Arnd Visarius

Founders Roos and Wels hand over the reins

Arnd Visarius
Arnd Visarius
published 03/08/2020

Benjamin Roos and Andreas Wels founded Studitemps 12 years ago. The initial years have been marked by exciting developments, hard work and tremendous success. Now the two founders are handing over the reins while maintaining continuity at the management level. Read on to find out more.

Cologne, July 2020. Benjamin Roos and Andreas Wels, the founders of Studitemps, are stepping down as managing directors. They now hand over the reins to their fellow colleagues of many years, Eckhard Köhn (CEO) and André Swientek (CRO). This momentous news and the company's 12th anniversary have given us the opportunity to take a look back at what we have achieved and cast a glance into the future.

Studitemps and its founders – how it all began

Andreas Wels and Benjamin Roos laid the foundation for Studitemps in 2008. A year that has gone down in history as the start of the financial crises, yet was still imbued with a sense of hope and spirit of optimism after Barack Obama’s historic speech in Berlin. In the digital realm, Facebook, which had just launched in Germany, struggled to compete with the market presence of StudiVZ and other top dogs. Wels and Roos were in their early twenties at the time and still at university themselves. Their objective: To create a platform that will help every student find flexible work and balance earning money with studying for their degree. 

Benjamin Roos explains, ‘I often struggled to find a suitable job during my studies and sometimes ended up working on an assembly line – which was pretty frustrating. It was only later when working alongside Andreas at a student-run business consultancy that we stumbled across a similar issue: It's often incredibly time-consuming for companies to recruit temporary staff for peak workloads. That's how we came up with the idea behind Studitemps. We wanted to find a way to make the whole process easier for everyone involved.’

From start-up to a leading recruitment agency

Studitemps-Jubiläum Gründer übergeben Geschäftsführung Bild 1
Jobmensa by Studitemps – in der Version von 2008.

Back in July 2008, Benjamin Roos and Andreas Wels took a decisive step by booking an appointment with a notary in Cologne. It was then set in stone. They were registered as the managing directors of Studitemps. Only a few months later, 29 October to be exact, their job portal went live. Once launched, the company went from strength to strength. The idea of leaving students to their own devices proved to be a hit and the company received its first major logistics order for the 2010 festive season. This was followed not only by more clients, but also a mention in the Inc. 5,000 List of Europe's Fastest-Growing Companies.Graduates and young professionals were finally able to take charge and find their own jobs.

There have also been a number of additions to the executive board since the company was established: Eckhard Köhn joined as the third managing director and CEO in 2011, followed by André Swientek, who joined as CRO in 2018. These two will now lead Studitemps into the future.

Studitemps-Jubiläum Gründer übergeben Geschäftsführung Bild 2
Andreas Wels, Eckhard Köhn, Benjamin Roos, André Swientek (v. l. n. r.)

What do the Studitemps founders have to say?

‘To founders, there's perhaps never the perfect time to hand over the reins. But we feel the time has now come. We’ve managed to achieve what we first set out to do 12 years ago: We have created the digital platform for flexible work in Germany, which is widely popular among students and clients. Moving forward, our priority no longer lies in building the company, but instead in growth, cost consciousness and scaling sales.’ – Benjamin Roos

Andreas Wels underlines, ‘Preparations to hand over management have long been in the works. Eckhard Köhn has been CEO since 2011 and André Swientek CRO since 2018. The four of us have worked together running the company for many years. Our goal has always been to make ourselves redundant as founders and to build up a stable management team so that we can be sure the business is in the very best hands when we leave. And that’s precisely what we’ve achieved. I look forward to seeing how Studitemps will develop looking ahead with our strong team at the helm.’

Recruitment agency and tech company from day one

The way Benjamin Roos and Andreas Wels see it, Studitemps has always been more than just a recruitment agency. It’s also a tech company. They have continued to pursue this approach since the company was established. In turn, this has helped the business to grow and is the sole reason Studitemps was able to go remote from one day to the next in 2020. Benjamin Roos shares his experience of the eventful times we’re currently experiencing in this interview. One innovation introduced at Studitemps is the self-service concept, which enables students and clients to get in touch directly. The students can use the Studitemps app for this purpose. Launched in June 2020, it allows students to view and sign up for shifts, making scheduling easier than ever.

Studitemps client portal – the next big step

The new client portal allows clients to schedule new shifts and dynamically adjust their staffing needs online. Contracts, recording hours and administration, including cash flows, are fully digitalised, making them easier to keep in check with full legal security and first-rate support. By the end of 2020, we hope to see 100% of our students and clients using the platform. Within the first three weeks, well over 5,000 shifts have already been booked using the self-service feature. Launched and developed 12 years ago by two young people with a big idea, Studitemps is ready to take things to the next level. 

Eckhard Köhn explains, ‘In 2010, I got to know Andreas and Benjamin on a personal level and as valuable partners I subsequently enjoyed working with for over a decade. During our time working together, the company has grown from a small idea to the most popular digital platform for flexible work for students and graduates in Germany. Together we have successfully increased the company’s turnover from one million to 100 million. The next chapter has already begun: the complete digital transformation. Our aim is to create a platform where students and clients can post and accept jobs flexibly in real time.’ 

Studitemps summary

Benjamin Roos and Andreas Wels, along with Eckhard Köhn and André Swientek and their team of hundreds of employees have achieved what initially seemed unthinkable until recently. To create a completely novel kind of recruitment agency, powered by the symbiosis of human expertise and technology. After their departure, Eckhard Köhn and André Swientek will continue to accompany Studitemps on its journey into future success. When it comes to leaving, they won’t ever be too far away – Benjamin Roos and Andreas Wels will remain at Studitemps as partners.

Arnd Visarius
About the author

Arnd Visarius

Since I've always been passionate about writing, it didn't take much effort to jump out of my studies into the fresh water of online editing when the opportunity presented itself. After working in Dortmund, Witten, Cologne (other side of the Rhine) and North Miami Beach, I'm now aboard as Content Manager at jobvalley.