Increased productivity through process change at Special Agent
Special Agent is very much the specialist recruiter and as such was becoming too reliant on its consultants’ intimate knowledge of the business. Since using Voyager Professional, it has managed to record much of this information and has hence streamlined its business. Resourcing is now quicker, productivity is up and revenues have improved.
Within each business sector of the recruitment industry there are a handful of companies who can rightly claim to be specialist recruiters. These companies are quite different from their mainstream colleagues as they often have very regular but relatively few clients with a limited number of candidates available to them. This means that they tend to place the same individuals time and time again and hence build a close relationship with them. It’s not surprising therefore that the system requirements of such companies are markedly different.
One such company is Special Agent, the UK's leading specialist education sector recruitment consultancy delivering interim and permanent non-teaching staff and business professionals. Warren Landau, General Manager, takes up the story: “We specialise in niche areas such as sales people who sell into education, we therefore tend to know all the people that we place and we tend to place them very quickly. It’s fair to say that for some requirements, the more experienced members of our staff will immediately know who the likely candidates are. Maybe it’s not surprising therefore that there has been some antipathy towards using any form of system at all.”
Warren continued: “This was certainly the case when I joined the business in 2006. Voyager Professional had been up and running since 2003 but it wasn’t being used to the extent of its capabilities and hence the business could have been performing better. Whilst I acknowledge that there are instances in our business where it is possible to produce a shortlist of candidates for a particular requirement without using the system, we have to remember that there are many more instances where this is not possible and also as we take on new people, our intimate knowledge becomes diluted. I immediately realised that we had to change the way in which we we’re working and I’m happy to say that Voyager Professional has proved to be the perfect system.”
“I have no doubt that by using Voyager Professional we’ve speeded up our resourcing, we’ve become more productive, and consequently we have increased our income. In the past, we were not logging our conversations with our clients and candidates, and this was leading to duplication as well as making it very difficult for other users to know what had been said to whom. We’re now working smarter with a lot more focus on the database; conversations are logged and each account has much more focussed ownership. Professional is helping us become much more disciplined and it’s good for business.”
“Professional has also proved to be particularly useful for our new consultants. The system’s one-screen approach is very easy to use and intuitive and because there’s now a lot more information available, our new starters are becoming productive much sooner. We’re also finding that by working smarter and filling vacancies quicker, our clients have noticed an improvement in service.”
“Since we’ve started using Voyager Professional, our business has moved on in leaps and bounds. It’s been revolutionary” – Warren Landau, General Manager, Special Agent.
It’s not only clients who’ve noticed an improvement in service, Warren continued: “Our contractors will have certainly noticed the difference too. We’re now far more proactive than we used to be – we’re keeping in regular contact and thanks to Professional we’re now in touch with them before the contract ends; something that we never used to do. Our contractors now account for 50% of our business, so it’s very important that we maintain a very professional relationship with them. Professional is helping us do just that.”
Under Warren’s guidance, the front office team at Special Agent has been making great strides to improve the quality of the information on the database: “There’s no doubt that the quality of our data has improved significantly and this means that we’re benefiting from one of Professional’s key features – the fast and accurate searching of CVs. We’ve been really impressed with the variety of search criteria that we can use and even our most experienced recruiters have been impressed with the results”.
Warren also finds Professional’s reporting capabilities to be exceptionally useful: “We’re trying to work smarter and exploit Professional in a way that enhances our business; I’ve found that the reporting facilities are particularly good because I can see who is using the system and what information is being logged. I can then use these reports as a basis for reviewing our consultants’ activity and productivity.”
“To conclude, our business has moved on in leaps and bounds since we started using Voyager Professional in earnest. I have no doubt that this is directly linked to our improvements in revenue and I’m therefore keen to exploit the software further as we continue to grow and diversify.”
How Voyager made a difference at Special Agent
Special Agent is certainly a niche player. They are the UK’s leading recruiters in a relatively small but important part of the education sector and as such had tended to become too reliant on the experience and knowledge of their consultants at the expense of maintaining an electronic system. Whilst they remained successful, it was clear that working smarter would reap its rewards.
Voyager Professional has made a real difference because it has provided Special Agent with a tool that has enabled them to speed up their resourcing process, improve productivity and consequently improve revenues. They’re providing a better service to clients and candidates alike and it’s also enabled them to get their new consultants up to speed far quicker.