Small business: Hiring staff - the Sysdoc story

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Desiree Botica of NZ-based international business consultancy Sysdoc. Photo/ NZ Herald
Desiree Botica of NZ-based international business consultancy Sysdoc. Photo/ NZ Herald

Desiree Botica, General Manager, Sysdoc, an international NZ business which specialises in change management, information management, training, process improvement and documentation, talks to Gill South about how the company approaches recruitment.


Our Way

Sysdoc have developed an approach to international employee engagement called 'Our Way'; meaning to "do something ethically, with energy and passion to make a measurable difference." Our Way is an international award winning approach to HR.

Our Way cannot be defined as a single initiative, but a host of HR processes, techniques, shared values and ethics which are now simply "business as usual".

Core principles of 'Our Way' to enable integration into business as usual include:

Values-based recruitment - we recruit for attitude/values and train for skills

Making part-time working possible - offered to all employees, including senior executives

Encouraging both personal as well as professional achievement - by ensuring we are aware of, and act on, the life goals and ambitions of all our team

Family first - half our team agreed that they had taken time off, with full company support, for family events outside of work. Almost 30 per cent had even taken time off as a sabbatical to pursue a personal goal or study.

Flexible location - no consultant is pressurised to work on a project that takes them away from their family.

How do you recruit new people?

The majority of recruitment is handled by dedicated internal Sysdoc HR specialists, who advertise online via the Seek website. Additional HR support is provided by the Client Relationship Managers (CRM) when a large project or urgent requirements are identified.

In addition, to online advertising, Sysdoc may also recruit via:

• Internal promotion or selection which may include internal coaching, mentoring and up skilling of existing people.

• Direct approaches by applicants who have heard about us by word of mouth or have approached us as a result of our website.

• Referrals from existing or past consultants.

HR maintaining contact with past employees, or applicants who have not been successful for other roles.

Where we have not been successful through our internal processes or channels, we work with recruitment agencies.

How do you run the recruitment process?

Sysdoc has developed a structured recruitment process which is followed by all HR specialists. The process provides a flexible approach which ensures all critical stakeholders are involved in the recruitment process. The process involves the following activities:

Brief telephone interview to validate applicants suitability prior to arranging a face to face meeting.

Meeting with HR and CRM - the first interview is an informal interview which includes a short aptitude test.

Second interview, if required, with project lead and/or client representative

Applicants who are successful at the second interview stage, are thoroughly reference and background checked.

Following success all new people receive a client and project specific induction - role based and onsite Health & Safety and a Sysdoc induction - Sysdoc values, Health &Safety, consultant role, support networks.

How much say do existing staff have in a new hire?

This is role dependant, but if the project is large enough to have a Sysdoc lead consultant, or the applicant is joining an existing team, the lead will interview candidates and would then be involved in the final selection process.

Have you had some staff members hold a number of different roles at Sysdoc?

Many staff members have held a range of roles within the organisation from entry level through to senior management roles. Sysdoc recruits for attitude/values and trains for skills.

This means that we have an incredible wealth of can-do attitude within our workforce and actively encourage and support our people into different roles. We have a mix of full-time, part-time, permanent and associates within our workforce. We actively work with all Sysdoc people to match suitable skills and people with our client projects and engagements. Many of our people have been with Sysdoc for more than 15 years and our staff turnover is less than 5 per cent.

We promote from within the organisation frequently. We will often cross train people and support them into new roles and areas of interest. Sysdoc has a structured professional development programme which allows individuals to tailor their professional development programme in order to achieve long term personal and professional growth.

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