To better share information and unify the management of candidates between offices across 10 APAC countries.
PERSOL Holdings Co., Ltd. is a leading comprehensive human resources service firm. Their overseas division joined forces with Kelly Services, an American workforce management solutions company, to form PERSOLKELLY: a joint venture that has been steadily expanding its business throughout the APAC region. PERSOLKELLY has proven to be an extraordinarily successful venture. They provide staffing services and recruitment, HR consulting, training courses, creating employment systems and more. The company enjoys an extensive global network and a candidate database with over 4 million people. The PERSOL brand specialises in utilizing that database to provide human resource services to Japanese firms in the APAC region. They also happen to be an enthusiastic Kintone user. To find out more about their experience with Kintone, we spoke to the APAC Regional Sales Manager, Mr Anzai, and APAC Regional Senior IT Analyst Mr Ueda.
We needed to share information internationally
Q: What kind of problem did your company face before you chose Kintone?
A: PERSOL specialises in providing human resource services to Japanese firms in ten countries in the APAC region, including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and China. For example, if a Japanese career professional in Indonesia is looking for a career change abroad, we can introduce that person to companies in Vietnam.
Before implementing Kintone in 2017, we had no system to share information on candidates across the various countries in which we operated. Managers in each office had to exchange information via email, as well as use individually-developed systems that relied on the experience and memory of staff members.
With hundreds of thousands of registered Japanese candidates spread out across the APAC region, we needed a system that would allow us to share our database internationally. That’s why we started looking for a platform that could quickly resolve the issues we were facing.
Kintone made our company more efficient
Q: What results have you seen since introducing Kintone?
A: Since introducing Kintone, every employee in every office has become able to access the data they need, when they need it. As we had hoped, the result has been that we have seen a sizable increase in the number of cases where we were able to successfully assist candidates in changing careers across countries.
The results are particularly noteworthy in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and China. We can now narrow down the list of candidates straight away. Then all we need to do is match them with a position or company, and that’s it, we have a new contract.
All these steps have gotten much faster than they used to be, and the number of successful matches is increasing. I should mention that there were employees who were able to work efficiently with their own personalised systems before Kintone, but we decided that overall, standardisation would improve efficiency.
Not just a tool, but a whole business environment
Q: Did you experience any problems when implementing Kintone?
A: The problems we experienced after introducing Kintone were not to do with the system itself, but with our own business rules. For instance, there were sometimes issues around the source of remuneration when matching talent across two different countries.
Having an exceptional tool isn’t enough for it to be effective. The tool needs to be easy to use, and the company’s business rules need to be fair. For management, it’s essential to put in place both the right tool and the right rules. That’s why at PERSOLKELLY, we used the “Announcements” page on our Kintone
Great customer support makes a big difference
Q: What stood out to you when using Kintone?
A: The product was highly rated by our IT department, located in the Singapore office. Our in-house IT staff, who were used to creating programs by coding them from scratch, were very surprised.
They mentioned how there were all kinds of aPaas cloud services (services to design and develop applications) on the market, but there was this one Japanese company that had developed a piece of software where all you had to do was arrange what you needed from a selection of pre-made components.
However, what stood out the most when introducing Kintone was the high level of customer support. Usually, when you ask customer support a question, they just tell you whether or not what you’re asking is possible. With Cybozu (the parent company of Kintone), customer support would go a step further and provide alternative solutions that we could use to meet our requirements.
For example, when we were developing our career change candidate app, there was one part that we didn’t find user friendly. When inputting candidate details, the latest information appeared at the bottom of the page, so as the number of lines increased, that information could easily be missed. We contacted customer service, and they explained that by leaving a space after the first item, we would be able to add information to the top of the list.
Given that there are so many changes being made to our data every day, little details like that are really important. Making sure that staff can use the platform easily is an essential part of ensuring work efficiency.
When it comes to app creation, any system will have its share of constraints that the user may take issue with. In those cases, the kind of support you receive from the company providing the system really matters. With Kintone, the level of service greatly exceeded our expectations, allowing us to realise things that had previously seemed impossible. The ability to receive advice on how to overcome problems is a considerable added value.
Unifying the whole company
Q: Did Kintone bring your company any benefits beyond efficiency and productivity?
In addition to increasing the number of placements and improving overall work efficiency, Kintone also produced other results that exceeded our expectations.
Kintone brought added value to the company by allowing people to connect with one another via the online platform and communicate across borders. It also provided an opportunity to find out and share the different ways in which our offices would solve the particular challenges they faced.
A limitless and exciting future
Q: How do you plan to use Kintone in the future?
A: The best thing about Kintone is that you can create systems cheaply and easily, which really broadens the range of potential applications.
For instance, I’m now wondering whether it can be used as a system to manage unresolved issues, or handle information during business negotiations. These are plenty of ways we could consider using Kintone in the future.