Over the past few years, the recruiting world has undergone a major shift.
The workforce is now remote: 58% of workers have the option of working from home at least one day per week, and a whopping 87% of workers would choose to work remotely if they could. In fact, just over half of candidates (51%) said they would not apply to a job that didn’t offer remote work options.
The shift to remote work runs so deep that workers in some companies are defying in-office work mandates and simply refusing to leave their home office setup.
More remote work also means more time spent on screens. Candidates may work all day on a computer, collaborating with coworkers on Teams, Zoom, or Slack. They likely spend their downtime scrolling through their phones or winding down with Netflix.
This means that candidates are more digitally connected than ever before – and that the demands on their attention has never been greater.
Attention spans tanked during the pandemic, making it even harder for your recruiters to break through the noise. From always-on work environments to aggressive email marketers to a steady stream of addictive content, information overload is real.
Living in our on-demand world, candidates expect instant results. They don’t want to wait for recruiters to get back in touch with them. What’s more, they expect firms to be available to them 24/7. If your firm isn’t available, they’ll move on to one that is.
With all this change, it can be hard to keep up, and many staffing firms haven’t adapted their recruiting strategies to meet this new world.
Here’s how to tell if your firm is stuck using the old-school playbook – and what to do about it.
The Old Strategy: Slow, Manual Connections and a Transactional Mindset
The best way to summarize the old recruiting strategy is “transactional.” The goal was to rack up a certain number of touchpoints with candidates or contacts rather than make meaningful connections.
Here are some of the hallmarks of the old strategy:
You live or die by the phone
Hint: if call lists are still front and center in your recruiting strategy, you may be stuck in the old way.
Recruiters used to run through a list of phone numbers, cold calling potential candidates and using prewritten scripts to start conversations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results were more likely to be frustrating than a good connection.
Many firms today are still blasting candidates with canned emails and those repetitive calls that go straight to voicemail. Who wants to talk on the phone to a stranger today anyway?
With a single or dual-channel strategy, such as using only phone calls or the phone plus email, the number of candidate and client touchpoints is low.
That strategy may have been effective before the digital revolution, but today, firms stuck in this strategy are limiting the number of candidates they’re able to reach and ultimately limiting growth.
Candidates may be as unique as fingerprints, but the steps to move them from stranger to team member are pretty standardized.
With the old playbook, recruiters manually qualified candidates. This often meant that candidates had to repeat info over and over on the phone and by email which creates a frustrating candidate experience.
Limited business hours
The old way meant that your firm was closed when your recruiters went home.
If a candidate reached out to you when your office was closed, perhaps when they got off of a late shift, they wouldn’t get any customized information or support in their job search. They’d be left hanging.
Nowadays candidates will just move on to the next firm that’s able to help them right away.
Lagging recruiter notifications
Even if a candidate managed to make it through cold calls, a slow qualification process, and limited hours, a recruiter might be delayed in following up.
That’s because firms relied on email notifications, which often lagged behind candidate actions by getting lost in messy inboxes.
Because the old way lacked real-time updates for recruiters on candidate status, the recruiting process could be delayed by hours or even days.
You may notice that all these out-of-date strategies have something in common. They prioritize the staffing firm’s needs over the needs of the candidates or clients.
No matter how laser-focused your team is on making goals and meeting outreach metrics, they should never lose sight of the candidate experience.
Candidates need to know they are your firm’s priority, and your recruiting strategy needs to make them feel like they’re #1.
The New Strategy: Instant Connections, On-Demand 24/7, and a Strategy Built on Relationships
Staffing and recruiting runs on relationships. Now is the time to update your recruiting playbook to give candidates what they want today: an on-demand connection and real conversations.
That’s why the new recruiting strategy is built on conversations instead of transactions.
By automating the core aspects of recruiting, pivoting to a multichannel approach, and freeing up recruiters’ time, the new way accelerates the recruiting process and creates the meaningful connections that turn candidates into placements.
