Read our story about what it was like in the early days of Indeed in Düsseldorf and how our Managing Director Frank Hensgens used to order the drinks and snacks for the office.
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The Indeed office in Düsseldorf was the one of the first offices in EMEA – it opened in July 2013, one year after the EMEA headquarters in Dublin. With 75 Indeedians joining the EMEA market from Dublin, it brought Indeed’s global employee count to 1,200.
At the beginning, Indeed only had a few people working in the Düsseldorf office, as it was Indeed’s first step to expanding into the DACH market (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). And they actually did it.
Over the past seven years, there have been a lot of changes. Indeed has since become a more mature and further developed company, and now has more than 10,000 employees around the globe.
In Germany, Indeed was almost unknown then. Nevertheless, Stephan Isdepski decided to apply when he came across the job advert by Indeed. His application landed on the plate of the recruiter Simon Nurek.
“Stephan was not only one of the first employees in Düsseldorf, but one of the first employees I hired for Indeed” Simon recalls.
“In 2013, I was new to Indeed myself. I was the first recruiter in the Düsseldorf office and our goal was to build a team that focused on our key accounts and enterprise businesses.”
The job interviews in the early years were conducted by Frank Hensgens, the Managing Director of Indeed DACH, himself. Yes, back then, job interviews were done by the boss!
“When I first met Frank, he captivated my attention immediately and sparked my interest in working for Indeed,” Stephan says. “With his exciting character and infectious nature, Frank is very charismatic and has a talent to enthuse and inspire others. You can tell that Frank is a sales person at heart.”
Frank’s secret to securing a hire was to take interviewees to the big window in the small office that has a fantastic view over the harbor in Düsseldorf, a fancy area with many cool offices, bars and restaurants. He knew this made an impression on the candidates and would comment: “Look at this view, isn’t that an amazing view? Where would you rather be? We are maybe here now but Indeed has big plans for the future!”
Stephan remembers: “In the interview, it became clear to me that I wanted to work for Indeed, contribute to its success and make the company big in Germany and DACH.”
Recruiter Simon adds the expectations towards the team were high in the early days.
“However, the management was tolerant, gave them space to be themselves, try out new things, make mistakes, learn from it and move on,” he says. “To see the development of the employees was inspiring.”
In October 2013, Stephan finally started at Indeed as a National Account Manager (NAM). “What helped our business development effort in the early days was the fact that we had excellent and innovative products to offer. This is the best thing that can happen to you as a sales representative, selling something that you know is going to make a difference to people’s lives.”
At the beginning, Stephan was the seventh Indeedian in Germany. “There was a real start-up feeling amongst the team. The office was in a fancy location but we shared a room that only measured 20 square metres, approx 215 square foot.”
“The office was not an actual Indeed office,” Simon explains. “At Indeed, we are famous for our cool office locations that are an expression of our culture. Since the team was tiny, we rented a Regus office, which was great because we could simply rent more office space when the team was growing. That made us flexible. We tried our best with delivering the Indeed culture in the form of little snack boxes and a limited selection of swag. In the beginning it was Frank who used to place our drinks orders!”
Today, Frank still likes to entertain people by sharing anecdotes from the past. In the early years, Indeed didn’t have company cars for their German employees, as opposed to today, where every NAM has his own company car to visit clients all over the DACH region. Once upon a time, a NAM had to visit a client in a rural area but didn’t have a car to get there. So Frank simply took his bike and his co-worker on the back carrier to ride to a cheap car rental place.
Now in 2020, Indeed has roughly 300 employees and two offices in a new location in Düsseldorf.
Furthermore, the brand awareness and the perception of Indeed has changed, particularly after Indeed launched the first TV spot in Germany in 2014. Stephan remembers that moment very well.
“Everybody on the team was so excited and could not believe that our little Indeed was flickering on the screens of Germany. It was a big milestone everyone was really proud of!”
Not only did Stephan have goosebumps but it was a real push for the business and for his own career. Stephan was promoted to Director of Sales and today leads a team of nine great Indeedians. Meanwhile, Simon took over a team lead position as Senior Recruiter for the DACH region, supported by three more recruiters.
“When I first got in contact with Indeed in Dublin in 2013, I was impressed by the strong mission that hooked me immediately, especially since I am a recruiter. Even now, seven and a half years later our mission ‘We help people get jobs’ is what connects Indeedians all over the globe and motivates Indeedians in Düsseldorf from Day one.”
Check out how the new office looks today in this video.