How to make Digital Transformation Happen at your Staffing Agency

Several months ago, with little notice or time to plan, many staffing companies were forced to make a digital transformation in the way they sell, recruit, and onboard employees. Although some companies are still fine-tuning their process, most of them now have digital communication strategies that are lightyears ahead of where they were one year ago. However, even though some states have reopened, the world of work has been transformed forever.

Now is a great time to step back and learn from the mistakes of others and to seek out leaders in the space to see what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and to evaluate what you can implement to improve your processes.

On episode 7 of the You Own The Experience podcast, Robert Mann had the opportunity to sit down with Brian Cunningham of Allen Recruitment Consulting to learn more about their digital transformation, the tech stack that makes it possible, and how it has impacted their results.

“We find better candidates quicker than our competitors.”

Robert Mann (RM): Brian, I see you as a technology evangelist in the staffing and recruiting space. I understand that you transformed Allen into an inbound machine that no longer makes cold calls and your team members have 7-10 warm meetings booked every day. Can you tell us a little more about how you accomplished this?

Brain Cunningham (BC): For starters, we believe we think differently about recruitment. We look at everything as a process that is very much team-based. Hence, the kind of automation and different systems that we use are all about enhancing our employees’ experience of recruitment, because we don’t see it like a lot of people do. It’s all about quality. It’s not always quantity. And it’s all about filling roles. From that perspective, we see ourselves as what the future of recruitment is going to look like.

RM: Let’s talk about your people, Brian. What did you do? What did you change? What’s the future of recruitment like for your people?

BC: One of the big things that’s happened to us is we started using recruiting automation and candidate engagement software that personalizes communication throughout the recruiting process (such as Sense and Herefish). Originally, we took it on as a candidate marketing product. We then went through a stage of using it for business development. What this did for us, from our perspective, is it gave us a process. We call it a framework. 

Recruitment isn’t black and white. It’s not a manufacturing process. Every candidate is different. Every call is different. Every job is different. So, we gave people different gates to go through, and let them decide how to get to the next gate. Once you identify a list of candidates who are suitable for a position, you’d normally call that person. And if you didn’t get them, you would send them a text and email follow up. However, we found that our team was leaving voicemails 60-70 times a day and not talking to anybody. So, one of the things we did was we started using our new automation software to send those follow-ups. But, the real ah-ha moment was when we asked “Why don’t we send the follow-up message first?”

We ended up building a process for each recruiter that we called “Herefish”. Once a shortlist of candidates was created, we would add notes to Bullhorn to “Herefish” the list. A text and an email would go out to the individuals every day for the next four or five days. The first one was a text and the first question was…Are you looking for a new job? Yes or no? 

If you were targeting a list of 100 people and half of them responded “No”, that was 50 fewer phone calls to make.

The second message was a follow-up email just in case they didn’t see the first or forgot about us. Then the next day was… “Are you interested in this job?” Let’s say it was a marketing manager… “Are you interested in the marketing manager job?” Some of them would respond, “No, I’m a marketing director.” Guess what we now know, he’s a marketing director! We can now update our database for future searches.

The third message, which is kind of unusual in recruitment, we told them who the client was. Would you like to work for Google? Would you like to work for Facebook, or whatever the name of the company is? And guess what? People would come back and say, I’d love to work for Google. But I don’t want that specific job.

Pulling it all together

The thing that pulled it all together and completely changed how we do things was an automated meeting scheduling tool like Calendly. In the past, when we had someone that was interested, we almost always ended up exchanging voicemails before finally connecting. Now we simply include a Calendly link with our message and say, “Please book a time that suits you to talk to me.”

This has really changed the atmosphere in our office as well because now it puts the team in control of their schedule. They no longer need to stay in the office until six, seven, or eight o’clock at night because they do not want to miss a call. 

Now that’s a lot of secret sauce. Did you get all of that? 

It’s all about the data

Regardless of how sophisticated technology has become, your process can never achieve maximum efficiency if you do not start with good data. In the example Brian mentioned regarding a marketing manager that was a marketing director, if they did not update the system with the new information, they would be less likely to uncover that candidate in a future search. To get good data from the start, staff buy-in is essential. What’s the best way to get the staff on board? Show them how good data from the start makes their life easier and, ultimately, makes them more money! 

To learn more, check out Episode 7 of the You Own the Experience Podcast and sign up to receive regular updates.