Steve Ward of Candidate.I.D talks about how the advent of automation and efficiency should not replace the customers satisfaction in the recruitment Industry.In the modern age of technology, fuelled with automation, robotic intervention, social media and overt visibility and data, it’s easy to feel like our human element is being diminished. Granted. A lot of people are pretty happy with this. I am, in the most part. So much of what we do as recruiters is desperately in need of automation to drive better efficiency and reduce waste.
However, with this evolution comes an all-too-common cost in performance. How does the customer feel when no human is there to handle their bank card issues? How does the customer feel when the call centre has been outsourced? How does the customer feel when they can’t find a telephone number to escalate an enquiry and instead are served only automated responses and FAQ lists?
Sure, for all of these things, ‘efficiency’ has improved. But what about customer satisfaction?
Align this to recruiting. Our product is the great people we represent – but they are also a customer. How do we make them feel when we automate responses, marketing messages, and applications to interview processes?
In an age where a positive word-of-mouth reputation is crucial for both review sites as well as social media commentary, the little details of how a contact ‘feels’ are rather important. Getting this right is the difference between you or your competitors getting the crucial call.
The mantra for my old recruitment agency CloudNine was ‘Make Every Interaction Count’.
The reason for this was because essentially, our interactions were primarily digital. We were a new-age agency with a focus on better relationships and 100% inbound business.
The high quantity of social media and messaging-based engagement either as one-to-all, one-to-many or one-to-one, required quality auditing. This wasn’t for what we said, but for how we said it. What impression did we leave? Did we empower rather than dismiss? Did we add value? What would that person tell the next 5 people they met about us?
So, when we think about applying increased automation and the implementation of rising technology trend software like Candidate.ID – we must consider what the contact will think at each point of communication. That’s not just at application stage, but also at the stages where a candidate, for example, is nowhere near needing a new job. Despite their none-immediate impact on fee income, they are still relevant and crucial to our reputation. The relationship is now ongoing in a digital age. It’s who you know and who you influence that matters more than ever.
The little details of how a contact ‘feels’ are rather important. Getting this right is the difference between you or your competitors getting the crucial call.
When you automate, increase technology and strive for greater efficiency – as well as better candidate and client experience – you must make sure your technology does these things:
Personalisation: – If you are to automate at scale, can your technology recognise individual traits and behaviours of each person in your CRM?
Segmentation – The gift of automation should be the opportunity to treat groups of people differently based on characteristics, behaviours, career stage, attraction stage and preferences.
Value Content Measurement – content blah blah blah. We hear so much, but it’s crucial. If your technology involves content distribution in any way, then the investment in it must increase the quality and conversion rates of email/text and messaging.
Digital Journey Tracking – this one is a little specific to Candidate.ID, I confess. However, what is the value of automated content, segmentation, and personalisation if we don’t forensically better understand who reads what, who visits our website, and what they prefer to consume? If we know this, then our commonality and communication with the candidate or client is always warm and never cold – and crucially, it’s relevant and timely.
Technology is not a shortcut. Automation isn’t for the lazy. Both are there to ensure we optimise the recruitment process more effectively. Optimisation isn’t just efficiency – it’s about enhanced human interaction – less waste and more value. Adopt technology with great care. Talk to good people who know their technology; it isn’t something you buy off the shelf. Get expertise and support with your advances into digital transformation.
Automation is designed to be better at the high-volume tasks we are less effective at, making us more efficient at the 1:1 human side of recruitment. If you make sure the two are aligned, you’ll successfully optimise your performance.
About the Author:
Steve Ward is generally regarded as the first practising ‘Social Recruiter’ with his agency CloudNine in 2007-2008, and is now a Talent Attraction Strategist, the REC’s Social Recruiting & Branding Trainer, as well as being the Head of Staffing Agency Solutions for Candidate.ID, the world’s first dedicated talent pipeline and tracking software. Recruiting for almost 25 years and obsessed with the alignment of evolving recruitment in line with evolving candidate and customer behaviours digitally.