How ChatGPT and AI Can Help Your Staffing Firm Thrive in a Downturn

Andrew KimmellAI, GPT, Recruiting Acceleration

You’ve heard the doom and gloom about the economy. Navigate to any business publication or turn on any news channel, and chances are they’ll be talking about the impending economic downturn. 

Though it may seem counterintuitive, it’s possible for your staffing firm to thrive in an economic downturn. The latest generation of AI and ChatGPT are revolutionizing the potential of productivity for every employee in your staffing firm. 

Not since the dawn of the internet have we been on the precipice of such game-changing technology. With AI, you have the power to help face economic uncertainty, future-proof your staffing firm, and streamline your day-to-day workflows. 

Here’s how.

1. Increase recruiter and sales rep productivity without increasing headcount 

The biggest conflict during tight economic times is two conflicting needs. 

One, you want to continue to grow in order to keep your bottom line robust enough to face uncertainty. 

Two, you want to continue to reduce costs in order to keep your operational budget streamlined so you can respond to unforeseen circumstances. 

Most staffing and recruiting executives associate growth with new hires. But new hires are often cost-prohibitive. So, how do you reach more candidates, connect with new clients, and fill positions faster without increasing your headcount?

With the latest generation of AI, to eliminate manual busy work that slows down your recruiters and sales reps from making more placements.

For example, with well-constructed prompts, ChatGPT can help your team craft quick custom candidate submittals, social media job posts, draft interview invitations, write effective copy, and so much more. 

There’s a bit of a learning curve, but once your team understands how to correctly prompt ChatGPT, they can reduce their busy work drastically. 

And now with the Staffing Engine AI Assistant and EngineGPT features, you can integrate generative AI directly into your database to superpower your team’s productivity through integrated candidate submittals, real-time ATS alerts, AI distribution, and eliminating tons of repetitive manual tasks.

With the power of AI at your team’s fingertips, you can drastically increase how much your recruiters and salespeople can achieve without increasing your labor costs.

Want a guide on how to best use ChatGPT to save your recruiters time and energy? Check out The Ultimate ChatGPT Cheat Sheet for Staffing and Recruiting

2. Reach out to more candidates faster

To scale growth, you need to both keep your current candidates happy and bring new talent into your organization. All of this adds up to a ton of outreach. 

Most staffing and recruiting executives we talk to reach a point where their recruiting team is tapped out when it comes to emails, DMs, and text messages. 

Not only does this constant outreach drain their resources, but they also struggle to come up with innovative messaging to get and keep candidates’ attention.

This is where ChatGPT really shines. Here are just some of the use cases that ChatGPT can help with:

  • Custom candidate submittals
  • Email sequences
  • Re-format candidate resumes
  • Redeployment outreach
  • End-of-contract check-in emails
  • Review request outreach
  • Interview scheduling emails
  • Text messaging sequences to dormant candidates
  • Phone screening scripts
  • Job offer or rejection letters

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Really any repetitive outreach that your team engages in, ChatGPT can help write the messaging, generate new ideas, and expand on existing language.

But of course, not just any prompt will work. 

Just like with a human employee, ChatGPT needs to be trained to understand your team’s tone of voice, language choice, and messaging. Here are some examples of prompts that you can use to generate more outreach quickly.

First, here’s the basic layout of a good prompt:

Acting as a [ROLE], perform [TASK] for [AUDIENCE] in [TONE]. Be sure to include [ESSENTIAL INFO]. Ask me [QUESTIONS] to help you achieve your task.

And here are a few prompts to get your team started today.

Cold email sequence to prospects

Prompt: Acting as a travel nurse recruiter, write a sequence of three cold emails, reaching out to candidates about a travel nurse position. Write the emails in a professional, cheerful tone. Be sure to include that positions are available in Boulder, Colorado, they are night shifts in the ICU, and that the hospital is looking for those with at least three years’ travel nursing experience. Ask me 3 clarifying questions before you begin in order to succeed at this task.

This is one of the emails this prompt returned:

Subject: Explore Exciting Night Shift Travel Nurse Opportunities in Boulder, Colorado!

Dear [Candidate’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well! My name is [Your Name], and I am a travel nurse recruiter at [Agency Name]. We currently have an exciting opportunity for experienced travel nurses like you!

We are seeking dedicated and skilled nurses to join our team for night shifts in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Boulder, Colorado. The positions are available starting in April. As a highly experienced travel nurse with at least three years of travel nursing experience, your expertise and compassion would make a significant impact on patient care.

If you’re ready for a new adventure and a chance to explore the beautiful city of Boulder while doing what you love, we would be delighted to hear from you!

Please let me know if you’re interested in learning more about this opportunity or if you have any questions. I’m here to assist you throughout the application process.

Looking forward to connecting with you!

Best regards,

[Your Email Signature]

Text message sequence to dormant candidates

Prompt: Acting as a technical recruiter, write a sequence of three text messages, reaching out to candidates who have already worked with our staffing firm but have been out of touch for three months or more. Write the text messages in a clear, concise tone. Be sure to ask the candidates if they would be interested in hearing about our two open executive positions. Be sure to include that the positions are fully remote with competitive salaries. Please also keep each text message under 300 characters. Ask me 3 clarifying questions before you begin in order to succeed at this task.

Here’s the text messaging sequence created from this prompt:

Message 1:

“Hi [Candidate’s Name], it’s been a while! We hope you’re well. We’re impressed with your past work at XTS. We have two full-stack developer roles, both fully remote with competitive salaries. Interested? Let us know! Thanks!”

