Are you making the most of your Account Manager?

Are you making the most of your Account Manager?In this blog post, our Account Managment Team explains the purpose and benefit of providing a dedicated service to our clients.

The Adapt Account Management Service is a complimentary service offered to all clients who have an annual support and maintenance agreement with Bond. Our dedicated team service the entire client base (excluding our OnDemand clients who are managed by a separate team) and fulfill the following roles:

Point of liaison for non-helpdesk/training issues

Our goal is to build and maintain strong relationships with all of our clients and to provide them with an advocate for their interests within Bond; someone who understands their business and can translate those requirements into advice and guidance relevant to each client’s specific needs

Latest Adapt development & features

With our extensive annual investment in research and development our product suite is constantly evolving and we typically bring out 2 major releases a year and a number of more minor updates.  The role of your account manager is to keep you informed of these updates and the new functionality or fixes they contain, so that you can take an informed decision as to whether it would be worth taking the release and if so when.  Your account manager can provide a demonstration of any new functionality and provide all the relevant information regarding your upgrade options

Feedback client ideas to product developers

By holding regular service review meetings we try to establish regular opportunities for our account managers to spend time with their clients looking at all areas of the service we provide.  This also provides a forum for feeding back suggestions for enhancements to the product, which are then fed into our Change Control Board – responsible for determining the future product development strategy.  In this way all of our clients have an opportunity to influence the direction of our ongoing development.

Ensure issues are resolved rapidly & satisfactorily

Our experienced support and helpdesk teams adhere to industry standard processes, ensuring all issues are addressed and progressed appropriately based on their impact and priority. In the unlikely event  an escalation is required, your account manager will be able to assist in coordinating the best way forward.

Provide information & costs

We hope that you will continue to invest in your Adapt system to continue to benefit from our ongoing development and to maintain your competitive advantage.  Your account manager will provide information and quotes for any additional services you may require, whether training, configuration or other services.

Ensure all clients derive maximum benefit from their investment in Adapt

All of the above is intended to ensure that you continue to derive maximum benefit from your investment in Adapt, not just in the period immediately after implementation, but indefinitely thereafter.  We have a large number of long-standing clients who have continued to update and improve their system in partnership with us.

Mutually beneficial partnership

We hope that the relationship between our clients and their account managers will be a symbiotic one that benefits and rewards both parties in equal measure.

If you would like to know more about the account management service, please contact Adrian Pearcey, Head of Account Management, on 01903 707070

erecruit Announces $25 Million Capital Raise Led by North Bridge Growth Equity

Leading Innovator of Enterprise Staffing Software and Vendor Management System Raises Funding to Accelerate Growth and Client Success

NB_erecruit_180x110BOSTON, Mass. – July 10, 2014 – Erecruit Holdings, LLC (erecruit), the emerging leader in enterprise staffing software and vendor management systems (VMS) for large staffing firms, today announced it has secured a $25 million minority investment from North Bridge, a leading growth equity firm focused on investing in emerging and high-growth technology companies. The growth funding, which is the first institutional investment in erecruit, will be used to further accelerate the business’ momentum by adding to its seasoned team and further investing in product innovation as it continues to disrupt the market, improving the way staffing firms operate.

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New Client Acquisition: A Systematic Approach to Bringing in New Staffing Clients

In our previous posts, we talked about how to hire top performers, how to motivate our teams, and how to develop our teams and prepare them for leadership. All three of those topics are critical to building long-term success within your organizations. What is equally important is the ability to succeed in new client acquisition. You will never achieve the growth necessary to meet your people’s goals without having a steady pipeline of new business coming in.

First, it’s important to have some context on why it’s important to focus on bringing new business in. The typical company will lose 10 percent of their customer base every year. What that means is that over a 10-year period, if you did nothing, you would have a customer base of zero. Additionally, the staffing industry is plagued with high turnover — often with rates ranging from 35 to 70 percent. That level of turnover within the industry has some severe negative implications on the potential customer pool. Most of your target customers view staffing reps and companies as commodities that have no significant differentiating characteristics from any other staffing firm. It’s critical that staffing firms bring in new business but even a cursory evaluation of your customer landscape reveals that you’re fighting against really challenging odds.

Given the challenging landscape you’re facing, what’s the critical path to bringing in new business? I’ve always been someone who’s oriented towards systematizing the sales process. That becomes even more critical in staffing where you’re dealing with infinitely variable variables (people).

