Penny Lawson heads Folio Recruitment, a recruitment agency for the media industry, placing permanent and freelance candidates in all areas of editorial and content creation. Following her recent implementation of Voyager Infinity, Penny discusses the origins of her business, her new recruitment database and the service she received, and what may happen post Covid-19 in her sector.
Can you tell us a bit about Folio Recruitment and how the company was established?
I used to work as a Chief-Sub-editor in magazine publishing and I felt there was a need for a recruitment agency for freelance editorial staff, so I set up Folio Recruitment in 2005 with a fellow editorial colleague and friend. It was set up purely for freelancers.
What changed since you started Folio Recruitment?
We were initially recruiting for one specific job within publishing, sub-editors, but very quickly started recruiting for all other editorial roles. We also quickly moved from being an agency purely for freelancers to an agency for freelance, contract and permanent staff. The first three years went really well, and then in 2009 the big recession hit. What emerged on the other side of the recession was that print publishing was on the decrease and digital publishing on the increase. We are still the same agency, with a focus on permanent and freelance recruitment in the world of content creation, but now the majority of roles have a digital element, too. We love the mix this brings. Job titles like Social Media Exec, Community Manager and Strategist were unheard of in 2005. Now we hear them daily! Publishing is a very different landscape now than it was when we started in 2005.
How do you work with your clients?
We like to work really closely with clients. We like to meet them in person, see their offices and meet their teams. It really helps to do a great job when you have great relationships with your clients.
Why did you choose Voyager Infinity?
Previously, I was using evolve, which was supplied by Voyager’s sister brand. When time came to upgrade to a new system, Voyager Infinity offered everything that I needed, allowing me to have all my information in one place. I could have access to candidates’ latest CVs, have a log of when we last spoke, see if they have already been interviewed at a company, and more. And it was important to me to stay with a company that I knew and trusted. I think the product is pretty good, and with the recent redesign, it seems very much more intuitive to use. I find the i-capture functionality to import CVs into the database to be really good; also it’s easy to communicate with candidates and clients by sending emails and texts, etc. That’s all great.
How do you rate the implementation process and our training and support services?
I was very happy with the Voyager implementation process; the training was great, and the support is really brilliant. If I had any problems, I would just send an email, and somebody would get straight back to me and sort it out. I really have been impressed with the support, and training, and everything. You can tell that they really want you to use software to its full capacity, which is great.
What will be the impact of Covid-19 on recruitment, in your view?
Publishing has taken a real hit over the last few years with big consumer magazines closing, local newspapers shutting down and media agencies constantly making cuts. Throw in the pandemic too and it’s going to be extremely tough in the immediate future. I think there’ll be a bigger market for temporary workers, as businesses are just not going to want to take the risk of taking somebody on permanently.
Voyager Infinity and Voyager Mid-Office are software solutions that make Recruiter’s lives easier. Voyager Infinity is a CRM used be thousands of Recruiters globally to source, nurture and maintain the relationships of tomorrow placements, and Mid-Office manages the entire Pay and Bill process.