Message 2: (if no response after a few days):

“Hello again [Candidate’s Name], hope you got our message. Two full-stack positions match your skills— let’s talk soon!”

Message 3: (if there’s still no response after a week):

“Hi [Candidate’s Name], time’s valuable. We believe you’re perfect for the remote full-stack roles. Don’t miss out! Let us know if you’d like to explore these opportunities. We’d love to hear from you! All the best.”

Rejection email to a candidate who interviewed

Prompt: Acting as a recruiter, write an email letting a candidate know that they did not get the position they applied to. Write the email in a kind, professional tone. Be sure to include the fact that there were over 100 qualified candidates. Encourage the candidate to apply with us in the future. Ask me 3 clarifying questions before you begin in order to succeed at this task.

Here’s the reaction email ChatGPT wrote:

Subject: Application Update – [Job Title] at [Company Name]

Dear [Candidate’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to personally thank you for your interest in the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. We truly appreciate the time and effort you invested in the application process.

After a thorough review of all applications, we received an overwhelming response, with over 100 qualified candidates applying for the role. While we were impressed with your qualifications and experience, we regret to inform you that we have selected another candidate whose skills more closely match the specific requirements of the position.

Please know that this decision was not a reflection of your capabilities or potential. We believe that your skills and background are valuable, and we encourage you to consider applying for future opportunities with us.

At [Staffing Company Name], we are constantly seeking talented individuals like yourself to join our team. Your application remains in our database, and we will notify you of any suitable openings in the future.

Thank you once again for considering [Company Name] as a potential employer. We wish you all the best in your job search and career endeavors.

If you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to reach out to us.

Kind regards,

[Your Email Signature]

As you can see, with a little finesse, ChatGPT can churn out the kind of messaging that will save every team member a ton of time and energy all throughout the recruiting cycle.

3. Connect with prospects 24/7 while your recruiters sleep

When times are tough, every second counts. If your team is only working during normal business hours, chances are you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities. Candidates are often searching for new positions while still employed, which means that your team clocks out just when their job search truly begins. 

And for firms that work with candidates on nontraditional shifts, you may find your hours of operation are inconvenient for the majority of the people you’re trying to reach.

For most staffing and recruiting firms, hiring recruiters to be at their desks 24/7 isn’t feasible in the best of circumstances. So, how do you manage the needs of today’s 24/7 candidates with recruiters who work 9 to 5?

The answer is AI.

You may be thinking that AI and chatbots aren’t smart enough to handle candidate questions on their own.

But the latest generation of AI is lightyears ahead of the first-run chatbots that cycled tired scripts and got stuck on unfamiliar words. 

This new AI is capable of fielding questions using natural language processing and your own proprietary AI knowledge model that’s trained on your staffing firm’s data. That means they can be responsive when unexpected situations arise, making them intelligent enough to handle questions that are specific to your recruiting process. 

Here are just some of the situations that these evolved AI chatbots can handle:

  • Double conversions on your website by qualifying new leads.
  • Schedule meetings with qualified leads on your team’s calendars.
  • Answer FAQs, route them to needed information, and put them in touch with the right person in your company in real time.
  • Scale conversations 24/7 so candidates are greeted and helped no matter how or when they contact you.

4. Speed up lead qualification without draining team resources

If your recruiters are like most out there, they end up wasting a lot of time interacting with people who are poor fits for the jobs they are trying to fill. No matter how solid your manual processes are, qualifying each candidate through phone calls, emails, or texts is a consistent timesuck. This is because the majority of interactions are with people who are not ideal candidates. 

When you’re looking to run a lean agency in the midst of economic turmoil, wasting this much time on candidates who cannot meet your client’s needs is a non-starter.

By adding AI to the qualification process, you free up your recruiters’ time and save them from getting sucked into conversations that don’t lead to placements. 

With Recruiting Acceleration AI connected to all of your lead channels, you can speed up the repetitive work of qualification and take it off your team’s plates. 

You can make sure that unqualified candidates are nurtured in the way that makes the most sense. This may mean they are directed towards positions they are more suited for, redirected to recruiters who are searching for roles that meet their skills, or put in the database to be contacted down the line.

This AI also makes sure qualified top-tier leads are put in touch with the appropriate recruiter in real time, scheduled directly on their calendars, and nurtured with appropriate information until they connect with their recruiter.

Not only are candidates qualified 24/7 while your recruiters sleep, but recruiters can arrive at their desks in the morning with a calendar filled with meetings with appropriate, skilled, ready-to-work candidates. That’s a win-win.

5. Free up recruiters’ time to build stronger relationships

As you can see, ChatGPT and AI can free up your team’s time. This allows them to prioritize the tasks that can’t be automated. With slow manual processes off their plates, your recruiting and sales teams can focus on what really matters: connecting with the clients and candidates who make your business thrive. 

ChatGPT and AI are wonderful additions to your workflow that boost productivity, increase efficiency, save your recruiters’ energy, and more. 

But what they can’t do – what no computer program can do – is connect in the human-to-human way that staffing and recruiting runs on. 

Your recruiters have the active listening skills that can suss out whether a candidate and client will be a match made in heaven. 

They can listen to candidates’ needs with empathy and tap their previous experience to make educated choices about what placements make the most sense. 

They also constantly build the kind of relationships with clients and candidates that foster loyalty – which means the people they connect with will keep coming back to your firm again and again. 

And a strong, loyal customer base is key to weathering whatever financial storms lie ahead.