Many staffing companies do not have a strong brand and are representing clients often anonymously, which makes the candidate experience even more important. The experience that an agency recruiter has with a job seeker can be the difference maker. One way to improve on your candidate experience as a staffing company is to leverage automation in order to focus on building long-term candidate relationships.
Staffing firms can leverage existing tools and technologies to scale your hiring quickly, but also focus on building those long term candidate relationships by building talent pipelines. Automation technology allows us to develop scripted responses and nurturing messages that drive results in an industry where relationships are everything and recruiters are focused on candidate to hire and conversion goals.
Why Automation in Talent Acquisition and Staffing?
HR and talent acquisition practitioners have been hearing a lot about artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and bots. The Harvey Nash Human Resources 2017 Survey found that 15 percent of HR leaders polled from 40 countries said artificial intelligence and automation are already impacting their workplace plans. Another 40 percent said they expect AI and automation to affect their plans within two to five years.
Two-thirds of senior talent acquisition and HR leaders (66 percent) would prefer to implement best-of-breed solutions over seeking, or waiting for, a fully integrated suite that provides all the functionality they may aspire to have. (Talent Tech Labs, State of Talent Acquisition Technology, 2017)
Using technology like chatbots and other automation can help streamline the recruiting process, at the minimum, but automating manual tasks. It can also help improve one of the biggest candidate gripes: Communication.
New recruiting technologies have built-in workflows to ensure your candidates are informed at each stage of the application process, and the communication can be nearly 100 percent automated. Using recruitment software enables staffing agencies to automate and personalize emails to candidates, informing them of your hiring process and the next steps that will be taken.
Behind the Shift to Recruiting Automation for the Candidate Experience
One of the main drivers of recruiting automation is the shift from inbound to outbound approaches for talent acquisition. Posting available positions to job boards and waiting for candidates to apply is no longer an adequate strategy. With unemployment at a 17-year low and candidate information more readily available than ever before, job seekers themselves spend less time applying and instead wait for the jobs to come to them.
According to the Talent Board’s research, job seekers want (and increasingly expect) insight into two areas: how far along they are with the application as they’re completing it, and status updates as they go through the hiring process. In a sense, this all relates back to receiving regular feedback, which statistics reveal as one of the most important aspects of the candidate experience.
“Candidates want to understand their progress,” says the 2016 Talent Board report. “When customers shop online, they have insight into how many steps are left before they complete their purchase. Candidates deserve a similar experience.”
As the need for more outbound recruiting increases, the demands on recruiters to work faster, smarter, and better to win over top talent have increased. The biggest challenge facing most staffing agencies is they don’t have enough time to execute outbound recruiting at scale. Automation technology has been helping other departments scale for decades. The same artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics that are helping marketing teams target new leads and sales teams manage customers can now be applied to candidate recruiting as well.
Nurturing Your Talent Pipeline
One of the focus areas when it comes to automation and building candidate relationships is marketing to passive candidates. In this tight talent market, the right candidate is out there, but they may not be ready for an interview. To help warm them up, recruiters can lean on CRM (candidate relationship management) technologies to automate emails and other communication touch points to help candidates learn about a company and why they would want to work there. This is crucial for building and nurturing your candidate funnel and having a pool to source from when your agency is charged with high requisition placements.
Related: Staffing Essentials: How Metrics and Recruiting Forecasting Can Drive Margins
The best opportunity when adopting technology to attract passive candidates is to use it to automate the task of figuring out the best places to post a job, ensuring a large number of top candidates see your roles. Some recruiting tools automate and optimize candidate sourcing so that you and your team can focus on how you’re adding value by interacting with potential candidates, especially ones that might be already employed.
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