Message of our CEO and CO-Founder Wouter Goedhart
Over the last few weeks we have spoken a lot with our clients, partners and teams about Covid-19 and the impact the virus has on the job market and our business. Last week was the moment we had to take further steps, reacting to the crisis situation we find ourselves in. Unfortunately, we had to share the sad message that we need to let 34% of our 138 colleagues go.
This was a step that we, as an executive team, did not take lightly. However, the current situation is unprecedented. We are experiencing perhaps the biggest economic downturn in modern history. And unfortunately, a recruitment marketing company like VONQ is impacted as well. With a drop in revenue and a lower sales outlook for the upcoming months, we cannot prevent taking drastic measures in order to guide our company through these uncertain times.
How we came to that decision
For over two years, we invested heavily in our teams which grew from 90 to 138 team members. All united following our ambition: To offer our (future) clients the best recruitment marketing platform to attract qualified applicants. In line with our revenue expectations for 2020 we started recruiting at the end of 2019.
Over the last two months, we’ve talked a lot with our teams and clients about the impact the virus has on our team’s health, the economy and the job market. Not knowing what the impact on the market and VONQ would be in the long run, we hoped things would get back to normal soon and we didn’t need to take further actions.
Everyone sees that the COVID-19 virus gets under control, but the financial consequences on the economy, the job market and therefore also on VONQ are present. The market seems to show some slow progression again, but not enough to show a quick recovery. We need to structure team setup in line with our new revenue expectation. Unfortunately, we therefore can’t prevent taking further actions and we need to let go of a large group of valuable colleagues. This drastic measure ensures that we have a solid and healthy outlook for the remainder of 2020 and beyond.
What happens to those affected
We want to support the people leaving VONQ within the next few days in the best way possible to pursue their dreams and careers outside of VONQ. Next to a supporting reference, we will create an offboarding program, an open alumni LinkedIn group, and everyone can keep their company MacBook to make applying for a new job easier. As we are so close to the job market and clients that share their open vacancies with us, we hope to share opportunities with our alumni.
What does this mean for our strategy moving forward
With a revised team structure we obviously need to map team set-up against a revised strategy. We started our year with the goal to create one gateway for all our products and services to enable clients to attract applicants even better. We need to re-prioritise that strategy. This means we will still offer our clients the same services and value, However, regarding the further development of our platform we first will focus on improving our job marketing and programmatic flow and create a better user experience for that, before we start picking up new initiatives.
I know this feels like a slow down, but we keep investing in our technology & product and hopefully soon we can take two steps forward again with focus and growth. Because before the virus hit, VONQ was growing steadily and strongly for years. Despite the incredible difficulty in the near term, we know that at some point, this too, shall pass. Companies will start to recruit again. When the economy & job market turns around, VONQ will be here, helping our customers to attract applicants.
Some final words
First of all, I want to thank all colleagues for working at VONQ and our clients working with us in these times. With the actions described above, we will get through this and we will be able to continue to support our clients and build what is valuable to them.
In the next coming months, we will put all our efforts in supporting our clients in the phase of re-hiring which will come. Our product & development teams will create even better tooling. And our sales & customer success teams will guide our clients in faster and better hiring at the moment our clients are ready for it.
Next to that, if you would like to know who we had to let go, and if you would like to get in contact with them, please reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I am happy to make the introduction.