As part of our ongoing series where we invite industry leaders to share their insight, we spoke to Scott Bulloch, MD of Net Temps, about how his organisation uses technology, including Engage’s Vendor Management System (VMS), to win new business and work with clients more efficiently.
How has technology helped you grow as a company?
Having a decent CRM in place makes all the difference to managing our time more effectively. We can house all our client and candidate data, manage call-backs with customers and set diarised events.
On the candidate side, having up-to-date profiles with each candidate’s skills, records and availability means we’re able to deliver the right people even faster and our internal recruiters have more time to source other prospects and candidates.
We’re currently using separate Voyager CRMs for our temp database and perm / white-collar candidates but will be moving onto a single more up to date version shortly.
What are the benefits of using your current CRM?
Our permanent division is quite new so we’re working on populating the system optimally so we can take full advantage as the perm side grows. We’ll be able to match candidates to clients, keep an archive of all communications and emails and integrate it with candidate profiles on LinkedIn.
Another useful feature is the built-in Mailchimp email functionality which lets you communicate with multiple clients to determine their needs without wasting time ringing each one individually.
Has the way Net Temps uses technology changed throughout the years?
It’s an interesting one, when I joined the business a few years ago I identified areas for tech strategy improvement. Not least because the engagement process has changed over the last few years, there’s a lot more data transfer – different type of contracts etc – and we needed to capture a lot more information even faster than before.
We’re trying to move to a paperless contracting process. It’s got to get to a point where our workers find it easy to do everything online, including registering and filling out timesheets. We aren’t quite there yet; we still have manual processes, which is what attracted us to the Engage platform.
With Engage VMS, we’re able to have one platform that does everything: client/candidate communication, orders, fill, timesheets and billing. Everyone can login, and it keeps the entire process under one system, which most of our clients really appreciate.
Engage also integrates with the major CRMs, meaning that we don’t have to change the systems that the Consultants are used to using.
What are your top tips for other recruiters looking to implement new technology?
– Spend some time to thinking about what you want to achieve before you start browsing. If you go to the Recruitment Expo without a plan, it’s easy to be dazzled by superior new tech and you’ll start to think you need it all.
– Remember the 3 Cs: consultants, clients and candidates. I always ask – how will it benefit each of these groups? If you can identify technology that transcends your internal processes and benefit clients and candidates, then you know you’ve got something that is value-adding.
– Keep your clients engaged in the evolution of the business. It benefits them and they rightly see your organisation as a site of innovation.
Do you think recruiters suffer from FOMO aka ‘fear of missing out’?
I’ve been in recruitment for 20 years and I think you need to sit in the middle: be conscious of your competitors, but without getting caught up in what others are doing. You’ve always got to be researching and asking what could evolve your business.
This is why Engage is so key for us. I came from a more corporate client landscape where we were seeing larger recruiters with their own platform walk into large corporate contracting organisations saying, ‘we’ll do an RPO and do XYZ, saving you money and time.’ It was challenging because we were a smaller agency without our own platform, but our clients were starting to expect a similar service.
We needed something that bridged the gap for small to medium agencies, a piece of kit that could streamline processes – that’s when I started looking at Engage.
Do you set a technology budget or is it wrapped in the cost of running a business?
We don’t have a specific budget for tech but moving forward, we might need to be a little bit more sophisticated and start considering what percentage of our gross profit should be reinvested in that specific area.
Companies need to think about a five-year plan or even longer term. We’re not a technology business but we are focused on our key operations – getting good quality tech in the hands of good quality people. Give them the tools and the training to do the job and you’re 85% of the way there.
How will tech be rolled out in the next 12 months?
We’ll have the Engage VMS out there as a sort of client portal. It’s a great tool to take to clients and talk about something different. It’s about relationship, rates, quality, speed and delivery and it addresses a genuine blind spot for companies.
I’m seeing a lot of uptake for Engage in various sectors. For example. there was a medium size construction client in the Midlands/North, and 33 vendors pitched for their preferred supplier list. Eighteen of them had Engage as part of their platform offering. So, news is getting out there. A lot of SME agencies are seeing what Engage could do for their client relationships: it gives them control, efficiency, visibility, controls the PSL, provides financial savings, commercial people love it, and everything is on one platform – it’s not a difficult sell!
Want to learn how an Engage VMS can streamline the supply chain and win client accounts? Download the Engage VMS Brochure.