The latest news and advice from our recruitment experts.
In just 10 years, QJumpers has gone from being an innovative recruitment company from the Bay of Plenty to New Zealand’s leading provider of recruitment software and services with plans to take their unique brand into the United States.
So to find out what has driven the company’s success, we spoke to General Manager Simon Oldham about how QJumpers was formed and how the company has changed over the past decade.
At that time, companies only had two choices with recruitment: either to do it yourself by advertising on job boards or by using a recruitment agency. At the time, recruitment technology wasn’t really thought about too much, so we didn’t focus on our technology, we got into unbundling the recruitment process. We started QJumpers to deliver services that people asked for: things like filtering and shortlisting so companies could get access to the candidates fast without paying the crazy prices of agencies. The technology then evolved out of that because people said they were short of time and needed the ability to bulk email, or have someone else look at a candidate and share feedback.
And because we started with a desire to meet customers’ specific needs, we’ve ended up in a unique place where we deliver services and technology, and still keep that personal contact with clients. We’re more involved than a normal recruitment technology provider. We give advice on recruitment strategies, write job adverts and employment agreements, perform background checks – anything to do with recruitment and recruitment technology. Our goal has always been to make recruitment easier and technology has come along which has enabled us to do just that.
Yes, it’s been crazy! The problems we’ve gone out to solve are the problems that our clients have told us about. We didn’t try to copy anybody as no-one was doing what our clients wanted - we just came up with the ideas independently. It’s kind of like how New Zealand evolved thousands of kilometers from the rest of the world and ended up with some strange creatures, so QJumpers evolved as a bit of a strange creature too! But what’s happening now is that we often hear about “brand new innovations” in the United States that we did 10 years ago in New Zealand. For example, we were the first New Zealand online talent pool - we wanted to get candidates directly in front of clients to cut out the ‘middle man’. We started building candidate profiles and having them pre-vetted; we would score them, give them a rank and automatically put them in front of our clients. Right from the beginning, we were working out a way to sell talent rather than job vacancies. Talent pools, rankings and charge per applicant are only now becoming big trends globally.
The first big moment was in 2009 when we won our first multi-user system contract for Otago Polytechnic. Up until then, it had always been one login per person, but Otago Polytechnic wanted a system that allowed lots of people to see the job adverts. We realised that was what the market really needed and so we built the system especially for that tender and it became the first of our big customised systems that allowed multiple users and functionality. And they’re still using us now.
The second big moment was when we got the contract for Bupa New Zealand. They had been trying to build and manage their own recruitment system for years and had given up. The tender came down to us and another New Zealand company that was the leader in recruitment technology at the time - Bupa chose us. We built them a fully customised system to the exact specs within 10 weeks from signing the agreement. That was a big defining moment: to beat the best in the market and meet the requirements of one of the biggest employers in New Zealand was amazing. That was when we knew we could do anything and take on the best and win.
Technology is changing so fast in the recruitment space. There are new players entering the market globally every week. Most only last a year or so and others go on to do really well. One of the unique things we’re doing is that, yes, we watch what other people are doing but we try to do it in our own way. We ask what challenges the customer wants to solve and then do it just how the customer wants to do it. We also like to think of concepts that no-one else has from our isolated little world. Our isolation in a lot of ways helps us to keep ahead of the game. And that’s why our system is a bit different.
These key moments of bringing out new functionality are happening more frequently now as the change is getting faster and faster each year. Over the past six months we have implemented two massive modules in the recruitment system in terms of the employment agreement module and the job requisition module. These are huge pieces of functionality which in the past we would have released maybe once a year. We need to move fast to ensure that we’re innovating rather than following.
We have had the same branding for 10 years now which is quite a long time. Part of our brand values is to be innovative, fun and different whereas some of the old branding looks a little on the conservative side now. So we’re changing the branding to reflect our people culture, our innovation and our image as being an energetic bunch of people. Of course there will be no change to our great service, only the way we look!
We’ll also be holding a party where we’ll talk about the new innovations we’re bringing to the market and how we’re launching QJumpers in the United States. We’ve already done a lot of research on the US market and some of those things will work well in New Zealand as well. So we’re going to develop new technology for the United States and bring the bits that work well for New Zealand here as well. Being in the US market will have great benefits for our New Zealand clients as they can be assured that we’re keeping up with global innovations, and because we’ll be in two different markets, we’ll know what’s going on in more places and keep ahead of the game.
The biggest thing in New Zealand is that there’s a ‘do it yourself’ mentality and the way that flows into recruitment is that there aren’t many organisations where you only have a couple of people doing recruitment for the whole company. Instead, you tend to have a lot of the mangers involved as well. That decentralised process is a big trend in the US now where hiring managers have to shortlist and look at candidates themselves. Therefore, they require systems that focus on simplicity and intuitive functionality. That is our specialty. The key difference is that jobs in the US receive an average of over 200 applicants per role whereas in New Zealand it is about 20. Big global recruitment systems are built for big applicant volumes with few recruiters whereas our platform, with its intuitive jobs dashboard and simple functionality, focuses on making it easy for the hiring manager to use and manage their own applicants – even if they only have to log in two or three times a year.
What we are going to keep is the New Zealand culture of doing business where we put people first. New Zealand businesses are good at customer support and the relationships they build with their clients whereas one of the biggest complaints in the US is not receiving the support and service to back up the software.Getting to know our clients, calling on them and helping them throughout their recruitment process has been built into QJumpers DNA right from day one. When we do client surveys, it is one of the best things our customers love about us. We didn’t necessarily do it on purpose, we’re just a Kiwi company that likes people and likes talking to people, building relationships, looking after them and making sure they’re happy. We believe that if they’re happy they won’t leave. And that’s why we don’t force them to sign contracts – they can leave whenever they want - but if they’re happy they won’t!
For more information on how your company can benefit from QJumpers’ 10 years of experience in providing recruitment software and services, contact us on 0800 758673,firstname.lastname@example.org or via our website.