Catapult – the ups and downs

Catapult is a recruitment agency that has replaced consultants with technology in a bid to be more efficient. SME caught up with co-founder Oli Johnson to find out more…

What have been your biggest challenges? How did you overcome them?

Two challenges immediately come to mind. First, what we’re building is a totally new approach to temporary staffing. Changing established behaviours is very challenging. Our approach is providing as much education and support as needed, while also listening carefully to the feedback we get from our clients. Some things are the way they are for a reason.

Second, as with all marketplaces building supply and demand in lockstep is a pretty sizable challenge.

What have been your greatest successes?

We try to celebrate even the most trivial step forward and while there have also been some real successes (e.g. landing big clients), the most rewarding moments all involve getting businesses out of tight spots by providing them with great people at short notice.

What are your top tips for SMEs?

Try to find good investors who really believe in your product or service. These investors tend to bring their friends along on fruitful ventures, meaning a lot more doors can open for you thanks to their network of contacts. As a business this can be a really critical factor in trying to expand quickly and effectively.

Also, and this can’t be stressed enough, use your own product frequently. We use the employer site every single day and even moonlight as baristas, waiters and bar backs with our clients to gain as much understanding about their businesses as we possibly can.