Adam Recruitment are a leading Manchester recruitment business focussing on the Digital, Marketing and HR sectors. Based in Manchester city centre, the firm has 20 employees, and works with leading brands across the North West and London.
The business chose to partner with San-iT to address the serious IT issues they were experiencing with their incumbent provider, fully implement cloud services and drive efficiency and productivity by automating manual processes.
We caught up with Richard Gahagan, CEO of Adam Recruitment, to understand how the business has been transformed using technology and how they align IT with business growth.
IT Issues Restricting Adam Recruitment’s Growth Ambitions
Adam Recruitment faced a challenge in 2015. The company was going through a period of rapid growth but IT problems were holding them back. Their incumbent IT provider was very reactive, only dealing with problems as they occurred, rather than helping the company put in the infrastructure they needed to grow. The level of service provided by the company was poor and Adam suffered from frequent IT issues such as servers and phone lines failing, which for a recruitment company, is disastrous. Employees couldn’t work effectively which caused morale to dip, productivity to slide and ultimately, impacted the profitability of the business.
Richard explained, “our previous IT provider was ok for us up to a certain size but we started experiencing challenges as we grew. I found that whatever the task, whether that be high level cloud solutions or smaller tasks such as sorting out a new starter’s lap top or re-cabling the office, the job was either too big or too small for them. Service levels dipped and our move to the cloud was only half-hearted. They had tried to talk us out of cloud computing and to stay with traditional servers which sounded completely counter intuitive.”
The incumbent IT provider partially moved some IT infrastructure into the cloud, but there were issues with the implementation. As a result, the technology that was recommended and invested in by the business failed. Issues were blamed on the technology rather than the implementation which caused the leadership team at Adam to lose confidence in the provider and San-iT were approached to help solve the problems. The key issues that needed addressing were:
- Fix ongoing IT issues and put in place effective cloud solutions to improve team productivity and data security.
- Implement new technology to ensure data is secure and backed up
- Implement processes to enable new starters to be up and running with technology asap
- Provide ongoing support to deal with any technical difficulties on a day to day basis
- Deliver a proactive IT support service to help the business put in place the technology foundations for growth.
“We had become too big to outsource to a 1-man band IT consultant but not big enough to have our own IT department.” Richard continued “I preferred the outsourced model, but I wanted a provider who were experts in the cloud, proactive to help us grow and responsive, as we don’t have any IT technical experts on site.
San-iT’s attitude is that no job is either too big or too small, nothing is too much trouble, whether it’s a tiny little issue or a big infrastructure project. They are very capable, service driven and totally understand our business and the importance of technology.”
Richard Gahagan – CEO, Adam Recruitment
Effective IT strategy
The starting point for us, as always, was to conduct a full audit of the business’s IT requirements. We sat down with the leadership team to discuss the problems they were facing and their overall business objectives. We then conducted a full security review and found issues such as back-ups failing, which made them very exposed to data loss.
Rectifying the immediate problems
The initial priority was to fix the broken technology that was in place and install the right infrastructure to help the business improve productivity and security as well enable them to scale in the future. Our initial brief was to:
- Fix the internal issues that were causing the team so many headaches.
- Implement a new cloud solution to increase security, reduce down-time and provide flexibility to the team.
- Install a new on-premise server and set up new security and backup processes to remove the risk of cyber-attack or data loss.
IT Support Technology
These immediate fixes have enabled the Adam team to work without concern for IT issues holding them back. Improvements to processes and security have since been made across the board, reducing employee downtime, increasing security and driving efficiency. Specific achievements include:
- Blocking 30k spam or phishing emails over a three-month period resulting in staff being more productive and reducing the security threats caused by emails with viruses.
- All support tickets were dealt with within 45 minutes enabling staff to continue work, increasing productivity and morale.
- 144 malware cases were detected and removed and 98 phishing websites were blocked over a three-month period, which is a 100% capture rate. As a result, Adam have suffered no downtime or loss of data.
- The managed internet connection has 100% uptime and backups completed successfully over the same period.
All our account reviews are supported by valuable IT performance data that helps us to continually improve our service as Richard described, “San-iT provide regular reports on our IT performance and I’ve been blown away by how powerful they are. The quality is brilliant and shows the level of service they have as a business. We didn’t even know some of things they are doing for us in the background to help us improve our productivity, for example, blocking unwanted email that helps save our consultants valuable time. This level of service is a million miles away from what we got from our last IT provider.”
Business IT Solutions
Once we had dealt with these initial fixes and given Adam the right tools for their business, the next step was to find ways to help improve productivity by automating some internal manual processes. We worked with each member of the team to map out their day to day processes, whether that be creating high level reports or running simple admin tasks. We needed to find out how data was being used within the business and how it flows through the various systems they use. Who uses it and what are the objectives for the processes that are in place?
This ground work was vital to help us implement technology in the business that would make it easier for each member of the team to do their daily jobs. For example:
We implemented SharePoint Workflows to increase the efficiency and accuracy of reports
SharePoint Workflows are mini applications that automate business processes. Now, when someone updates a daily sales summary sheet, this automatically updates a global monthly sales sheet, that everyone can view, reducing reporting time and the risk of human error.
We installed Microsoft Forms to reduce repetitive tasks
Microsoft Forms have helped Adam remove repetitive data entry. Previously, when a new candidate or client came on board, information would have to be replicated across various systems. Now, new contacts simply complete their information in a Microsoft Form which then sucks the data into the system and replicates it across various applications such as Bullhorn or Xero.
We employed Microsoft Flow to remove manual processes
Microsoft Flow is an application that makes automating processes easy. Now, when certain tasks are completed, automated tasks run in the background to remove manual processes. For example, if a mailing lists is updated, the data is refreshed across other applications or if a candidate becomes available, alerts are created in the CRM system Bullhorn.
“San-iT have other clients in the recruitment sector so they understand the challenges and complexities of the various reporting tools we use and the software we run. Within the recruitment sector there is some fantastic software out there but there isn’t yet enterprise level software that does everything the business needs. San-iT understand that and help us get all our different software solutions to talk to each other to help fix this problem.
They are very good at helping us change our process to make our IT work for us, and vice versa, changing our IT to make our processes work better. But more important than their knowledge of recruitment is the fact that they understand the way a good service business works and therefore they know how to improve the service we deliver to clients by making our IT work for us.
You get a lot of tales of woe and dark arts with some IT companies. They either make it sound so complicated that it seems that they are trying to keep you away from the problem or they themselves don’t tackle the problem at hand. What I love about San-iT is that they literally get hold of the problem like a dog with a bone and they don’t stop until they’ve fixed it and certain that you are happy with it. They always put themselves in your shoes, as if they were the owner of your company, helping you make the right decision for the business. You generally feel that you are being advised rather than sold to. That’s the reason I refer them into other people.”
Richard Gahagan – CEO, Adam Recruitment