Recruitment Information System Case Study

BDO Kendalls is the Australian member of BDO, the fifth largest accountancy network in the world, providing accounting and business advisory services to a diverse client base, from individuals and SMEs to large corporations and government departments.

With 130 partners and directors, over 1,000 staff and turnover of around $180 million in Australia, supported by a global network of 626 offices in 110 countries employing 31,500 people, BDO Kendalls differentiates as a firm with the flexible characteristics of a local team, together with the specific expertise, worldwide network and strength of the large scale global players.

Moving up a gear

Attracting the right people is a critical success factor for professional services firms, and had long been a priority for BDO Kendalls. But in 2007 the firm decided it was time for its total recruitment practices, including the graduate recruitment program, to move into top gear.

As National Chairman, Russell Heywood- Smith explains, “In 2007, the firm experienced a year of unprecedented change as a result of our new strategy to achieve strong and sustainable growth. We coined the phrase ‘Moving up a Gear’, reflecting our focus on capturing market share from larger and smaller competitors, broadening our capabilities, developing current team members, and attracting high calibre new people.”

While the firm’s new strategy brought new opportunities for clients, partners and staff, and for the many Accounting, Law and Finance graduates looking for the right firm to kick-start their careers, it also created new challenges.

BDO Kendalls’ offices around Australia were attracting an increasing number of applications, particularly from soon to- be graduates. Each of the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne offices, who hire 20 to 30 graduates per year, were receiving around 350 applications. It was recognised a reliable platform would be required to follow through development of a national approach and efficiently capitalise on interest and momentum.

Making the right choice

“As a starting point, we needed a system that would track all of our applicants, minimise inefficiencies and create greater efficiencies between our offices. As well, we wanted our recruitment process to be a positive experience and produce the right results for our firm”, says BDO Kendalls’ HR Consultant, Brad McPaul.

Determined to get it right the first time, the firm undertook a rigorous process to select a provider who would meet both current and future needs. Having identified a shortlist of potential e-recruitment providers, the HR team conducted a rigorous tendering process to objectively assess the providers against a range of criteria including functionality, service, reporting options and price.

Involving their HR team from the outset was a key success factor in BDO Kendalls’ approach. As McPaul explains, “Our HR Managers from each office evaluated all of the systems, and reported their findings. Our decision to go with cvmail was based on their input.” That early participation was to prove invaluable down the track. Their selection made, the firm was keen to have cvmail up and running in time for the next round of recruiting, which was fast approaching.

Tight time frame, smooth implementation

Recognising that every client has different needs, cvmail’s consultants worked in partnership with BDO Kendalls to understand the firm’s recruitment activities and together determine how the cvmail system would best complement and add value to the recruitment process. The next step was to build the online solution, creating the BDO Kendalls’ ‘job board’ to match the look and feel of the firm’s website and a recruitment system to match the firm’s unique requirements.

Having played a key role in evaluating and choosing cvmail as the firm’s e-recruitment system, the national team of HR Director and Managers understood what needed to be done and were integral to successful implementation.

With recruitment time looming, the firm’s ‘super users’ met with their cvmail Account Manager for a two day intensive and interactive training program. According to McPaul, “Given the tight timeframes, everything went well. We had enough training to perform the basic functions and cvmail provided plenty of assistance throughout that busy time.”

Results so far, more to come

BDO Kendalls’ graduate recruitment activities have been transformed in key areas including:

  • Centralising the entire graduate recruitment process
  • Reducing administration time
  • Streamlining the processfor submitting candidates for positions
  • Achieving cost efficiencies in the use of recruitment agencies, and
  • Measuring performance through reporting on direct hire success rates, costs and website page visits.

Currently, BDO Kendalls’ larger offices are using cvmail for every vacancy within the firm.

With the new online recruitment system up and running, and the firm already seeing tangible benefits, planning is underway to maximise cvmail’s advanced functionality, including reporting tools to provide meaningful comparisons of recruitment data nationally.

Posted in HR Management, Recruitment| Tagged Recruitment, retention

Posted on 24 Mar 2017


Established in 1904, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the primary global body representing professional accountants. Supporting over 188,000 members and 455,000 students in 180 countries, ACCA provides individuals seeking a career in accountancy, finance and management, with world-class qualifications that are business-ready and aligned with global standards.

ACCA’s business model is built around its ability to have the best people delivering the very best service and support to its customers and member base. That puts the talent acquisition group under immense pressure to recruit staff who are highly motivated and committed to fulfilling this charter. The ability to quickly identify, engage, hire and onboard interested and qualified candidates, remains a constant and top priority for the association’s talent acquisition teams. And with ACCA’s substantial global reach, talent management processes need to be not only highly accurate but also efficient enough to scale across markets – regardless of numerous differences in HR practices.

Making sure that every new recruit is committed to customer service is key for the recruitment team. Finding, engaging and capturing those committed people and getting them on board quickly and efficiently is critical to our team’s successMartin McDonald, Head of Resourcing and HR Business Partner – ACCA.



ACCA’s recruitment systems had become increasingly incapable of keeping up with the pace and agility required for finding, acquiring, and training its talent. Recruiting was done by manually filling out forms and tracking hires using Excel spreadsheets, which took up significant amounts of time and focus. With recruiters handling over 30 vacancies each on average at any one time, the amount of manual work involved placed huge strain on ACCA’s talent acquisition staff. The organisation recognised that it needed a far nimbler and more automated in-house platform if it were to sustain its current levels of talent acquisition and development.

After much consideration, ACCA decided to move away from its manual processes and upgraded to a more automated approach. This new direction and subsequent partnering with PageUp proved to be the right decision, as work was drastically reduced. After deploying PageUp™ Recruitment Management, ACCA’s recruiters have reported that they can devote more energy and resources toward understanding the needs of the business and, determine crucial data to track and deliver more added value to every interaction with internal customers and stakeholders.

After deploying PageUp’s recruitment solution, our staff have reported that they can devote more energy and resources toward understanding the needs of the business. We can determine crucial data to deliver added value to every interaction with our internal customers and stakeholders.Martin McDonald, Head of Resourcing and HR Business Partner – ACCA.



ACCA automated significant sections of the talent acquisition process, enabling its recruiters to expand capacity and eliminate reliance on third-party outsourcing. In order to demonstrate true and quantifiable ROI to its management, ACCA’s HR team also used the PageUp system to monitor and map its recruiting performance to core business goals. PageUp exceeded ACCA’s aggressive HR targets in a range of areas, including:

  • reducing cost per hire by 20%
  • making cost savings of more than £1.8 million

Besides exceeding business targets, these results also boosted the morale of the recruiters, as they were able to be more personal and hands-on with applicants and candidates, and accomplish their work in less time, without the need of external agencies. ACCA’s success with PageUp has allowed its HR team to strive for more ambitious targets, such as increasing direct recruitment to make up 98% of all new hires. The entire process has made ACCA’s talent management strategy much more sustainable, scalable, and measurable, directly aligning it to the association’s core business goals and growth.

Find out more about PageUp’s recruitment management offering� or have a look other customer case studies in the recruitment space here.

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