2017 was a breakout year for Vincere, we’ve grown our customer base by 300% . It’s been a crazy ride for us to see how much Vincere has evolved in the past year. But most importantly: we’re not alone. We grow alongside our customers and it’s an absolute honor to know that our customers include recruitment businesses based in South Africa.
We spoke to Jennifer Middleton, Director of JM Placement Solution, a recruitment company based in Cape Town to tell us more about her recruitment business, plans for growth and her favorite feature of Vincere.
Vincere: Tell me more about yourself and your business – how JM Placement Solutions started?
Jennifer: JM Placement Solutions started the beginning of last year but I was actually on another platform before Vincere. A bit more about myself…I’ve got over 10 years of experience in general HR and recruitment and a degree in industrial psychology. Previously, I worked in the general Human Resources departments and decided that I wanted to specialise in recruitment since I enjoyed that aspect of HR most.
Before I started JM Placement, I worked with some other people and found the entire recruitment business thing a bit daunting but that was the past. Ever since I discovered the benefits of recruitment software, it has become so much easier to start my own business.
VC: What excites you most about Recruitment?
Jen: We have both done a lot of work in the Life Science industry, and we felt that the clients in these sectors really made a difference. Meditrina is the Roman Goddess of health, healing and longevity. We pride ourselves in building long term relationships by truly understanding the needs of our candidates and clients as well as their culture so that we can find the right talent for them. Hence we chose a name that matched our goals.
VC: What’s the vision for the company? Any ambitious plans for the future?
Jen: Recruitment has opened up a whole new world of people for me to meet and it’s one of the aspects I really enjoy about the industry. I really enjoy the fact that I get to meet a lot of people even without having to actually meet them in person.
I see myself as a matchmaker, to connect clients with the right talent. It’s about helping both sides to achieve what they want – clients want to find the right people and candidates want to find the right jobs – I’m the matchmaker.
VC: Can you share more about what it feels like running a recruitment business as a female?
Jen: That’s a very good topic. I think recruitment opens up a very big door for women to have businesses. I think people don’t realize how an amazing job this is for women to have because you have fixed work hours and you can move around. I was working from the UK two weeks now and came back last week, and it didn’t affect my job at all. I think the remote aspect and flexible time are great sides that help women. And I also think it takes you out of the very serious corporate structure, you are not faced with the political issues that you are finding in companies.
You feel empowered because you are your own boss basically. And it’s really a win-win situation for women in general.
VC: What are your plans for JM Recruitment? Any short term or long term goals?
Jen: In the short term, my focus will be working with more small to medium sized companies. I see that a lot of the bigger companies in South Africa use recruitment agencies since they’ve got the budget for it.
However I think the smaller companies can benefit from recruitment services too, and more often than not, these are the companies who are desperately competing for people. Unfortunately, they seem to shy away from engaging recruitment companies because recruitment services are typically expensive. To fill the gap in the market, I’ve adapted rates and options to cater for the smaller companies. We can assist in payment structures and make our services available to them if they need them.
In long term, I hope get to a point where I’ve got my processes and system in place and then look at getting more women on board to work with me. They may have their own clients but we will work under one umbrella together. It’s an empowering enterprise as I can franchise opportunities to other women.
VC: Are there any challenges that you are facing as a recruitment entrepreneur at the moment?
Jen: The turnaround of positions can be slow sometimes. I’m struggling if I should ask people to pay off of the percentage if I do interviews, but we don’t make placement because I think we are doing a lot of work for free now and we don’t get paid until we make the placement. But I don’t really want to do that so I think the challenge is to have enough positions going at a time but not too much that you don’t get to your clients properly but still make a case one or two placements a month.
VC: Do you have any tips for recruitment business owners that are just getting started? Whether it’s mistakes you see, common pitfalls or advice in general?
Jen: I think people need to be careful. They focus so much on the numbers and sometimes, it’s really not all about money.I think recruitment businesses should focus on building meaningful relationships with your clients and make sure you get back to them when you say you will – no empty promises.
This way, in the long run it’s going to bring in new business in the future. It’s more about the way you handle your communication and relationship rather than just trying to just fill as many jobs.
VC: Let’s talk about software since you’ve briefly mentioned it earlier in the conversation – how helpful has Vincere been for your business?
Jen: I’m still a little bit in the process of educating myself on the whole system but I know that the more i familiarize myself with Vincere, the more I will be able to utilise it.
I appreciate the fact that it has everything on one page and it’s very structured and organised. When you have to deal with so many jobs, clients and candidates you can forget where you’re at because you just get so busy.
VC: Number 1 feature of Vincere for you?
Jen: I absolutely love the job board. I think the way it displays on the screen feels so so modern and futuristic, and it’s so easy for candidates to read. The whole website stack thing is just so professional – I love it!
VC: Thanks for your time, Jennifer, is there anything else you’d like to say or share with our blog readers?
Jen: I think you guys have got a very good product and it’s really making the life of recruiters easier – I see Vincere as a step towards the future. Your CEO and the product team has done a great job and makes life easier all of us so I thank him. Much thanks and love from South Africa!