“People assume scaling is growing but it’s not; scaling means you increase revenue but without using extra resources. So we spoke about how to increase profit with our partners and it’s all about trying to save them time and make them more efficient and effective,” explained Rhys Jones. As MD of Davidson Gray, a company that invests in and supports recruitment start-ups through business-building services and mentoring, Rhys has seen it grow to encompass seven agencies.
“That’s one thing about JobAdder. I know it saves a lot of time and is very user-friendly; everything is in the right place.” As Rhys confirmed, it’s about ensuring recruiters are provided with a good experience, suggesting that recruiters often have bad experiences with databases “because they’ve been bullied into using them even though they’re crap and have got bad data on.”
They learn to love their database, he added, if it’s “world-class. Recruiters enjoy using it so the database grows in size and quality of data through use, and they get the positive experience of it making them money, so they use it even more. Before you know it, the database supercharges the recruiters as it increases the volume of their business immensely and it makes it an easier place to make money.
“Average recruiters become good recruiters and good ones become brilliant so if we can get the buy-in to really use the database, then it’s going to add huge value,” he said.
A true partnership
Rhys is aware that a big selling point for start-ups is being able to demonstrate the success of his framework for agency growth, having built up 20 businesses without failure. “You can ring any single partner of ours and ask them what they feel about us. They all feel like they get great value because if we are constantly getting better at what we do for them, they make more money.
“JobAdder is a big part of that as it’s about making the business highly profitable and as strong as possible. It’s about creating the ultimate recruiting environment and all the tools that JobAdder’s got can add massive value,” he explained.
His strategy is simple: make sure the database gets used properly from day one and then it gets ingrained into the culture. “It’s a lot more difficult to bring in a new process than a process at the beginning. We’ve been able to look at the end in mind and have them take onboard the processes and structures that might not feel of value now but will be when the business grows,” Rhys explained.
Where one company goes…
It was one of Rhys’s partner businesses that suggested the move to JobAdder, having been on a legacy system that “was just so inflexible about things that were really obvious and the customer service really let it down.” As Rhys recalled, “we started using JobAdder with this company and another one who shared the same office saw it and said ‘that’s really good’” leading him to start promoting the platform to all partners. “What we do now with new partners is we try and actively push JobAdder every time.
“We’ve had [three other systems] and each one has had issues. Whereas with JobAdder, we’ve never had anybody complain about it. That’s music to our ears because it means we can now recommend it with faith because we know people are going to enjoy it and are going to like it because we’ve had so many good experiences with it,” he said.
“We’re happy to publish on our website that JobAdder is our favourite database because we’re proud to work with you. There’s so much great feedback going around,” he added.
Future growth ambitions
Rhys has ambitions to increase Davidson Gray’s partners in the coming year and believes his ‘working partner’ approach will be key to ensuring the success of those future agencies as well. “We take a proactive approach to growing businesses rather than reactive and we’re constantly trying to improve them. We offer support to make their business easier places to make money,” where tools like JobAdder are a key part of that.
That view of long-term partnerships holds true for the suppliers that Davidson Gray work with as well. “I’ve used our website supplier for six years and our IT company for 20 years with the businesses I built and sold, and carried on using them with Davidson Gray and that’s the sort of relationship we want. With JobAdder, it looks like it’s turning into that. We don’t want to change players because if you can foster that working relationship, it just gets better and better.”