A long-standing partnership
For over 15 years, Smaart Recruitment has been supporting the hiring needs of the call centre industry, growing in recent years to encompass sales and marketing. With offices in four major Australian cities including Sydney and Melbourne, the team of 20-odd staff focus the majority of their work on bulk recruitment. Smaart’s clients range from SMEs to medium-sized enterprises across a wide range of industries.
When the business was first established, the team resorted to Excel and Outlook but as they grew, the need for a more robust platform was evident, leading Smaart to find JobAdder. With the partnership growing over a decade and as a member of the beta testing team, Smaart has been a key part of JobAdder’s growth.
“It’s just the advancement of the product and the ease of use,” explained Maarten Roosenburg, Managing Director, as to why the company has stayed with JobAdder for so long. “When we first signed up, it was a multi-posting platform where we didn’t have to log into individual job boards and register,” he said, adding that the most exciting development over the past few years has been the JobAdder marketplace. “We’ve been able to onboard different tools from Referoo to TalentTap. At the end of the day, consultants spend up to 90% of their day on one platform so it’s been great that they can stay within JobAdder and access all these tools.
“We’ve stayed with JobAdder because it’s moved with the times and been proactive in their approach to releasing updates and seeking feedback. It’s really a partnership in every sense of the word,” said Maarten adding that while they have been approached by other CRMs “there’s never really any compelling argument for us to move. It’s just a closed door.
“You don’t stay with a software partner for 10+ years if you don’t think that their product is any good.”
Learning new habits
As Maarten pointed out, JobAdder makes it “very easy to post a lot of jobs. As recruiters, we probably fell into a bit of a bad habit of posting too many jobs from time to time, but over the last four years or so, our dependency on job boards has been decreasing.
“I’d say between 2010 and 2015, if we looked at all our jobs over a year, about 80% of them were placed on job boards while 10% would be through searching the database. From 2015 onwards that’s completely flipped on its head where 40-50% of our placements now come from a job board and most of the other half would be searching within our database. They’re pretty amazing statistics in the sense that the follow-on effect is our advertising spend is reduced,” he said.
And it doesn’t end there. As Maarten explained, Smaart Recruitment isn’t a business that holds on to those savings. “We then go and invest in other pieces of technology to help enhance the database. The key thing for us as an agency is speed to market. More often in the work that we do, we’re not only competing against an internal talent team, we’re probably competing against one other agency. In bulk recruitment, it’s almost a case of ‘first in, best dressed’ so we don’t have days to get candidates through a job ad; it’s really a case of hours,” he said.
Through JobAdder’s marketplace, Smaart Recruitment has been able to add tools to their database, with the biggest savings now being to convert the database into their own talent pool, starting with some big steps. “A database is only as good as the freshness of the candidates so we started a process 2-3 years ago of culling our data. That was an ongoing process but the main benefits to the business has been our ability to reduce reliance on job boards. I’d like to move from 50-50 to 80% placed through the database,” said Maarten.
That’s not to say there isn’t a place for job boards, explains Maarten, along with platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. “But at the end of the day, the value of Smaart is based on our own candidate pool and I think every agency has got its own little micro pool. So if we can get that right and really utilise the power of the database, we’ll continue to see cost savings.
When recommending JobAdder, Maarten focuses on the adaptability & customisation of the platform, the ability to integrate a variety of tools and a price that’s spot on. “I’d also point out JobAdder’s customer support. A lot of platforms that come from overseas have you dealing with online support, so I’d say the fact we’ve got local support is pretty good. I feel like someone’s there when you need them.”
The current global uncertainty has paved the road for new ways of working at Smaart, says Maarten, who is focused on maintaining the company’s reputation. “It’s not just about ego when we win awards and we genuinely take pride in our brand. It’s something we protect. As a business that’s been around for 15 years, we want to build on this.”
To this end, Smaart developed its own contact centre best practice report, surveying over 150 centres across the country, that the team leverages in a more consultative manner. “That’s the really big push. For Smaart to be seen as a long-term partner rather than an agency that can fill roles.” From a candidate perspective, Maarten noted that while Zoom works “nothing beats face-to-face and so we’ll see a combination of old and new approaches.”