The digital strategy began to take shape back in 2007, when the Hays board turned to the tech sector to find its new chief executive Alistair Cox.
Prior to joining Hays, Cox was CEO of IT outsourcing company Xansa, where one of his closest colleagues was Managing Director Steve Weston. Shortly after Cox was appointed CEO at Hays, he recruited Weston to the role of CIO.
At the time, Hays was a FTSE 250 company with ambitious international expansion plans, but these aspirations were being curtailed by an IT strategy that had barely changed over the previous 25 years.
"We basically changed everything," Weston told CIO UK. "We changed the front and middle offices to become a completely open architecture, internet-enabled series of systems and processes based upon the same common system used in every country."
They also overhauled the back office to add efficiency. Weston says that when he joined Hays, for every front office recruitment consultant that joined, the company also added "point seven of a person" to the back office. Once the transformation was complete, they didn't need to add any.
"In fact, we've continue to reduce the back office along that journey, because we made it straight through processing completely efficient," he said.
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