IT personnel consulting demands clear vision and purpose

At the turn of the year, PRIMEPEOPLE GmbH evolved into PRIMEPEOPLE AG – roughly equivalent to the transition from a limited liability company to a corporation. In the interview below, CEO Rainer Mayer discusses the strategic thinking behind the new structure at this Stuttgart-based IT personnel consultancy, its take on digitization within HR, and the importance of a clear vision and purpose in the field of recruitment

Congratulations on the dawn of a new era at PRIMEPEOPLE! Beyond officially changing the company’s legal structure, what were the key aspects that inspired this move to “AG” status?

Rainer Mayer: First of all – thank you! Of course, any move such as this is about more than just a piece of paper. In becoming an “AG,” essentially a corporation, we wanted to make a clear statement to our clients, our candidates, and our partners. We analyzed our company structure in detail during the last few months, comparing this against our vision of being a superior personnel consultancy in the IT sector. This showed us that a new legal form would offer greater flexibility as well as better opportunities for consciously managing and shaping our growth. Over the years, we have enjoyed above-average growth, received many awards honoring our culture and working methods, and reached numerous digitization milestones that will help us continue to meet our goals in the long term. All of this serves as great motivation for us. And with our new legal structure, we are looking to expand this professionalization drive in order to ensure we remain a leading player in IT personnel consulting.

So the primary motivation is to grow PRIMEPEOPLE as a personnel consultancy?

Rainer Mayer: Growth is an important factor, but not at any price. At PRIMEPEOPLE, our concept of growth has long focused on quality – we are not interested in quantitative growth for its own sake. We take a multi-dimensional view of growth, which brings us back to the topic of professionalization: By implementing faster and more digitized processes, we will further bolster our high quality standards. Another key aspect of growth at PRIMEPEOPLE is establishing new digital service models, with a particular focus on key accounts and corporate clients. We will develop tools and models for these clients that are specially adapted to their requirements.

For us, growth is also about giving our consultants and Managing Partners the best opportunities to approach and acquire new clients. We will boost our digital visibility and make our client approach more selective, targeting high-tech companies and traditional firms that have identified IT recruiting as a strategic factor in competition and business.

Growth also means that we are open to strategic cooperation with clients, with our partners and consultants, and even with investors who are a good fit.

Finally, growth always means working with the right clients. Quality IT personnel consulting demands clear vision and purpose, and we deliver on both counts: We have a clear vision of how the personnel consultancy of the future should look and we pursue a clear purpose in our interactions with clients and candidates.

What does that mean in practice?

Rainer Mayer: It has long been apparent that “standard processes” fail to deliver for candidates and companies alike. In areas of the IT industry with a shortage of skilled individuals, we must redefine the candidate approach – after all, it is now the candidate who is in a position to choose. This requires clients to demonstrate understanding and a willingness to leave the beaten track. Recruiting has become unfamiliar territory for many companies, as the existing models are no longer paying off. 

We represent our clients as a partner, not as a supplier. That means our clients must fulfill certain framework conditions in order to enable a collaborative partnership, including close interaction, an open mindset, and trust. It’s got to be a two-way street.

Companies that refuse to budge from their image of an ideal candidate need to wake up. If you’re not up to speed with aspects such as cultural fit, candidate journey, and potential candidates, you’re going to find recruitment even harder in the future. 

Can you define a “typical” PRIMEPEOPLE client?

Rainer Mayer: No – there’s no such thing as a typical client. We operate in the field of IT recruitment and our clients include SMEs, major companies, and corporate groups in Germany as well as neighboring countries. What unites our clients is their readiness to engage in next-level recruitment. They have the right mindset to interact with PRIMEPEOPLE’s culture. Building on this, our German-language website now features a freely accessible tool called “Be Prime now!” It’s a kind of self-test for companies to assess their compatibility as a potential PRIMEPEOPLE client.

On the topic of vision, what does the IT personnel consultancy of the future need to have, what does it need to bring to the table, and what comes next?

Rainer Mayer: That’s a good question with a simple answer. It needs talented individuals who are in touch with the future. It needs to be a pioneer, offering the tools and processes that will propel it to the head of the pack in the digital world. And it needs to pursue a clear purpose in order to shape the future. While the previous structure at PRIMEPEOPLE GmbH had set us on the right path, our restructuring as PRIMEPEOPLE AG has brought us a great deal closer to achieving our vision.

Thank you very much!

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