“We just flicked the switch,” says Matthew Walton, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Symmetry Human Resources about its implementation of RingCentral Office in November last year, based on a presentation from unified communications and contact centre trusted advisor Giles Potter from Great Outcomes.
Up until that point the recruitment firm, which operates across Australia’s eastern seaboard with offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, had been limited by fixed telephony lines and traditional handsets. The company originally formed in Melbourne from a demerger in 2010, extending and expanding into Sydney and Brisbane via a series of acquisitions. As result, each of its six offices was operating its own separate phone system, making it difficult for people in the business to connect and communicate with each other. Even transferring calls between offices was impossible to do!
Symmetry HR’s organisation is structured around four key areas of recruitment – Health (hospital, allied health and aged care, primarily in the subclinical area), Commercial (contact centre, back office and clerical staff), Industrial (warehouse and manufacturing workers) and Construction/Property/Engineering (professional and management roles).
Each team has specialist expertise in its industry sector, but had largely been operating as discrete geographic practices. Symmetry HR already services clients in other cities, and has a clearly stated goal to establish operations nationally – but a successful expansion around Australia would have been difficult to achieve with the limitations of its existing communications infrastructure.
“There were three very clear reasons for upgrading to RingCentral,” explained Walton. “First, by moving to the cloud it would give us a lot more flexibility and efficiency as a business. Second, it would enhance how we operate as a national team and how much more responsive we could be for our clients and our candidates. Finally, we would reduce the overall costs in managing our telephony environment.”
The timing of the cutover to RingCentral proved to be fortuitous, giving Symmetry’s team plenty of time to become very comfortable with a completely new way of communicating before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March.
“On the Friday, our CEO made the decision and let us all know: ‘don’t come back into the office on Monday. Everybody needs to work from home.’ We all did, and we didn’t miss a call!” said Walton.
Most of the Symmetry HR team were already using a soft phone and the RingCentral app on their mobile phones, so there was no change in how they operated once they were working from home.
The national team meets weekly via video using RingCentral Meetings, and the specialist teams more frequently. Team members can not only transfer calls between offices, they can now transfer calls directly to colleagues, checking first on their presence status or checking with a quick instant message to see if they are available to take the call.
“We are a people business, so staying in contact with video is really important. We are also using the RingCentral platform to send images and text messages, and to share files,” said Walton.
COVID-19 has also had a significant impact on Symmetry HR’s Health team, which is now busier than ever to meet the needs of its hospital and aged care clients. These clients are operating around the clock, so Symmetry HR has a 24×7 service to respond to their calls. It’s far easier now for the Health team to be reached at any time, and RingCentral has enabled Symmetry HR to be more flexible in meeting any higher call volumes by adding more people as needed from other areas of the business to the Health team group.
However, where RingCentral has made the biggest difference for Symmetry HR is in opening the door to greater business innovation, productivity improvements and national growth.
For the first time, Symmetry HR has been able to promote a national 1300 number – “1300 2 TEMPS” (1300 283 677) – which it is using for its sales and marketing campaigns. Symmetry HR has employed smart geographical routing, with landline calls going to that city’s office, with all mobile numbers going to head office in Melbourne. Setting up and changing auto attendant and IVR functionality is also a straightforward process for Symmetry HR to complete via the RingCentral Admin Portal.
The recruiter has complete visibility on inbound and outbound calls, so can see overall call volumes and trends, and which numbers are getting the calls. Without any external assistance required, Walton used the existing Zoho CRM App Integration for RingCentral to integrate Symmetry HR’s telephony environment with its Zoho CRM solution. “I can click to call from within Zoho, I can see who’s calling me on screen if I already have that contact stored in our CRM, and any calls I make or receive are automatically logged in Zoho.”
With most staff still working from home – and very effectively – Symmetry HR is re-thinking its overall real estate requirements.
“We are now far more flexible and far more efficient, so how many people do we have to have in physical offices?” asks Walton.
“It’s also far easier for us to set up operations in new locations around Australia. All we need is an Internet connection.”
That means investigating co-working spaces instead of more expensive dedicated offices and meeting rooms, which Symmetry HR has traditionally used to run its “Assessment Centre” group recruitment and training sessions.
“Rather than investing in our own permanent meeting rooms, it’s much more cost-effective for us to use either co-working spaces or our clients’ own facilities. The intellectual property and value proposition we have in our Assessment Centres are in our framework and our processes, not in the spaces where we hold them,” said Walton.
Online video-based candidate interviews are also being considered – where appropriate. “We can reduce our overall recruitment times because we can interview more candidates more quickly using RingCentral, as we don’t need to set up the in-person interviews which usually take a few days to schedule,” Walton concluded.