How an executive search firm increased productivity and improved engagement with clients and candidates by switching to LoopUp
SRI has a well-deserved reputation for helping clients from across the media, content, technology and sport landscape to source the very best executive talent. Their services include executive search, succession planning, salary benchmarking, market entry consulting and multi-vacancy projects. SRI is a global firm with offices in Australia, China, Germany, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. SRI starts by developing a deep understanding of a client’s vision, strategy and culture to ensure the best solution is found – every time.
Attracting the right talent means you need to be agile, responsive and productive. Two big risks for talent agencies are inefficient recruitment processes and miscommunication. It can take many months to fill open positions and candidates routinely entertain multiple offers, so when talent is scarce a search firm needs to act quickly. Providers also need to be well aligned with their clients’ needs, so effective communication is key.
Spiralling costs and too many tools
Today, the edge in recruitment comes from being able to reach and assess the best candidates faster than anyone else. Good talent consultants need to stand apart from the many online recruiters and self-service sites. Conferencing technology can enhance and accelerate the recruitment process. There is no need to travel to meetings, and interviews can be scheduled to take place within hours, rather than weeks. The SRI team were no strangers to conferencing technology. Different offices were using traditional dial-in technology, Zoom and WebEx. This created confusion and led to spiralling costs, with separate licences required for each product. Then a partner at SRI discovered LoopUp.
Introduction to LoopUp
After an initial demonstration, the partner asked Lucy Cliffe, HR & Operations Manager at SRI, for her opinion. “I saw that the cost was good, the audio quality was reliable, and it was simple to use,” said Lucy. After a pilot, SRI selected LoopUp to be their preferred conference call provider.
Rolling out across all offices
All SRI staff globally were set up with LoopUp accounts. Quick-start guides explained how to send invites and host meetings. “Although LoopUp offered live training sessions and a dedicated account manager to answer questions, there was really no need. The product is that simple to use,” said Lucy.
Lucy did have some concerns about rolling out LoopUp because of a previous bad experience with another provider. “When we installed Skype, it just didn’t work and we got a lot of complaints from the team,” she said. “It’s always a risk implementing new technology – change is scary! I was just praying that it would go well with LoopUp”. Lucy kept existing conferencing solutions available, but within a few weeks it was clear that people across the business were using LoopUp for their calls.
A unique approach to video
SRI consultants interview thousands of candidates each year, and conducting every meeting face-to-face would be time-consuming and costly. Video conferencing is more engaging and informative than a phone call – consultants can view a candidate’s body language, for example. “Our consultants really need video for initial interviews with candidates. They get a better feel for who the candidate is and begin to build rapport with them,” said Lucy.
Unlike other video conferencing providers, LoopUp separates the audio and video media streams to ensure the quality and reliability of the audio is not compromised by poor web connectivity. All LoopUp audio is carried over regular, reliable phone lines, and critically not over the public internet. Video is streamed over a separate IP path.
“With our previous video conferencing provider, the audio would always cut out when the bandwidth was too low to carry video. This meant we couldn’t hear anything, and the video would freeze,” said Lucy. “With LoopUp, the audio is uninterrupted even if the video breaks up. This is so important to us because you can still continue an interview or a client meeting without video but if the audio is gone you have to reschedule”.
A reassuring experience for candidates
Some video conferencing solutions turn on video automatically when you join a call, but every LoopUp call starts as audio-only. The meeting host can choose whether to invite their guest to switch on their camera at an appropriate point in the call. “This feature is great as it can often be unsettling when video automatically turns on and you aren’t prepared and haven’t even figured out how to join the audio part yet,” said Lucy. “When you are already anxious preparing for your interview, you don’t need the added stress. We want all our candidates to feel comfortable”.
LoopUp’s screen sharing feature allows candidates to present slides or portfolios without having to meet in person. It also allows SRI to share information with candidates. “We carry out tests on our candidates to create their Spotlight Profile. Rather than email results to candidates, we prefer to show them their performance live on a call, and LoopUp’s screen share tool really helps with this,” said Lucy.
Engaging with clients more effectively and securely
It’s not just communication with candidates that has improved with LoopUp. SRI is also engaging with clients more effectively. SRI uses LoopUp to ensure that they are well briefed on the skills and experience required for a specific role. “At SRI we hire top candidates for prestigious clients in the media, content, technology and sport industries, so we need to provide a premium experience at every point in the recruitment process,” said Lucy.
Previously, if a call overran then one client would sometimes join another client’s meeting accidentally. Not only was this embarrassing for the SRI team, but it also created a potential security issue. With LoopUp, users can set up a dedicated meeting room for each client. Each meeting room has unique join instructions, so there is no chance of anyone accidentally joining another person’s meeting. For additional security, LoopUp hosts can see exactly who has joined their meeting and remove anyone they don’t want on the call.
Connecting internal teams globally
SRI operates across four continents and effective collaboration is important. “We operate as one global team. We share knowledge across borders to find the world’s best talent,” said Lucy. “We do a lot of calls with Australia, and with our other providers the audio quality over long distances was often poor. With LoopUp, it’s like the person is in the same room and not on the other side of the world”.
SRI uses LoopUp for global training on industry trends and news. With LoopUp, all training is recorded and team members that cannot attend a session can review it later.
Making life easier for Executive Assistants
With LoopUp, Executive Assistants can schedule meetings, update meeting settings, view meeting history and join calls on behalf of the partners at SRI. In addition, the partners can schedule their own meetings with complete ease.
“The partners are very independent when using LoopUp,” said Lucy. “It’s so easy, especially with the call back feature.” With LoopUp, users click a link to join their meeting and LoopUp calls them back on their phone. At SRI, meeting hosts use the meeting link on 97% of their LoopUp calls instead of dialling in – so no more scrambling for phone numbers and access codes.
Simple for IT teams to support
SRI needed a tool that would not require a lot of IT support because they outsource this function. LoopUp is intuitive to use and no training is required. If users have any questions, LoopUp offers round-the-clock customer support, so fewer tickets are raised with internal IT teams.
SRI was assigned a dedicated Account Manager for advice on how to get the most out of LoopUp. “Not all products offer this but LoopUp really understand our needs,” said Lucy. “They have been nothing but very helpful and supportive”.
Driving business performance
LoopUp has become an invaluable asset to SRI for connecting with clients, candidates and internal stakeholders. The firm now has a single conferencing platform across all locations. Consultants use video and screen sharing for interviews, making them more efficient and reducing travel costs and carbon footprints.
Engagement with clients has improved. LoopUp connects each office more effectively for global training and knowledge sharing, driving competitive advantage. “Frankly, I don’t think our business would function the same without it,” said Lucy. “LoopUp has helped SRI to increase productivity and improve the experience for both clients and candidates.”