It is sometimes confusing to tell Avantgarde apart from our recruiting specialists Avantgarde Experts. Over the last couple of months, the latter has seen exponential growth and great success among their existing and new clients. Time for our Creating Fans blog to catch up with Florian Lauber, head of Avantgarde Experts.
Hi Flo, can you please introduce yourself?
I used to work for Avantgarde before, that was around ten years ago. I had started as an intern after finishing university and had climbed the ranks of a project manager to work on exciting projects for Scottish & Newcastle and their famous brands like Fosters or Strongbow. But then I left to take on new challenges. Among other things I was managing director of one of Avantgarde Experts’ competitors in Switzerland. In 2010 I eventually returned to Avantgarde, but this time as the head of Avantgarde Experts.
What is it the company Avantgarde Experts is doing – and why it is part of the Avantgarde Group?
Initially, Avantgarde Experts was born out of the short-term demand from Avantgarde’s clients for highly skilled staff. As an example, a client might have given Avantgarde the task to organize an experiential marketing activity, but realized they had a lack of in-house know-how for managing such a project. At first, Avantgarde helped out by providing appropriate specialists for the task. It was a great success and word got around about this. That was back in 2002. We started receiving more and more similar requests, and it became a business on its own. In 2010 Avantgarde Experts became part of the Avantgarde Group. Today, we basically still offer the same services. Of course, these days we operate on a more professional level, including the infrastructure and our huge network of specialists – and we cover a lot of more fields besides marketing and communications, namely sales, purchasing, supply chain management and engineering.
Avantgarde Experts seem to be growing constantly and opening up new offices left and right. How many people currently work for Avantgarde Experts?
We have grown really fast, in particular over the past twelve months. That is not only reflected in the number of people that work for us – currently around 110. In 2014 we also opened up new offices in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Zurich. We plan on more growth in 2015 and open one or more new offices over the course of the year. Considering our beginnings our development is pretty remarkable. However, we are not satisfied yet. Those who want to work in a dynamic, fast-growing environment are welcome to get in touch with us. We are always looking for talented and motivated employees!
What makes us different from our competition? We see eye to eye with our clients, our staff, and our external employees, and keep an open dialogue.
What do you think are contributing factors to Avantgarde Experts’ success? And how are you different from other recruitment agencies?
We’ve built a lot of trust with our clients, based on our know-how and our expertise in terms of human resources management. We know our clients’ demands and can usually cater to them straightforward and in a timely manner. This is mostly down to our dedicated staff in sales, recruiting and administration. Of course we make sure to constantly train them on- and off-the-job, but it is their passion that drives our business. That’s what our clients notice straight away. And the success comes down to our many external employees, too, who do a great job working side-by-side with our clients. What makes us different from our competition? We see eye to eye with our clients, our staff, and our external employees, and keep an open dialogue.
What can a marketing agency learn from the Experts?
They could probably do well with our skills in recruiting and applicant management. This is our daily business, and thanks to our expertise and infrastructure we are usually successful in finding appropriate candidates for vacant jobs. And agencies might benefit from our know-how when it comes to healthy business growth: Where are opportunities for growth? How is this reflected in my business plan? What infrastructure do I need for healthy growth?
What is the biggest challenge Avantgarde Experts is currently facing?
It’s definitely the current growth of our business, and it is influenced by many factors: The search for new staff, the opening of new offices, constant adjustment of internal structures etc. There is a lot of work ahead, and it won’t get boring. That’s what makes our business special!
Check out Avantgarde Experts’ website (in German)!