How to Increase Productivity and Accelerate the Bullhorn Connected Recruiting Lifecycle with AI

Andrew KimmellAI, Bullhorn, Recruiting Acceleration

Many recruiting and sales teams in staffing firms aren’t big fans of change. They opt for the same strategies and tactics that have worked in the past – especially when it comes to technology. The “smile and dial” nostalgia is strong in our industry.

But it’s 2024, so the question you have to ask is: do you want your staffing firm to go the way of the BlackBerry or the iPhone? 

There was a time when BlackBerry was the definition of cutting-edge. In 2009, BlackBerry accounted for nearly half of the U.S. smartphone market. But the company made a fatal mistake: they failed to adapt. 

Despite glimpsing the future of connectivity in the iPhone, BlackBerry’s leaders clung to the physical keyboard. They didn’t push their team to think differently.

The result? By 2014, BlackBerry’s market share had plummeted to less than 1%, and you’re probably reading this on your iPhone.

Just like the iPhone, AI is a generation-defining technology. And some businesses, slow to adapt or to see the potential in such technology, will go the way of the BlackBerry.

History will favor the AI innovators. Those willing to rethink their assumptions, challenge the norms, and try things a new way. In staffing, to forge a path like Apple, your firm needs to fully adopt AI  into your recruiting lifecycle. 

So let’s use the Bullhorn Connected Recruiting Lifecycle as a model to show you the old slow manual way vs the new way to accelerate your sales and recruiting with AI.  


If you’re looking to create a sea change in your staffing and recruiting firm, you can’t do it by attempting to attract candidates the way you did in the past. The candidate landscape changes as quickly as trending topics on X (Twitter).

If you’re still attracting candidates by yesterday’s recruitment methods, your team is losing time:

A new candidate submits a form – and waits. If the first thing you’re asking eager candidates to do is sit around and wait for your team to get back in touch with them, you’re already sending a message that they aren’t your firm’s top priority.

You bombard candidates with emails – that sound like every other staffing firm. Chances are, your candidates can spot spam from a mile away. And if you’re still sending canned messages that don’t cater to your candidates’ unique interests, you’re wasting their time – and you’re ending up in their Spam bin.

Your team members fly solo when it comes to writing copy. If your team is still assigning out individual, manual copywriting tasks, you’re forcing your team to do busy work and adding time to your recruiting cycle. 

So, how can you think differently and use Bullhorn and AI together to attract candidates faster?

Tap smart AI chatbots to greet, qualify, route, and respond to new candidates. Rather than asking new candidates to wait, make your next frontline hire an AI chatbot. Lightyears ahead of first-generation chatbots, today’s chatbots can respond dynamically to your candidates’ needs. This means they can assess contacts’ needs, qualify them for open positions, route them to the appropriate recruiter, and field their questions. 

Available 24/7, employing smart chatbots mean that candidates no longer have to wait for your business to open or your recruiters to respond. They can immediately get the info they need to start a strong relationship with your firm.

Want a sneak peek into what this could mean for your firm? Pyramid Consulting, a NYC-based firm specializing in HR, finance, and fashion, doubled their website leads by implementing smart chatbots into their website.

Send candidates personalized, AI-enriched emails to fully engage candidates. You know your recruiters are great at communicating with candidates. But with the volume of outreach and information that’s required to really know candidates, they can no longer forge connections without help. 

Enter AI writing assistance. With EngineGPT generative AI integrated with Bullhorn, your team can leverage AI to create personalized, relevant emails that draw directly on each candidate’s most recent CRM information. Cut down on outreach time without sacrificing the health of your new candidate connections.


The Engage stage is a sensitive time for your firm’s relationships with candidates. You want to make a good impression, prove your dedication to candidate happiness, and be as responsive as possible. 

Slowness at this stage in the game doesn’t just drive individual candidates away. Once someone has invested some time with your team, if they feel burned, they’ll be more likely to tell friends and colleagues. This makes the Engage stage particularly crucial, both for relationship building and reputation building.

Here are some missteps that firms often make that tank opportunities:

Relying on manual lead distribution. Are you relying on email notifications and shared inboxes being monitored by an employee to manage your lead notifications? If so, you’re not alone. Across the board, staffing firms of all sizes struggle with effective lead distribution. The result? Candidates are often left on read.

Letting response times lag. Whether it’s due to slow CRM notifications, recruiters being overwhelmed with daily tasks or poor processes, responses to candidate outreach often lag in the Engage stage, leaving candidates or prospects unclear of where they stand with your firm.

Struggling with low conversion rates. Unsurprisingly, if your team is taking too long to get back to new candidates, they’ll jump ship to a competitor, driving down your success rates. Slower recruiting cycles make it that much easier for candidates to seek quicker solutions from your competitors.

Until recently, there hasn’t been a clear answer to many of these fundamental problems. Recruiters were overwhelmed, technology was slow, and the sheer volume and speed of the industry created bottlenecks because humans alone just couldn’t keep up. 

