Today, Sysgen is officially celebrating its 27th year anniversary. Reflecting on almost three decades in business, what comes to mind are the opportunities where we’ve played a significant role for our clients and the fondest memories with the Sysgen family.
When we started in 1991, we started not as a pure staffing company. We were a provider of customized IT and software applications. About five years after, during the Y2K era, clients started coming to us and asking whether we could provide them with teams of people who can help them remediate the Y2K problem. And we did.
It was our knowledge of how to find quality people that led our clients then to request for staffing support. Eventually, Sysgen took the leap and became a full staffing business in 1996. And the rest is history.
Looking back to the past
A lot has changed since 1991. Back then, the most popular recruitment tool was the classified ads. It was standard practice to post “Wanted Ads” and wait for candidates to personally submit their resumes. No LinkedIn. No JobStreet. No Boolean searches.
During Sundays, the classified ads in The Manila Bulletin were really thick and maybe about 80% of those were for job ads. We used to place ads in the papers, and then we’d be getting thousands and thousands of resumes. We’d go through all those resumes and would usually find that there were many who weren’t qualified for the job, who weren’t a good fit.
The mid-1990’s saw the emergence of the world wide web and with it the birth of employment websites. Staffing and recruiting companies quickly recognized the benefits of using the Job search engines and resume search engines that came with the online job portals. It became a powerful tool that staffing and recruiting companies took advantage of.
Posting online job ads, searching resume database, and emailing resumes became the new normal.
Search became a lot easier, but not without challenges, of course.
For us at Sysgen, a lot has changed as well. Our dedication to go the extra mile for our clients fueled us to grab every opportunity to serve our clients in more ways than one.
The birth of Sysgen RPO
In 2013, we set up another division that provided offshore recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) services. The goal here is to provide support in terms of resume sourcing and lifecycle recruiting to staffing companies in North America, Australia, and Asia Pacific. The premise is that with us doing all these support services, they will have more time to focus on revenue-generating activities like account management or looking for new projects and clients.
In spite of birth pains and challenges in setting up an offshore service provider of sourcing and recruiting, we are now recognized as one of the top offshore RPO providers in the Philippines.
Right now, Sysgen’s biggest achievement is being in business for the past 27 years providing great jobs to great candidates, and great candidates to organizations abroad and at home. It gives me great satisfaction being able to help staffing organizations elsewhere in the planet grow their business and bridge more people with more opportunities.
Hearing feedback such as, “Sysgen is the best in IT staffing!” or “Sysgen truly took care of me during the hiring process!”, is a source of pride, too.
Into a challenging but brighter future
Today the recruitment industry, and other IT-enabled industries for that matter, face the threat of automation and artificial intelligence. Publications would herald how the ‘robots are coming to take our jobs’. Think-tanks publish predictions about which jobs are going to give way to automation and AI first.
These megatrends will surely facilitate some aspects of the full recruiting process. But at the same time, we can never remove what we call the “human touch” or “personal touch”. I, for instance, when I call a customer service facility and I’m talking to a computer — talking to a robot or whatever — I’m not happy about it because there is no personality behind it. There is reassurance in knowing it is a real person you are talking to at the other end of the line.
Yes, automation and AI may change the way of work, perhaps for the better, but the demand for human resource will remain. The skill-sets organizations require may change, as they always do, but we still got a job to do. Automation and AI may beat human recruiters in mundane areas of the job — like sourcing and paper screening — but we remain matchmakers of the best fit for the perfect opportunity by building relationships – something no machine can do.
I am convinced also that offshore RPO will be a business that continues to grow. The demand for recruiters is growing. In Silicon Valley alone, a lot of companies who would be losing recruiters — due to poaching — would look at options wherein the delivery center, in terms of recruitment, is outside of the Valley. That will make poaching more difficult. Indeed, the Silicon Valley is a red ocean in terms of trying to get the recruiters out there.
Others are also worried about reshoring – the process wherein firms and organizations who are currently outsourcing and offshoring business processes begin to take back jobs and to ‘bring them back home’. While there are evidence for such alarm, like in the manufacturing industry for instance, I am convinced we aren’t that much affected here in the Philippines especially in terms of the staffing and recruitment industry. At least not yet.
Practically every day, we get new inquiries for our services. A good number of staffing firms in the US have actually heard of the option of offshore RPO and are seriously considering the option. They probably don’t know how to go about it, and that’s the reason they are trying to find out how it can be done. Staffing firms can benefit a lot from offshore RPO and we are here to make sure they reap the rewards.
We are a family, above all
Challenges aside, I cannot help but reminisce a lot of fond memories I have with Sysgen. There are too many to mention and it’s difficult to say which one is the fondest of them all, but I will relate it to my own family.
When we started in 1991, there was no inkling or premonition that this business was going to go on for 27 years. Yet we are still here. When we started this company, my daughter was two years old. Now, I have a granddaughter with that two-year-old daughter.
Sysgen has been a big part of who I am, it is a big part of my family, it’s a big part of my personality. All the challenges that we’ve faced, all the successes that we’ve had, they all contributed to who we are right now.
Twenty-seven years is a big achievement for us. And we owe it to the people who have worked with us all these years. We owe it to the hardworking people, we owe it to the dedicated people, who have helped Sysgen stay in business for the past 27 years.
To our clients. We are here to stay. Hopefully, we stay another 27 years, or even more. We are here because of you. We’re here because you trust us. We are here because we continue to provide good service to you all.
To our people. Again, without you, Sysgen wouldn’t be here. Thank you to everyone who has been part of the Sysgen family. Like any other family, we’re not perfect, but it’s because of you, it’s because of everyone, that Sysgen continues to do business and continues to grow.
Happy 27th Anniversary to us!