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How you can meet high demand while still delivering a great candidate experience

Posted by Alexandra Kane on Jul 29, 2020 6:48:54 AM
Alexandra Kane

The pandemic has presented all sorts of challenges and uniquities that none of us could have foreseen at the beginning of the year. Staffing firms who serve essential industries like home care, healthcare, grocery, retail and construction (to name a few) are seeing massive surges in demand for talent. Other industries may have fewer reqs, but a surge in demand for jobs that is overwhelming their already-stressed recruiters. 

While so much has changed, your ability to deliver a great experience for candidates and contractors (not to mention clients and prospects) remains essential. 

How can your team meet high demand and deliver on expectations while simultaneously providing a great experience? Here are some lessons we’ve learned from some of our most successful clients, who are not only surviving but thriving during this crisis.

Rethink how you approach speed.

It’s an old and hard rule in staffing -- speed wins. And it’s never been more true, especially in those essential industries. Businesses need help now, and the firm that delivers great talent, quickly, will win. 

In the old days, “speed” often meant getting as many resumes as possible. There wasn’t time to build relationships or worry about candidate experience. Shortcuts sought to simplify getting access to large quantities of candidates with a specific skill set. 

Speed today walks a fine line. Recruiters are expected to deliver talent quickly, but they’re also expected to know the candidates they’re referring. Clients want engaged talent that is excited to work for their company and likes working with their recruiter. 

But they still want that talent quickly. 

At the same time, talent wants more, better jobs. They want to get started and begin earning a paycheck faster. But they also want a positive experience. They want to feel valued by their recruiters. And they want to know what’s happening behind the scenes so that they are informed. 

Your recruiters, though, are spending 2/3 of their days (!) on non-revenue generating activities. In other words, the “non human stuff” (prospecting and data entry, equally). These tasks are critical to landing the right talent and matching them to the right jobs, yet they’re slowing down your recruiters significantly. 

Traditionally, many owners and leaders think that the answer to bogged-down recruiters is...adding more recruiters. Especially in today’s economic reality, this is a costly “solution,” that often doesn’t even solve the problem. 

The good news is that today, staffing firms have access to technology that empowers them to deliver on speed and experience. They have recruiters who believe in building relationships, and embrace technology that empowers them to build and nurture more of them. 

Help your recruiters prioritize what’s most important.

When we’re under stress, the feeling of overwhelm can affect everything. Your recruiters aren’t just dealing with stress at work. They’re dealing with some of the most profound stress any of us has ever been under, in an historic time. 

With so much stress, on top of high demand from clients and candidates, it is understandable if the focus becomes on “getting things done” rather than “focusing on the right things.” Our instincts tell us to just get through it, plow through the work and get it done. 

But when we plow through work, we tend to miss the details. The little things that matter most. 

In recruiting, the one-on-one relationships, the trust that’s built with candidates and clients, is essential. And it’s impacted powerfully by the little details. Sharing updates. Following up after meetings and interviews. Reaching out to see if someone is doing okay. Checking in to see if someone is looking for work or needs help. 

Although it may feel like the universe is conspiring against your recruiters in their quest to prioritize what’s most important, there is some good news. Staffing technology (including here at Sense) helps to ease the stress and overwhelm many recruiters are facing right now. It empowers recruiters to stay on top of communication and nurture or build those relationships. And it hands off conversations at the right times so that recruiters only jump in with singular, one-on-one communications when absolutely necessary. 

Chatbots, for example, can ask screening questions, answer questions your talent may have, and can even schedule interviews. It is available 24/7, giving answers and building relationships when your recruiters are sleeping or when they’re otherwise busy. It’s there for talent when it’s convenient for them, which also touches on the first point above -- speed. 

Using artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots can ask and answer questions in real time, and will know when a personal touch is needed. Powerful indeed. And empowering to recruiters who understand the importance of relationships, even when demand is high.

Don’t let technology distract you. 

This may sound counterintuitive to the points I made above, but hear me out. Technology is empowering recruiters to do more, faster, and while continuing to build and nurture strong relationships. Staffing technology (like our technology here at Sense) was changing the game pre-COVID. But now that we’re in a new normal for the foreseeable future, it is making a profound impact on the success and even growth of staffing firms.

But, balancing multiple technologies and vendors right now, with such high demand and high stress, can actually add to the stress your recruiters are facing. It can make it more difficult to meet high demand and continue to prioritize candidate and contractor experience. 

In some cases, technology can actually hurt, rather than help, your staffing firm. 

Consolidating your point solutions is a powerful way to eliminate waste and productivity losses caused by multiple technology vendors. At Sense, our platform offers robust engagement and communications functionality (including our new recruiting chatbot, Reva, coming in Fall 2020)

Instead of creating more distractions that slow down your response and dilute your ability to nurture strong relationships, a single point staffing technology solution simplifies and streamlines your recruiting functions, while integrating seamlessly with your ATS.

The right technology partner is a game changer.

We don’t know when this pandemic will end, but we are committed to helping staffing firms across the globe get through this challenging time. Our clients were using Sense to see phenomenal growth pre-COVID, and our technology is empowering them to survive and even grow during these challenging times. To see how Sense can help you meet high demand while continuing to prioritize candidate and contractor experience, contact us today to schedule a demo

Topics: automation, candidate experience, text messaging, recruiting chatbot

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