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SSC, GBS and Beyond: How Centralised Models Are Helping Rapidly Growing Agencies Face COVID-Induced Challenges

Written By Siddharth Sujan

SSC, GBS and Beyond: How Centralised Models Are Helping Rapidly Growing Agencies Face COVID-Induced Challenges

Over the last two decades, rapidly expanding recruitment agencies have continued to explore the Shared Services and the Global Business Services (GBS) model to integrate new brands in the business and achieve infinite scalability.

While the traditional Shared Service Centre (SSC) model has enabled agencies to outsource and optimise back office tasks associated with individual functions, GBS takes it a notch higher by ensuring delivery of business processes such as HR, finance, IT and more on a global level.

As remote working becomes the new norm and analytics & insights come into the forefront of driving business growth, the stakes are higher than ever before. Going into the future, big recruitment agencies will bank heavily on the GBS model to overcome several COVID-induced challenges and future-proof their organisations.

Pressing recruitment challenges hurting agencies

What are the problems faced by modern recruiters?

1) Enabling seamless remote hiring

According to a survey by Bullhorn, 91% of recruitment professionals have adopted video interviewing since the COVID-19 outbreak. This figure speaks volumes of its future for an industry that has traditionally had limited exposure to remote working.

Source: Bullhorn Survey

While the pandemic has established remote working as the new normal and opened up global talent pools, it has also brought about some challenges for recruiters. In addition to adapting to the remote way of working, recruitment teams will also be expected to integrate tools & platforms, facilitate effective communication and maintain consistency to thrive in the post-COVID world.

While the pandemic has established remote working as the new normal and opened up global talent pools, it has also brought about some challenges for recruiters. In addition to adapting to the remote way of working, recruitment teams will also be expected to integrate tools & platforms, facilitate effective communication and maintain consistency to thrive in the post-COVID world.

2) Providing top notch customer experience

Maintaining healthy customer relationships has always formed the backbone of successful recruitment agencies. However, the turmoil of 2020 made it extremely difficult for agencies to retain existing clients and find new ones.

To add to that candidate demand has fluctuated between historic highs and extreme lows since the pandemic started. As a result, agencies that excelled in serving specific industries had a tough time keeping up with the fluid landscape. This, in turn, resulted in additional pressure to give top priority to client relationship management, stay on top of their ever-changing needs, and ensure seamless service delivery.

3) Efficient & effective recruitment process

If there’s one aspect that has definitely taken a hit for recruitment agencies in 2020, it has to be efficiency. In addition to dealing with hiring freezes and spikes, recruiters around the world were suddenly expected to adapt to a completely new virtual environment. In fact, a report by Monster highlights the very pain points of recruiters and presents the top three concerns for professionals in 2020:

Source: Monster Survey

With 82% employers claiming that they plan to hire in 2021(Source: Monster report), recruiters must only expect harder times. In such a scenario, the key to survival rests with professionals who can quickly upskill, master the nuances of remote hiring and keep up with the sky-high demands by executing quality hires in a short span of time.

4) Leveraging data & insights to improve hiring

In pre-COVID times, the use of data & insights in recruiting was an aspect that was always in the grey area – while some agencies acknowledged it, others continued to rely on manual spreadsheets that were time-consuming and prone to errors.

For 2021 and beyond, agencies are expected to be under extreme pressure and will have to put their best foot forward in order to tackle the competition and cash in on the wave. To start with, companies will need to find ways to streamline the process of compiling and organising hiring data. Once this is coupled with tracking data & trends accurately, these agencies will succeed in leveraging data & metrics to take better informed business decisions.

GBS as a catalyst to drive business growth

How does GBS help agencies overcome recruitment challenges?

1) Accelerating digital transformation

Technology and automation have continued to define the modern business scenario for quite some time now and when it comes to the recruitment industry, COVID only seems to have hit the gas. In the post-COVID world, agencies will have to drill down to the minutest details around digital transformation to successfully identify the scope of technology and how to integrate it with their workforce. Stable and standard processes are the foundation on which successful automation projects are built. GBS providers focus on optimising processes and this is exactly why implementing this model can propel digital transformation.

A GBS structure acts as the perfect base to set up a digital ecosystem that facilitates continued improvement in terms of automation. To start with, businesses optimise the use of existing software and then move on to leverage Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate routine, repetitive tasks to thrive in a highly dynamic and competitive environment.

In recent times, agencies have also gone a step ahead to implement intelligent automation in the form of machine learning and dynamic workflows to ensure that their systems learn and adapt over time.

For example, a rapidly growing aerospace parts manufacturer partnered with QX to address the highly complex nature of its accounting processes. Our team enabled transformation for the client by playing a proactive role in software migration, process optimisation and AP automation. Click here to read the case study.

2) Putting customers at the front

Owing to supply chain disruptions, movement restrictions and frequent lockdowns, 2020 can well be defined as the year of fluid customer expectations. While Shared Service Centers can also play a key role in overcoming these challenges, businesses can often struggle with consolidation and maintaining consistency in providing seamless client experience across locations.

Working with an experienced GBS partner helps agencies leverage the global experience to better understand and address their customer’s needs. In addition, the fluid and scalable nature of this model also allows companies to offer a much wider range of solutions to their partners, thus strengthening relationships and gaining competitive advantage over their competition.

3) Future-proofing organisations with scalable solutions

Recruitment agencies are aching to bounce back and get on track with their long-term business goals. However, there will also be an added pressure of adapting to the ever-important hybrid workforce model where technology is utilised to its best potential and human workforce reskills to focus on value-driven functions.

A reliable GBS model can go a long way in adding flexibility to an organisation, especially with plug-and-play solutions that allow businesses to expand both organically and through M&As. To add to that, a plug-and-play model also enables companies to focus solely on expansion while other integrated functions like IT, sales, HR, finance and more continue to take care of themselves.

For example, a recruitment giant turned to QX with the aim of moving from a region/entity-based structure to a process-based structure. Over the course of the partnership, the agency was able to consolidate services through an outsourcing model into one center to achieve annual cost savings of £2.6m​. Click here to read the case study.

4) Looking beyond service delivery

One of the biggest differences between a conventional, structure-based outsourcing setup and a GBS model is that the latter serves as a platform for businesses to look beyond service delivery and promote continual growth. As mentioned earlier, data & analytics is expected to play a defining role for agencies in times to come. In case of such a landscape, GBS can play a key role in utilising predictive analysis, AI and cognitive computing to enable smarter, more informed business decisions.

Picking the right partner for your GBS journey

How do QX’s GBS solutions enable transformation for agencies?

One of the biggest mistakes that business owners often commit while choosing a GBS model is that they perceive these models as the final stage of business growth. In reality, GBS, instead, only serves as the base for continued transformation and in fact, sets premise for infinite scalability. Therefore, when the stakes are high, it becomes even more important to pick the right partner to enable the GBS transformation.

QX is a leading UK-based BPO headquartered in Skipton, Yorkshire. Ever since our inception in 2003, we have enabled transformation for many leading recruitment agencies across verticals through our wide range of finance & accounting and recruitment services. Our subject matter expertise, business knowledge and technology know-how all come together to ensure seamless service delivery through a consolidated, scalable centre.

Contact us to know more about our services for recruitment agencies and kickstart your transformation journey.

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