Michael Page commits to IT overhaul to beat weak economy

Michael Page, the recruitment group, is pushing ahead with its IT upgrade in the face of a weakening employment market.

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Michael Page, the recruitment group, is pushing ahead with its IT upgrade in the face of a weakening employment market.

The British-based global recruitment firm warned that the freeze on recruitment at some investment banks had reined in UK profits growth in first quarter of 2008 to less than 7 percent. The UK banking sector which represents 10 percent of the firm's clients, was cited as weakening and dragging down “our other disciplines that service banking clients”.

Yet Michael Page remained bullish despite "considerable uncertainty" in the economy, citing technology as central to its growth plans for the coming year.

"An important factor in our success as a business has been our use of technology. Our current recruitment system has supported our growth over the past five years, however, these systems continually develop and the next generation of systems are now available that will facilitate our continued growth.

A project is underway throughout the Group to replace the current recruitment system, with a view to the first full implementation taking place early in 2009," the recruiter said.

Last month Michael Page CIO Andrew Wayland announced that he was instigating a major IT refresh at the organisation, which will see it replace both its recruitment software and its business intelligence (BI) applications.

Bond Adapt, one of the most commonly used systems in the recruitment industry, will be installed over tqwo years beginning in early 2009, whilst Cognos BI systems have also been selected.

Wayland told Computerworld UK that the major overhaul was required to cope with the rapid growth of the organisation.

Yesterday, Michael Page said it was"mindful of the current and now widely-predicted weakening of global economic activity". Despite insisted the technology overhaul would continue.

"Our capital expenditure is driven primarily by two main factors: headcount, in terms of office accommodation and infrastructure and the maintenance and enhancement of our IT systems," it said.

"The Group is reliant on a number of technology systems to provide services to clients and candidates. These systems are dependent on a number of important suppliers that provide the technology infrastructure and disaster recovery solutions," it said.

"Due to the rapid advancement of technology, there is a risk that systems could become outdated with the potential to affect efficiency and have an impact on revenue and client service. This risk is mitigated by regular reviews of the Group's technology strategy to ensure that it supports the overall Group strategy."

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