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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Job Board Resellers or Fully Fledged RPO Service?

I am intrigued with the misinterpretation of the RPO services concept within the market in the recent past. Having spent over eight years in the recruitment process outsourcing sector, I’ve observed the shift in sales/services approach from providing skilled resource to being a job board reseller.  But how does this shift add value to the recruiters?  In fact, does it add any value at all?

Let’s begin with the sales pitch.  More often than not, the pitch these days is around the number of job boards one subscribes to, free trials and number of CVs one will drip feed on an average day.  Let’s look at this from the client (Recruiters) perspective.

The positives:

  • The recruiter will not have to subscribe to the job boards
  • They will see more CVs from multiple sources
  • Less expensive (gets resource plus job boards for much lesser cost compared to what it would cost in house)

The hidden negatives:


A service provider subscribing to multiple job boards (generally over 5), deploying dedicated staff for the client to work on their account, providing CVs on multiple vacancies; how much does it add up to?  The only cost that would differ from cost arbitrage perspective is the resource cost; job board subscription cost would remain unchanged.  With such an exponential cost, how is it viable for the service provider to make any margins, unless one operates in a shared services model? 

As a client you may be completely unaware that your service is being offered on this basis.  So, let’s review the pitfalls of shared service model, specifically from the resourcing perspective:
  • This model mainly operates with a CRM (Client Relationship Manager) acting as a point of contact with the client and looks after the resourcing activity; hence, you’ve got what was promised; i.e. dedicated resource in the form of a CRM.
  • Vacancies/roles are passed to the team of resourcers depending on the volume of work they have on an average day, hence, there is invariably someone new every day working on your vacancies.  Result, inconsistency in the quality of CVs sourced.
  • Secondly, due to the high amount of investment in job boards, one resource will work for at least four clients/recruiters on an average day. 

 Question to recruiters:

  • How can one deliver the quality when there is a communication gap between the resourcer and recruiter? Vacancy template as a medium is too weak to communicate the most important aspects of the job.
  • How will one deliver quality when the resourcer is targeted to source “x” number of CVs for every role?
  • Considering the volume of vacancies they have to work with on an average day, will the resourcer go the extra mile to qualify each CV thoroughly?
  • Would you want a new resourcer working on your roles every other day?
  • Client competition; shared resource is deployed to work for clients within the same market; works well for the service provider as they’ll put in half the effort and send same CVs to both the clients, but then, how are you ahead of the game?
It’s your choice, if you’re looking for bunch of CVs every day, regardless of the quality; Job board resellers are the way to go.

If you’re looking for a strategic partner who’ll not just deliver quality candidates, but achieve the bottom line; i.e. placements and revenue, you want to talk to us.

We work hard to enable our clients to maximize their own profitability, retain business and engender their own competitive advantage.  We are confident we can deliver return on investment to you so you can deliver an enhanced service to your clients because we offer a dedicated resource model and not a shared service.  We don’t just deliver CVs- unless that is really what you want.


About the author:


Ketan Gajjar is a VP Operations-RPO for QX Limited: a North Yorkshire, UK based private limited company established in 2003, specializing in providing payroll, finance and accountancy, recruitment and business process outsourcing services to a range of private and public companies in the UK. 

QX’s recruitment division is called QX Recruitment Services. It operates across all the verticals with specific experience within the Doctors, Nursing, AHPs, Social Care, IT, Engineering, Oil and Gas industries. We’ve placed hundreds of candidates through our client agencies using dedicated teams to provide client confidentiality, excellent working relations and a tailored service which matches requirements.


Benefits of working with QX Recruitment services:

  • We offer a dedicated resource model and not a shared service
  • Flexible hours to meet business needs and prompt turnaround
  • Guaranteed delivery times
  • Additional hours of working – office hours are 8.00am to 5.30pm UK time – included within standard charge
  • Out of office provision – we can contact candidates at times convenient to them
  • We can take care of the core and non-core functions of the recruitment agency business so you can add value to your clients
Used by over a 100 firms and businesses including ICAEW-member companies of all sizes (from sole practitioners to Top-250 firms) and UK staffing operations, QX provides an efficient solution to ambitious businesses looking to achieve greater profitability by managing costs.

QX is a BSI audited ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 27001:2005 certified organization and its divisions are a member of the ICAEW and NASSCOM.

