"Agencies That Don't Take Advantage Of Technology Are At A Competitive Disadvantage"

Sarah Micallef - 1st June 2018

Broadwing Ltd General Manager John Paris and directors Ben Pace Lehner and Alan Cini discuss the business of offering recruitment and HR services to different sectors.

As I meet the team behind recently-established employment agency Broadwing Ltd, my first impression is that these guys mean business. Their sleek offices within the Ewropa Business Centre in Birkirkara are a fitting setting for this dynamic team, which is brimming with energy and ideas.

I sit down with General Manager John Paris and directors Ben Pace Lehner and Alan Cini, who founded the company, together with director Richard Padovani. They introduce Broadwing as a state-of-the-art employment agency which targets businesses and candidates alike, offering recruitment and HR services to a broad spectrum of sectors. “Our goal is to provide exclusive employment expertise within online gaming and IT, sales and marketing, legal and compliance, as well as within the financial services industries,” they say.

With the aim of connecting top-tier talent with industry-leading employers, the team behind Broadwing focus on attracting, shortlisting, appointing and selecting suitable candidates for the placement of permanent, part-time or contract staff on behalf of their clients. And they do this by utilising a combination of a leading global recruitment CRM software with a cutting-edge website, solid brand, effective marketing and enthusiastic recruiters.

The core people behind the creation of Broadwing combine entrepreneurship and varied specialised skills including legal and financial fields, computer systems and software engineering, design and marketing. Speaking of how the company first came about, John explains, “I have a background in credit management which is where I met Richard, and moved into recruitment three years ago. I knew Alan as we had worked together in the past, so I was familiar with his work. Ben and Alan also have their own digital marketing company, Rock Steady, and we saw that there were a lot of synergies between us.”

“One of the things that helped us come together is the fact that we all have different areas of expertise,” adds Ben. “John has a background in finance and accounting, Alan has an IT, design and marketing background, while I have an IT and business background, so between us, we can sit in on interviews and raise points that are pertaining to our area of expertise. It’s a great start, and as we continue building the team, we’re looking into using people with different specialisations.”

Broadwing Ltd General Manager John Paris and directors Ben Pace Lehner and Alan Cini discuss the business of offering recruitment and HR services to d

Broadwing Ltd directors Ben Pace Lehner and Alan Cini and General Manager John Paris

While it was only last November that the team began to discuss the possibility of a recruitment company, they certainly hit the ground running. Right away, Alan explains, they began looking into creating a structure, and shortly after attended London Bullhorn Live 2017 conference, where they learnt about the global leader in CRM and operations software for the recruitment industry, and met up with their first international recruitment partners – Williams Kent. “I learnt about the system and how it works. Coming from an IT background, I knew it would be great for us, so we decided to bring it down and build a site around it. The conference was out-of-this-world, and we partnered up with a number of recruitment companies in London, as well as in other countries including Poland, Cyprus and Portugal. In January we got the system and set up Broadwing,” Alan says.

Speaking of the cutting-edge software, the directors explain, “more than 7,000 firms rely on Bullhorn’s cloud-based platform to drive sales, build relationships and power their recruitment processes from end to end. Our main recruitment website integrates with Bullhorn and acts as a ‘shop window’ for the business, with its primary function being to promote the available jobs and allow potential candidates to register, manage their profile and apply for a job.”

Delving into the ways in which technology is shaping the recruitment industry, they maintain that implementing technology has never been more critical to success. “More than just a luxury, agencies that don’t take advantage of technology are at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to delivering a remarkable candidate and client experience,” Alan affirms, adding that while it is important to utilise the latest technology, it will never take the place of the human element.

“Automation is a key technological driver to improving user experience and drive down costs. An example of this is the application process we are using, which implements chatbots to conduct the initial screening process. These are quick and the candidate gets an instant response,” they explain, yet while such measures are a help, they do not apply for the entire process. “You can’t automate the entire process,” Ben says, adding, “a computer cannot make a decision when it comes to deciding whether a candidate is suitable, but it does give you the tools to do so.”

Looking ahead towards the future of the recruitment industry locally, the directors stress the importance of remaining innovative. “Technology has impacted the world of work massively over the last 10 years. Over the next decade, its effects will only increase. People are engaging with technology in ways never seen before, meaning recruitment leaders need to invest in the right technology to keep up. Candidates and clients are agile, tech-savvy, and looking for a great experience,” they explain.

While cold-calling is still used to a certain extent, it is clear that the skills required in tomorrow’s recruitment market may not be the same as todays. “Recruiters need to use technology in their favour. If you resist, you will lose out, but if you embrace it you’ll come out on top,” Alan maintains. Meanwhile, Ben also foresees a greater emphasis on HR from a recruiter’s point of view. “I think the industry will move a lot more towards HR and assisting companies in the process in so far as consultation and guidance.”

The full version of this case study originally appeared in The Commercial Courier


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