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Focus on these steps to modernize your staffing operations next year

Posted by Alexandra Kane on Jan 10, 2019 8:09:00 AM
Alexandra Kane

Does your staffing firm need to catch up?

Many firms are tied to archaic processes and technology that frustrate candidates and recruiters alike. Most critically, outdated processes and technology cost you.

Time. Productivity. Placements. Revenue.

Make this the year you modernize your staffing operations.

It can be difficult to embrace and implement modernization in an established organization. Making multiple changes at once can be pretty dizzying. But in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, these investments are necessary to preserve both the short- and long-term success of your staffing firm.

We’re not talking about a full-scale revolution -- do not be afraid! In fact, we’ll help you identify where to focus your time, energy, and resources in 2019:

Technology.

You knew this had to be first, right? When you think about modernization, technology is of course at the forefront.

But modernization of your staffing firm doesn’t just mean a new ATS or another shiny new tool. It means strategic vetting and implementation of technologies that will streamline operations, improve candidate experience, and foster innovation and better prioritization among your team.

There are two specific areas of technical innovation we recommend placing your focus this year:

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  2. Automation

Let’s take a closer look:

 

Artificial Intelligence

Unsure how AI fits into the staffing industry? Do a quick Google search for “AI in the staffing industry” and you’ll find no shortage of headlines (10 million of them in fact), including:

10 Ways Artificial Intelligence Will Change Recruitment Practices

What Artificial Intelligence Could Mean for Staffing

Artificial Intelligence - The Future of Staffing

Most of these articles were written in the last 12 months, and with good reason. AI has quickly emerged as a transformative tool for our industry. We are just scratching the surface of how AI can impact the staffing industry, yet it’s already having a profound impact.

Here are just a few ways AI is impacting the staffing industry:


  • Helping recruiters paint a fuller picture of candidates by combing the web for more information on interests and background to fill in the gaps left by resumes and interviews (and it does this all in the blink of an eye, saving you potentially hours of time per candidate).

  • Automating recruiting by finding appropriate candidates, contacting them, reviewing resumes and scheduling interviews.

  • Improving contractor care by examining data and using predictive analytics to determine whether a contractor is happy with your firm, likely to accept redeployment, or considering moving on to another position.

  • Simplifying and improving redeployment. How many candidates are in your database -- hundreds? Thousands? It’s impossible to know the strengths, skills and experience of every candidate, at all times. Delays or miscues in redeployment can burn out contractors and cause them to turn elsewhere. AI simplifies redeployment by seamlessly scouring databases to match existing candidates to new jobs. And for a sneak peak into the next point, together with automation, AI can identify which candidates are a fit for new jobs, then reach out to them with personalized messages to increase the likelihood of response and further engagement with your staffing firm.

 

Automation

The value of automation is proven. It saves time, makes employees more productive and ultimately saves organizations substantially while reducing or eliminating errors.

This is one area of modernization where the staffing industry is woefully behind. Research shows that 35% of staffing firms don’t automate during prospecting, client engagement, or account management, and 40% don’t automate candidate selection, screening, or candidate engagement.

Here are just a few ways automation can make an impact on your staffing firm:

  • Improving candidate experience by making the recruitment process smooth and efficient, providing better communication and engagement, and nurturing candidates throughout the process.

  • Saving time by automating processes that currently eat up most of a recruiter’s day, allowing them to spend more time speaking and meeting with candidates. Sense clients save up to 30% of their time with our automation tools. Imagine adding almost two and a half hours to your workday!

  • Enhancing contractor care by sending messages and making personal contact with all of your contractors, consistently nurturing their relationships. Automation does not mean removing the personal element of contractor care, it enhances it by giving you the means to touch base with 100s or 1,000s of contractors without spending hours crafting messages. It stores your notes and information (and combines with AI to scour the internet and other places for more information), and automatically reaches out to candidates at important times, including:

      • At deployment

      • Throughout a placement

      • After a contract has ended

      • Anniversaries, birthdays, etcetera

      • And much more

Employer brand and social media.

Branding and marketing are becoming increasingly personal. Your branding and online marketing efforts should reflect that important shift. Although it’s safe to say that candidates have never enjoyed being seen or treated like a “number,” that distinction is more important than ever as contractors seek to make personal connections with their employers.

While many staffing firms see social media purely from an advertising standpoint, it is in fact a highly personal platform for contractor care and candidate engagement.

When a contractor or prospect connects with your brand on social media, they are inviting your content into their feed along with news and stories from family and friends. You’re essentially being invited into their digital “homes.”

How are you responding? Most companies take that privilege and spam followers with ads, or toss links to blog posts. Still others automatically post links to their jobs, which means followers are greeted by sometimes hundreds of barren posts with plain links to jobs. No explanation, no personal invitation to apply.

When used properly, social media can attract, build, and nurture contractor relationships. It’s just that right now, very few staffing firms actually use social media in this very powerful way. And that’s a shame.

Understand and define what defines your employer brand and makes it resonate with candidates.

Although there are certainly some jobs that are more attractive to certain candidates than others, generally speaking, most staffing firms have access to great jobs. That’s not enough to woo (and retain) top talent.

Instead of relying on your jobs to do the work for you, focus on defining and communicating your employer brand. Who are you? Why are you a good choice for contractors?  


New channels of communication.

Standbys like email and calls/voicemail aren’t going away anytime soon. You can still call candidates and leave voicemails, or send them emails and will often get responses to personal, well-crafted messages.

But to really stand out to candidates and build stronger contractor relationships, staffing firms need to start using preferred communication methods to reach candidates. Yes, candidates are checking email (although there is a trend of checking email once or twice a day rather than throughout the day to increase productivity). Yes, they’re still checking their phones.

But people aren’t checking their phones to make calls or listen to voicemails. In fact, 90% of time spent on smartphones is using apps.

To improve contractor care and candidate engagement, staffing firms will need to explore new channels of communication and tap into that 90 percent. Here are some ideas:

  • Texting is an extremely effective way of reaching candidates. Staffing firms who use Sense have a 98% open rate for text messages. Imagine knowing that nearly every candidate is reading your messages!

  • Chat apps like Slack, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger and others are increasingly being used by candidates who prefer a more personalized, customizable experience. There is no single chat app that is rising to the top; however, requiring an omni-channel solution to reach candidates where they are and want to be reached.

  • Video conferencing and chat apps like Zoom, FaceTime, or Google Duo are often being used in place of traditional phone calls for individuals who want a more personal experience. Getting critical face time with talent can help foster a personal connection, and mean the difference between redeployment or moving on to your competitor.


Modernizing your staffing firm doesn’t have to be stressful.

Implementing new technologies and changing old processes can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Our team and simple-to-use technology makes onboarding a breeze, freeing you to more quickly focus on what’s most important.

 

Contact us to schedule a demo and see how Sense can help you modernize your staffing operations.

Topics: candidate engagement, staffing trends

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