This October we brought together a team of industry experts to discuss the present and future of staffing technology. Joined by Jeff Staats of TalentLaunch, Russ Danford of Matrix, and Greg Geering of PrideStaff, we examined the power of next generation automation and how it can impact key business outcomes. Check out our recap of the webinar below, or view the full recording here.
In today’s staffing world, automation is table stakes. While technology has increasingly become a central tool for staffing firms, the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in March spurred a digital transformation that changed the game entirely. At this point, if you’re not leveraging automation for routine tasks and improved candidate outreach, you’re falling behind.
In fact, today’s leading staffing firms are going beyond basic automation to create a comprehensive approach to pairing technology side-by-side with human relationships. Next generation automation drives communication and engagement across the full talent lifecycle, with an integrated tech stack that impacts every part of your business.
For those who haven’t yet bought into evolving your approach to automation, let’s break it down a little. At the unit economic level, for every $3,200 you spend to acquire a candidate (on average across industries), you’re spending $1,280 on their attrition. Got your attention?
Automation comes in many forms, so to simply things we’ve defined the use cases within two fundamental categories:
- Maintenance & data cleaning
Using basic automation to keep your data updated and accurate leads to increases in productivity and time savings, and lays the foundation for strategic automation.
- Event-triggered, personalized communication
Creating a strategic automation engine using AI and bi-directional conversations contributes to increased engagement, retention, and growth — leading to measurable ROI and making human interactions even more personal. Sometimes we call this “autopilot and the copilot” types of automation.
When we talk about “the full talent lifecycle,” we’re referring to a wide range of nuanced stages and opportunities to strengthen candidate relationships. To make it easier to digest, we’ve broken down the lifecycle into four key areas where the next evolution of automation is absolutely critical.
Our research shows that 1/3 of most recruiters’ time is spent doing data entry, and another third is spent prospecting. That means only a small portion of your recruiters’ day is actually dedicated to high-quality, revenue-related activities (i.e. the “human stuff”). Database automation ensures you have clean, accurate information in your ATS, provides new opportunities for data enrichment, and offers a smart way to reactivate dormant candidates — all while saving hours of your recruiters’ time.
When your data is reliable, your ATS becomes your recruiters’ first stop for sourcing rather than the last. Instead of being reliant on expensive job boards or inundated with unqualified inbounds, your team will have a fast, cost-effective source of qualified leads right under their nose.
In addition to increased productivity, the results of database automation include wins like reduced time-to-hire, lower costs of acquisition, and a better candidate experience. By automatically updating data at scale, your ATS self-cleans, regenerates, and becomes an asset for sourcing, marketing and more. Simply put, database automation is foundational to all other automation efforts you implement for your business.
Recruitment Marketing & Sourcing
For the average staffing firm, 45% of headcount is dedicated to talent acquisition — that’s nearly half of your team focused on sourcing and recruitment marketing! To get the biggest bang for your buck, it’s essential that those acquisition processes are efficient and strategic. Unfortunately, across every staffing vertical teams are still seeing leaks throughout the acquisition funnel. Even marginal improvements can dramatically increase efficiency and enhance the overall experience for candidates, clients and recruiters.
With new candidate volume at an all-time high, tech-savvy staffing firms are strategically using automation to screen applicants and ensure recruiters’ time is being allocated to only the most impactful conversations. In fact, modern firms like PrideStaff are taking it even further by pairing automation with AI in the form of recruiting chatbots. These automated conversation assistants help enrich their database and screen candidates, ultimately shortening time-to-hire and leading to higher quality conversations with more relevant candidates. It’s a win-win.
Automation tools can scour your database to reactivate dormant candidates, send outreach reminders to recruiters, and nudge candidates along through the pipeline. The results? Reduced time-to-submit and increased fill rates, all while bolstering your employer brand. For instance, staffing firm Matrix leveraged automated touchpoints to direct happy contractors to leave public reviews on sites like Glassdoor — or on the flip side, automatically direct any issues right to the recruiter. They even saw their Glassdoor rating increase by .75 stars after implementing this kind of automation with Sense.
At each stage of the cycle, your firm (and every other!) is communicating with your talent pool, creating a rich ecosystem of touchpoints between candidates and employers. If you want to attract and retain the best talent, you need to provide a top-notch experience — and automation can do just that!
Once candidates are solidly in the pipeline, automation offers a powerful way to keep them engaged and moving through the hiring process. Of course, maintaining your humanity is vital, especially given that everything is happening remotely these days. Automation will help you send more personalized messages (powered by accurate data), transition smoothly from broadcast communication to 1:1 conversations, and use human touches (like emojis and photos!) to keep things friendly.
Once you’ve placed a candidate, sending onboarding materials, credential checklists, and first day instructions can all be done automatically — ensuring that candidates stay engaged and you don’t miss a beat before they start. Automating candidate engagement will not only make your talent happier, it will reduce drop-off rates and no-shows, and make sure your talent acquisition costs are well-spent.
On-Assignment, Contractor Experience, and Redeployment
Placements take hard work and financial investment, so don’t let those hours and dollars go to waste. In other words, avoid letting “on-assignment” become a black hole. Your team may not have the bandwidth to keep contractors engaged during (and beyond) their placements, but that’s where automation comes in.
Maintaining those relationships isn’t fluff. It’ll keep contractors in their placements longer and tap into opportunities for redeployment. Next generation technology helps you stay in touch using automated check-ins and surveys to drive satisfaction, without any additional manual work. Redeployment and referrals are two of the biggest metrics to move with automation, putting real dollars on the balance sheet. Sense customer PrideStaff saw a 35% increase in redeployment through automated workflows, which has paid dividends for their bottom line. With simple email and text campaigns, you can move the needle in a meaningful way during and after contractor engagements.
Wondering what all of this lifecycle technology looks like in practice? Here are some of the ways next gen automation is moving the goalposts for staffing firms:
- Two-way texting keeps you in communication with talent from first touch to redeployment, using the platform candidates prefer.
- Detailed analytics provide insight into your return on investment and help you track campaign performance across your business.
- Conversational AI assistants — a.k.a. chatbots — increase recruiter productivity and generate more (and faster) placements.
- Automated touchpoints help recruiters stay ahead of any potential issues during an assignment and keep contractors engaged, leading to lower drop-off rates.