Given the challenges and urgencies posed by COVID-19, it has never been more important to get high-volume recruiting right. Fortunately, technology has evolved to provide the right tools needed to make recruiting more efficient and effective.
Hectic. Frenetic. Intense. These are some of the words used by Ron Washburn at the World Staffing Summit to describe the state of recruiting in 2020. No surprise because Ron is Executive Vice President at Soliant, one of the leading healthcare staffing firms in the country, which was placing frontline workers in COVID hotspots.
According to hr.com, 69% of HR professionals say they are handling or have handled high-volume recruitment in the past year. Additionally, 40% believe that the pandemic has increased their likelihood of engaging in high-volume recruiting in the future.
High-volume recruiting has always been intense but the pandemic has made it even more so. These challenges are not restricted to healthcare but for any industry that is trying to place a huge number of people over a short period of time. The two biggest challenges reported by HR professionals are reducing time-to-hire and assessing candidate-job fit. Let’s take a closer look at these challenges in various stages of the hiring funnel.
Challenge #1: Sourcing enough candidate profiles
While your firm may be implementing cutting-edge hiring practices such as running programmatic ads to target the right set of candidates for your openings, these tend to get expensive in a high-volume scenario. Especially when more than 50% of job placements are fulfilled through candidates already in the company’s database.
It’s ironic.? On the one hand, you are spending thousands of dollars trying to source the right candidate profiles; but on the other, you are leaving a vast pool of profiles already in your database untapped.
Automation can help you tap your existing database to identify candidates that fit your job role and are ready for a new gig. The first step is to use automation tools to segment your database based on the candidate’s profile, location and other prerequisites. The next step is to send out automated messages over email or SMS to check on the candidate’s availability and interest in the role you are hiring for.
Sense Case Byte
Recruiters at Advanced Group, parent to three unique staffing brands, use the Sense mobile app to text candidates from their own phones without revealing their personal numbers. On average, 90% of people read text messages within 3 minutes and respond 90 seconds later. Over a 90-day period, Advanced Group sent over 30,000 text messages with a 54% response rate.
Another effective way to circumvent the cost and inefficiencies of job board postings is to improve your redeployment rate. With automation, your recruiters get valuable data about candidates they have already placed. For example, if recruiters know when candidates are nearing the end of their current contract, they can share relevant new openings beforehand and fasttrack the interview process. This way, the candidates will have their next gig waiting and recruiters reduce their fill-time.
Challenge #2: Recruiter fatigue
Recruiters spend two-thirds of their time on non-human-focused activities such as running searches, screening profiles, updating databases, and scheduling conversations. In a high-volume recruiting situation, this takes a major toll on recruiters leading to fatigue, low job satisfaction and a higher chance of errors.
Recruiting leaders at some of the most progressive organizations have therefore turned to automation to overcome this challenge. According to Lauren Griffin, Senior Vice President, Volt Workforce Solutions, “Using AI chatbots for screening has increased fill rates at all our clients and allows recruiters to focus on high value tasks like candidate relations.”
Challenge #3: Creating a great candidate experience
Recruiting has been traditionally seen as a conversation-led business. “I’ve been in the staffing business since the early ‘90’s and always believed the job required tons of phone calls,” says Brett Pinto, founder of MissionStaff. “While I still believe in the power of relationship building through phone conversations and meetings, I’ve seen that our clients and candidates prefer engaging digitally. The culture has changed.”
Not just that, in a high-volume environment, it is practically impossible to build 1:1 relationships over calls. However, candidate engagement is the lifeblood of the industry, resulting in not just better relationships but also actual revenue through better redeployment and referral numbers. So, how do you drive candidate engagement through personalization at scale?
MissionStaff turned to Sense Engage. “I was just looking for a text messaging tool, but Sense showed me how I could build automated workflows for delivering touchpoints throughout the lifecycle of consultant engagements,” Brett says. Today they get countless thank-you messages because they remembered consultants’ birthdays, or because of the clear instructions they got via text the day before they started a new job.
Chatbots are another way to keep candidates engaged even when your recruiters are not around, say after work hours or on holidays, which is when many job seekers are active. Because of how algorithm-driven they are, chatbots also eliminate unconscious recruiter bias in the early stages, giving you a diverse talented candidate pool that fits the role.
Challenge #4: Measuring recruiting effectiveness
To misquote the Cheshire Cat, if you don’t know where your hiring dollars are going, there’s no point spending, is there? Depending on the industry, size of your firm and your high-volume recruitment needs, it is important to assess where your time and money are deployed and what returns you are getting. Some firms use a hiring scorecard that includes metrics such as time to fill, placements per recruiter, cost per hire and hiring success.
According to hr.com’s The State of high-volume recruitment and Assessments 2021 report, these are the top metrics that firms measure.
Needless to say, a hiring scorecard is only as effective as the accuracy and relevance of the underlying data. When your hiring process is automated, tracking response time, fill rate, redeployment, etc. becomes far simpler because you get access to analytics dashboards and hiring funnel reports. You can also simplify the process of getting additional information from candidates — for example, NPS or sentiment scores — through text messaging.
Read how these three healthcare staffing firms improved their drop-off rates, online reviews and YoY hiring with the help of Sense’s database and messaging automation tools.
Do you have high-volume recruitment needs coming up this year? We can help. Schedule a demo today to know more about our solutions.