Capital2's Blog

Recruitment and Career advice for the High Tech and Banking Industries

What happened in Q1 then?

So, slightly late, but here’s a run down of how Capital2 Solutions did in Q1 of 2011.

In terms of NFI (Net Fee Income) we were well ahead of our yearly target, and are on course to go through last years total turnover by the half year point if we can replicate that performance in Q2.

We opened a new Paris office on the prestigious rue de Castiglione in the 1st Arrondissement, and hired a senior recruiter, Antoine Do Chhong to head up our efforts in the French capital. Our aim is to have a much bigger team there by mid 2012, so watch this space.

We also hired another senior consultant to work in our Sophia Antipolis office, and have signed terms with some major new clients that should enable us to increase the volume of placements we make on a quarterly basis significantly.

All things considered it has been a very good start to the year. Our challenge is to carry on this level of success through the (traditionally rubbisg – for us anyway) Q2 and ensure the momentum carries on!!

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April 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What’s in store for 2011 – predictions for the hiring market and wider musings

Its predictions time here at the Capital2 office. what are going to be the hot topics for the coming year?? How are the technology and banking recruitment markets going to pan out, and what will be floating our collective boats over the next few months??

In terms of the technology market, we’re seeing a steady increase in hiring activity, certainly no where near the pre 2009 levels but nevertheless the market seems much more positive. We’d expect hiring levels in our “standard” markets of Western Europe to be up on the last 2 years as firms edge back up in terms of headcount. The predicted fall in strength of the Euro could help in this, as it could become less expensive for US firms to hire and pay the best european talent.

On the banking side, we’re predicting another tough year. More technical positions will still be in demand (Basel 3, risk analytics) but a lot of that bandwidth will be taken up by the big consulting firms, so direct hiring by the banks will continue to be somewhat stagnant. Keep in there bankers…. the boom will come back but not just yet!

2011 will also see continued moves to a more mobile, connected society. The tablet / Ipad type device should become much more widespread, and expect the various social networks to become more an more interconnected. Branchout.com could be one to watch, as it is a business network application that sits on top of Facebook and purports to be a “linkedin killer”. We’ll see.

2011 is a year when in France and the US there will be a flurry of possible presidential candidates throwing their hats into the ring for 2012. we’re predicting Palin and Bloomberg to step up to the plate – and Strauss-Kahn in France. Should be an interesting year politically.

There’s a rugby world cup to look forward to as well – can’t see past the southern hemisphere teams for that one however.

So 2011 should be intriguing. The hiring markets are positive although still cagey…. it seems that clients can see past the hard times, but don’t want to rush. The whole year has an air of being a pre-cursor to an upswing… whether this will happen in 2011 or if 2012 will be the kick off, but whatever, interesting times agead!

January 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 9,400 times in 2010. That’s about 23 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 8 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 84 posts.

The busiest day of the year was April 26th with 86 views. The most popular post that day was Recruitment Market 2009.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were capital2solutions.com, linkedin.com, google.co.in, search.conduit.com, and google.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for basic interview questions, interview hints, basic interview, general interview questions, and basic interview tips.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Recruitment Market 2009 November 2008

2

Basic Interview Questions, Hints and Tips January 2008
14 comments

3

Top Technology Trends for 2010 December 2009

4

Who are Capital2 Solutions? October 2007
1 comment

5

Capital2 bosses speak at HEC Paris February 2009
1 comment

January 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

And now the end is near, and so we reach, the final cuuuuuuurtain

paraphrasing Sinatra is all well and good (although in fact it was a Frenchie who penned that sound.. the late lamented Claude François) but we’re hurtling toward the end of 2010. how was it for you?
For us here at Capital2 Towers the year has been good, not quite very good, but good nonetheless.
We’ve lost a couple of people along the way, but have increased turnover by 50% (estimated.. final bilan not done yet), which in still uncertain times is not to be sniffed at.
We’ve also been carefully budgeting for next year, and have 2 potential new hires that we will look to bring on board in Q1 and Q2 respectively in 2011.
if we succeed in getting the people we want on board then we should be extremely well placed to continue our growth and even accelerate it.
Looking further into 2011 we will also be aiming to beef up our HQ in Sophia Antipolis, and then further increasing our Paris presence towards the back end of the year (assuming all goes to plan). We’ll then kick on with expansion plans for our London office in 2012.
This year has seen placements in France, Germany, Italy, The USA, Australia, the Czech Republic and the UK…. not too shabby, and further proof that with the right approach to hiring, there should be no geographical limits to your expansion!!
Here’s to a strong finish to the year and a strong start to 2011.

