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Bullhorn enables Swift expansion

Bullhorn enables Swift expansion

Swift takes deeper international roots with new CRM/ATS solution

Launched in 1984, Swift Worldwide Resourcingis the leader in contract, direct and executive placement services in the oil and gas industry.

Specialising in major projects across 24 hubs that service 35 countries globally, Swift has cemented its position as the premier manpower provider to the global oil and gas industry. The firm now employs over 300 people, with 3,000 contract consultants on its books.

Key challenges

Swift experienced rapid growth due to its reputation for quality and efficiency as a leading specialist supplier in its market. Since 2006, the company has grown 400 per cent and gone from six offices to 24 in 2012. This posed a real business scalability challenge, as the company needed to create an infrastructure that would support its short-term growth while enabling it to plan for longer-term expansion.

Recruitment in the oil and gas sector is subject to rigid and complex contracting requirements, and consequently Swift’s existing candidate management processes were resource-intensive and not easily scalable. The new solution had to meet a number of workflow challenges:

- Prospective and current candidates are meticulously tracked and managed throughout their contracts in a process that creates a cycle of repeat business which is a key source of revenue for Swift. Manually updated spreadsheets were proving difficult to maintain during business expansion, so there was an urgent need for a technology that would reduce the risk of human error.

- Oil and gas professionals, particularly those who work as foreign expatriates, are subject to a number of strict legal requirements that mitigate risk for their employers. Until they secure visas, medical clearances, and appropriate job-specific accreditations (ranging from HGV to HUET (Helicopter Underwater Evacuation Training)), candidates are unable to work. Everyday a candidate spends out of work results in lost income for them and lost revenue for Swift. A leading applicant-tracking solution with features that could accommodate these medical and professional checks was therefore required to ensure continuity of candidate contract work.

As well as fitting in well with its specialist workflows, Swift needed a solution that could carry out these processes on an international scale. The solution had to be easy to set up and require minimal capital expenditure, so Swift could effortlessly expand into regions with less-than-ideal IT infrastructures, such as Ghana and Angola.

The solution

The operations team at Swift charged with procuring a solution found several that met some of their basic requirements, but few were able to satisfy all the criteria. Bullhorn was the only fully-integrated, web-based recruitment software capable of meeting the demands of Swift’s unique operation. Bullhorn tailored the platform using its adaptable Application Programming Interface (API) and presented Swift with a solution to its expansion problem.

Swift signed with Bullhorn in July 2011, with 185 users spread across all of its international offices in its initial licence consignment.

Peter Linas, EMEA MD of Bullhorn, commented: “Bullhorn’s professional services team engineered the platform’s API to meet Swift’s specific process requirements. Swift’s management team realised that as it grew these processes would become more important and the company needed a configurable, scalable platform that could easily be deployed in international hubs.”

Benefits to Swift

Shortly after going live with Bullhorn, Swift extended its African operations into Ghana. Tim O’Brien noted: “With Bullhorn our expansion into Ghana was a less costly and much simpler process. Operational difficulty and high capex are usually inherent in setting up in areas with limited IT infrastructure, but with a PC and an internet connection our consultants were able to start recruiting immediately.”

The introduction of Bullhorn, with a CRM system configured to suit Swift’s complex workflows, increased recruitment hours across the board by reducing the time spent by staff and consultants in process administration. Bullhorn generates transaction records for each candidate that enabled consultants to pre-empt the movements of contractors and keep them in the revenue stream at the completion of each contract.

O’Brien noted: “The nature of the oil and gas profession is that contracts are offered on a project-by-project basis, lasting anything from three months to several years for non-executive positions. Nailing down these processes was essential to cutting down the costs and risks borne by Swift.

“Medical and accreditation vetting, certificate and visa renewals, and candidate location tracking are managed extensively using the platform, which has shortened the time cycle of sourcing, contracting, and onboarding candidates for each job. All of these accreditation and certification checks need to be cleared before the contract negotiations can begin, and so keeping the lifespan of the recruitment process as brief and efficient as possible is hugely valuable for all parties. The client gets a productive and fully compliant employee onsite faster, and candidates have a shorter window of unemployment. Our ability to deliver to both in turn builds our reputation and brand for quality and speed of turnover.”

Swift used Bullhorn to expand within its existing markets as well as extending its African operation into Ghana.

O’Brien explained: “The minimal IT infrastructure required to run Bullhorn holds tremendous appeal as we continue to grow. Opening a consultant hub in remote locations such as Ghana and Angola is usually fraught with difficulty when solutions require hardware installation. Instead Bullhorn allows Swift consultants to link up with HQ and access the database from anywhere in the world with just a laptop and a reasonable internet connection.”

Future development

Swift continues to grow and cement its position as the premier supplier of professionals to the oil and gas industry in the 35 countries it now services.

O’Brien commented: “We started with 185 users and have expanded this to 300, with more planned as we continue to grow. One of the advantages of this ATS is that, as we continue to evolve as a company, we can augment the system to adapt to our needs accordingly.

“With numerous large contracts in the pipeline, we are the preferred provider of personnel for major exploration and extraction projects internationally. Thanks to Bullhorn we can better coordinate our efforts and efficiently mobilise huge numbers of contractors for major projects. We’re growing our services portfolio and have plans to recruit large consignments of personnel for projects in Africa and Russia.

“Company-wide, cloud-based tracking of candidate locations and contract lifecycles has a major knock-on effect on revenue through repeat business – this is a stream that we’re working on developing as we move forward and is made possible by our leading customer relationship management system – I don’t know how we ever managed without it.”


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