Innovation In Services: Morgan McKinley

Interestingly the recruitment industry hasn’t fundamentally changed for over 40 years, and the underlying processes are similar the world over. Right now however, in the global disruption of the digital and intelligence age, it’s the activities of other sectors which are influencing the Innovation strategy and direction of services businesses like Morgan McKinley.

Customers think universally, and their experiences of service innovation and change in other industries influence their expectations across all walks of life. And so it is these experiences and insights that the Transformation team at Morgan McKinley have been leveraging in recent years to inform their new Strategy for the Digital Age.

Designed to digitise the business, the future will bring a host of new projects focused on:

  • The service to customers (candidates and clients), and how they interact, ensuring every step in the process is digitally enhanced
  • Leveraging the huge amount of data available to provide deeper, valuable insights to better serve customers, and
  • Eliminating the traditional geographical boundaries, and in essence, opening up a world of opportunities.

The transformation from a traditional, labour-intensive business has been underway for some time. Aldagh McDonogh held a place on the Board of Morgan McKinley as Director of Transformation, and has just been appointed CEO, leading the global strategy and driving innovation. For Aldagh, this is about investing in tomorrow, and doing so with a focus on two key areas – 1) Digital Capability, and 2) People Capability.

1. The Digital Capability – it’s vital to develop what you have and resource what you don’t have A boost to the in-house technical capabilities came in recent times by way of a collaborative innovation project with TSSG, at Waterford Institute of Technology. Lacking skills internally in the area of app development, the business reached out with the support of Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Partnership Programme, to avail of funding and the expertise of the best mobile specialists in their field.

Aldagh describes this project as a resounding success for Morgan McKinley, both in terms of the deliverables and the commercials of the project. She says with a full pipeline to achieve their new strategy, future collaborations are definitely on the cards. Like all partnerships, lessons were learned, and Aldagh’s tips for success would focus on the following:

  • Appreciate that it will take time to mobilise the project
  • Communicate your business story and needs clearly – you are the one with the industry knowledge; the partners provide the technical expertise
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of communications – it might slow things down at the beginning, but that upfront preparation will yield better results
  • Get the right team on the job from the outset
  • Build a trusting relationship between the internal technical teams and the partners.

2. The People Capability – it’s all about people

As a service business, people are critical to Morgan McKinley, and the business is putting a huge focus on ensuring they have the right structures in place, and that their people are developed to meet the needs of the digital era. A recent appointment has included a new Head of Digital, and Leadership Development Programmes at all levels are very much focused around 21st century skills and knowledge building.

Success will be the Right Mix

And yet, despite all of the digitisation and technological developments of our time, Aldagh says it’s still a craft to find the right person for the right company. So much of the process comes back to chemistry, culture and fit. However, the goal of the Morgan McKinley Transformation team is to inspire the service offering and customer experience to better facilitate that craft. Data analysis, matching processes, customer experience and insight gathering are all part of a new era in the global business of recruitment and innovation in services. We look forward with interest to its evolution in this international firm.

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