OpusPro - Enhancing client collaboration and project management for more successful search assignments
Earlier this month, our Editor, Mary Philip, met up with Tsen to hear about his transition from a full-time search consultant to software entrepreneur.
What is OpusPro?
OpusPro is an intuitive project management and collaboration tool designed by and for Executive Recruiters. OpusPro helps Recruiters work in true partnership with their clients and streamlines their workflow management so they can optimise the quality and profitability of search assignments.
What is the back-story?
My recruitment background began in London in early 2007 with a large national recruitment business. I’m originally from Scotland and returned to my university town of Edinburgh for the arrival of my first son in 2008. Since then I continued to serve the senior permanent end of the market with the same employer, and laterally with a boutique search firm.
I’ve always had a natural curiosity about business and the great thing with recruitment is that it exposes you to a huge variety of business models and functional areas in a relatively short period of time. This aspect of recruitment had always appealed to me and over the years this increasing exposure fuelled my desire to find ways to better serve the industry in some way. Having spoken to many other recruiters over the last year I can see how this is quite a common desire and path amongst the entrepreneurial-inclined recruiters. Ultimately for me, the burning desire to make a wider positive impact through business had become too big to ignore.
How did you go from Recruiter to Software Entrepreneur?
With a desire to create value for others through software, I started 2014 as an experienced Executive Recruiter without a business idea. One thing I was sure about was that any value I created had to be based on real industry challenges and needs. Whilst my seven years in the industry is a decent stint, it is not the 20+ years that many have had and I did not want to base anything on my experience or assumptions alone. Instead I decided the best place to start would be to conduct some thorough industry research. I spent months conducting in-depth research with Executive Recruiters to understand the biggest pain points in their business and identify common themes amongst the highly successful.
After thousands of emails sent and more than 100 hours of phone interviews I was able to identify common pain points that came up regularly. As every former or current Recruiter knows, there are so many potential points of failure in the end to end recruitment process because we are dealing with the variables of 3 parties: the client, the candidate and our own performance as a recruiter. We are all human beings and as such have a myriad of nuances. My interviews revealed there are many issues and challenges that could be better managed, yet many Recruiters “live with” them and continue to “bank their time” in the hope of a pay-out at the end.
So what did I learn? When client collaboration and search project management is sub-optimal
there are huge ramifications on key business factors such as: (1) time to hire is reduced; (2) candidate management becomes more challenging; (3) profitability of the search reduces; (4) up to 1 in 3 fees typically are at risk of falling out of the pipeline: (5) the capacity to take on new searches is reduced….the list goes on. Ultimately it is painful for everyone involved and costs the recruitment business money.
At the same time, it became clear to me that there was a definite core theme amongst the top producers - with all the variables involved in the recruitment process, top producers take the time to set themselves up for success and minimize risk. They have a proven formula/methodology and are extremely intentional about doing the right things and not being complacent (even after 20+ years of experience).
All of my findings were distilled and analysed alongside learnings taken from industry research on client perspectives about how they want to work with their Executive Recruitment partners. For example, client perspective research by the AESC shows that:
How did the findings lead to a business?
Fast forward several months, I was in a position to start sketching a solution. At this point I brought together a selection of forward thinking Recruitment businesses to be part of a beta process where, over the coming months, their feedback would help build a software solution that would alleviate some of the industry issues identified and add real value to recruitment businesses. Creating value for all parties interacting with the solution is at the heart of OpusPro - both in terms of setting Recruiters up to better serve their clients, and in optimising search assignment management.
OpusPro was created in response to the common challenge and opportunity to facilitate greater transparency, collaboration and project management between clients and their Executive Recruitment partners.
What does the future hold?
Following several months of development and testing, version 1 of OpusPro is now fully functional. This first version of OpusPro forms the backbone of a tool for Recruiters that will continue to grow and evolve based on direct user feedback. At OpusPro we believe the quality of what we create is directly linked to the quality of questions we ask, so we challenge ourselves to continue in the pursuit of asking better questions. We value listening, learning and implementing so that we create tools that generate real value and ROI for Recruiters.
We have a number of customers in the US enjoying the benefits of OpusPro and we are excited about welcoming more businesses to join the OpusPro community as we continue to evolve through user collaboration.
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