The primary way to make each individual recruiter and sales rep more productive is to empower them with software to accelerate their workflow.
But many staffing firms are stuck using their old playbooks of cold-calling and relying primarily on email automation to help accelerate their manual processes.
As technology – and on-demand consumer expectations – are changing rapidly, we wanted to take a journey through the evolution of sales and recruiting enablement software – and share how you can boost your staffing firm’s productivity in 2023.
The First Evolution: The Phone – Increase Cold Calls via Dialers and Click-to-Call
In the early decades of the Digital Revolution, recruiters were still anchored to their phones, relying on cold calls and dialers to connect with clients and candidates.
A dialer is an app that speeds the cold calling process with click-to-call functionality and often integrates with other tools, such as the ATS. Dialers allowed sales reps to make many more calls in one day than manual dialing.
These tools worked for a while, and many companies grew their inside sales teams with them. But, this form of acceleration met with two downfalls:
- Many firms began to use call data to drive productivity. Recruiters became focused on gaming the call metrics rather than making connections. This is not only a bad strategy for a business like recruiting that runs on relationships, but it’s also a short-lived one. Recruiters burned through the trust of their contacts and quickly gained bad reputations for overcalling.
- With the proliferation of messaging, the vast majority of people stopped answering cold calls altogether. The phone is no longer the most effective for making initial connections and is primarily useful for growing existing relationships.
With their primary mode of communication stalled out, many recruiting firms in the past decade have turned to digital tools such as email automation and web forms to connect meaningfully with candidates and boost recruiter productivity.
The Second Evolution: Emails – Automate Emails with Links to Web Forms
As candidates became more focused on the digital world, firms pivoted to automation tools that amplified their email outreach and made their websites more interactive. These tools allowed recruiters to reach more candidates than ever before.
Dialers meant recruiters could reach 100 candidates in a day, but email automation allowed them to reach out to thousands of people. Personalization features meant that firms could target this outreach, too, so that candidates receiving a mass email might feel like they were getting a direct message from a recruiter.
Static web forms also let firms connect with candidates who visited their websites, capturing job seekers’ info and pulling it directly into the ATS.
Like dialers, this acceleration method worked for a while, expanding recruiters’ reach and growing firms’ revenue. However, this strategy has become less and less effective. Here’s why:
- Static webforms are outdated and slow. They are often repetitive and don’t respond to a candidate’s immediate needs. When candidates have their pick of firms, a slow process will drive them away. Also, Incomplete form fills will never make it to the ATS so a lot of potential revenue is left uncontacted.
- The qualification process is also slow. Manual qualifying from recruiters is still required and creates a bottleneck in fielding all those automated emails.
- Candidates still only get responses to their most urgent questions during normal business hours, as static information only goes so far in tending to prospect or candidate needs.
- Candidates are savvier than ever about personalization and spam. After a decade of being emailed by businesses, most candidates automatically skip over even the cleverest outreach from firms.
- Automated emails are still transactional when recruiters become more focused on the number of emails sent rather than the quality of connections made. Personalization errors run rampant and erode candidate trust just like cold calls.
Now, many firms are realizing that email and static web forms – and even dumb chatbots – have gone the way of the telephone. So, how do we fix it?
The Next Evolution: Messaging – Increase Conversations with AI and Real-Time Messaging
Recruiting teams need the kind of sales recruiting acceleration software that allows them to connect the way candidates want: through responsive AI chatbots and quick, mobile-friendly messaging platforms.
Acceleration software is now being reinvented to use real-time messaging instead of relying on the phone, email, or static web forms.
These new real-time messaging channels empower your recruiters to reach more candidates than ever while also building relationships:
- New AI Chatbots: Unlike the old support chatbots, this new wave of AI chatbots is for marketing, sales, and recruiting to scale conversations and touchpoints with candidates. Unlike the phone, candidates will get a personalized experience and respond because you’ve made it easy to work with your firm.
- Inbound AI Chatbots: By adding a recruiting-focused chatbot in addition to your website forms you can double the number of leads from your staffing firm’s website. Many candidates prefer to quickly chat to ask a question or learn more instead of filling out a form and waiting to hear from you. This also applies to clients hitting your website.
- Outbound AI Chatbots: Chatbots today aren’t just for inbound website leads. You can use links to chatbots in outbound emails and text messages to enable candidates to instantly take action to answer questions and keep things moving wherever they are.
- Text Messaging: Text messaging is one of the most popular forms of communication, especially among younger prospects. By enabling your recruiters to reach out via text, you meet candidates at the one inbox they actually enjoy checking. When candidates respond, answers can be directly added to the correct property in your database.
- Internal Team Messaging: All this real-time messaging would go to waste if your team doesn’t have the ability to manage incoming messages and remain alert to new opportunities. The next-gen recruiting acceleration software integrates with MS Teams and Slack to enable your team to live chat with candidates and get notifications they can click to open to take action.
The new wave of recruiting acceleration software pulls all these channels together to enable sales reps and recruiters to connect faster, build relationships, and remain agile to the needs of the candidate. Here’s how:
With AI chatbots, real-time messaging platforms, and internal notifications all working together, candidates are guaranteed a more personalized experience, a lightning-fast process, and a seamless journey with your firm. By giving candidates what they want – and freeing up recruiters to focus on relationship building – your firm can ensure that candidates never feel like transactions.
Conversational AI chatbots are available to candidates 24/7 to answer questions, move them forward in their recruiting journey, and direct them to the information they need – without waiting.
Instead of waiting for a recruiter to respond to a voicemail, email message, or form response, AI chatbots can scale the number of candidates you can move through your qualification process by collecting their information and automatically adding to the correct properties of your database.
The Future of Acceleration Software
At Staffing Engine, we’re building the world’s first Recruiting Acceleration Platform for staffing firms that combines all these new messaging channels using conversational AI chatbots, meeting booking, real-time notifications, MS Teams or Slack, and integrations with your staffing tech stack.
You’ll be able to use these smart AI chatbots to scale conversations, qualify candidates faster, and accelerate the recruiting process. Want to find out how Staffing Engine can help your firm? Request a demo here!