December 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where we’re up to……………..

So how is 2010 going so far for us here at Capital2 Solutions??
Basically things are good, but could be better!!
In terms of the business side, or NFI (Net Fee Income) as it is often called in the recruitment industry, our heads are well above water although we are behind on our target year to date. Q1 was excellent, Q2 poor, and Q3 is shaping up to be OK. Our total costs for the year are already nearly covered, but we need a strong September to get 2010 out of the way so that Q4 can be focused on developing strong revenue / profit in order to fund our growth plans for 2011.
What are these growth plans? Well, we have basically gone through a period of consolidation this year, and our plans are to hire a minimum of two consultants early 2011 so that we can kick on and kick on and begin to grow a lot quicker. Our existing team is great, but we need more!!
2011 will also be a year in which we focus a lot more heavily on our London based business and we are flirting a little with an APAC office based either Mumbai or elsewhere, although that coul dbe a longer term move – watch this space!

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Capital2 in the news.

A piece on our plans to develop the local market around Sophia Antipolis and Monaco (no apologies made for the cheesey photo):

http://www.investincotedazur.com/fr/newsletter/index.php?txt=act9325

June 15, 2010 Posted by | Banking News, Jobs, Success Stories, Technology News, The Team | Leave a comment

Our local plans to bolster our international growth!

The first half of 2010 has gone very well for Capital2, we’re well ahead of where we were last year (although just behind our yearly target) and we are thinking of the development of the company.
Our aim is to build a long-lasting, ethical recruitment business based on certain shared values (more of which later). We also aim to integrate better into our local area, to become a prominent employer and success story in order for us to attract the best people to come and work for our company.
Late last year we moved the siège sociale of our business from Paris to the Sophia Antipolis region and our goal for the second half of 2010 is to extend our local network, and really put down some roots in the area. The strength of our business is our expert and international approach, but a possible weakness is that it is very difficult for us to reach out and touch our clients as they are based overseas or in the Paris area – we therefore are aiming to market our services more in Sophia Antipolis and Monaco, because the local market is there and we are better placed that most to serve the needs of dynamic technology and banking firms in this fantastic region.
Developing this local presence will also enable our company to provide opportunities to hire new consultants to service these clients, whilst our existing team continues to concentrate on our high level international relationships.
So our plans are to really become the recruiter of choice for Sophia Antipolis and Monaco, whilst maintaining our high delivery rate on the international front… thereby enabling us to grow our business and become firmly entrenched as a supporter of industry and a shaper of industry across both our local region and the EMEA wide market.
We mentioned values – another aim over the last 6 months of the year is to install a values based culture into our business. We will elaborate and promote certain key values inherent in our company and our approach and will endeavour to live by them… watch this space for the results of our work in this area!!!!

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

they’re all at it!! Pseudo Psychological Babble from Steve Jobs

Following the post about Life Lessons from Bill Gates, it seems Apple’s big boss is peddling the same sort of schtick, albeit slightly more californian!
1. Steve Jobs said: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Innovation has no limits. The only limit is your imagination. It’s time for you to begin thinking out of the box. If you are involved in a growing industry, think of ways to become more efficient; more customer friendly; and easier to do business with. If you are involved in a shrinking industry – get out of it quick and change before you become obsolete; out of work; or out of business. And remember that procrastination is not an option here. Start innovating now!

2. Steve Jobs said: “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

There is no shortcut to excellence. You will have to make the commitment to make excellence your priority. Use your talents, abilities, and skills in the best way possible and get ahead of others by giving that little extra. Live by a higher standard and pay attention to the details that really do make the difference. Excellence is not difficult – simply decide right now to give it your best shot – and you will be amazed with what life gives you back.

3. Steve Jobs said: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

I’ve got it down to four words: “Do what you love.” Seek out an occupation that gives you a sense of meaning, direction and satisfaction in life. Having a sense of purpose and striving towards goals gives life meaning, direction and satisfaction. It not only contributes to health and longevity, but also makes you feel better in difficult times. Do you jump out of bed on Monday mornings and look forward to the work week? If the answer is ‘no’ keep looking, you’ll know when you find it.

4. Steve Jobs said: “You know, we don’t grow most of the food we eat. We wear clothes other people make. We speak a language that other people developed. We use a mathematics that other people evolved… I mean, we’re constantly taking things. It’s a wonderful, ecstatic feeling to create something that puts it back in the pool of human experience and knowledge.”

