Exclusive work, wellbeing focus pay off in COVID market

Development, HR, Leadership, Precision Insights, Recruitment

Precision Sourcing were recently shortlisted for 6 nominations across two different prestigious recruitment industry awards.  Recruitment news subscription Shortlist recently interviewed our Director Simon Hair to catch up on how Precision Sourcing has performed in 2020 so far.

Precision Sourcing has grown its permanent recruitment revenue in the past quarter, attributing it to a focus on retained work. Meanwhile moving to a four-day week has improved its recruiters’ productivity and wellbeing, MD Simon Hair says.

In the September quarter, the biggest surprise for the technology and data recruitment specialist was the rise in permanent revenue, Hair tells Shortlist. “We forecasted it to be very small, if not nothing, and we did more than quadruple of what we expected. And the majority of that is retained.”

During the months leading up to COVID, the company had been training its teams on “how to pitch a retainer, how to write a proposal, and push back on exclusivity”, he explains.

“We’ve walked away from a lot of business, but with the business that we’ve had with the retainer, you just know the client is matching your commitment,” Hair says.

As a result, retained work increased by 73% and permanent placements increased in value by 22% during the September quarter, year-on-year.

And, the company’s fill rate has nearly doubled. Last December, Precision Sourcing’s ratio of jobs filled was one in four, but it has since reached one in two. (The average fill ratio in Australia is one in five roles, Hair says.)

“We’ve also worked out that if we get three interviews [per role], we’ve got a 94% chance of filling that role.”

These insights and performance improvements follow groundwork Precision Sourcing began two years ago to exit low-margin work and diversify its client portfolio, he adds.

Shorter weeks and wellbeing focus fuel productivity

When the pandemic began, Precision Sourcing moved to cut costs by reducing employees’ hours, says Hair.

“We moved to a four-day week, and the interesting thing we found is productivity went up.

“We do a survey every quarter and when we asked the team how they were feeling, they said the three-day weekend was having a really positive impact on their health and wellbeing,” he says.

While fill rates were already improving pre-COVID, the combination of shorter weeks while working from home allowed staff to “significantly increase the number of retained vacancies we were able to get on board”, Hair says.

He also participated in some leadership coaching sessions with Leading Well business coach Vanessa Fudge (who has long advocated a greater focus on engaging recruiters, and says he gained more insight to the link between wellbeing and productivity.

The company has introduced more social and health-related activities, such as fitness challenges via Teams and meditation classes, along with ensuring staff take leave.

“Naturally, people haven’t wanted to take holiday leave because of the lockdowns, but we’ve seen people on the edge of burning out with a lot of stress and worry about not being able to see their friends and family,” Hair says. “We’ve had to force people to take holiday leave at times.”

Employees might protest that there is “nowhere to go” on holiday at the moment, but “we say to them, ‘just get offline, switch off your phone, put an out-of-office on, and just take a week to get refreshed and get off social media’,” he says.

Improving digital marketing

Precision staff have recently participated in a Hoxo digital marketing program to better understand what makes for good social media and other recruitment marketing content, says Hair.

A digital marketing strategy was first put in place about three years ago with the help of industry advisor Greg Savage, and “we thought we were maybe a seven out of 10 in terms of digital marketing”, he says.

The Hoxo program revealed where the company could improve in that area, he adds.

“We’ve been encouraging our team to show posts about placements they’ve made and how good they’ve made that candidate feel, and to not be so shy about shouting from the rooftops.”

About 12% of placements in the past quarter were sourced from the company’s social and digital marketing efforts, which Hair says is a promising early result.

Precision Sourcing is a nominee in this year’s APSCo Australia awards in two categories – its health and wellbeing approach and use of digital.


Article Source : shortlist.com.au