CATALYST Issue 1 - Page 51

Future Proof Entrepreneurship in action Partnering between entrepreneurial organisations of different sizes can provide benefits for both parties. Alan Bourne Olivier Vidal Founder, Sova Assessment Founder, Fair Hiring Company Relationships between established entrepreneurial companies and innovative smaller players can be very effective, but it’s often difficult for companies to find the right fit; sometimes the larger player will be too regimented about how they want to operate and that doesn’t necessarily work for the smaller partner. Alexander Mann Solutions is comfortable working in an ecosystem with entrepreneurial providers that add value for clients. In our partnership, there is mutual understanding and willingness to adapt and work together, rather than have set positions from the start. Alexander Mann Solutions needs to take their RPO partners on an ongoing journey of development. There’s recognition of the need to work with partners with an entrepreneurial drive and space in a particular area, such as Sova Assessment, which specialises in psychometric assessment. Alexander Mann Solutions is able to collaborate with partners doing interesting things, without feeling the need to own the process. Having a symbiotic, two-way relationship has been key to making the partnerships a success. Small steps by big firms can stop good, fresh ideas from foundering in the early days. Established organisations can give new entrepreneurs credibility, a support network and solid data on what the market wants. Alexander Mann Solutions is effectively ‘incubating’ the Fair Hiring Project by  providing expertise, feedback and access to clients. Our recruitment and coaching company helps businesses attract and retain a broader range of talent by empowering every candidate to engage, perform and overcome barriers. Our candidate education platform looks at fundamental skills, such as ‘telling your story’ and ‘communicating how you lead’. The vision is to democratise knowledge, so that candidates and corporates communicate properly across all sectors, seniorities and geographies. When I approached Alexander Mann Solutions, they had already decided to work with product providers to enhance their offering to clients. Innovation flows both ways: they have a wealth of data, marketing and client knowledge, while I’ve developed expertise in looking at talent and inclusion challenges in an almost political way. The partnership has accelerated our growth and added sophistication. For Alexander Mann Solutions, it’s a chance to offer their clients exclusive innovation that complements their core services. For me, it’s a confidence boost and source of stability to handle the financial or psychological battles of founding a business. “Having a symbiotic, two-way relationship has been the key to making the partnership a success” Issue 1 - 2017 51