The first step in the process of new client acquisition is to understand their operational reality. Before you can ever present what you have to offer, you need to understand the current state of your prospects’ internal recruiting process, what changes they would like to see, how those changes would impact their business, etc. Once you’ve taken the time to understand the current state of your clients’ operation you’re ready to determine if they’re a legitimate prospect. During my time in IT staffing I took the added step of only targeting firms that had 75 to 250 million in revenue, multiple divisions, and a history of having three to six temps/consultants working in each division — firms which allowed me to work directly with hiring managers.

The next step in the process of new client acquisition is to build out your target lists and develop your strategy for contacting them. Your contact strategy needs to include a schedule and volume component as well as a content component. I would argue that the content of your outgoing campaigns is more important than the volume component of your strategy. As a result it’s critical to understand the prospect’s industry, competitors, trends, etc. Additionally, your messages should be focused, relevant, and add value to the recipient.

Once you’ve made contact, a process that usually will take 12 to 18 attempts, how do you make that initial meeting or conversation productive? The conventional wisdom in staffing would tell you to focus on orders that the company has right now that you can tackle. I took the opposite approach and focused on what that client has coming up six to 12 months from now. I knew that I didn’t have a strong enough understanding of what that client was looking for in my initial meeting and would need some ramp up time. As a result, I focused on their mid-term and long-term projects and initiatives. By taking the time to understand the organization, the hiring manager, the projects, and their business implications, I was much more successful in getting assignments. Additionally, I was never afraid to tell the client that a particular role wasn’t center of the circle for my organization.

If you’ve executed the first three steps in the process, the final step is to measure and make adjustments to the process as you go along. The metrics component of the measurement is relatively easy. If a salesperson is making 175 to 250 touch points a week, has 50 to 75 conversations, and 10 to 15 visits,  they will generate one or two new accounts per month (assuming a six-month lead time). Unfortunately, this phase of the process is where most firms go wrong.

Oftentimes firms will implement an initiative or process but won’t be disciplined enough to give ample time for evaluation. In fact, I’ve been a part of many change initiatives that were rolled out one month only to be forgotten the next month. From an implementation perspective, it’s critical that any new initiative be given 12 months “in the wild” before any evaluations are made. Additionally, there is a patience component that is required in order for reps focused on new business development to be successful. If you want to focus on building a pipeline of new business, you must be ready to accept that it will take six to 10 months before you start seeing results.

The approach to new client acquisition in staffing is fairly straightforward: target, qualify, meet, and measure. The challenges are in the details of the process. If you want to build a consistent engine for new business growth, it’s critical that reps understand their prospect’s operational reality, develop a coherent and relevant contact strategy, keep a long-term view in their approach to clients, and make data-driven decisions and adjustments to their processes. Taking a systematic approach to this process will allow your teams to be more effective and will allow you to identify the areas that need shoring up from an operational perspective.

And remember, the software tools your sales team uses are critical to their success. Bond can help with staffing software that cuts wasted time and effort, simplifies the daily work, and unifies all of the information needed to acquire new clients.

This blog series is available as a single whitepaper. Download Sales Team Success: Four Strategies to Grow Your Staffing & Recruiting Firm for more insight into how to hire top performers, motivate and develop your internal sales team, and acquire new clients.

Think Local, Act Global Approach to Recruitment

globeImagine sitting in your office in London looking for your next suitable candidate. You are part of a global recruitment organisation and use an enterprise-level application.

For head office, deploying a single common recruitment system makes perfect sense: it delivers the same core functionality to all parts of the enterprise, enables phased development and roll-out, distribution of updates and keeps maintenance costs to a minimum.

However, your requirements are completely different to those of your colleagues in Johannesburg. Firstly, you don’t need to access the global database of candidates; just those within the regional London area. Secondly, legislation, cultural and operational needs in the UK and South Africa vary greatly – each country places different demands on the system.

A single common system is no longer enough for global companies, a more nuanced approach is needed to manage their recruitment activities and monitor their business performance effectively, but balancing this whilst retaining full system functionality and quality of data is important.

The latest version of Bond Adapt, our staffing and recruitment software system, offers enhanced functionality in the form of Configuration Overrides. Overrides are applied through domain profiles, which are used to define user types, for example EMEA Recruiter, Administrator or North America Recruiter. This mechanism allows specific overrides to be put in place to ensure the right information and business intelligence is shown to each user type.

