Over the past decade, recruitment firm Collar Group's executive management team has been responsible for placing over 10,000 people into full-time roles and over 25,000 into temporary and part-time roles across a wide range of sectors, including mining, oil and gas, engineering, construction, insurance, fin-tech, and finance.
As Founder Ephram Stephenson says, “We only started billing last October, so in the space of six months, we’ve gone to having 35 permanent full-time employees, five offices throughout Australia, and a multimillion dollar business.”
A recruitment veteran and a serial entrepreneur, Ephram has either founded, co-founded, or invested in 12 recruitment companies during his career. Having implemented Aircall into two of these, he knows the importance of cloud-calling technology and that it has a crucial role in a company’s performance. That’s why, when it came to Collar Group, Aircall was set to play a bigger role than ever before.
Implementing a foundation of technology
Ephram knows the value good technology can bring to a business. That’s because he sits at the heart of it—experiencing firsthand the processes that warrant optimization.
“My role is to be the chief revenue driver for the company. I’m out there bringing in all the major accounts, doing the business development, negotiating contracts, and bringing the work back into the business,” he says.
No wonder then that at the core of Collar Group’s success sits a strong, streamlined, and specialized foundation of technology. For Ephram, it was a learning he was keen to implement as early as possible when Collar Group launched.
“For me, getting the foundations down for the growth that we were anticipating was the number-one driver of making sure we had the best technology to drive business success,” he says.
Aircall has transformed Collar Group’s operations in several ways.
Ephram is right to go all-in on technology. One of the major advantages to a specialized soft phone provider like Aircall is that you get superior call quality. Our work with best-in-class carriers ensures quality is never compromised by downtime or network strength fluctuations.
For recruiters, having that assurance over call quality and reliability is essential. Conversations with job seekers and their future employers are loaded with valuable information, and discussing someone’s future prospects on a call that consistently cuts out will only send them to one of your closest competitors.
For Ephram and his team, the benefits (like the calls) are crystal clear:
“The actual speed with which it connects and the quality of the call are exceptional. I have tried multiple phone systems, and Aircall is just head and shoulders above what else is on the market,” he says.
Aw shucks, Ephram! This ease-of-use and quality is exactly why we built Aircall—to encourage meaningful conversations.
Analytics and reporting
As any business owner will tell you, having a solid foundation of technology is about the benefits for their customers and their team. Especially when that team is focused on an ambitious future.
This is because services such as Aircall don’t stop at superior call quality. They also provide you with the ability to collate data and form actionable insights through our advanced analytics functionality. As Ephram explains, these insights into team performance are invaluable in setting even greater ambitions for Collar Group.
“The reporting function is something that we use on a daily basis. We don’t want to micromanage people in regard to the number of calls they’re making, but to have that information available at your fingertips is hugely valuable, especially when you’re setting individual performance KPIs,” he says.
Without needing to disrupt your team’s flow, Aircall enables you to dive into how they’re performing and quickly identify areas that might need your attention.
Aircall’s analytics are no one-trick pony either, with the ability to filter results and add more granularity into your reporting. This means even more pinpoint feedback for your team and maybe even stoking a little friendly competition.
As Ephram says, “Recruiters love to compete with one another, so when you have figures that are tangible and highly visible, it's easy to get the buy-in from the whole team.”
When you’re as hungry for implementing the best technology as the Collar Group team is, integrations represent another exciting frontier. Integrations help you to free yourself from the normal bounds of your existing systems and instead create a harmonious setup that can cut down unnecessary admin—-a particular advantage in the form-heavy world of recruitment..
A tech stack with Aircall at its heart can give a company the agility to elevate it above the competition. And this is exactly what it’s done for Collar Group, for whom recruitment software JobAdder was key.
As Ephram explains, “With the JobAdder app—which is probably one of the best CRMs we’ve ever seen—you can be on the phone speaking to someone in the U.K. or someone in Australia at the click of a button.”
This means there’s no laborious switching between apps, or worse still, room for error when copying and pasting numbers from a client. You can stick with an applicant tracking system that works for you (as well as 100+ other integrations), make calls in a matter of clicks, and rest assured that all your phone activity will be automatically synced within that system.
Every second counts is a well-trodden saying, but in recruitment, it really is true.
That’s because, as Ephram says, “Speed is of the essence, so we want to make sure we’re giving them the best-possible opportunity of actually landing this role.”
An integration such as JobAdder also saves your recruiters precious time because it displays your candidate or client’s details on your screen the moment the phone rings - no need to make sure you’re getting their name right, or look up their name in the system. This might save you minutes for each client, but that’s hours and even days across your whole team.
Scaling a team, as well as a service
For Ephram, he doesn’t just want Collar Group to be an outstanding experience for his clients, but for his recruiters too.
“I want Collar Group to be known as—if you want to work in recruitment, there’s no better place for you to work, and that’s really based on the foundation of our technologies,” he says.
With this in mind, he needed to guarantee the technology he implemented at a core of the business could drive training and onboarding too. Here are a couple of ways he got his recruiters up to speed as quickly as possible.
1. Training staff and onboarding
Building on the analytics we mentioned earlier, Collar Group wants to ensure its recruiters have everything at their disposal to deliver outstanding customer experiences and get their clients set up with interviews and new roles as quickly as possible.
One thing that can slow this down is the requirement to train a team and onboard them to a high standard. And when a company is enjoying the monumental growth Collar Group is, it can’t afford to tie an anchor of timely onboarding to each new starter.
For Ephram and the team, accelerating that quality onboarding experience was another area in which Aircall excelled. With features such as call recording and call whispering, Aircall avoids micromanagement and instead offers a far more in-situ, effective training process.
“Something we found really useful was role-playing, getting other people to listen to real calls that were made, and asking them how they’d deal with the call themselves. Aircall is a really great training product because the phone calls are recorded so you can educate your team in regard to specific outcomes and scenarios. For training, I don’t think there’s anything else like it,” he says.
2. Ease of use
For all the fancy bells and whistles a technology solution might bring, without ease of use, it will struggle to turn the dial. That’s because not everyone comes to a role with a bagful of technological know-how.
Ephram’s experience at other companies taught him just how crucial user-friendliness was in any technology he sought to implement. It also taught him how much Aircall ticked this particular box.
“Having implemented Aircall in three of my other recruitment businesses, I know how it works and how to get the best out of the platform. Being able to really educate your staff in regard to how to use the product is very simple,” he says.
This not only makes it quicker to get your recruiters up and running, but it also helps with buy-in from stakeholders and the team, showing them from the get-go the role this product has to play in their lives.
Another factor that’s become increasingly important over the course of Collar Group’s lifetime has been the ability to accommodate remote working. This is another area in which Ephram champions Aircall’s flexibility.
“We’ve got everyone working from home some weeks, but we can see who’s online, we can take calls and transfer calls, and we can have a quick chat before we transfer calls,” he says.
This means that wherever the Collar Group team works, they’re still performing according to the company’s–and their client’s—expectations.
The importance of selecting a technology solution for your business goes far beyond the moment itself. It’s about knowing where you want your business to go and choosing the right partner to get there.
Aircall’s capability to scale alongside Collar Group’s performance and ambitions all contribute to Ephram calling us his “long-term partner”.
As for advice to other companies looking to own their sector, we’ll leave that to Ephram.
“It’s a no-brainer. My advice for any recruitment agency looking to have a competitive edge would be to use Aircall. With the customer service, the support, the training and onboarding, integrating Aircall with your CRM is worth its weight in gold,” he says.
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