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Accelerating staffing’s digital transformation

(Image credit: Image Credit: Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK )

Suffice it to say, in 2020, millions of companies across the globe and their employees have faced complex and unprecedented challenges as they race to move their businesses online. For recruiters, this has created significant gaps and bottlenecks, rapidly reshaping the industry and putting firms under pressure.

Fortunately, even prior to the pandemic, the recruitment industry was undergoing a digital transformation. Now, as many of the common digital tools and platforms have gone from optional to necessary, the true value of recruiting technology has become clear. More than ever, firms which embrace technology will have the upper hand in an increasingly competitive environment.

According to our recent Covid-19 Impact Survey, staffing agencies are responding to the new landscape by investing in and utilising recruitment technology. Agencies are increasingly leveraging tools that facilitate communication and relationship-building with candidates, clients, and internal teams. Video interviewing and video conferencing solutions have seen the largest spike in activity, with a near-universal (91 per cent) adoption uptick, while VoIP was up 25 per cent and SMS by 24 per cent.

The crisis has forced all recruiting companies – no matter how keen or reluctant – into action, but keeping up with advanced technological solutions is an ongoing task. Here are some of the ways that recruiters can use technology to keep their operation running.

Reassessing existing processes

This crisis provides impetus to rethink your organisation’s processes, which is an opportunity to make them more efficient. With paperwork, for example, many staffing companies have traditionally required people to physically come into the office to fill out their details and sign off. That obviously isn’t possible at the moment, but businesses should consider why they ever required that in the first place when more efficient technological solutions exist. With digital documents, individuals don’t need to step away from their desks to bring paper documents down to the lobby, and clients and applicants don’t need to make a trip to a different office for a task that takes mere seconds.

Many companies, such as Employstream have already implemented paperless document processing, allowing candidates and clients to review and sign documents from anywhere, speeding up the process significantly. This will be particularly advantageous as they work toward finding jobs for the millions of people that the pandemic has forced into unemployment.

Adopting smarter solutions

Interviews are an integral part of the process for many staffing companies, but face-to-face interactions are out of the question for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, video calling allows recruiters to maintain a safe distance while still offering some crucial elements of the experience of an in-person interview. In addition to widespread, multipurpose platforms, there are also recruitment-specific video companies such as Sparkhire and Hinterview, which offer additional features and integrations to provide candidates with a better experience and further reduce time to hire.

Similarly, automating away repetitive tasks is an excellent way to allow recruiters to focus on overcoming more complex challenges. Keeping in touch with dozens of prospects, for instance, can be extremely time-consuming, but automated systems can send out customised emails and text messages to keep them up to date with the latest information as the situation continues to develop. In addition to saving recruiters time, automating processes like this also allows companies to gather valuable data, which can guide decision-makers toward better strategies.

Choosing the right platform

A modern staffing company’s CRM platform is one of its most vital assets, but not all systems are equally capable. As society begins to reopen, and we expect a steady upswing of new job openings and applications, now is the time for firms to evaluate their CRM against others on the market. It goes without saying that a CRM should enable remote work and support recruiters in developing a stronger relationship with both candidates and clients. An effective platform should also improve the team’s productivity and further its ability to collaborate.

Many recruiters find themselves working across a web of poorly integrated systems, meaning that vital data is trapped in silos and they are constantly logging in to different platforms. This makes it easy for data to be duplicated or for candidates to fall through the cracks. Additionally, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the profusion of technology options and to worry about connecting all of the pieces. These concerns are both valid, but they can be allayed if recruiters choose a unified system that closely integrates the services they already use.

It’s always a good time for a digital transformation

Digital transformation is not a one-off event; it’s an ongoing process of choosing the right technology for business needs. From this perspective, the additional stress imposed by the pandemic has a silver lining: It has revealed which systems are robust enough to take the challenge and which need to be rethought. Businesses can take this opportunity to cut costs, get a better understanding of their data, or switch CRM platforms to set them up for success as the country reopens.

Peter Linas, EVP of Corporate Development & International, Bullhorn