E-recruitment revamp pays off for Digifone

Mobile
phone firm Digifone turned to end-to-end system provider I-GRasp to help
streamline its online recruitment process. Months later it is singing its
praises. Sue Weekes reports.

As
a high-tech company operating in Ireland in a booming sector, digital mobile
phone company Digifone needed a high-tech recruitment system which could cope
with its growing recruitment demands for sales staff. The company, launched in
March 1997 as part of the international wireless group mm02 – formerly known as
BT Wireless – was already serving over one million customers by March 2001 and
had acquired a turnover of £309mn. It could also boast selling mobile
communications to 76 of the Business and Finance Top 100 index in Ireland (mm02
is represented by BT Cellnet in the UK).

Too
many CVs

Like
many companies, Digifone had experimented with recruitment websites, but had
found the high volume of unsuitable CVs being e-mailed to hiring managers
unmanageable. It looked into increasing the effectiveness of its recruitment
process, and came across i-GRasp’s GlobalSuccessor system.

GlobalSuccessor
is an end-to-end recruitment system which integrates all the potential
recruitment channels (company website, intranet, recruitment agencies and
recruitment websites) and combines them all with a management information tool
that can handle the whole recruitment process from start to finish. It is an
application service provider (ASP)-based system, which means that the supplier
company hosts it and the client has a Web- or intranet-based interface at its
end. The client pays for installation and set-up and then a monthly rental fee
for software and hosting.

Reaping
the benefits of online recruiting

Recent
research on the e-recruitment market by IDC shows that end-to-end systems are
proving popular in the US with large corporates seeking to extract the true
value of online recruitment systems and streamline their recruitment processes.

Typically,
such systems prepare job descriptions and post the advertisements to whichever
channels the client wants (from corporate jobs sites to traditional media).
They then help collect the CVs (fed into the system from the various channels),
assess candidates according to the client’s criteria and carry out skills and
behavioural assessments based on corporate fit, facilitate interview
scheduling, initiate background checks, generate and send offer letters and
transfer data into an existing HRMS system upon hire.

"As
a rapidly expanding business, we needed all the advantages we could get to
recruit the best people," says Digifone HR director John Hennessy.
"We were surprised at how quickly the system was implemented with the
minimum of disruption to our existing workflow."

It
took a month to install, which is fairly typical, i-GRrasp claims.

All
internal and external vacancies

"It
is also a very secure system – each user is provided with an individual
password so no one else can access CVs on the database. We are now using one
system for all our internal and external vacancies as it’s integrated into the
company’s intranet. We also use it to update our vacancies on Internet jobs
boards and to communicate with recruitment agents, so all candidates are routed
through the same system."

Digifone
claims the system has already "significantly" reduced hiring times
and rising hiring costs. After only six months, two-thirds of all job
applications are coming directly through Digifone’s website (as opposed to the
myriad of sources previously), which saves money on advertising and recruitment
agencies, as well as on administration.

All
stakeholders involved

GlobalSuccessor
encourages the recruitment process to be far more collaborative because
everyone in the company who has a stake in the position can be involved in the
process. The system facilitates online discussion and also allows the user to
attach digital notes to a particular application. So even if the HR,
recruitment and line managers are spread across three sites, the process
remains both collaborative and streamlined.

It
also helps improve the relationship management between candidate and
prospective employer. "From the very first point of contact, we wanted to
have professional communication with applicants, and the facility certainly
helped us achieve this," says Hennessy. "In the past, online
applications have been speculative, but now we can use our website to post detailed
job descriptions, and applicants can register their interest in a certain type
of job, even it’s not posted. When a suitable position comes up, the system
automatically e-mails or sends an SMS message to the candidate."

i-GRasp
has recently added more features designed to improve employer/candidate
relations including special zones dedicated to a particular part of the
process, such as the interview or offer period. Because the provider hosts the
system, such new features can simply be switched on by i-GRasp if the client
wants them.

Changing
internal processes

While
the system can provide a host of functions and features, it is up to the client
to extract maximum value from them, so the HR department must expect to do its
bit in re-engineering some of the internal processes. i-GRasp CEO Andy Randall
recommends that a programme of change management is essential.

"Each
client is at a different point of evolution in their e-recruitment vision, but
we recommend that change management techniques are introduced to determine how
to take advantage of GlobalSuccessor," he says.

"In
the case of Digifone, it is achieving maximum benefit by ensuring its use is as
widespread as possible, both internally and externally."

www.i-GRasp.com

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