Atul Kumar, Global Chief Information Officer at Collabera, discusses how his company is embracing technology in the midst of the firm’s digital transf...
Companies of all sizes are beginning to embrace technology in order to establish and maintain success. With the aim of becoming more digitally advanced, Collabera is in the middle of a four-year digital transformation journey. Having been a leader in IT staffing for over 25 years, the organization provides companies with comprehensive IT and professional staffing and services to help businesses achieve their goals.
Atul Kumar, Global Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Collabera, believes his company’s digital journey has come a long way since beginning its transformation two years ago. “We have made significant progress in the last two years and I feel I helped accelerate this when I first joined the company,” he explains, reflecting back to September 2017 when he took the role. “We targeted the most impactful areas of the organization and looked for the opportunity to transform our business through digital technology.”
In joining the company, Kumar was tasked with driving the firm forward and created a digital transformation roadmap to outline his targets. “Through my digital transformation roadmap, I established the areas where I felt we could achieve the most impact. We started with three key goals: increase the revenue, improve the margin and provide world class experience to its customers, candidates and employees,” explains Kumar. “As a result of that, I picked up all the big-ticket items for 2018 as well as some for 2019, and I'm pleased to announce that at least 80% of that is done. However, that required a lot of change in our organization and people don’t have much patience when things aren’t right. Everyone wants to see a positive outcome immediately.”
Embracing new technology
In order to obtain support and confidence before the beginning of Collabera’s transformation journey, Kumar delivered ‘quick wins’ in a bid to give his company confidence. Now, by introducing innovative business solutions, Collabera has geared to achieve profitable growth and digitalization is making it easier for the company to improve customer experience, increase efficiency and engage candidates in much more meaningful way.
“We rolled out an expense management mobile app, automated our candidate screening process through AI-based parsing and matching tools, launched a new intranet which was a personalized integrated workspace for employees, and integrated a service desk chatbot,” explains Kumar. “We have to fulfil the client’s requirements faster and find the right candidate at all times. It’s important to us that we ensure we have state of the art innovative applications which leverages the power of artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and smart automation to make recruiters smarter and efficient. We are continuing to look for opportunities about how we can provide that world class customer experience to our clients by offering them quality candidates at a faster rate than our competition.”
By connecting talented professionals to innovative companies, Collabera has looked to form partnerships to help implement the new technology for sustained success. Kumar affirms that the collaboration of Collabera and its partners has been key to achieving substantial growth. For example, automated candidate outreach business Glider.AI has proved an invaluable partner to Collabera. “Glider.AI provided the most advanced technical assessment and video interview platform which was integrated seamlessly into our system. The platform helps internal recruiters and hiring managers to quickly and easily discover great talent with demonstrated competency and engagement. This has resulted in an increase in the quality of submissions by candidates to our clients and closing more positions successfully,” says Kumar. “Meanwhile, Sysfore Technologies provided the architectural consultancy services and API economy principles for the application. This helped us to integrate some of the functionalities of this application into other applications very quickly and easily.”
The company has also teamed up with cloud-based a cloud-based knowledge automation, collaboration and communication platform from Witty Parrot to help develop an AI-based digital assistant for Collabera’s sales team to be effective on the go.
Transforming the role of a CIO
With technology constantly evolving, the role of CIO has developed in order to keep up with the latest trends. Kumar believes a CIO’s job description has undergone a major transformation following the introduction of new technologies and innovations in the last decade.
“I believe the position of a CIO has changed significantly who is now expected to be business technology leader with domain expertise. In the past, their most important skill was technology know-how and deliver what business wants, primarily an order-taker kind of a role. You were just enabling the organization by automating some of the processes,” says Kumar.
“Over the last 10 years, it has taken more of a front row seat in the organization and has begun to contribute to corporate strategy. Five years ago, people used to say, ‘technology has become the enabler’ – but in 2018, technology has become the driver for business.Now, the CIO role is to successfully formulate business solutions, create global capabilities, develop new revenue opportunities and foster innovation within their companies.”
For the last seven years, Collabera has consistently won the award of ‘Best Staffing Firm to Work For’ in the large firm category by Staffing Industry Analysts. “Now we want to be called most digitally advanced world’s leading staffing company which is taking advantage of emerging technologies to make the company more efficient and drive revenue,” explains Kumar.
He believes Collabera’s biggest achievement has been to increase recruitment productivity through technology. “We have Fortune 500 clients and small clients, too. We get requirements from them and then match to the millions of candidates in our database. It then becomes our responsibility to submit their resumes and the client interviews, screens and finally selects them,” explains Kumar. “Through increasing the recruitment productivity and reducing the time and cost of filling the clients’ requirement, it has meant that the quality of candidate submission, as well as candidate experience, has been enhanced – and our Glassdoor rating has risen too.”
Looking to the future, Kumar affirms that Collabera can continue to grow as long as the company remembers its core principles but remains primed to adapt to the latest trends. “It’s vital that we continue to achieve what we have done in the same fashion as long as we remain focused on providing a great service to our client and candidate. We must continue to embrace the technology revolution and improve our processes and business models with digital first mindset,” says Kumar. “The moment we begin to think we have arrived; our growth will stop. The only constant is change and we have to live with that. I think we'll continue to grow as long as we adapt to change and embrace new technology.”