Connect with Ketan on LinkedIn. Alternatively, you can contact him for an evaluation of your company’s outsourcing needs on 0870 803 1033 or chris.harrison@qxltd.com

Monday, 3 June 2013

Ravi Kurani: the best man for QX Limited at Accountex on June 6-7th

On June 6th, Accountex will kick off yet another season in London. And while thousands of accountants and finance directors working in practice, business and the public sector will descend upon the ExCel centre, Ravi Kurani, Business Development Director for QX Limited, will get ready to speak on the benefits and pitfalls of outsourcing for UK accountancy practices at the How to Theatre on the 6th of June between 16.00 – 16.45.

Accountex offers an unparalleled opportunity for financial professionals to gain expert insight and education within a live environment. It is supported by the UK's most important accountancy associations, and brings together over 100 dynamic exhibiting companies, educational seminar theatres, and interactive workshops.
Back this year, Accountex is expected to be bigger then ever, with over 3000 accountants/FDs expected to visit over 100 exhibition stands and attend talks and discussions by over a 100 speakers at various seminars and workshops!

Still only in its second year, Accountex has firmly positioned itself as a premier event for the region. Accountants will be able to wonder through everything from current tax issues, building global businesses, practice management strategies, practice marketing, ‘compliance’ in the cloud and wealth management to the biggest issues and questions in industry today.

One of the burning issues “the benefits and pitfalls of accounting outsourcing” will be addressed by Ravi Kurani at the How to Theatre on the 6th of June between 16.00 – 16.45. This seminar will guide you through the key challenges outsourcing poses, with a focus on the impact of the financial crisis and how this has changed firms approach and outsourcing strategies.

Key benefits of attending
  • Understand the key drivers and assess the benefits as well as pitfalls of outsourcing accountancy
  • Explore how the outsourcing landscape has changed due to the financial crisis
A versatile outsourcing expert, Ravi Kurani will be sharing his views on the said topic of discussion. Well known internally for setting up the QXAS (QX Accounting Services) division, Ravi lives and travels in the UK meeting accountants, finance directors and other business people.

In addition to the talk, QX limited will be exhibiting for 2 days on stand A432. We are also offering leisure vouchers and special offers on our “personal tax return service” with a guaranteed turnaround time to beat your client’s expectations. We are doing all this so you could give yourself a holiday! So don’t forget to drop in and say hello. 

Accountex began in November, 2012 and has gone from strength to strength, thanks to the organisers, Prysm Group.  The event will take place at the ExCel Centre in London on 6-7th of June, 2013.

People wanting to attend can simply register online for free tickets. Full details, speaker and exhibitor profiles and workshop overviews can be seen by clicking on the links.

Friday, 15 March 2013

6 Reasons why UK Businesses Should Outsource Their Finance and Accounting!

When one of our current clients, a leading developer and manager of student accommodation, started to look for an alternate outsourcing partner to the one they had in 2010, they had innumerable accounting errors such as frequent duplicate payments, poor cash management procedures (through 60 bank accounts) and high bank charges. Errors in ledger posting had further affected the overall quality of their finance process.

Within just 2 years our client has achieved an annual 60% reduction in operating costs against the cost of their running these processes in-house. Additionally, in contrast to the previous outsourcing supplier’s use of 60 bank accounts to manage cash, they now manage transactions through only 5 bank accounts.

Today we produce 17 sets of management accounts for this client, maintain finance records, manage the entire bookkeeping function, prepare VAT returns, assist with credit control and independently manage a substantial treasury.  To ensure that the business operates smoothly we liaise with internal and external auditors on behalf of the client. Our delivery centres have also been audited by a Big Four accounting firm and given a clean report as the client’s outsourced finance department.

What made this astonishing reversal possible? Outsourcing.

“I have been really impressed with the “QX approach” towards client accounting services. I believe they are special because they work to achieve the objectives of the client and as part of the UK team rather than just being a support or cost saver. Our Management reporting has come on a quantum leap since we engaged QX” - Head of Operations for the Student Accommodation Company.

