GB Solutions is a recruitment consultancy based in Gloucestershire. For this article, we caught up with Mike Goode, Managing Director and Sue Waters, Senior Specialist Recruitment Consultant, to find out how the business had to adapt during the pandemic, and how Voyager Infinity helps facilitate their ambitions.
What can you tell us about GB Solutions?
GB Solutions is a well-known recruiter in the Midlands and South West, having grown over 20 years into six divisions. We are unique because the specialists we have in each division have worked in that sector themselves, so we offer a good level of understanding for our candidates and clients.
Years of trading means we know a lot of people in Gloucestershire and surrounding counties, so if clients want a really good credit controller or HR Manager, we will be able to make the introduction through our connections. We have a good handle on where the best people come from, and who they work for, so whilst we do advertise, we’re better known for inviting the best talent to apply.
We score best in the £25-£55K bracket, and our niche is about understanding the need and identifying hard-to-find skill sets, so the roles we work vary quite significantly.
How has the pandemic affected you?
We were forced to fast-track the changes we had often talked about making.
Four key things changed:
- We adopted new technology to work remotely with Cloud-based technologies, laptops and mobiles.
- We looked at our time – we need to spend far more time meeting and talking with clients, less time doing admin, travelling and non-fee generating tasks.
- We pooled our knowledge, data, and connections into one place allowing us to work remotely.
- We needed to reduce costs, but at the same time become more effective.
We upgraded lots of things in a short period of time, and Voyager helped us facilitate that ambition:
- Servers to the Cloud
- Desk phones to smartphones
- PCs to laptops
- Office chairs to LOTS of chairs! (the kitchen bar stool, sofa, car seat, park bench and even a picnic blanket!)
This ‘period on planning’ as we like to call it, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and change can be good if you embrace it and take a long-term view of recruitment.
The pandemic forced us to speed up the rate of change.
Do you see yourself spending more money on advertising in the future, or less?
What does ‘advertising’ mean in today’s world?
Whilst we post adverts on job boards, we don’t always get the results we need. Application volumes have gone through the roof, so whilst our Recruitment CRM will allow us to professionally service and respond, I’m not sure job boards suit clients or applicants all of the time.
Rare skill sets remain rare – the pandemic did not create more Developers, Accountants, Lawyers, Marketing Managers or Finance Directors.
We are investing in generating more ‘face time’ with people, which allows us to cut through the chatter – we’ve looked hard at the amount of time we were spending in the office and become more outward focused to spend time with clients and candidates.
Recruitment has changed forever but we will stick to our traditional values and relationship-building skills.
What do you think needs to change for recruiters to get a better rap?
You have to be clear that you’re offering a service, not getting a fee. And Rule 101 – you have to know what you are talking about! For instance in marketing, you have to know all of the roles in the department, client side and agency side, and you have to be able to hold a discussion with Marketing Directors at their level and be able to relate to what they are talking about. Walk the walk and talk the talk!
What are you hoping to get from your investment in Voyager?
We are looking forward to working more intelligently as recruiters. Voyager’s Business Intelligence dashboards allow us to make sense of the data we have, and we no longer look at our CRM as a bucket full of old data, but one central pool of leads, prospects and clients.
Our previous systems were basically a parking lot for emails, documents, notes and it was poorly organised, difficult to use and the duplication of data in multiple places meant it wasn’t always trusted – at best it was like a big Excel spreadsheet with Blu-tack and tape holding it together on a server that heated the office!
Voyager Infinity allows us to spend our time more wisely with customers, source those hard-to-find skill sets and log correctly the difference between a videographer, a photographer, a digital designer, a graphic designer – there are nuances that need to be registered.
With Voyager Infinity, we are more agile because we have all the data on our laptops, and intelligence at our fingertips. We are smarter and more efficient than ever, and are better set to deliver an exceptional service to our customers new and old.
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.