For recruiters and hiring managers, time is a precious thing. Staffing teams are under a lot of pressure on a daily basis, and being able to communicate with candidates more efficiently is a desirable achievement. The challenge, though, is that communication takes up valuable time that far too many recruiters don’t feel they have.
Fail to keep in touch with your contingent workforce and you disengage your greatest commodity. So how can recruiters up their game when it comes to regularly touching base with their workers, without neglecting other crucial elements of the job? As I discussed in one of my recent conversations for the Staffing RecOps podcast, automation is key.
Getting hiring teams to buy in to better comms
During my discussion with Ed Zetusky, Senior Vice President of Johnson Service Group, a number of key points really came to light. In the first instance, the value of communication was clear for the business, but the struggle that the firm and others like it have historically faced lies in getting recruiters to buy into the importance of this activity.
Ed talked of enforcing touch points between recruiters and candidates, but that approach – as many recruitment leaders have seen in the past – doesn’t always lead to success. The fact is, people need to see the value in an action for themselves to truly understand why they need to adopt a different tactic. But with recruiters, it’s all too easy to get lost in the day-to-day and push communications aside. Whether that’s missing the first day follow up or forgetting to touch base with someone who hasn’t been placed in a while, the impact that failing to connect with someone has on crucial relationships can be highly detrimental.
It’s understandable, then, that some recruitment leaders have a level of frustration when candidate communication plans aren’t followed. However, it’s important to be mindful that this frustration can be a two-way issue. Consultants themselves are also likely frustrated with the amount of administrative work that they feel this activity adds to their workload.
That’s where automation can add real value to staffing firms. As I’ve highlighted before, technology and recruitment software are hugely valuable time-saving tools. They’re increasingly being adopted to manage some admin tasks, from interview scheduling to providing project reminders, all of which allow recruiters to handle the more human aspects of the job. But communication – as much as it feels like a personal aspect of the role – can in fact be automated too.
Managing the candidate journey
Ed shared his own experience on the podcast on this very issue and it really shone a light on how staffing companies can improve communication efficiency through the implementation of the right tools. Everything from scheduling uniform reminders the day before a placement starts through to gaining feedback from workers on their experience can be managed by tech, without removing the feeling of engaging with a person.
However, what is critical to highlight is that success isn’t achievable overnight. It’s not possible to pick a new software provider or tool and have everything up and running effectively immediately, and results will also take time. The value of this type of investment will be proven in the long run and requires constant review and improvement. If we take Johnson Service Group as a prime example, they are now three years into the journey so far – and are still improving what they do.
Ed shared his insight and tips on the podcast and you’ll have to listen to the recording if you want to know some of the finer details, but one point I feel is critical – and unfortunately often gets overlooked in these processes – is that the candidate journey must be the foundation of any change.
Yes, staffing companies want to ensure their recruiters are communicating efficiently, are keeping workers engaged, and are ensuring people are being put on the database, rather than being lost in the ether. But failure to provide workers with the best possible experience will only lead to higher attrition and a damaged brand.
Automation and recruiter efficiency: Knowledge is essential
What was certainly a new and interesting point from the podcast, though, was Ed’s views on having a subject matter expert (SME) from outside of IT in charge of any software change within the business. This is a really valuable point. The tech side of automation obviously needs to work and should be driven by those with expertise in automation and recruitment software. But ensuring it works for the business, its clients and candidates requires a more intricate understanding of the firm’s inner workers and corporate journey.
Communication is a key part of the recruitment role, but managing the amount of interaction needed is no easy task. Automation will play a key role in improving efficiency, but it’s a long process. Those staffing companies that start the journey now will be in a better place to thrive in the future.
Interested in taking part in the Staffing RecOps Podcast? Get in touch today!