So why should you outsource your finance and accounting? Because:
  1. You want to see your business (and your bank accounts) grow as a result of strategic outsourcing.  Transferring activities such as bookkeeping, statutory accounts, management accounts, taxation and such lowers in-house costs by 40-50% and helps you focus on core competencies so that you can outperform your industry competitors.
  2. You want to tighten your focus on strategic priorities, improve efficiencies, enhance reporting, strengthen you governance capabilities, develop better management controls and introduce new opportunities for continuous improvement.
  3. You want to avoid financial problems like compliance failure and appropriately deal with the increasingly complex and expensive component of F&A management.  Outsourcing allows you to address the complexities of the Companies (Audit, Investigations, and Community Enterprise) Bill which requires you to increase the timeliness, accuracy, integrity and transparency of your financial reporting.
  4. You want to have access to leading-edge technology and best practices available to manage the finance and accounting function.
  5. You can see that the business landscape is in a state of constant flux with new demands made by customers and investors everyday. This needs you to evolve your strategies and introduce new products and services. Outsourcing your F&A functions gives you the time to do so.
  6. You would rather do things that you enjoy than worry about something you don’t necessarily need to be good at. 
Conclusion:

Have you ever tried F&A outsourcing? If you haven't and want to try us out as a result of reading this post we'd love to hear from you. You can call us on 0870 803 1033 or contact us on contact@qxltd.com to discuss how we can work together. In the meantime, please share any thoughts, suggestions, ideas, or even arguments in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Educate to Empower Community Event

We extended our support to kids from our local neighbourhood at a recent QX LTD community event! Before we go any further, I would first like to introduce the Trust that made it possible.

The QX Educational Trust was formed in 2011 by QX’s Chairman, Chris Robinson, not only to champion the cause of education in modern Indian society, but also to ensure that children in the local neighbourhood get opportunities for an all-round development. We believe the best way to drive change and support our communities’ development is by providing access to quality education and training.

QX’s “Educate to Empower” program is aimed at supporting children from economically weak families but strong potential. The intention is to support them through their professional studies that they may choose to pursue.

Now in its second year, the staff members hosted a small afternoon party on office premises last month. We hope these photos bring a smile to your face as we usher in the holiday season.

  1. Photos on the QX Page - CSR


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Compelling Branding Techniques for the Sourcing Businesses. How? By ‘Changing’ The Traditional Engagement Models.

A leading IT-outsourcer in India recently unleashed an aggressive advertisement campaign detailing how it is moving away from the ‘T&M’ (Time & Material) model of outsourcing and embracing the ‘Outcome based’ model of outsourcing. This change in outsourcing strategy marked the start of a significant new phase in the evolution of the outsourcing industry; as it related more to the ‘branding’ of the outsourcing company than an actual shift of their  business model.

In a nutshell, the time trusted ‘T&M’ model is a business outsourcing model which relies predominantly on the number of people being put to use for the client’s process. All aspects of this model, including the revenue from such services can be directly correlated to the number of people as well as the proportion of their time being utilized by the client’s process. The new ‘outcome-based’ model is pretty much self-explanatory as it tries to shift the focus of the entire customer base from the ‘efforts-based’ model to the ‘results-based’ model.

So what does this mean for the future of outsourcing? Does this mean that the efforts-based model will die a natural death? Pondering over this question and looking at some of the client based processes we at QX currently have; we deduced that we already have a heady mix of these two models. We do not, say for example- have X number of processes following one model and Y number of processes following the other; but rather each of our processes deliver unmatched value to our clients by incorporating the perfect mix of the two models. We guarantee the ‘Quality’ of our deliverables and make sure they are highly accurate (read as ‘outcome-based’) as well as by computing the utilization aspects of our highly efficient human resources (T&M/efforts based)

So, is this then just a marketing strategy/ branding exercise to differentiate themselves from the competitors? This may not be entirely true either as some companies have their outsourcing processes structured only around the ‘time spent and efforts put in’ model while not taking any responsibility for the results of such work done by their employees. In this respect, yes, the company in question is searching and driving towards new value-generation streams emphasizing on the quality of their service over the cost saved. This, if you will remember was also the conclusion of my last article Outsourcing Comes Full Circle - Now India Offshores to the US.

All roads, it appears- lead to Rome.

Photo Courtesy - Flickr

About the author:

Rahul Shah, the writer of this post, is a Chartered Accountant with QX Limited: an ICAEW-member accountancy outsourcing company based in Skipton. Connect with Rahul on LinkedIn. Alternatively, you can contact QX Limited for an evaluation of your company’s offshore outsourcing needs on 0870 803 1033 or contact@qxltd.com
      

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Most Magnificent Benefits of Finance & Accounts Outsourcing

Typically accountancy practices spend 70% of their time on low-value compliance functions. A good outsourcing company helps you reduce the time spent on these low-margin activities while still retaining command.

