In the super-competitive world of recruitment, your team is fighting a job-filling war. To be effective, your business needs quick-thinking, fast-acting people who are completely focussed on the job in hand.
Distraction is not an option.
But when inboxes become clogged with spam and data processing takes up more time than it should, IT systems hinder rather than help. With your team fighting on two fronts, the competition is able to steal the best candidates and clients from under your nose.
Getting the right technology in place can stop this from happening. In this article, we show you how implementing effective IT systems can create the right conditions for your people to do their best work and take your business to the next level.
Know What You Need
In the same way you map out a recruitment strategy for a new client, your business needs a plan for its technology. Without fully understanding the IT issues you’re facing and context for the solution, you’re likely to end up with an ineffective outcome and not the transformation you’d like.
Be clear about:
- The major IT problems that cause serious issues for your business and your team
- The less serious problems that you would still like to find solutions for
- Your business priorities. For example: being able to grow quickly, working more closely with clients or enabling flexible remote working for your team
- Any upcoming legislative changes that will impact your business
Whether you have an in-house IT team or an outsourced provider, helping them to understand the challenges your technology needs to fix will ensure you get fit-for-purpose solutions.
Setting clear standards, like acceptable uptime and response speeds, will ensure you can measure how well your IT provider is performing. Regular reporting will identify any areas that need to be addressed so action can be taken to fix issues and keep your business moving forwards. By keeping your eye on the prize, you’ll be far more likely to achieve the transformation you set out to deliver.
Enhance Efficiency Through Automation
Unnecessary and ineffective administration and duplication of effort soaks up the vast majority of a recruiter’s time. All this impacts the cost per hire, with many recruiters thinking this is something that can’t be changed.
Good recruitment management technology will dramatically reduce the time spent on some administrative tasks. But with other systems in place, when one piece of data changes multiple systems need updating.
But what if you could link your recruitment management platform to your other systems so when an individual’s information was updated in one it automatically updated the others? It’s not mission impossible – in fact some of your competitors are already using IT to update data across platforms like Bullhorn and Xero. And they’re saving time and money while reducing inefficiencies.
There are also other tech smarts that can be employed to automate business processes. SharePoint Workflows are mini apps that automate specific business tasks, like updating a monthly sales spreadsheet when local daily versions are amended. Not only do they reduce human error but by removing dull and repetitive tasks they make work more interesting and meaningful.
Measure Whole of Organisation Performance
Your team needs to produce bespoke, accurate reports that allow them to measure performance and identify areas for improvement. A good recruitment management system will provide you with in-built reports for certain aspects of your operation. However, if you want to pull in additional information from other systems or generate whole of enterprise level reports, this can be difficult.
IT is the solution. With the right technology in place, it’s possible to export data from multiple systems and combine them to provide an automated overview of the business’ performance. The visibility this provides will enable you to make better decisions and will set you on a course to improve all areas of your recruitment business.
Reporting is also critical to ensure you have good oversight of the performance of your IT solutions. Good IT providers will be transparent and provide regular reports so you can see what’s working well and which areas need more work.
Fully Flexible Working
One of the major benefits of cloud services is the complete flexibility it gives your business. Employees can work from anywhere at any time: the world is your office as people can log on in the local cafe, from home or at a client’s offices.
Working in this way gives your employees the information they need to be able to deliver the best possible service to your customers. And it could mean your people are in the right place at the right time to secure new business.
Increasingly, employees are expecting this kind of flexibility and it’s often a deciding factor when recruiting and retaining staff. Flexible working could even save on your wage bill as Deloitte found 64% of employees would opt for a lower paying job if they could work away from the office. Being able to work remotely can also reduce absence, enhance innovation and creativity and boost productivity. That’s a whole lot of benefit for a change that’s coming to businesses anyway.
If security is a concern, working from a remote location won’t compromise your network thanks to the added protection that comes with cloud computing. And cloud-based software can, contrary to popular belief, be used offline as well with changes saved to the central file location when the device is next connected to wifi. So even if you find yourself without wifi, productivity can be maintained.
Secure IT Solutions That Support Business Growth
Like Alice in Wonderland businesses change size. They grow and shrink and they need technology that can do the same.
Physical hardware doesn’t allow for this. A small server might be fine right now, but if you grow any larger, you’ll need to buy another one, find the space to store it and pay more for all the management that goes with it.
