North East Venture Fund

Tech recruitment platform appoints former Google exec to board

Haystack – the Newcastle-based tech recruitment platform – has appointed the former COO of Google Europe as Non-Executive Director.

Ben Legg’s appointment follows the company’s recent success in raising £500,000 from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia. Ben – who was introduced to the business by Mercia – has over 30 years’ experience in senior business and leadership roles.

As a former Captain in the Royal Engineers, Ben helped to relieve the Siege of Sarajevo. He went on to become a strategy consultant with McKinsey and held senior roles with Coca Cola in Greece, Poland and India before joining Google where he ‘wrote the blueprint’ for its monetisation approach. He is on the board of a number of tech companies and also acts as a coach and mentor.

Haystack removes the need for recruitment agencies by using an algorithm to match individuals with suitable roles. It enables developers, data engineers and other tech professionals to view job opportunities in confidence and assess the state of the jobs market. Following the recent funding round, the company is embarking on international expansion, initially targeting the US market.

Ben Legg said: “The world of work is changing fast and tech recruiting is broken. Haystack has an exciting vision, a great team and promising momentum to address this massive opportunity. I look forward to helping them reinvent the industry.”

Ian Wilson, Fund Principal at Mercia, said: “Haystack aims to revolutionise technology recruitment. With Ben’s track record in reinventing traditional business models, he is ideally placed to join its board.

“His appointment shows the wider package of support that Mercia can offer – we not only provide the funding but also help them build their board and put the right structures in place to help them scale and grow.”