With Bullhorn powered by Staffing Engine AI, this phase of your recruiting cycle is no longer an unsolvable puzzle:

Automate your lead distribution channels. Free your lead notifications from your recruiters’ crowded email inboxes with Staffing Engine AI Lead Distribution built for Bullhorn. AI can intelligently parse new leads, automatically route leads to the most appropriate available recruiter, and slash your team’s lead response time. 

The results speak for themselves: in the first 90 days of using Staffing Engine AI Lead Distribution, healthcare staffing firm CrossMed saw 26 new placements

Delight your candidates with lightning-fast responses. Like lead distribution, notifications of recruiters’ next steps can get lost in email inboxes. With real-time notifications built directly into your team’s recruiting and sales workflow, your candidates will stop missing out on opportunities to delight your newest candidates. 

Increase your conversion rates. By notifying recruiters of leads faster, connecting those leads with recruiters who are the best-suited to meet their needs, and keeping next steps front and center, you’ll increase your conversion rate significantly over your manual processes.


Let’s face it, many firms skimp on onboarding. Once you’ve secured a contract with a candidate, it’s tempting to return attention to other folks in the Attract and Engage stage. After all, this is where you grow your revenue, right?

Not so fast. Check out these stats:

And yet:

  • Only 12% of US employees say their organization has a good onboarding process.

By improving your onboarding process, you create better employees for your clients. You improve the ROI on all the time, energy, and money you put into attracting, engaging, and signing candidates.

So, the primary way firms go wrong in the Onboarding stage is by not putting enough energy into making onboarding as efficient as possible:

Making candidates wait before moving them through next steps. Onboarding is often not a candidate’s favorite part of their relationship with you, so making them wait while your recruiters respond is a quick path to unhappy employees.

Asking candidates to go through outdated manual processes that aren’t mobile-friendly. Are you asking your clients to fill out forms or repeatedly give you the same information in different formats? Are you sending them to sites that don’t work on their phone, where they’re used to getting things done? Or even worse, are you still sending them paper forms?😱 

If candidates can’t accomplish the necessary tasks easily, chances are the onboarding process will slow down on their end, too.

Settling for a painfully slow credentialing process. Candidates are eager to get started in their new roles. The last thing they need is to be stuck in the onboarding process while your credentialing team manually checks references, gathers routine documentation, and requests necessary certifications.

If you think a slow onboarding process is par for the course, your candidates may feel like you’re not making good on the promises you made in the Attract and Engage stages of their relationship with you.

Here’s how to assure your candidates so they keep coming back to you for all their job needs in the future:

Tap AI to answer their questions and keep them moving forward through the onboarding process. Because onboarding is often a routinized aspect of your recruiting cycle, tapping AI to answer questions, remove roadblocks, and encourage next steps is a no-brainer. Rather than letting candidates linger in doubt and confusion, AI can be there to speed the process along – and free your team’s time up to focus on the less routine aspects of candidate relations.

Embed AI in your onboarding steps and mobile apps to streamline the process. AI can also help speed onboarding on the backend. By removing manual processes and relying on next-gen tech, you can also improve candidate experience. Package all of this with mobile-enabled learning and documentation. Wins all around.

Partner with AI to move candidates through the credentialing process faster. Though there are exceptions, credentialling is often a routine aspect of your candidate relationships, too – one that is a natural area for AI to improve. By automating each step of the credentialing process – from outreach to information requests to status updates – you can ensure that candidates are never in the dark.


The Nurture stage of your relationship is the one that your candidates – ideally – spend most of their time in. It constitutes everything you do to keep candidates working with your firm long-term. From checking in regularly to keeping candidates informed of new opportunities, to sending holiday good tidings, nurturing keeps your firm top-of-mind and shows your candidates you value them beyond just placements and contracts. 

And nurturing, like good onboarding, helps you make good on the time and energy you’ve already invested in attracting and engaging candidates. Nurturing is a way to improve your redeployment rates and to save your team from constantly going back to the drawing board when they need to fill new reqs.

So the main way firms fall flat when it comes to nurturing? Skimping on it entirely. Ghosting candidates as soon as they’re placed. Letting relationships fade and focus instead on the shiny new candidates.

AI can help with this lack of focus in two primary ways.

One, AI can carry out many of the tasks of successful nurturing automatically. By automating personalized, targeted outreach campaigns, AI can regularly update candidate information and send the right messages at the right time to ensure no one gets left behind. With AI, your team can scale nurturing outreach and improve your team’s ability to stay in touch.

Two, AI can help recruiters keep placed candidates top-of-mind through real-time reminders directly in Bullhorn. 

Taken altogether, Staffing Engine’s AI and Bullhorn can help your team not just make placements but build the kind of talent community that keeps your candidates and team happy and helps you grow your business.

P.S. Ready to learn about AI for your staffing firm?

We’re here to help! Get connected with a Staffing Engine AI expert to help answer your questions and get a demo of how you can apply AI to accelerate recruiting at your staffing firm.