Cloud services offer a more flexible solution that scales with your organisation. More people means more cloud storage space which can be increased quickly and easily online. It’s also possible to shrink your online space should your business needs change helping you to keep control of your costs.
Hiring a new employee simply means getting them added to your online software licensing agreement. And, when someone leaves, remove them from the license and system access list to control costs and ensure security.
Business Strength Built On Secure Foundations
Business transformation conjures up images of growth and success. But build your business on sand and a lack of security could result in decimation not transformation. Research shows HR and recruitment businesses are most at risk from external cyber attacks and the subsequent loss of highly valuable and sensitive data. And UK business leaders are overly optimistic about the chances of it not happening to them.
As a recruitment business owner, optimism is not a sturdy enough defence. Should your business suffer a cyber attack, there’s a 60% chance that you’ll be out of business within six months. And, while cyber security might seem solely like a risk management strategy, it can have some surprising benefits in terms of improving productivity and efficiency.
A cyber security strategy is an essential part of putting strong, secure foundations in place to support the growth and transformation of your business.
Secure Your Perimeter With Network Security
Protecting confidential client, candidate and business data housed in physical servers requires the purchase and management of expensive infrastructure. You also need to buy, implement and monitor anti-virus, anti-hacking and anti-malware tools, data encryption and firewalls. All of which cost time and money.
Which is why more businesses are moving their systems, software and data to online cloud services where network security is part of the package.
Move your apps and software, including email, to the cloud and the enhanced security can provide significant efficiency savings. For example, blocking spam and phishing emails reduces the threats associated with viruses and malware. But it also helps unclog inboxes so employees can work more effectively improving productivity.
Don’t Fall Foul of Data Handling and Protection Laws
How you store, handle and protect data has always been a challenge for recruitment firms. Losing data to a competitor, having employees poach clients or candidates as they leave the business and being a victim of hacking are all serious concerns.
With the reformed General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into effect in May 2018, the cost of getting it wrong has never been greater both financially and reputationally. Without the right technology in place, your business could easily find itself bogged down by data access requests or having to implement additional administrative support to keep on top of your obligations.
Moving to cloud services is an excellent way to ensure additional data security. Plus it also delivers a host of other benefits that will help you store and manage your data effectively:
- Auditing software, like eDiscovery, takes the stress out of identifying every piece of personal information in your systems
- Software that automatically updates ensures you’re always operating the most current GDPR-compliant version
- Built-in processes allow you to demonstrate how you manage personal data should a governing body request a report from your business
- You will be well-positioned to quickly and efficiently produce or delete all the data you hold on an individual in line with data access requests and the right to be forgotten
- Cloud-based Office 365 enables single-document-collaboration removing the need to create multiple versions of documents thereby reducing duplicate copies of data
Cloud services also mean you can control access to data on a need-to-know basis or give those who need it editing rights while others have read-only access. This is an excellent way to mitigate the risk of employees poaching clients and candidates or taking data to their new employer as they leave the business.
Investing in cloud services and the associated security is an efficient way of transforming your business from being laden down with a significant administrative burden to one that’s agile, organised and able to protect and manage data effectively.
Increase Uptime With Backup and Recovery
Businesses that are plagued by IT systems that regularly fall over experience lots of downtime. An inability to access files and information can impact customer service levels and make it difficult to hit the operational efficiency levels that drive profit.
There are many reasons that a system can grind to a halt: cyber attacks, viruses, hardware damage to name but a few. Should the worst happen and your company’s systems and data become compromised, being able to rewind your system to an earlier point in time will get you back up and running again.
To be able to do this, you need to implement an automated backup and recovery system. This will allow you to create copies of your whole system, including files, data, software and configurations every fifteen minutes. If the system fails, your people only lose a minimal amount of work. Some systems can also be restored within a quarter of an hour reducing downtime and ensuring productivity is only minimally impacted.
Choose a quality cloud services provider and you can be sure of extremely high rates of uptime. Microsoft, for example, offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee via a financially backed-up service level agreement.
Leading recruitment businesses use technology so they can be their best while planning for the worst. A strong foundation of device, system and software security with backup and recovery solutions in place provides a bedrock of confidence on which the business can operate and build.
By using cloud services, you can keep control of your data, scale technology to meet your requirements and improve efficiency and productivity through flexible working. And by automating processes you’ll remove repetitive tasks freeing employees up to focus on driving the business forward.
And, as a business leader, you’ll enjoy the whole business oversight that enables the right changes to take place. Now that’s transformation!