We should probably start with defining what a ‘platform’ is in terms of your business growth. At the simplest level, a platform is the antithesis of the more traditional linear progression of functions within a business. If you think about the traditional method of a candidate journey, for example, it is linear in nature:
• Role is advertised
• Candidate responds
• CV is checked
• Interview takes place
• Candidate moves to a new role
I appreciate that it is a very, very simple model, but that is part of my point; simplicity is a trap. If you take that linear model as an example, it starts and stops at a set point, which sounds perfect. It is quantifiable and finite, which is great news because we can measure success easily. In fact, it sounds efficient. However, the reality is that the process here is small, working in isolation and closed. The truth is that it also relies on a series of other models to work properly. For example, the candidate moving to a new role requires a set of discrete processes that are linked to, but not part of, the hiring workflow. I am talking about the setting up of payroll, checking and recording right to work, contracts being agreed, signed and filed, purchasing equipment and so on. All these linear and discrete systems must function in harmony.
A platform approach takes the opposite view
It recognises the need for these individual systems, but rather than treat them as individual elements, it recognises the interdependency required to make them work and creates a core system that addresses that need. So, with a platform approach, the process is fluid because the platform core is handling all the interdependencies as well as the processes. From the point of view of the people involved with the hiring process in our original linear model, their role in the process does not change or changes very little. Where it does change is for the better. As each process is completed in its own stream, any linked processes are being actioned from the centre. The interdependencies are the dominant factor, so the central core platform works to facilitate all the processes as needed. It is clearly going to be faster, have fewer divisions and be more efficient than a series of linear model transactions.
This is all about the growth of your business. If you are onboarding two hires a month, then the linear model is going to suit your purposes. If you want growth, though, and I am assuming that most businesses will want that, then you will soon need to identify ways for growing without increasing the burden of administration beyond capacity or reasonable bounds.
So how do you identify a platform for growth?
The easiest way is to start by listening to where the current system is groaning at the seams. It’s impossible to give specific examples in an article like this, but, as a general rule of thumb, if you take a step back and look at your systems, you will soon see where a platform could improve them. It is usually obvious where a system is resource-heavy, for example, because it will require more processes, team members and working time than would be necessary if it was automated and integrated. Another area is the financial implications of not having a central platform. We usually find that when we talk to our customers about a platform that will handle back office requirements and rationalise them into a single workflow, they see a clear financial benefit. When that includes, to name a few, payroll, tax, right to work processes, visa recording and statuary documentation, the cost savings are significant.
So, what it comes down to is this. If your processes and systems, whether they are payroll, CRM, timesheet management, tax, national insurance or similar, can be moved to a platform that integrates them, they will be more efficient and cost-effective.
Call us, and let’s chat about how we can help.