Live in a way that is ethically responsible. Try to make a difference in this world and contribute to the higher good. You’ll find it gives more meaning to your life and it’s a great antidote to boredom. There is always so much to be done. And talk to others about what you are doing. Don’t preach or be self-righteous, or fanatical about it, that just puts people off, but at the same time, don’t be shy about setting an example, and use opportunities that arise to let others know what you are doing.

5. Steve Jobs said: “There’s a phrase in Buddhism, ‘Beginner’s mind.’ It’s wonderful to have a beginner’s mind.”

It is the kind of mind that can see things as they are, which step by step and in a flash can realize the original nature of everything. Beginner’s mind is Zen practice in action. It is the mind that is innocent of preconceptions and expectations, judgments and prejudices. Think of beginner’s mind as the mind that faces life like a small child, full of curiosity and wonder and amazement.

6. Steve Jobs said: “We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.”

Reams of academic studies over the decades have amply confirmed television’s pernicious mental and moral influences. And most TV watchers know that their habit is mind-numbing and wasteful, but still spend most of their time in front of that box. So turn your TV off and save some brain cells. But be cautious, you can turn your brain off by using a computer also. Try and have an intelligent conversation with someone who plays first person shooters for 8 hours a day. Or auto race games, or role-playing games.

7. Steve Jobs said: “I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…. It’s very character-building.”

Don’t equate making mistakes with being a mistake. There is no such thing as a successful person who has not failed or made mistakes, there are successful people who made mistakes and changed their lives or performance in response to them, and so got it right the next time. They viewed mistakes as warnings rather than signs of hopeless inadequacy. Never making a mistake means never living life to the full.

8. Steve Jobs said: “I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.”

Over the last decade, numerous books featuring lessons from historical figures have appeared on the shelves of bookstores around the world. And Socrates stands with Leonardo da Vinci, Nicholas Copernicus, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein as a beacon of inspiration for independent thinkers. But he came first. Cicero said of Socrates that, “He called philosophy down from the skies and into the lives of men.” So use Socrates’ principles in your life, your work, your learning, and your relationships. It’s not about Socrates, it’s really about you, and how you can bring more truth, beauty and goodness into your life everyday.

9. Steve Jobs said: “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”

Did you know that you have big things to accomplish in life? And did you know that those big things are getting rather dusty while you pour yourself another cup of coffee, and decide to mull things over rather than do them? We were all born with a gift to give in life, one which informs all of our desires, interests, passions and curiosities. This gift is, in fact, our purpose. And you don’t need permission to decide your own purpose. No boss, teacher, parent, priest or other authority can decide this for you. Just find that unique purpose.

10. Steve Jobs said: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Are you tired of living someone else’s dream? No doubt, its your life and you have every right to spend it in your own individual way without any hurdles or barriers from others. Give yourself a chance to nurture your creative qualities in a fear-free and pressure-free climate. Live a life that YOU choose and be your own boss.

Each lesson might be difficult to integrate into your life at first, but if you ease your way into each lesson, one at a time, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in your overall performance. So go ahead, give them a try.

May 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The beginning of the end for the Euro??

The current furore over the Greek national debt / sovereign bond status has really highlighted the precarious state of monetary union.
We here at Cap2 really like the Euro and living in the Eurozone, it facilitates pan european business immensely. However there are various rumours afoot that the institution of the Euro is under threat.
The main theory is that Germany could pull out of the Euro, and create a kind of counter single euro zone based around the Mark. They could therefore escape having to prop up those countries running at huge deficits (Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain in particular) and could invite the up and coming eastern european countries to join their single currency zone.The Germans feel it is unfair that they should have to pay for running their economy responsibly. this would be disastrous for the EU – its largest economy turning its back on the euro!!
Probably the best solution would be for Greece to drop out of the euro, go back to the drachma, and try to regain her competitiveness (this would be easier for them to do if they were running their own currency – see the way the us and uk ‘printed money’ to stabilise their economies following the banking crisis).
However this would signal a massive failure in the european project… would Greece be able to stay in the EU? Would this hasten the calls for political union and therefore threaten to splinter the member states???
The ramifications of the next few days could be huge… let’s hope that the IMF and the EU member states can come to some form of agreement, as the last thing we need is a double-dip recession….
The effect on the recruitment markets would be considerable – would people continue to hire in uncertain times, would the euro drop sufficiently against the dollar to make it cheaper for firms to hire??? Would a drop in the euro reverse the trend of manufacturing outsourcing to the far east??
The early months of 2010 seemed buoyant, but confidence is a fragile thing. Could be an interesting few weeks!!!!!

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Lessons from Bill Gates

this snippet is really doing the rounds on the internet currently – but it is worth repeating!
Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, ‘learn from them’..

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment