VIP Booster #2: Entrepreneur 101 with Jérôme Armbruster

Le Booster accelerator program offers a wealth of workshops attended faithfully by candidates, but they’re not alone! Once a month, we invite a special guest to share his or her own experience with the future entrepreneurs.  Jérôme Armbruster also shared his experience at RegionsJob.

After starting out distributing flyers at Place des Lices, RégionsJob has grown to 170 employees (including 100 in Rennes) and 10,000 clients now use its website for their recruiting. OuestJob initially concentrated on the region. Created 16 years ago, it now has the largest audience of private employment sites in France. Below we summarize a few of the milestones mentioned by our guest!

“It’s going to be tough, but nothing’s impossible…”

1 – The Team

Some entrepreneurs can do everything all on their own. But starting out together (with three partners in our case) was a real plus! We each found our place. At the time, nobody welcomed us on the market. Being a team, we not only had complementary skills, but could also support and encourage each other.

2 – Staying Agile

At the beginning, there was a gap in the regional recruiting market, especially in Rennes. But since it wasn’t a niche market, we knew that we wouldn’t be able to survive if we stayed “small”. However, we’ve tried to stay in “start-up” mode in order to fend off the competitors that pop up every week! You need to maintain traction to keep the machine moving ahead, as if it were a small structure. Now, we have five divisions, one per activity, and each one is independent.

3 – Getting Help

Communicating locally was one of our key needs. So, we let Le Télégramme purchase a stake in our capital. We had no problem with not having a majority holding because we needed this ally. Plus, we didn’t try to raise funds, but this partner gave us the leeway we needed to take risks—it provided us with a safety net!

4 – Innovating

Innovating uses can sometimes be complicated because as the company grows, the more departments you have and the more users you have. Users can sometimes resist change. So, you need to time things right and understand your clients’ uses while adapting to their needs. In B2B, you also really need to do canvassing if you want concrete results.

5 – Image

People had opposing views of our brand; on the one hand, they considered us a “regional pro”, but also “just a provincial site”. So, we began thinking about going national; that was when we decided to get Le Monde and Le Nouvel Obs on board. These two newspapers have a very modern and global perception, providing real added value!

6 – Bouncing Back

Like any company, we’ve had ups and downs. A serious low point was during the employment crisis in 2008. So, we thought the training field could be very promising for us, and we created maformation.fr. Today, Le Blog du Modérateur or Cadreo.com are two of our digital tools to target specific audiences. Because it’s very difficult to get known, you have to engage the audience that’s already familiar with your service. We create ties through white papers, newsletters and personalised content that keep us up to date on uses, but also cultivate client relations.

7 – Looking Back (But Not Too Much…)

Maybe we should have focused more on international development, but we had so little time! We already had enough on our plates just trying to grow nationally. We also could have tried to convince our shareholders to invest in certain emerging social networks…

Still, when we look back on all we’ve done, we’re all very proud of how far we’ve come and what our company is today. The main thing is to agree on what you’re doing!

RegionsJob launched its RegionsJob Start incubator in search of new projects!