Everest People is a boutique recruitment, people and culture, and training specialist, which works across every industry in New Zealand and boasts clients in Chile and Australia as well. With an international footprint and a dedicated team of specialists, Everest People has been helping companies find the talent they need since 2006.
As Founder and Managing Director, Senga Allen, has led Everest People to see record growth in recent years, with the JobAdder Applicant Tracking System aiding her and her team in facilitating this growth.
“We moved over to JobAdder around six years ago. Since then, our recruitment book has probably grown by around 500%, not because of JobAdder, but because of the market. JobAdder certainly helps us in terms of the processes around it, but the market in New Zealand for good recruitment services has grown exceptionally.”
To delve into this success further, we sat down with Senga to explore the administrative burden Everest People faced before implementing JobAdder and the benefits the system has brought to her business.
In the early days of Everest People’s operations, the manual admin was significant. Senga states, “I suppose when I look back at the earlier practices of recruitment and how we were back in the late two thousands, around 2008 and 2009, we were receiving applications via email and then putting them into an Excel spreadsheet. It was very administration heavy. It was very tiresome, in terms of the data, the privacy around the data and the safety and security around that.”
“It was just really cumbersome and a lot of manual data entry. You’d get a CV in via email, and then we’d have to upload those details, and not just the person’s name and phone number, we would be filling in things like where they work now and how many years of experience they had. So it was this big mess. As we got busier in the recruitment space, it became almost like a full-time administrator’s role doing all of that data capture, which we knew was just crazy. As systems and technology became more user-friendly, that’s when we were like we’ve got to make a change.”
Initially, Everest People adopted another system, which didn’t turn out to be the right fit. “We started using another system that really wasn’t delivering what we needed from this point of view. It wasn’t as refined as what JobAdder has now become. We had to change how we were doing things here from a process improvement point of view. We did quite a bit of research and a lot of my research was pushing me towards JobAdder, which I was happy to explore.”
As Senga looked for the right solution for Everest People, she prioritised a seamless candidate experience, simple integrations, data transparency and a clear and easy-to-use dashboard.
“A big thing for us was the candidate experience, so we wanted to make it easy for the candidate. From the recruiter’s point of view, it needed to be easy to navigate and to be able to collect and distribute information. We wanted a platform that allowed us to have other integrations and that’s been really good over the years with LinkedIn and a number of other integrations. We’ve got about five or six different integrations turned on, including Outlook, so that we can fire CVs directly from email into JobAdder without having to drag and drop.”
“We also wanted visibility so that any recruiter could collect information and look at any candidate or client that’s in our database and know exactly where we’re at in any given process. We really liked the dashboards and being able to look at workflows and where we’re at. I suppose one of our learnings recently when we were working with the JobAdder team to build a custom form was that there are so many more things that we could be doing. There’s so much more untapped potential in JobAdder that we haven’t even scratched the surface of yet.”
When doing her due diligence, Senga sought feedback from existing JobAdder users. “We actually had a couple of referees. We were given the names of three or four different businesses in New Zealand who we talked to, and who were not necessarily agencies like ourselves, but they might have been client-side or had some good knowledge of JobAdder, and we really liked the feedback we got from those users. We also liked the flexibility of it. We had users coming on and off, so the fact that we could add or remove licenses was really appealing to us. We liked that we weren’t stuck paying thousands of dollars every year, no matter how many users we had.”
“We liked the functionality of it, we did have a bit of a play with it first and the training and the support were really appealing. The fact that there was support in Australia, as opposed to the US or UK with slow turnaround help times was effective for us.”
Once Senga made the decision to use JobAdder, the implementation was easy. “It was really simple because JobAdder could extract from our previous platform, they sucked all the data out, mapped it and popped it into JobAdder. They then provided some training and then we did the online training as well. It was pretty painless.”
“The training was very good because we were all using the system and we were up to speed very quickly. Like any new software, of course, it takes time for people to get used to it, but what we’ve really enjoyed even now is that JobAdder is relatively intuitive. It’s something that you can go in and go, oh, okay, that makes sense. So even our new users, when they come onboard and we give them a bit of an overview and then they do the tutorials, it’s like, okay, that makes sense.
Beyond the ongoing training, Senga also appreciates the quality 24/6 support that JobAdder provides. “I’ve always found JobAdder really responsive, myself and the team use the ticket system and there’s always really good follow-up. We’ve never been left hanging, which is what you want in customer service.”
Taking a wider lens, Senga says the big benefits to her and her team are substantial time savings. “I think our return on investment has been less administrative time. I mean if we look at this latest example of the custom form we wanted to build, that’s really quite a gamechanger for us because we would have an automated email that we sent out to candidates with an application form that they had to fill out and send back to us. We’d then have to upload that candidate’s file, check it, and some candidates did it and some didn’t. Whereas now, you can’t submit an application unless you fill out the custom form first. Everything’s attached, you know, your copy of your passport, your driver’s license, so from a recruiter’s point of view, you just need to look down the list and say job done. There are big time savings from our perspective and that’s been all the way through.”
“We can do a Career Update to freshen up our candidate pool, instead of sending emails out one by one, we can send out 100 Career Update invites at a time. Our reference checking process is so much more seamless as well. It’s really around time savings but it’s also about professionalism. You know as well as I do that, there are a lot of employers who do recruitment really, really badly, and there’s a lot of recruiters that do recruitment really, really badly. So that sense of professionalism that candidates get with JobAdder, the level of communication they get, is so important. Clients can see those CVs and applications and reference checks through a portal that enables them to provide feedback. So there’s that nice level of professionalism that I think is probably one of those things that has been the turning point for the industry overall.”
To illustrate her point, Senga provides a clear example of how JobAdder has streamlined the way she works and how she communicates with candidates and clients.
“I had a candidate in my database who had been unsuccessful about six months ago. I did a search via JobAdder for a skillset that I was looking for, came across him again, remembered interviewing him and found he was a perfect match for this new role. He was the only candidate I put forward to this client who hadn’t been able to fill this specialist role. He was interviewed twice, and got the job within 10 days.”
“Now that job never even went to market, the client is really happy because he’s been able to fill a role that they haven’t had any success with and the candidate is over the moon because he’s had a great experience. We remembered him, we circled back, found him a job, he’s ecstatic because he’s got a new job on a higher salary and in a role that he wants to move to. So for us, that’s exactly what recruitment is about. You get that win for both your client and your candidate and we can facilitate that through using our JobAdder database.”
Senga believes that this approach is now a must for any recruiter. “That’s the way of the future. We’ve got to make the most of the data that we have, and we’ve been able to do that with JobAdder. There’s a lot more qualified data, we’ve had conversations, we’ve screened them, we know how much salary they’re looking for, because that’s all part of the questions we ask.”
“I’ve recommended JobAdder to a number of people. A number of my colleagues in the local area use it. It’s a great system, the team find it very intuitive, and we’re still learning about what more we can do all the time.”