Specialised software just the job for Sigmar

23 May 2003

You don’t have to be an enormous corporation to avail of specialised tools. These days, smaller businesses can avail of packages tailored to their needs, as one new Dublin recruitment agency has found.

By nature, recruitment is a data-heavy business. Matching the right person to the right job requires gathering and collating a lot of information. The more details you have on file, the better your chances are of achieving accurate results. While a lot of this information is straightforward data such as contact details, qualifications and skills, other more complex pieces also fit into the equation such as CVs and interview notes.

Sigmar Recruitment in Dublin is one of the new kids on the block in the Irish industry and, like everyone else in the business, is facing tough competition as the buoyant jobs market of recent years slows down. The company was founded in March 2002 after the collapse of the Marlborough Group. Some 30 people were on board at the start, most of whom had a lot of experience in the business. According to company director Adrian Magennis, the idea was to work with a small core of experienced people and adopt a partnership approach to running the company. “Accountancy, finance, IT, technical and sales would be our core business and we also do a full permanent and temporary placement service,” says Magennis. At present the company employs 35 people.

According to Magennis, the company decided right from the beginning to use a specialised recruitment software package. “Most companies now have an automated database in place. It greatly aids the selection process and allows you to be more cost effective,” he says.

The company took a fairly thorough approach in selecting the package. “Most of the people here have had a good deal of exposure to various packages, so we had a good idea of what we were looking for right from the start. We narrowed it down to a shortlist of three or four candidates before opting for Arithon,” says Magennis.

Arithon is a specialised package from Irish software development company NSP Technologies. It’s designed primarily for recruitment agencies and human resource departments. It’s built around the Oracle 9i database platform. The core function is storing client and candidate information with the goal of providing a quick match when needed. Automated functions such as notifying emails are built in along with integration with office packages such as Word and Excel for story-related documents.

According to Magennis, buying Irish was a strong motivation for picking this particular candidate. “Some of us had previous experience working with UK providers for example and had difficulties getting a decent level of tech support,” he says. “Cost was another factor and we found it to be very competitive in this regard,” he adds.

As for the features of the product, Magennis says that it offered a good balance between simplicity and functionality. “Some systems are very complex at the front end, but this usually requires an enormous amount of input at the backend and this often doesn’t happen,” he says.

Candidate selection is the prime use Sigmar makes of the Arithon package. The company stores client and candidate information on the database. Once a job comes up, the system can match potential candidates to the job, based on their profiles. This presents a long list, which is then whittled down to a shortlist through interviews.

A secondary use is as a customer relationship management tool. Since the database stores a wealth of details, it can be very useful for getting quickly up to speed when a candidate calls or when meeting a client. Sigmar also utilises it as a management information tool, whereby the data can be used to assess the company’s progress in broad terms.

Sigmar has been using Arithon almost since day one. All in all, Magennis says the company is happy with the decision they made. “We found the follow up and support to be very good and they’ve always been quick to respond, whether it be for technical support or training. The level of accessibility is excellent and we’ve never had a problem in speaking to someone in the company,” he says.

Magennis is not the first person we have spoken to who has expressed enthusiasm about opting for Irish solutions providers. It would appear that many businesses have concerns about the level of after-sales support they will receive and the feeling abroad seems to be that the closer to home a vendor is, the more likely it is that they will maintain a strong relationship.

By Dick O’Brien

Pictured: Adrian Magennis, company director of Sigmar Recruitment