Employing the right HR solution for international expansion

Specialist recruiter Spencer Ogden chooses Sage Business Cloud People to enable better service.


Renowned recruiter Spencer Ogden is expanding globally at pace. Spencer Ogden needed needed an HRIS that could adapt to their changing and growing requirements and match their culture and brand. Sage Business Cloud People delivered in system capability and flexibility as well as the style of our team’s support and collaboration.


Speaker: Donna Hewett, Operations Director

Spencer Ogden has been around since 2010. We are an energy, engineering and infrastructure recruitment specialist. We started off primarily in the engineering sector for the first three years, oil and gas, renewables, power and nuclear, and over the last two years we’ve diversified into infrastructure and engineering. We started off 2010 with 13 staff and two sites and we’ve now got 400 staff and 12 sites globally.

The brand is massively important to us and we’ve always tried to be a bit fun, a bit quirky. I think Fairsail [Sage Business Cloud People] supports that in its flexibility, as to what it’s able to do.

Technology is a massive part of what we do. David, our CEO, is very passionate about Spencer Ogden being a technology accelerator, coupled with the millennials: technology is not new to them so everything is done on an app or a piece of software or on a screen, so it’s important to make sure that we’re a technology accelerator as a business in everything that we do.

We do have lots of people that travel around the world to see clients and candidates – it’s important that they’re able to access as much information as they possibly can, to keep them operating and keep them engaged.

Speaker: Emma Brennan, Senior HR Advisor
We’re a very fast paced, quickly changing business, so our HR system has to reflect that. I can do a headcount report in two seconds, which saves me a lot of time! It’s just made everything a lot less manual. The system has such a huge amount of functionality, that it’s just been a godsend really.

Donna Hewett
The holiday process was very manual previously and I’d say that it probably took about 2 days a week for my HR department to run, and that time has now gone. So they’re not really involved in that process at all because it’s really self sufficient. So they’re now able to spend time on other issues that are more interesting and add far more value to the business rather than just paperwork.

The system that we had was very UK based and not a cloud-based product, lots of people were complaining, lots of people getting chucked out, not being able to save their work: it just wasn’t scalable really, for what we wanted to achieve globally. I’d say we probably used to spend 50% of our time actually collating reports for management. You could be running around for hours trying to get that information, whereas now a lot of that’s pre-populated in the system, so it’s just the press of a button. So again, a lot of time reduced there in terms reporting.

Emma Brennan
That was one of my first requirements actually: I just needed a report that I could plug in the dates and it could just tell me who was employed on that day. That was my first requirement. And now I have that, which makes my life a lot easier.

Donna Hewett
And there’s more to come with that for us as well, we’re only at probably 15-20% of what we can do with Fairsail [Sage Business Cloud People], there’s so much more you can do to add value to the business. Prior to Fairsail [Sage Business Cloud People], as we grew quite aggressively, we obviously had to grow our HR department. Whereas we don’t need to do that as much any more. The usual standard, in terms of number of HR people per employee, is 1 in 60, and we’ve managed to get that to 1 in 70, which is an improvement, which is purely because Fairsail [Sage Business Cloud People] takes away probably 30-40% of that individual’s time and work.

Emma Brennan
I’d definitely say it’s been a great experience, right from the sales pitch to discovery to even the support team. The support team have been great, and once we handed over to them their response times were very quick.

Donna Hewett
If you’re looking for a system that’s going to be scalable, and that’s going to grow with you, if you’re working in a multi-national company where the legalities and best practice of each region is important, I think the Fairsail [Sage Business Cloud People] system is a very, very good system compared to others out there and others that we looked at quite extensively. Equally, it’s reasonably priced for what it is and I think the flexibility is what I like. It can adapt to your business and what your business needs. No one business is going to be the same so what I need from it is going to be very different from somebody else. But the system can accommodate that, which is key for me.

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