“It’s a bit geeky, but I love the power of data and analytics.”

Matt Gallivan Head of Product Development Vacancysoft

Matt Gallivan joined Vacancysoft in November 2020 as its Head of Product Development. The move added another chapter to an already successful, long and varied career in the recruitment industry — which included senior positions at Innovantage and Volcanic.

Matt shares some thoughts on his new adventure below. He’ll also be at Vacancysoft’s upcoming virtual summit and networking event on 4 February 2021 where key recruitment industry leaders will discuss their planning for a post-covid landscape. Register here.

Your new role at Vacancysoft signals the moment two industry veterans ceased sparring and joined forces. What prompted this move?

I’m hardly a veteran, although sometimes it feels like I have been to war! It’s funny as, although I sold against James [Chaplin – Vacancysoft CEO], we were never enemies. In fact, often when we would be trying to win the same client we’d be speaking in the background.

I have always had a huge amount of respect for Vacancysoft. But, contractually, I was unable to work with anyone in the same field for a period. So, when James recently dropped me a LinkedIn message asking to catch up, it made complete sense.

A few calls later and we found ourselves chatting through ways in which we could work together to bring a proposition to market that adds real value and provide insight to our industry. The rest (corny as it sounds) is history.

We can leverage our tech to offer more bespoke solutions to clients

As Head of Product Development, what excites you most about this collaboration?

I am most excited by the scale of the opportunity.  Due to the way in which Vacancysoft gathers data, we have a depth of knowledge about the movement and changes in the recruitment space. This enables us to identify trends and analysing growth sectors.

It is a bit geeky, but I love the power of data and analytics — and how it can be used to help businesses with everything from sales and marketing, to wider strategy pieces like where to put new offices. I’ll be looking at ways we can leverage our technology to offer different and more bespoke solutions for our clients.

You crossed professional paths with James a few times over the years. Which occasion stands out the most?

James and I were bidding for the same large client. It was really close as to who was going to win the contract. We were the final two in the race and both propositions had huge merit and potential.

It was an unusually long sales cycle and when the deal was won, it felt like we had both given everything. I ended up sealing it — but that’s not why it stands out. After the contract was signed and we were busy patting ourselves on the back, James wrote to me and congratulated me on the win.

His message was simple but genuine and he showed an enormous amount of class. Many others would have just moved on the next deal, but it was important for James to acknowledge a race well run. That, to me, speaks volumes.

Data-driven decision-making will be a key differentiator in our market in 2021

What does 2021 hold for the sector?

That’s a big question! We will absolutely see growth as the economy tries to rebuild, starting in the temp market as people are cautious about overcommitting to plans. As the vaccines are rolled out, confidence should grow as society moves towards back to a sense of normality.

Of course, many sectors have seen huge increases already — healthcare and multi-drop drivers — and we should see those plateau. I would like to see companies working towards offering a better work/life balance with increased access to work from anywhere and flexible working arrangements that have been missing from Britain.

Now, more than ever, technology and data-driven decision-making are going to be the key differentiators in our market.

Tell us something about yourself others may find surprising. Keep it clean.

Well, funny you should mention that: I love cleaning! Both cleaning and things being clean. For me, a great day is when I can clean the house from top to bottom with some great music on. For Christmas I asked for, and got, a new hoover and really enjoyed using it for the first time. I even watch YouTube videos on cleaning really dirty cars. They’re brilliant.

Connect with Matt on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

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