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Hays Recruitment service desk project is all gain and no pain

The firm was attracted by the many benefits of a cloud-based service desk, but chief among them was the low risk involved in implementation

Hays Recruitment no longer has to give the telephone number of the IT service desk to new employees, following its successful implementation of a platform designed to provide a consumer-like digital experience.

The company has been receiving IT services from through Computacenter for seven years, including a service desk delivered from South Africa. This was predominantly telephone-based with only some online functionality, but Hays has now taken up a new helpdesk offering from the firm.

According to Hays operations director Simon Gerhardt, the move comes thanks to the company’s established relationship with Computacenter including commitments to innovation.

“Next Generation Service Desk (NGSD) was presented as a new tool and initiative that Computacenter was working on, and we looked at it and thought it was perfect for us. We had been wanting to modernise the service and go more digital,” he said.

The recruitment firm now uses the multi-tenanted service desk portal and mobile app to provide IT support to around 5,500 staff. Computacenter’s NGSD helps users search for fixes to problems, automates some of them, provides one-touch logging of incidents, and broadcasts incidents to users that could be affected.

The service is currently used by four customer organisations. It shares generic knowledge between them, but keeps client-only knowledge separate.

Enabling the productivity of recruitment consultants is the service desk's main function, explained Gerhardt. “If consultants can’t access productivity tools like email, they cannot make sales,” he said.

He added that the NGSD platforms focus on solving issues through channels such as online chat rather than using the phone, which ensures that consultants have more time to talk to their customers or job candidates.

“Unless their PC is completely offline they can continue working while they get service desk support,” said Gerhardt.

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In the short space of time since the company went live with the NGSD service desk in March 2016, online chat has overtaken voice as the most common way staff communicate with the service desk. More than half (52%) of contact from employees to the service desk was made via this means in the past month.

Staff benefit from using tools they are used to in their personal lives as consumers, claimed Gerhardt. “A lot of our consultants are quite young, are technology savvy and have expectations of using decent tools in the workplace,” he said.

The modern tools attracted Hays, but it was the simplicity of implementation that made the decision to roll out NGSD easy, added Gerhardt. “As an IT department we are run ragged – and the beauty of NGSD is it plugs in on top of all the other systems, so its implementation is low-risk and not disruptive.”

Gerhardt said this was a real selling point because with little danger the company would get huge benefits.

The project also fits with the Hays Recruitment’s digital strategy where, according to Gerhardt, it has set out to become a digital disrupter in its sector.

For example, he said, Hays was the first recruitment company to do a full integration with LinkedIn. This kind of activity means the back-office systems need to be able to support third-party apps and systems, he explained.

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