ALKU Technologies Recruits Sales with Bullhorn CRM

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People often prefer to stick with the tools they are familiar with and like to use. This was certainly the case for ALKU Technologies’ CEO Mark Eldridge, who stepped down from his position as COO at Sapphire Technologies to head the Massachusetts-based staffing agency in 2008. According to Katherine Cressigner, marketing manager at ALKU, Eldridge had used Bullhorn’s applicant tracking system during the tail end of his tenure at Sapphire and had formed a relationship with Art Papas, Bullhorn’s CEO. As Cressigner tells it, Eldridge had gained experience within the recruiting industry and became familiar with the kinds of tools available on the market, “so he knew what we needed for the time being.”

In 2008, the firm “had five internal people,” Cressigner explains. “At the time, we were placing permanent people in sales roles, and the capabilities we needed weren’t complex. It was simply an applicant tracking system, and that is what we were using it for.

“There were no issues as far as adapting and adopting the technologies, which means it was a home run,” Cressigner adds. “If you don’t have people with huge learning curves...in our minds, [the technology] is doing the job.”

But the company’s technology needs and uses have evolved over the years, as ALKU (and Bullhorn’s tool set) has continued to expand. According to James Cassin-Reed, a sales manager in ALKU Technologies’ Workday division, the system over time became useful in allowing his team to prospect and track contacts, as well as to document ongoing conversations. “As a salesperson, there’s a lot that happens on a phone call, and it all happens so quick,” Cassin-Reed says. “Being able to utilize Bullhorn to document everything that happens has been very helpful, especially when [we want] to follow up in a month, two months, three months down the road; we can look at past conversations and really know how to go from there,” he says.

Recently, ALKU saw substantial payoffs from its long-standing use of Bullhorn’s CRM system, as the company experienced 40 percent year-over-year organic sales growth in 2015. According to Cassin-Reed, much of the growth was generated thanks to “warm” accounts that were being stored and nurtured within the system over an extended period of time. “We’ve been developing relationships since our inception, using Bullhorn, so we have contacts and companies that have been in there for years, and we’ve been able to continuously prospect, and dive deeper into those particular companies,” he says.

Also useful, says Cassin-Reed, have been the reporting tools that allow the company to chart reps’ progress. He says that with Bullhorn, ALKU can see how users are performing compared to the metrics their sales managers have set on a weekly basis. The company uses Bullhorn “to track where we stand not only as groups and divisions but as individuals and it allows us to take a look further into where people can be trained better,” Cassin-Reed says.

As a testament to this progress, the company has earned a client satisfaction rating that is 460 percent above the industry average for recruiting firms, according to data from CareerBuilder and Innovero. Cressigner explains that the rating is based on Net Promoter Scores from companies that have been doing business with ALKU for at least three months.

“It all comes back to the follow-up, the feedback, and the consistency in communication with our sale managers and our clients,” Cressigner says. “I don’t think that the process would be as streamlined as it is, or allow us to do it that well, without the tools within Bullhorn.”

ALKU plans to implement Bullhorn’s recently released SalesDuel offering, which leverages a partnership with the daily fantasy site FanDuel and aims to drive friendly competition. “You can draft a fantasy sales team of your internal employees, and they play each other week by week, and it is metrics based. Our tagline is ‘Have fun working hard’—I don’t think there’s a better tool we could use. We have a young demographic that is highly competitive.” 

The Payoff

Due to ALKU Technologies' long-standing use of Bullhorn's CRM system, the recruiting firm has seen the following results:

  • 40 percent year-over-year organic sales growth in 2015; and
  • a customer satisfaction rating 460 percent above the industry standard for staffing agencies, according to data from CareerBuilder and Innovero.

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