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Founded in 2017, Kona & Co. is an executive search and recruitment firm headquartered in Melbourne, Victoria. The team recruits senior managers, directors and C-suite executives looking for their next professional challenge within Australia and New Zealand’s leading organisations. Kona & Co. has been a customer of Bullhorn since 2019.
Founder of Kona & Co., Ephram Stephenson is no stranger to growing a business. Kona & Co. was his 6th recruitment startup and one of many successful companies he’s built. With plenty of experience under his belt, Ephram had three main focuses when starting up the business: speed to market, growth and scalability, and a quick and easy ramp-up for the team. In order to fine-tune those focus areas, Ephram wanted a robust recruitment solution that was built for his business—one that was reliable, configurable, scalable, had strong support and research and development, marketplace integrations, and a solution that would be a partner, rather than just a vendor.
Having used Bullhorn for previous startups, the decision was easy; In 2019, Ephram purchased Bullhorn ATS & CRM. “The reason why I chose Bullhorn is because it is the CRM of choice,” Ephram said, “In startup mode where you’re in fast growth and fast-paced environment, you really need a software CRM that you can actually rely on.”
Ephram continued building his startup through strategic investment in Bullhorn’s ecosystem of technology partners. “The beautiful thing about Bullhorn is the marketplace partners,” Ephram said of investing in cube19, Kyloe, Volcanic, and CloudCall.
Kona & Co. began with one user but quickly scaled to three users within the first four months on Bullhorn. According to Ephram, “without a CRM like Bullhorn, it would be impossible for me to scale the business.” You’re only as good as your last placement, Ephram explains, and your company needs a software that enables those placements quickly. “It’s all about candidate generation,” he says, “It’s all about speed to market and ultimately Bullhorn allows us to do that.”
For Ephram, the technology he invests in needs to be more than just that; it needs to be with a trusted partner that his company can form a relationship with. When Kona & Co. was initially founded and Ephram was the sole recruiter, he explains that having experience, customer support, or technical support available to help him was incredibly beneficial. “Everyone’s always on hand on the Bullhorn team to take any calls for you to ask for any advice,” Ephram said. “It’s more of a partnership with the individuals over at Bullhorn as opposed to just selling your solution out of the box and add your own devices.” He also shares that even after using Bullhorn for a decade across various businesses, he knows he can rely on the technology to be up and running.
And as Kona & Co. grows, so too does Bullhorn. “The beautiful thing about the software is that it’s always evolving, always new features. To me it’s a no brainer, Bullhorn is the best solution for my business and businesses.” He shares that even as colleagues and employees leave to strike out on their own, he always recommends Bullhorn.
Kona & Co sees itself as more than just a source of candidates. Moreover, it is a collaborative organization that helps clients and candidates to achieve both their personal and professional goals. As Ephram continues to scale his business—with the goal of growing to 15 employees in 12 months and plans to expand to Perth, Brisbane, and finally, the United States—he also continues to support the Kona & Co Recruitment Training & HR Business. With each placement made by the company, Training & HR provides all of its placed candidates free access for 12 months to its Learning Management System. Between Kona & Co’s impending growth and commitment to candidate and client success, Ephram’s ultimate aim is for Kona & Co. to be recognised as the go-to brand for executive search on a global scale.
SVP, Global Support & Training
As Senior Vice President, Global Support and Training, J.R. leads our global Support and Training for all Bullhorn product lines. J.R. directs both the company’s customer service and training efforts around the world engaging customers throughout all points in the customer journey, both proactively and reactively, delivering incredible customer experiences via transactional interactions and client engagements. He brings a broad range of customer service leadership skills and experience to the company spanning performance management, project management, employee and leadership development, organizational design, and strategy which all align to focus on driving an incredible customer experience. Prior to joining Bullhorn, J.R. led call center optimization efforts for AT&T Mobility, directing the call center strategy for more than 100 contact centers. J.R. has spent 20 years working in the contact center space and has held a number of key leadership roles prior to joining Bullhorn.
SVP of Product and Salesforce
Jonathan Novich is SVP of Product and Salesforce for Bullhorn, the global leader in CRM and operations software for the recruitment industry. A staffing technology innovator, he has developed broad and deep product and technical experience consulting to staffing firms over the past 15 years. Jonathan has acted as an independent consultant for some of the largest staffing companies in the world and advised companies on acquisition targets.
At Bullhorn, he oversees product initiatives as more than 10,000 staffing companies rely on Bullhorn’s cloud-based platform to drive sales, build relationships, and power their recruitment processes from end to end. He graduated with honors from Princeton University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Computer Science and a certificate in Operations Research.
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