Big picture people need a little support with the details
Let’s be honest – even organisational profiling for the best-fit character traits of successful recruitment salespeople indicate that they are generally less inclined to focus on the nitty gritty details. We’re not dumb or lazy, we’re just born this way – just as those experts who specialise in Industrial Relations, Award and EBA agreement interpretation and implementation are probably not jazzed about making cold business development calls or pitching their capabilities in the way that successful salespeople are.
Adept at selling their clients a solution and often driven by competitive time constraints, a salesperson’s’ excitement post winning new business or at least getting a “sniff” has many a time been dampened by their manager’s frustration with hasty manual quotations done on the fly.
How inaccurate quotations impact business
Sometimes these errors can make the difference between meeting budget or not, and in other cases could result in the Ombudsman’s involvement to penalise agencies for incorrect payroll interpretations – something that may justify the typically ‘tentative’ relationship between Payroll and recruitment consultants.
In a recent international report by AIG, nine out of 10 managers have identified poor literacy and numeracy skills have contributed lost productivity due to incorrect calculations. With 55% of Australians with numeracy proficiency below the proficient level, the amount of GP lost due to clerical errors when preparing initial quotes for recruitment services hits the hip pockets of businesses in already tight fiscal environments.
In addition to their increased workload due to errors at quotation stage, Payroll risks dealing with abusive contractors frustrated by unmet remuneration expectations for the duration of their engagement and recruiters may find themselves swapped out for a more reliable payer resulting in lost business. Incorrect invoicing also increases debtor days, impacting actual to forecast results, and requires time wasted on re- invoicing and chasing outstanding invoice payments. The flow-on of this inconvenience to the client could mean the difference between more opportunity with them or becoming too much of an inconvenience to continue doing business with.
“There’s a spreadsheet somewhere for that…”
Ever resourceful, the Recruitment Industry has traditionally responded to the challenges of delivering accurate and timely quotations by developing whizz-bang spreadsheet calculators to remove the chance of such errors. In the process of this ‘automation’, statutory on cost, margin/mark-up and pay rate data is pre-keyed or pasted into the spreadsheet and surely someone will keep the data up do date – won’t they?
Upon return to the office after a great sales meeting, a recruiter is often left chasing help to locate and understand the spreadsheet, finding the right data to input to calculate the rate. Then they must transpose this manually to another document to create the Terms of Business, before printing and obtaining sign off from management and scanning and attaching to an email to the client. And then, the waiting for the client’s acceptance before sealing the deal.
When solutions create more problems, it’s time for a new solution
These ‘corrective measures’ have often been passed down from one ‘generation’ of consultants to another over many years, with the many hands changing or deleting formulas, creating multiple versions and instances, and incorrectly entering data in the first place.
To date, recruiters have not had secure remote access to these ‘tools’ despite their dubious accuracy. Sure, they can search up awards, allowances and penalties on external websites to project a market rate, ‘guesstimate’ the GP they will need to make the mark for GP and recall some kinds of random figures relating to statutory on-costs – but even these activities, when client facing can be time consuming and inaccurate, and as discussed, are no guarantee of an accurate quote and happy ending if the inputs are faulty.
The Future? Ratescalc.com
As outlined by Australian Payroll Association Managing Director Tracey Angwin, it is virtually impossible for anyone working within a national payroll system to keep up to date with all the relevant legislation and regulations across states and territories. And this is even before recognising that most recruiters have only had basic IR training and development.
Imagine the benefits of a piece of software that removes the guesswork and variables of off-the-cuff quotations. It would help ensure that pipelines and forecasts are accurate and achievable, and reduce the likelihood of red faces and irritations that may impact business relationships. If it also removed the worries of award, allowance and penalties interpretation and the availability of up-to-date data maintained by a credible source, the investment in such technology could surely be offset against the increases in GP by getting the quote right first time?
With technology advancing at a rapid rate, the interest in such a tool and the benefits to be reaped by recruitment businesses will be worth developing and investigating by any business who claims one of their philosophies as ‘working smarter, not harder’ – For proof of how this new development can help you get ahead of your competitors and safeguard your business development efforts, get in touch with us!
http://www.couriermail.com.au – “Skills crisis cruels our business” by Jessica Marszalek, The Courier Mail, Jan 2016)
http://www.austpayroll.com.au/announcements/halt-the-fallout-from-a-payroll-error – “Halt the Fallout from a Payroll Error” by Australian Payroll Association, Mar 2013)