Whether the organisation uses a single global application or a core application with multiple regional versions, the need for accurate data and business intelligence remains of critical importance. By adding theConfiguration Overrides functionality, recruitment organisations can take a true ‘think global, act local’ approach to their technology and enable regional offices to access the high quality intelligence necessary for a successful and profitable business.

If you are a current Bond Adapt customer and would like more information about Configuration Overrides then please contact your Bond Account Manager.

Recruiting Software That Helps Your Recruiters be 5-Tool Players

A 5-tool baseball player has it all — a good eye at bat, speed to steal bases, a cannon arm, great glove work and strength to hit home runs. Along with baseball season it’s recruiting season too, with the U.S. contingent workforce growing and 3 million people employed by staffing companies every week.

“Over the last decade there has been general improvement among buyers who find certain factors more encouraging towards the use of temps, suggesting greater acceptance of temp labor usage,” writes Staffing Industry Analysts’ Subadhra Sriram in her post, Learning the Temp Lesson. “In fact, it goes one step further beyond acceptance. In many cases we see very savvy use of temp labor providing greater efficiencies as well as cost savings.”

As the contingent workforce expands, it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of industry growth at your recruiting firm. We’re offering lessons for growth from famous 5-tool baseball players and recruiting software so your team can attain their own 5-tool player status with keen eyes, speed, good throwing arms, glove work and the ability to hit for power.

  1. Ty Cobb | Good Eye: Ty Cobb hit .420 and stole 127 bases in the same season. Top hitters like Cobb need a good eye for knowing what to swing for. Your recruiting team needs fast, clear, comprehensive sight into prospective candidates so that they can see every detail critical to placing that “just right” talent. Recruiting software can help your team dig through the data connected to prospective candidates and search by various parameters. 

For many of our clients, being able to search their candidate pool by employment history, job title, skills, profiles and social networks is key to obtaining clarity into who will be a perfect fit for top clients. Learn how to get a good eye using LinkedIn with our paper, 7 Ways Staffing Agencies Can Leverage LinkedIn.

  1. Dave Winfield| Speed: Dave Winfield was a great hitter with a strong arm in right field, but his speed was extraordinary. He stole over 20 bases four times in his career. A 5-tool player has the speed to steal bases when an opportunity presents itself. There are a number of ways that recruiting software can give your recruiting team speed to advance. For example, website access for candidates allows them to update their profiles and resumes, search for jobs and check the status of jobs for which they’ve applied.

Allowing candidates access moves tasks from your recruiters to candidates. Many of our clients appreciate the time this saves recruiters since they don’t have to follow up with prospective candidates via emails or phone calls, but rather have their candidates view job statuses and other information and update their profiles online. Discover how using the cloud can help your team move fast with our paper, Five Reasons Why Staffing Firms are Rising Into the Cloud.

  1. Recruiting Software That Gives Your Recruiting Team a Good Eye, Strength and Speed from the Bond BlogKen Griffey Jr. | Strong Arm: Ken Griffey Jr. was a graceful player with speed — but his arm really made him shine. Top baseball players need strength so they can throw the ball in from the outfield accurately. Your team needs software that strengthens your recruiting process by interfacing with necessary tools and incorporating business processes for clients. 

You may have clients who want to ensure that certain prerequisites are fulfilled before candidates are brought in for interviews. Those requirements can be included in your candidate status pipeline as a seamless part of recruiters’ workflow. That includes tasks such as background checks, drug testing, skills assessments or tax documentation. Learn about selecting a software that gives your company a seamless recruiting process with our white paper, 10 Steps to Successful Staffing and Recruiting Software Selection.

  1. Willie Mays | Great Glove Work: Willie Mays was a strong player in all areas, and arguably the best centerfielder of all time. Recruiters need to be able to catch the strongest candidates’ information and relay it to clients. 

Recruiting software can give your team a cannon arm by taking candidates’ resumes and automatically creating ones per your firm template. With a few clicks, your recruiters can tweak resumes per job orders and send them to clients. Learn how one company is using recruiting to capture top talent with our paper, How Recruiting Stole the Show at Netflix. 

  1. Babe Ruth | Strength for the Wall: The Bambino had 714 career home runs, leading the American League for 12 seasons. Your recruiting team can hit for power when they have the right analytics that give insight into performance. Recruiting software can provide management with information about individuals’ scheduled and finished activities, communications, interviews, goals for placements and other insight. 

