Spring group moves business online

Spring Group has moved its business environment on-line with the development of a fully integrated web operating system.

Spring Group has moved its business environment on-line with the development of a fully integrated web operating system.

The company, which provides IT recruitment, training and consultancy services, says the new system has been designed to streamline its recruitment business and increase its efficiency in sourcing IT personnel for clients.

According to Laurent Chen, chief technology officer at Spring, the system allows all administrative issues - from candidate registration, vacancy posting and requirement matching, through to contract signing, time sheet management and billing - to be completed on-line and in a "totally transparent" environment. "We are effectively opening up our business to customers, and freeing our recruiters from time-consuming administrative tasks so that they can devote more attention to our candidates and clients," he explains.

Networking leader Cisco Systems is the first technology company confirmed to participate in a pilot programme of the product. As part of the deal, Spring's staffing arm will manage the IT recruitment needs of Cisco and its partners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, via a customised portal, powered by the new web operating system.

According to the agency, the channel will be used to create a "community" for Cisco and its partners, giving them access to a "private talent pool" of IT candidates with the most-up-to-date skills sets.

Spring also believes the portal will give it and Cisco a three to six month "lead-time" in closing the skills gap and identifying future needs.

Earlier this month, Spring released its interim results and revealed it had made a loss of almost £5m during the half-year period to the end of October 2000. According to the group's financial report, a "slower than expected" recovery of its IT staffing arm, Spring.com - which alone reported a loss of £2.6m - was partly to blame, as was increasing pressure on margins in the IT staffing market generally, and company investment in technology and new services.

Chairman Jon Chait said the firm had anticipated a depressed set of results as it "re-oriented" its strategic focus, but added that he believed the group had made "significant progress" towards achieving its goal of becoming a "leader in human capital management" through a global web-enabled business model. He also announced that the group had agreed to sell two of its "non-core businesses", Spring Skills and Spring Education, to Protocol Associates NV for £71.9m.

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