We recently had the opportunity to talk with Andrew Willsher, Finance and Operations Director at Pyramid8, an award-winning recruitment consultancy based in Yorkshire, to discuss what the business is all about, the role that technology plays in his firm, and his views on a post-pandemic recruitment industry.
Can you tell us how Pyramid8 was born and what your agency specialises in?
We started in Pyramid8 in 2007 in Castleford, as an agency that was specialising in project and program management. Over our evolution in time, we changed to an agency that focuses on local recruitment. So, it’s all about the people, it’s all about the local population, it’s all about local businesses. We like to help local businesses. We spend a lot of time with them and listening to them, and understanding them, and understanding the population as well. We work with some charities in the local area as well, to put a bit back into the local population. We work with the Job Centre as well, to help them – at no cost to them – to try and build skills on CVs and interview preparation interview techniques. So, it is very much about being a local recruitment agency and a local business.
Tell us a bit more about how you work with your clients.
We work really closely with our clients. We like to be the “external internal recruitment” for them, so, whatever they want, we will recruit for them once we understand their business, understand their people, how they work, who they are, what they like. We think that is more important than understanding a job description, it is more about understanding the person’s specification, and the cultural fit for the business.
What were the most important factors for you when you decided to invest in recruitment software?
We started working with Voyager Infinity in 2015. For us back then, it was about having something that was technical enough to do everything, but easy enough for salespeople to want to use it. Salespeople are the worst administrators, and if they find any reason not to use a CRM, then they will not use it. We like it a lot, and we like the fact that consultants use it 95% of the time. The user adoption level was very good, working with shortlists, searching and sorting; also using the parsing tool. Getting everything onto the system is very, very useful and very time efficient.
What did you think of the implementation process?
It was a very good implementation. We did it from December through to January, which was a very good time for us because of the downtime over Christmas. They basically amalgamated two old databases. We had Act! which we used for our clients, and we had a separate CRM for candidates. Voyager took both databases and brought them both onto Infinity with very little effort. Then we had user acceptance testing to make sure everything was up and running, and they implemented that on-site. Plus, we had someone come along and train us for a day in our office, teaching people how to use it and giving us familiarity with it as well. So, it was very good, very thorough. And certainly, worth the investment of time and effort to get everything amalgamated into a proper all-singing, all-dancing recruitment CRM solution.
After five years, how has Infinity benefited your firm?
By basically saving time, predominantly. It makes us more efficient; it makes everyone be able to see what everyone is doing. Especially now, having just moved on to the SaaS version. The migration took place during lockdown, which was great because I have seen no downtime whatsoever. But now everyone can see, as when they go back as to what people are doing; we have the ability to work from home. We have the Voyager Infinity Connect app now as well, which is a very useful tool, because the consultants will be able to look up contact numbers of candidates if they suddenly need to phone someone from home, they can do it on their mobile without having to be in the office. So, it certainly saves us time and will continue to save us time, make us more efficient, provide the clients with a better level of service and the candidates as well.
What about our support service? How would you rate it?
When I needed to use it, I would rate it very highly. I think the great thing about a reliable piece of software and a good company is that, hopefully, you should never have to use the support service – and we have not had to use it that much. In the older version, sometimes the parsing tool stopped working occasionally. That was four or five years ago, and that has not happened ever since. Obviously updates and development have been continuous, so little things that possibly needed support back then have been ironed out in later releases, and support calls dropped even further.
How do you see the recruitment industry going forward post pandemic?
I do not think a massive change is going to happen, but I think remote interviewing is going to be the big thing. I think it is going to be getting used to some of the things that we have been forced to adopt during lockdown. I think people are going to carry on using them as we move forward into the post-lockdown, post-pandemic time. Things like Zoom interviews at the first stage, or whatever your preferred remote software might be. It saves time, it can be done outside of work hours. It can be done when people at home, both clients and candidates. It is a sensible way of being able to expedite the recruitment process, make it quicker, more efficient, and more effective, and then move to face-to-face interviews once you have done your initial shortlist. Homeworking will be seen more in job descriptions because businesses have warmed to the idea – they probably thought it could not be done prior to this.
So, maybe more flexibility and roles which will potentially give a better work-life balance for candidates, but also provide more choice for candidates and more choice for clients. Because if they can have completely remote working candidates or employees, then it opens up to a whole national base, rather than a local candidate database.
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.