COMING TO MARKET WITH A PRODUCT THAT CAUSES DISCOMFORT
Coming to market with a ground-breaking new product in SA’s recruitment industry has been exciting and an eye-opener in some surprising senses.
Before full-scale scoping and development of Nomad Now, we ran around to our large Paton Personnel client base and asked Resourcing teams whether and why our new online platform or marketplace for professional services would appeal. Most answers predictably focussed on the attractive cost and time savings – a big factor in the lives of Resourcing teams. Clients couldn’t believe that we could reduce fees to the extent that we have and that they could hire both flexi and perm talent online.
One of our favourite long-standing Clients responded with ‘if you bring our fees down to 5%, we will take care of all else including talent credibility checks and performance risk!’. So that’s exactly what we did – Nomad’s fees are 4% (flexi) and 5% (perm placements) and many Clients have adopted the platform and quickly adapted to recruiting online without the agency middleman.
But then came 2 interesting complexities:
Firstly, a few Clients want to continue using labour brokers to ‘park’ workers that the Client didn’t want to be seen as ‘deemed’ employees. They said that they aren’t yet concerned about flexi workers claiming they are entitled to be ‘permanent’ (following last year’s landmark Constitutional Court decision that the Client is deemed to be the sole employer of the individual and solely liable for any breach of the LRA or BCEA). This will change. Clients are accepting the transparency required of them regarding the status of their workers and understand that if they hire talent on a legitimate independent contractor basis, there is no need for labour brokers and their margins that burden both the worker and the Client.
Our second surprise came in the form of Procurement divisions that weren’t ready for a supplier that is a ‘platform.’ What is Nomad Now? What supplier category do Procurement put Nomad Now into? Nomad is not a recruitment agency (although our Perm recruitment service is!) and it’s not a labour broker. Nomad Now is a marketplace! A what? Many Clients didn’t have a ready SLA for us as a platform – they had to adapt and draft one. In fact many still don't even have an SLA for using the likes of Uber or Airbnb. So the education process began. HR and Procurement put their heads together and egged on by their (cost-driven) COO’s or FD’s, figured out how to comply with their own internal processes and use us.
Coming to market with a new and untested (in SA) is hugely exciting but involves much customer education and hand-holding at first but the progress is rewarding as we quickly convert Hirers & Employers to the logical next in recruitment. Ironically, our flexi and perm Talent is (so far) much quicker to adapt to and adopt 'tech' as their preferred recruitment solution.
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