Uncovering hidden gems in a nascent and candidate-scarce German R&D tax market


Leonid approached the CEO of Findways – a leading French innovation funding consultancy - on LinkedIn. Given our credentials in R&D tax, he was keen to enlist our help in recruiting for a Head of Sales/Country Manager to be based in their newly-opened German office.


The Challenge

The main challenge for us was the small candidate pool, as the German R&D Tax scheme (Forschungszulage) had only existed for 2.5 years. It was also our first assignment in the German market. However, given our specialist knowledge of the sector and existing relationships within the network, both Leonid and the client were confident we could deliver.



We proactively sought out qualified candidates and presented Findways with a high quality shortlist which included three short video interview recordings. This enabled them to get a good feel for each candidate’s personality and soft skills, thereby bypassing the need for a screening phone call.


Findways selected Ziad Djemni from our shortlist and he says of his Leonid experience:

“Without a doubt, this was the best experience I’d ever had with a recruiter. Julie first approached me on LinkedIn and I could tell straight away that she had done her homework. She understood my skills and experience perfectly and I have not previously experienced such a high level of knowledge and sector expertise from a recruiter. The whole process was very smooth and I was hired within a month of the process starting!”


The Candidate became the Client

After successfully onboarding, Ziad promptly switched from being our candidate to becoming our client, as he needed to bolster his team further with the hire of a R&D tax consultant. His positive experience as our candidate meant he did not hesitate to instruct Leonid to conduct the search.

“Léa really impressed me – she found three excellent candidates for my role, which is no easy feat as the candidate pool is really small! She was always extremely responsive and a true professional”, said Ziad.

He added: “The LeonidLive videos really helped to make the job of finding someone very efficient. You get so much information from a candidate up front and don’t have to waste time having long calls with all of your applicants. The videos give you a great overview of the candidates’ soft skills; things which you just can’t get from a CV alone.

It is so rare to find a recruiter who really understands our highly specialist area of work. It really can be quite a complex business, but both Lea and Julie not only understood the industry but they really ‘got’ our business model and culture, too. I didn’t have to spend any time explaining things to them, which was a real bonus and I had complete trust in them that Findways would be represented to candidates in the right way.”


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