What we do relies on knowing employers and candidates well enough to bring the right ones together at the right time in the right way. So we need to know about a lot of different people – at the last count, over 50,000 of them. And we need to capture complex, often subjective data about them.
That’s because we have to answer complex, often subjective questions about them. It’s easy to find someone who could do the job – but do they want to do the job? Will they fit in with a whole new team and culture? Are they the right kind of person as well as the right kind of candidate?
To help us answer those questions, we’ve gathered over a decade’s worth of proprietary information into our database. And we can access it in a very meaningful way, so it’s very easy for us to say ‘this person’s perfect for you,’ or – if we need to – ‘they’re great on paper, but culturally not really right’.
We can also do some pretty deep data digging. We’ve built interconnectivity right into it, so, for example, it’ll show us everybody’s who’s worked in a particular department or organisation at the same time. That gives us properly rich, deep information to work with.
We can track how particular departments or even whole companies develop over time. We can see who comes and goes, and that gives us a very good sense of what kind of person’s just right for them. That also helps us see how they’re changing and who they might be after next.
We can measure whole industry sectors too. Equal pay’s been big news lately – a lot of our clients have been asking how their peers are doing on that front. Well, we can segment sectors by sex and then compare average pay rates – so we’ve been able to help them.
Of course, any database is only as good as the data that goes into it. So we make sure all our consultants’ record as much as they can. Anything from notes after a phone chat or meeting, through news and press articles, to complete details of every email we’ve ever exchanged goes in there.
And it has to be easy to use. We can access it on our phones and tablets, as well as at our desks. So it’s a very useful tool when we’re out meeting with clients. Because it’s so accessible, we can start looking for the right person as soon as we know what they want. Anything they need, we can find.
It does a good job for candidates too. When someone asks us for a certain type of person, we do far more than just see who we’ve just chatted with or run a basic CV match. Because we hold such deep, rich data, we match our candidates with the right employers as well as just the right jobs.
So it sits at the heart of our business. And it embodies a very important thing about our work – it’s not just who we know but also what we know that gets such great results for our clients.