Real World in the Cloud: Interview with Andy Springer of Rookie Recruits

As part of the Real World in the Cloud series, we spoke to Andy Springer, Co-Founder and Director at Rookie Recruits, about why, after adopting Google Apps web services, Rookie Recruits quickly switched to Microsoft Office 365. Here’s what he had to say.

Q: Please tell us about Rookie Recruits.

Springer: Rookie Recruits is based in Sydney, Australia, and we screen, place, and coach candidates for career-start positions in businesses throughout Australia and New Zealand. We focus on candidates who make up in enthusiasm and ambition what they may lack in experience.

We pick candidates based on the right combination of attitude, determination, and talent, place them in the right positions, and then remain engaged in the development of the candidate through our 12-month coaching and mentoring program.

Q: Why is an effective collaboration environment important for Rookie Recruits, and why did you want to manage messaging and collaboration with cloud technology?

Springer: It is much more challenging to find and develop the candidates who have that awesome attitude than it is to simply check off skill sets on a list. We wanted to provide a completely flexible and remote working environment so that we could assemble the best team available, based on the level of service we could deliver, not just based on where people could work from. But to effectively engage with candidates and employers, gather feedback, and get conversations started across a continent, our recruiters need instant communication. We had a hosted Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 environment, but it could not adapt to our needs. We don’t have a dedicated IT department, so we wanted an environment that we wouldn’t need to worry about. We knew we could control costs and still get a lot of capability with cloud technology, and in 2011, we adopted Google Apps.

Q: Why did you switch from Google Apps to Office 365?

Springer: Almost immediately, our team began to complain about Google Apps. They felt that Google Mail lacked the familiar tools they had come to depend on in Microsoft Outlook. The Google Mail add-in for Outlook was difficult to install and only added a layer of complexity to sending and receiving emails. We were concerned that it would impact the level of service we provide, or even affect an opportunity with an employer or candidate. We just couldn’t afford that. We knew right away that Google was not going to work for us and that we needed to make a change quickly. For business use, we thought Office 365 packed a much greater punch than Google Apps. By choosing Office 365, we got everything we needed in single suite of familiar technologies that’s easy to use and simple to adopt.

Q: What benefits are you experiencing by using Office 365? 

Springer: When we switched from Google Apps to Office 365, we freed our people to work together in synergy, and it has produced good results in every area of our business. Our email is 50 percent faster than it was with our hosted Exchange Server, and collaboration is much simpler and more powerful than it was with Google Apps. A talent screener at home in Brisbane can share ideas with a coach at a conference in Sydney and then instantly use that to help a candidate. Office 365 helps us deliver recruitment services and a 12-month coaching engagement for the same price that our competitors can offer only recruiting. We deliver service beyond belief at value beyond compare. That is a definite competitive advantage, and in 2011, while the Australian recruiting industry saw less than 5 percent growth, Rookie Recruits grew by almost 40 percent.

Read the full story online. For more success stories like Andy Springer’s at Rookie Recruits, read other real-world testimonials on the whymicrosoft website.

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