Many of our clients use metrics as a basis for training and ongoing education. They can see areas where a certain team member might be struggling and implement strategies to help. That way recruiters can overcome areas that are challenging so they can perform better and achieve more home runs. Our webinar shows you how to access the metrics that matter — Discover the Metrics That Will Drive Your Growth and Profitability.

Pass by your local ball fields and you’ll hear the crack of the bats and calls from the umps. The cheers from the crowd indicate a great play — maybe even a home run. Get your team into position to win and take advantage of the growth being seen throughout the contingent workforce. Make sure that your recruiters have access to recruiting software that helps them have a good eye, speed, a cannon arm, glove work and strength to get more recruiting home runs for your agency.

Learn how Bond AdaptSuite recruiting software can help the members of your team become 5-tool players by downloading our AdaptSuite brochure.

Developing Your Internal Sales Team: Retention Strategies That Prepare Your Best People for Future Leadership

Now that we’ve figured out how to select top performers and learned how to keep our teams motivated we should be in the clear, right? Well, if your firm is like the vast majority of those in staffing struggling with turnover in the 30 to 70 percent range, there’s a lot of work left to be done. It’s not enough to select the right people and keep them motivated. Attention needs to be paid to understanding why they stick around.

Firms in every industry find themselves in situations where they have found great talent and invested in them only to lose them when the employee “was just starting to get good.” So what really happens in these scenarios? Understanding why people leave a company is the first step in stopping the bleeding and developing strong retention strategies. There are tons of reasons why someone will leave a company but the most common reasons people leave an organization are due to conflicts with their immediate supervisor (leadership issue) or lack of professional growth (leadership issue). The top three reasons an employee leaves an organization are directly or indirectly attributable to leadership issues.

So recognizing that the most common reasons for why an employee leaves a company has to do with leadership, how can we fix the situation and hold on to our best talent? The answer to that question is actually simpler than what you may think. It starts with understanding that under most circumstances, an employee leaves an organization because of something they’re missing from us. Simply put, it’s not them, it’s me. When we think of leadership as a concept, it’s made up of three aspects: supervisory activities, mentoring activities, and training/coaching activities. As leaders of our organizations and teams, most of our time should be spent doing mentoring and training/coaching activities. Unfortunately, most managers end up spending most of their time managing the metrics-oriented supervisory aspects of their role.

In order to shift this supervisory paradigm that we’re all stuck in, we must do three key things. First we must teach a simple workflow for our lowest-level people to make sound decisions without our intervention. I call it the decision pyramid and it’s made up of three questions:

  1. Is this action good for the customer?
  2. Is this action good for our company? and
  3. Is this action ethical?

If your employees can say yes to all three questions, they should be able to act without your intervention. I would add that letting your people know “that there isn’t a mistake that they can make that we can’t fix” is an important coaching tip that should be part of your organizational DNA.

Once you’ve empowered your people to make their own decisions, you’ve laid the ground work to prepare them to grow within your organization. The second step in shifting the supervisory paradigm is to shift the focus of your conversations from being metrics-driven to being vision-driven. It’s important to talk about the metrics required for success in our organizations but that shouldn’t be the focus of the conversation. Oftentimes managers focus on the numbers without giving consideration for why an employee should even strive to achieve the numbers. Do we take the time to understand our employees’ passions and vision? If not, we need to. As part of our retention strategy, we need to meet our employees where they are and understand where they are going before we ever dive into the numbers. If we do this successfully, no employee will ever ask the question “Why am I here?”

Many firms think of the concept of growth and leadership in terms of promotions and the organizational chart. While that may be true for some, a real growth culture is a lot more than just promotions and the vertical hierarchy. The third step in the process of keeping and growing your talent is to build a culture of inquiry and innovation. This may sound complex, but if you’ve done the first two steps, this step is easy. You’ve empowered your people to make sound decisions, you’ve taken the time to learn what drives them, and now this step allows them to execute. All you’re doing is creating a culture where your team can look at any aspect of the business and identify the gaps in how things are done. Then you’re empowering them to find solutions for that problem. By taking this approach, you are preparing your people to stay with your organization and really make an impact independent of the size of your company.

Keeping your top talent is a critical issue for many firms. Any staffing firm that can speak to systems and processes they have in place to get the most out of their people will have significant competitive advantages. Shifting the focus of leadership from managing metrics to inspiring your people and creating an empowering culture will provide the necessary fuel for your people to keep moving your firm forward.

Discover how recruiting software from Bond can provide actionable information that can give leaders like you insight into employee retention strategies.