An omni-channel approach meets your candidates where they are – everywhere.
Smart chatbots on your website can respond intelligently to your candidates’ needs, qualify them with dynamic questions and instantly route them to connect with a recruiter.
Personalized text message touchpoints keep your firm top of mind. If a candidate sends you a message on social media they should get an instant response and automatically be added to your ATS.
Once your recruiter is no longer a stranger, strategic phone conversations can then build rapport and deepen the recruiter-candidate relationship.
These new channels create new opportunities to scale conversations and remain in touch with candidates.
The old way was limited by how many touchpoints a recruiter could make by phone or email. You can only make so many calls in a day. But the new multichannel approach means the sky is truly the limit.
AI chatbot qualification
A smart AI chatbot can be like an assistant to your recruiters. Rather than making candidates wait, smart chatbots continually move candidates forward in the qualification process.
AI chatbots can answer questions about the application process, guide candidates to relevant listings, book meetings, and schedule interviews, all while freeing up your recruiters for more meaningful work.
A more remote, distributed workforce and an on-demand culture mean that the 9-5 working hours are outdated.
Your candidates may do shiftwork, search from a different time zone, or fill out applications after the kids go to sleep. If they can’t get a hold of you on the schedule that works for them, they’ll likely find a firm that’s more available.
Conversational chatbots can do more than answer questions and grab email addresses. Running on conversational AI, machine learning, and natural language processing, these bots can start to build a connection with candidates.
They can introduce people to your brand and voice, offer dynamic guidance, engage your candidates, and advance them in the recruiting process – all while your recruiters sleep.
Real-time recruiter notifications
All this connection, conversation, and qualifying won’t be worth much if recruiters can’t keep up with candidate expectations in real time. In fact, 41% of candidates say that timely recruiter follow-up is the most important factor in creating a positive experience.
By moving from laggy emails in messy inboxes to real-time notifications, the new way enables recruiters to create that positive experience and keep up with increased candidate demand.
All together, this new strategy puts candidates in the driver’s seat. By being responsive to candidates’ communication preferences, attention, and schedules, leading firms do more than just pay lip service to a people-first approach. They build their entire recruiting strategy with candidates in mind.
The New Wave of Acceleration Software for Recruiting
So, what do you do if your firm is relying on outdated strategies? A new wave of sales acceleration software is here to help staffing firms put a new strategy into action.
In the past, sales acceleration software used to be about dialers that helped recruiters and salespeople crank through call lists. But people today don’t want to be interrupted by phone calls during their busy days.
Now, sales acceleration software is being reinvented using real-time messaging channels that people now use every day to quickly chat back and forth. We all use text messaging, chatbots, social messaging, Slack, and MS Teams to communicate more efficiently today.
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, and integrations with the staffing tech stack.
You’ll be able to use these smart AI chatbots to scale conversations, qualify candidates faster, and accelerate the recruiting process.
Unlike the dumb chatbots you may be used to, a smart bot is responsive, knowledgable, and quick enough to serve as a virtual recruiting assistant available 24/7 to candidates.
A smart chatbot can scale the number of conversations your recruiters can manage with candidates, and every single one of them will be positive. All those conversations are collecting data and putting it directly into your ATS.
With the help of recruiting acceleration software, driven by conversational AI, you can connect with more candidates and book qualified meetings, all while freeing up your recruiters’ time for the in-depth conversations that staffing runs on.
Just as remote work has changed the workforce, recruiting acceleration software is making it possible to adapt to the new on-demand experience candidates expect.
Companies that resist remote work are lagging behind, watching their employees rebel and resign. In the same way, staffing firms that fail to provide an on-demand experience will see their candidates jumping ship to join firms that are easier to work with.
P.S. We’re here to help!
Hey, I’m EngineBot! I can help connect you with a Staffing Engine team member if you have any questions. ?
I can also help you learn more about Staffing Engine and schedule a demo.