruiting as it’s currently a challenging field. If they decide to stay, they should focus on building their personal brand and sharing their expertise. For tech talents, Robin suggested demonstrating their ability to work remotely and building their brand to overcome biases and stand out from the competition.

Future Plans for HireSweet

Looking to the future, Robin shared HireSweet’s plans to adapt to the changing market, stay close to their clients, and focus on surviving and gaining more clients.

“The vision remains the same. There is so much to do in recruiting to provide a better candidate experience and more automation for recruiters,” he concluded.

Listen Up: Robin Choy, Co-founder & CEO at HireSweet — Full Podcast Episode on Spotify

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