You get a highly-disciplined, timely and accurate accounting service since all offshore accountants are trained to produce accounts from incomplete records. Accessing your systems remotely, the outsourcing partner ensures that all your data stays in the UK. Most of the tech-savvy outsourcing companies can also access your data from a secure portal located in the UK. Either way none of your data leaves the UK.

Other than the quickly visible benefits of cost-savings, offshoring your compliance functions helps reduce overheads that come in the form of:

•    Recruiting and training specialist staff
•    Buying and maintaining systems and software, and
•    Dealing with HMRC

Including the above, the following benefits explain why you should stop processing your F&A compliance functions in-house:

Business Related Benefits


1.    Make your practice more profitable than ever by reducing in-house costs by almost 50%

2.    Open doors to new opportunities for growth by taking on higher fee earning work

3.    Work collaboratively with your clients while staying in full command

4.    Opportunity to re-engineer your existing operations

5.    Levelled playing field for SMEs: Compete with larger companies for bigger jobs and generate larger profits by outsourcing portions of the workload

6.    Reduced low-margin compliance burden

7.    Save time and money


Workforce Related Benefits


1.    Sole-proprietors & new accountancy practices that are unsure about recruiting staff before the practice becomes profitable, outsourcing serves as a perfect cost-effective alternative

2.    Tap the best minds in the world - open access to a skilled finance department that grows with your company without the HR headache

3.    Have access to industry best practices and technologies

4.    Enjoy a larger workforce and increase your firm’s efficiency without increasing headcount

5.    Create a more flexible and adaptable organizational structure

6.    Get the ability to cope with peak and trough seasons by having access to flexible resources and engagement models

7.    Add-on capacity and back-up for sole-practitioners and small practices content with staying independent


The Inevitable Footnote


As the business community evolves you will need to push yourself to find your company’s success, how you can save time on admin functions and gain advantage over your competitors.

Have you ever tried offshore outsourcing? If you haven't and want to try us out as a result of reading this post we'd love to hear from you. You can call us on 0870 803 1033 or contact us on contact@qxltd.com to discuss how we can work together. In the meantime, please share any thoughts, suggestions, ideas, or even arguments in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Outsourcing Comes Full Circle - Now India Offshores to the US

Outsourcing is doing a somersault. We have always known of American & British companies outsourcing work to India.

But a recent trend is of Indian companies outsourcing work to American multinationals. Again unlike the American outsourcing where non-core area was being outsourced, the Indian example is of core area of work being outsourced.

And surprise of surprises, India Inc, is outsourcing — wait till you hear this — Information Technology of all things to American multinationals, shrugging of in due humility the tag of IT super power. And what makes IT core is that it can deliver not just marginal cost benefits but change the way business is done, thus possibly transforming business.

No, the extract from the news article printed above is not a fake. It is absolutely true. What this signifies is something that we have always thought to be true, but never had the evidence to prove it; Offshoring is much more than providing cost savings. A majority of companies offshore their functions not only for cost savings, but primarily to obtain better value, efficiencies and integration with their core operations. The above example also proves that - while there is incremental cost by offshoring work to the US, the value obtained from such offshoring is given more importance than the extra cost incurred.

This changing shift in business strategy has now reached a complete paradigm shift wherein, businesses are no longer ready to put all their eggs in one basket, but are instead looking at diversifying and created multi-platform alliances and partnerships which can provide value to both the business establishments taking part in the collaboration.

As more and more companies are facing increased shortage of highly skilled manpower and thus a dip in the quality of their ancillary functions, they are considering completely new avenues in a bid to empower these processes by going the extra mile and offshoring them to companies who have expertise in these aspects (even if it involves increased cost).

The times are certainly changing. Cost efficiencies are now being ignored and are being given less importance than the quality of deliverables. Companies are finally beginning to look up and consider the big picture; Cost Savings will not get them through these difficult times of recession, but a consistent high quality of deliverables surely will. 

 (With extracts from the Economic Times online edition)

About the author:

Rahul Shah, the writer of this post, is a Chartered Accountant with QX Limited: an ICAEW-member accountancy outsourcing company based in Skipton. Connect with Rahul on LinkedIn. Alternatively, you can contact QX Limited for an evaluation of your company’s offshore outsourcing needs on 0870 803 1033 or contact@qxltd.com