Linux operating system.
This is not for the technologically faint hearted, Linux is a ‘community engineered’ alternative to the Windows operating system. Benefits to recruitment agencies are
The machines are often cheaper and faster than a Windows PC
They carry equivalent packages (e.g. word processor, spreadsheet, presentation etc.) for all available Windows office software with one key difference, the Linux software is all open source and is therefore free!
Linux machines do not suffer virus attacks. With Windows I used to loose 2 to 3 days per year (plus sleep) over virus attacks and then having to recover data. With Linux in 2 years I’ve had none!
The one thing to be careful of here is that Linux is different kit to windows, so you will need a specialist Linux company to support you. But, if you can get this, my opinion is, and I stress it’s my opinion, Linux is fantastic for recruitment consultants, cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, faster and more reliable!
Open source software.
Office software, and in particular CRM systems can cost recruitment agencies large amounts of money to set up and run. Open source software is free, created and updated by a large community of techies it’s presents highly sophisticated alternatives to traditional software. There are now excellent open source CRM packages, totally free as they are open source and perfectly usable as recruitment agency database software. As with Linux, it’s advisable to find a company who will support you through it, but other than support, the software is free to obtain and use on an ongoing basis, and it’s web based, making it easy for recruitment consultants to view from any location. Have a look at Sugar CRM.
This is not that new, but essential technology for any recruitment agency, messenger enables staff to communicate from anywhere, real-time, so long as they have an internet connection. There are a number of benefits:
Saves on phone and text charges, messenger communication is free.
Highly effective for team working with channels to all open all of the time.
Excellent to support home working in maintaining your contact with staff.
Works on any PC or mobile device with an internet connection.
Today’s mobile phones offer exceptional functionality with broadband speed internet connections enabling full mobile e-mail capacity and internet browsing whilst out interviewing. If your company places it’s database on a server which is attached to the internet, you’ll have full access to your recruitment database whilst out with clients or interviewing. The days of recruitment consultants having to synchronise with outlook when you’re back in the office are gone. Run a web based e-mail package (try Zimbra) for all your e-mail, calender and notes and you will never need to synch again, simply use in on your phone over the internet
To look at and use these are just the same as any other phone. However, they don’t need a phone line, simply a connection to the internet, but here’s the good bits.
No phone line, no monthly rental charges.
An IP Phone comes with a an 0845 number which follows the phone. If you travel to the other side of the world and plug into the internet, and you have your same 0845, your same office extension (so your PA can still put calls through) and free calls to anyone else on an IP phone, or at worst a local rate elsewhere.
The biggest application for recruitment consultants is home working. You could be in the office one day, and at home the next, and still on the end of your office extension, the potential savings to recruitment agencies here are huge.
Web based e-mail.
Gone are those days when web based e-mail was just hotmail, which was convenient but lacking the sophistication of packages like outlook, which carried calendars and other useful office functionality. Now, packages such as Zimbra offer unparalleled functionality on a web based package, also now configured to work on smart phones for mobility. Rather than having to synchronise e-mail packages on PC and smart phone, now mobile recruitment consultants can use the same package where ever they are, on any computer, anywhere in the world. The software is open source, so it’s completely free!
If you are a recruitment consultant like myself, you may find it difficult to focus on things like this which are visibly related to generating another fee. But be warned, recruitment consultants who embrace these developments are giving themselves the advantage before the recruitment has even began.