First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Leandro de Gabriel: Luckily, both my family and I have not been affected by the virus, and, so far, we are all safe and healthy.
The beginning of the pandemic caught us, I imagine like all of us, by surprise. In Spain, we were confined to our homes for close to 100 days, except to carry out permitted activities; our lives changed overnight. Now, we are in the process of adapting to this new reality to move forward.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Grupo Binternational
Leandro de Gabriel: I am Business Director of Grupo Binternational, a company specialized in international recruitment and strategic HR transformation via three brands: binternational, b2b recruitment, and boost. I believe that my ability to build lasting relationships with our clients allows me to fully understand organisations and equip them to achieve their goals.
I met Ignacio Barriendos, the group’s founder, four years ago, and, after several meetings, I joined the project. Before that, I had always been closely linked to different companies’ profit and loss accounts: either as a sales manager or Managing Director. I have more than 20 years’ experience behind me.
How does Grupo Binternational innovate?
Leandro de Gabriel: At Grupo Binternational, we innovate every day through the multiple projects managed by our three brands: binternational, international recruitment consultancy specializing in industrial profiles, boost, the launchpad for the strategic transformation of organisations, and b2b recruitment focused on the selection of B2B profiles (Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, and General Management).
However, our greatest innovation has been to simplify the model and offer the client a single interlocutor who solves all their global needs and develops a methodology that enables us to have a deep understanding of the client, thus increasing the success rate.
How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your business, and how are you coping?
Leandro de Gabriel: It is obvious that COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in our sector, paralyzing several processes. However, despite the initial uncertainty, we have been able to weather the storm and continue to make progress while maintaining close contact with our customers. In fact, candidate availability has been greater than ever, as has our clients’ need for our services.
Moreover, in view of the health emergency caused by the coronavirus, we provided our services free of charge to help in the efforts to resolve health institutions’ urgent recruitment needs. Entering these accounts has subsequently allowed us to position ourselves to the point where we have now signed contracts with several of them, thus turning a moment of crisis into an opportunity.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Leandro de Gabriel: Shortly before the government announced the State of Emergency, we sent all our team home, from where they have been working remotely to prevent the spread of the virus. Logically, some decisions have been more complicated to make, but at the same time very necessary, such as furloughing some staff.
However, the pandemic has allowed us to open our eyes to other realities, enabling us to detect other business opportunities that our clients demanded and which we have set up, such as outplacement services, human resources subscription services, or synergies with other companies and agreements with them.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you protect yourself and Grupo Binternational in the future?
Leandro de Gabriel: At first, working remotely, without being able to leave the house, produced a certain amount of stress, but I must admit that the situation has allowed me to take on new perspectives and a more strategic vision.
Looking to the future, we are developing a new strategic plan adapted to a changing environment, more dynamic and flexible, while maintaining the strategic axes.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Leandro de Gabriel: Our competitors are, of course, recruitment companies or HR consultancy companies. I believe that our great competitive advantage is anticipation and being close to our clients.
In an increasingly technological world, this pandemic has shown us that if a man stops, the world stops. The companies that have stayed afloat are those that have always known the value of human capital and have been close to people because, as we always say in Grupo Binternational, business is all about people.
Your Final Thoughts?
Leandro de Gabriel: Being optimistic, even in the most critical moments, is what has always moved us forward. We were born in the midst of the crisis when the Spanish were going to other countries in search of work, and this attitude is the seed of our organisation’s culture and keeps us strong in times like the present.