Personalized Service as a Success Factor in Recruitment Business Growth, with Frido Diepeveen, Ep #151

If you believe in providing personalized customer service, you’ll love my interview with Frido Diepeveen.

In this episode, Frido shared his wealth of experience from 17 years in recruitment and how his Dutch-Hungarian upbringing influenced his service-oriented approach toward his clients and candidates.  

Born in the Netherlands, Frido trained as a lawyer before discovering his true passion in recruitment and executive search in 2005. That’s when he joined a recruitment firm and helped the founder grow to 55 employees before selling it to Randstad in 2010.

After the transaction, he remained on the board as Commercial Director and helped the new owner achieve 20-30% year-on-year growth. He stayed with Randstad until 2018 when he decided to start a new recruitment firm from scratch.

Frido is now the MD of Diepeveen & Partners, a boutique search firm with a team of 15 based in Budapest, Hungary, and serving clients in North America and Europe.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [04:49] What inspired Frido to change careers from banking to recruitment?
  • [14:30] Key lessons that Frido gained from his first recruitment job.
  • [17:25] How Frido defines “personalized service.” 
  • [24:13] How to handle candidates you can’t help and those you can’t place right away.
  • [28:49] Frido’s insights on cultural sensitivity when dealing with key stakeholders.
  • [31:32] Success factors in rapidly growing a recruitment business.
  • [39:50] Can you position your firm to recruit at all levels, from junior positions right up to senior leadership roles?
  • [43:05] How Frido has grown a boutique search firm from scratch to a team of 15
  • [52:16] Outsourcing to Hungary – how Frido provides candidate sourcing and recruiting services to other recruitment companies around the world

Loving the Recruitment Profession

Before becoming a recruiter, Frido worked in banking – first as an in-house counsel and then in a commercial role as an account manager. It was in 2005 that he found his true calling as a recruitment professional. In 2005 he was asked to join a recruitment firm in a start-up phase, called ProfiPower. Founded by Dutch-Hungarian entrepreneur Ilonka Jankovich, he later became an equity partner and they were able to build the business into a market-leading recruitment firm in Hungary. Prior to selling it to Randstad in 2010, they had a team of 55 employees! What were the factors that led to such rapid growth? Frido shared two factors:

  • Service Orientation – they stick to the principle of delivering personalized service.
  • The Dutch way of being straightforward – doing what you say and saying what you do.

What Does Delivering a Personalized Service Look Like?

How does Frido define personalized service? Pretty much all recruitment firms will say that they offer personalized service to their customers. 

Fido explained their approach, “Many of my clients have become personal friends over the years… Being personal to me means that you should not see an assignment as one of the many but you should consider it as a unique job that you are so lucky to get to work on.” 

Frido elaborated on his commitment to client service. For example, he always meets his clients in person regardless of where they’re located. That involves lots of international travel.  Why bother jumping on a plane to see a client when he could meet on Zoom or Teams? He explained how his mindset on personalized service builds chemistry and long-term relationships with his clients and candidates which eventually results to repeat business.

Quality Over Quantity

In 2018, Frido started his own recruitment firm from scratch – Diepeveen & Partners International. He leveraged his experience and learnings from his previous organizations. His own firm is rooted in the solid philosophy of quality comes before quantity. This philosophy not only guides the organization on the services they provide to their clients but on how they handle their own employees as well. They ensure that their 15 team members are not overworked and assigned reasonable assignments – improving their quality of work and output. 

Our Sponsors

This podcast is proudly sponsored by i-intro and Recruitment Entrepreneur.

i-intro® is an end-to-end retained recruitment platform. Their technology and methodology allow recruiters to differentiate themselves from the competition, win more retained business, bigger fees and increase their billings. Their software combined with world-class training enables you to transition from transactional, contingency recruiter to consultative, retained recruiter. Instead of being perceived as a “me too” vendor, you’ll be positioned as a “me only” solutions provider. Be sure to mention Mark Whitby or The Resilient Recruiter. Book your free, no-obligation consultation here: www.recruitmentcoach.com/retained

Recruitment Entrepreneur is the world’s leading Private Equity firm specializing in the international recruitment industry. If you’ve dreamed of starting, scaling and selling your recruitment business, this is your chance. James Caan and his team at Recruitment Entrepreneur are actively seeking ambitious recruiters who they can invest in. They provide everything you need to grow a successful recruitment business including: funding, financial expertise, coaching and mentoring, operational strategy, backoffice support, marketing and talent attraction solutions. Be sure to mention Mark Whitby or The Resilient Recruiter. Start a conversation here: https://www.recruitmentcoach.com/vc

Frido Diepeveen Bio and Contact Info 

Frido is the founder of Diepeveen & Partners. Having obtained a law degree in international and civil law (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), he started his career in 1998 as an in-house lawyer at the head office of Abn Amro Bank in Amsterdam. In 2001, Frido moved to Hungary, continuing his finance career at another Dutch financial institution, ING Bank. During this time, he had the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the Hungarian financial sector and to become fluent in the Hungarian language. After four years of back-office as well as front office positions, he found his true calling.

In 2005, he started a career in HR consulting and (executive) search. From 2005 to 2010, Frido co-owned and co-managed the recruitment firm ProfiPower that went on to become Hungary’s market leader in 2008. In 2010, the firm was sold to a listed company, which has since then become the world’s largest HR services company. After selling ProfiPower, for seven successful years, he continued as commercial director of the newly merged company. He then founded Diepeveen & Partners in 2018. They have now expanded globally and specializing in specific fields, such as SCM, Pharma and Professional Services.

People and Resources Mentioned

Connect with Mark Whitby

Related Podcast You Might Enjoy

Subscribe to The Resilient Recruiter

If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, please take two minutes to leave a review. Your review is greatly appreciated because it helps us attract a bigger audience and help more recruiters.  “Support the podcast and leave a review here”.

Related Articles