Hey Rally readers! My name is Chloe Ryan, and I’m the VP, RPO & Talent Acquisition at EG Workforce Solutions. As a leading RPO and staffing agency, we rely on having a comprehensive recruitment technology stack to provide the best service to our clients and the candidates we’re recruiting. But when the pandemic hit, we had to completely rethink our recruiting process and create a digital candidate experience seemingly overnight.
Changing to a new process and implementing new tech would be challenging enough for any talent acquisition team, but we had to do it at the same time we were being asked to recruit a record-high number of candidates, and we had to do it without complicating the lives of our recruiters and candidates.
Through rapid trial and error, we succeeded in creating a completely new candidate experience that was both entirely virtual and inherently human. The result? Through our new system, we were able to hire over 1,000 candidates in just 7 months!
With many companies going through the same struggles we faced, I want to share how my team and I came to the solution we did. If your organization is in the midst of a digital transformation, hopefully, you can use our process as a blueprint to not just inform the right process changes and technology decisions for your recruiters and candidates, but also to contribute to your organization’s growth far into the future.
Rally note: Chloe will be sharing many more of her strategies and learnings at the upcoming RallyFwd Virtual Conference on May 5, 2021. You can register for free today!
Creating a stand-out virtual candidate experience
Here was our challenge: How do we bring the same human positivity and intuitiveness to virtual hiring as in-person hiring? This was at the front throughout the entire transition process. Specifically, with in-person career fairs serving as one of our main sources of hiring pre-pandemic, I was intent on creating a virtual candidate experience that mimicked the experience that we offered at those fairs.
I found a great solution by partnering with XOR. Their platform enabled us to essentially copy and paste our in-person career fair experience into the virtual space. At our virtual fairs, each of our 35 customers’ booths directed candidates to a branded landing page that showcased the company culture and their jobs. And as many of you know, leveraging video is one of the best ways to do this, so the landing pages consisted of videos of recruiters and managers talking about the jobs available, a day-in-the-life, office and warehouse tours and more.
But what really perfected this experience was the addition of a chatbot to each landing page. After viewing a company’s landing page, if candidates wanted to learn more, they could engage the chatbot. The experience felt like candidates were actually talking to a human! Not only that, but the chatbots had the ability to screen each candidate. And if they were a strong fit, candidates were then directed to schedule an interview directly into the recruiter’s calendar.
The end result was a completely virtual candidate experience that felt human and saved recruiters a ton of time. Most mornings, our recruiters arrived with 10-15 interested, pre-screened candidates already scheduled to be interviewed. Fun fact: through this approach alone, we were able to make 512 hires!
Shortening the time to recruit and hire
In today’s competitive hiring environment, a candidate might only be on the market for less than 24 hours. To capitalize on this short window, we sent candidates text messages as our first form of contact. In addition to their quickness, text messages are also easier and more convenient to respond to, meaning they’re more likely to result in a response from a candidate.
To send these texts, we leveraged a candidate journey tool called Sense. As soon as candidates applied, no matter what time of day it was, they received an automated text confirming their application and providing the next steps.
We also relied on Sense to tighten up and improve our retention, which, as we all know, is more important than ever right now. We created journeys to automatically check in with candidates after they’d been hired, inquiring about how their first few days had gone and what kind of experience they were having so far.
All in all, through this automation, we were able to shorten the time to recruit, hire and retain in-demand talent during a critical time for our clients.
Creating a virtual onboarding experience
If you read the Appcast 2021 Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report, then you know that mobile applications have been on the rise for years now. In fact, we had been looking into how to create a more mobile-friendly and automated onboarding experience prior to COVID-19. Of course, like other companies, the pandemic accelerated this need, so we had to nail down virtual onboarding much more quickly.
Our search eventually led us to Able, a system offering all sorts of tools to help recruiters automate their onboarding process. With Able, we were able to create a seamless virtual onboarding experience that still felt human. For example, with the click of a button, all of our candidates received their onboarding packet straight to their phones. Our thinking behind this was that not every candidate has a laptop or tablet, but they all have a mobile phone. Plus, with Able’s automation and AI, everything is e-verified which also helps our recruiters save time.
With work from home here to stay, we expect that our adoption of tech like Able will benefit us and our clients far into the future. Even if in-person work returns sooner than anticipated, with the data skewing more and more towards mobile-first applying, tools like Able will help us stay ahead of the curve.
Implementing new tech with a limited budget
While we were fortunate to have the budget for entirely new tech, I understand this isn’t the case for everyone. For organizations with a limited-to-no budget, I would recommend first exploring your existing tech stack to see if there are features that you’re not taking advantage of.
For example, almost all companies have an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or a Human Resources Information System (HRIS), and rarely are these systems used to their full capacity. If you feel confident enough, you can explore these systems yourself or with your team. But if you want a full rundown, I suggest scheduling a sit-down with your providers. You might learn that your existing tech stack is capable of text messaging, automation, pre-scheduling, chatbots and all sorts of other helpful functionality.
Exploring your existing tech also has the added benefit of helping you understand where your gaps are. With a clear picture of what you’re missing, you can make smarter choices when you do eventually have a budget to invest in new tech.
And if you are able to gain access to a small tech budget but aren’t sure where to start I would recommend first focusing on tech that can improve your time to hire. As we found, even something as small as texting software to help with candidate communications can go a long way.
However, I’d like you to remember one thing. While tech can certainly improve your candidate experience, it isn’t a silver bullet. At the end of the day, candidates have to buy into your company’s jobs, culture and values — and that’s one thing human recruiters will always do better than robots. So make sure that when you are mapping out your new process, you take into consideration where it makes sense to automate, and where it makes sense to add the human touch.
To learn more about finding the perfect tech-human balance as you upgrade your recruiting process, be sure to tune in for the RallyFwd Virtual Conference on May 5th, 2021. I’ll be taking the virtual podium along with an amazing lineup of expert practitioners to speak on everything Recruitment Marketing, employer branding and candidate experience. Don’t miss out by registering for free today!