OUR MISSION

We connect forward-thinking employers with Gen Z talent because we’re 100% committed to ending youth unemployment

Meet THE FOUNDERS

Esther O’Callaghan OBE

CoFounder

Esther’s work over the last two decades has directly improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and young people in the UK and abroad. Esther is also a keen triathlete and sometime DJ/producer of rave bangers.

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Piers Collins

CoFounder

Over the last decade, Piers successfully placed thousands of candidates with hundreds of clients in Investment Banking, Private Equity and Legal. When he’s not running hundo, Piers can be found building his side hustle merch business or on a golf course.

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ORIGIN STORY

Rewind to Manchester, 2003

Esther became the first female owner of an independent record store in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and could often be found spinning to some of the city’s darkest and sweatiest dance floors. It was through this tight-knit scene that Esther met Mark - a fellow DJ who signed up for a job behind the counter at the Factory record shop, and who often used to spend most of his wages on records!

As part of Esther’s life-long dedication to improving the lives of young people she came up with Decks4Schools. This pioneering music project targeted young people in danger of falling out of mainstream education at schools and youth centres across the NW. With an impressive list of DJ/MC tutors managed by Mark - including Tonn Piper, Strategy and Mark XTC - it made a significant positive impact on the lives of hundreds of young people.

Black and white photos: Al Baker

Fast forward to 2017

Esther, who at this stage had gone on to win countless awards for her work including a little something called an OBE, met Piers. Piers had spent a decade in recruitment and thought the industry model was broken. Together they joined forces and planted the seed for what today has become hundo.

In 2021, Esther and Piers started onboarding a crack team to help them take hundo to the next level and went full circle by bringing Mark into the fold along with a dream team of trusted friends and new starters who you can meet below.

Meet the team

Mark O’Donnell

Editor-in-Chief

Mark runs the content side of things and previously worked at Time Out, Live Nation and Culture Trip. He had a stint behind the counter in Esther's record shop back in the day and project managed Decks4School's which was the earliest iteration of what is now, almost 20 years later, hundo.

Nadiyah Rajabally

Digital Marketing Manager

Nadiyah manages hundo’s socials and uses her ace skills across website content and our partnerships. She loves everything about hundo apart from Piers refusing to join virtual hundo movie nights. So sad.

Michael Whitfield

Chairman

Michael is a serial investor with a portfolio of HR tech businesses, from early startups to those in later stages. He actively helps grow these businesses faster, by sharing his experiences, both the ones that went well and those that didn’t.

Jennifer Barnett

Head of Customer Success

Jen is in charge of keeping our clients informed, happy and excited to be a part of the hundo mission! She prides herself on being a friendly northerner - aka she loves a chat and making new friends! Jen is hundo’s 'go-to girl' for any help our clients need to make the hundo journey a banging success for their business.

Johan Van Der Poel

The Money Man

Johan is focused on creating shareholder wealth by scaling in high growth
environments. A business leader with board level experience and a genuine love for the rollercoaster ride of running a business, Johan sometimes turns up for important meetings on time.

Scott Byrne-Fraser

CTO

Scott is a product leader with a background in UX design. Scott started his career at Sky, before leading product teams at the BBC, Amazon and Play Consulting, where his team built a prototype for the hundo app.

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Hundo creds

Top 5% Innovate UK Award winner

Twice featured as “best practice” in youth employment

2020 BCG Digital Boost Social Impact Business of the Year