A contracting and placement firm offering positions at a substantially reduced rate than its larger competitors is winning favour with the reseller channel.
New South Wales Sales and Marketing Register places candidates in a variety of positions in the IT field, and says it can offer a selection of high quality candidates for a simple flat fee of $2,750.
Managing director Jan Gray says the key to his company's cheaper rates is organisation. "We're only a small operation, and it's a numbers game. If you get the percentages right from day one you really don't need to charge a great deal of money. Our business revolves around volume and efficiency, because it doesn't take two months or three months on average to a get a position filled," he said.
The genesis of the company, which operates only in New South Wales, lies in Gray's own experiences. Having worked for 25 years in sales and human resources, Gray approached an agency with the hope of finding new opportunities. When he was told that he was too old for the market, he set up his own organisation. Gray founded NSWS&MR on the basis of offering low rates and instant placement. "If somebody rings up and asks for a sales person, they don't want a sales person in a month, they want them that day."
Just the fax
NSWS&MR advertises its candidates via faxed messages sent to 2,500 computer companies and an additional 1,250 businesses. "All of our candidates are interviewed and ready to go before our fax goes out, which means that if somebody's looking for a specific person we can usually have those resumes sorted out and to the client within 24 hours," Gray said. Candidates are placed by employers responding to NSWS&MR's fax, which lists the number of potential candidates it currently has in its database. The employer may then wish to see that group of people.
Gray says the company has placed 1,000 people in the last 12 months, with 60 per cent of his business having come from the reseller channel. He says the breakdown of candidates is split roughly between sales and technical positions. In the channel, Gray says he has noticed a marked increase in the number of people required for technical support roles.
Word of mouth
Candidates are gathered through advertising or word of mouth. Gray says under no circumstances will NSWS&MR engage in head hunting. "It's a small market and we've dedicated ourselves to the computer industry. And the way we see it is if we're going to swap candidates from one company to another, then we're not going to last too long in the industry. There's enough people in the marketplace to not worry about head hunting," he said.
NSWS&MR also offers a 90-day full replacement guarantee. Gray says in the last 12 months only four per cent of candidates have required replacing. "Most people will know within the first 90 days whether a person's the correct person or not," he said.
NSWS&MR also plays in the contracting arena, where Gray says its cheaper rates can also be of benefit to employers. It asks for a one-off fee of $1,250. "We looked at the contract markets and found that in a lot of cases contractors agencies' will take a percentage off the top of what they earn. On a lot of the contracts there was somewhere in the vicinity of $8,000 a month going to the agency. So it was our belief that we could do a similar deal with the contractors as we could with the permanent staff." Gray calculates that on a three-month contract for a senior programmer his company's cheaper rate can save up to $3,950. "This doesn't sound a like a lot of money, but accumulate that over a number of contractors, and it can be significant."
Gray measures his success by both the number of candidates placed and the amount of repeat business he receives. "In the last 10 months we've seen probably 50 or 70 per cent of our business has been with repeat clients," he said.
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