Lauren B. Jones of Leap Consulting Solutions makes a living out of coaching staffing firms through the dense forest of modern technology and has established a place on the leading edge of the industry in the process (while also co-hosting the You Own The Experience podcast.) 🎉
Today we’ll be looking at one of the more common subjects being brought up by Jones’s clients: incoming candidate management.
The staffing industry has a fundamental problem: reactionary recruiting. Every industry vertical is aware of this, and more concerningly, every industry vertical is guilty of this. With the practice damaging the reputation of the entire industry, we have to do better.
Incoming candidate management is about treating candidates better, ideally turning them from detractors to promoters in the process. But how?
Every job post applicant deserves a timely response. This is in fact the bare minimum that they deserve, making it the perfect place to start.
Let’s say a timely response is one delivered 24-48 hours after the initial application. What percentage of applicants does your firm respond to in that time? If you’re like most organizations, you probably don’t know, and this lack of focus on response suggests that if you do measure the numbers, they may not be particularly flattering.
But once you have that baseline, the only way is up. And you might be surprised just how far the knock-on effects of this newfound focus can reach.
In the recruiting industry, there’s this difficult-to-shake idea that more is better. If you have 25 roles to fill, you might feel like you need 2500 applicants. By ensuring that just 1 in 100 applicants are successful, you deduce that the top 1% of candidates will be placed in the available roles.
The reality? This approach does nothing more than strain your resources: it creates a bad candidate experience.
The incoming candidate management metric forces a firm to focus on quality over quantity. Instead of collecting 2500 applicants, what would happen if you focused on attracting just 50?
Number one, you’d free up a huge amount of time otherwise devoted to vetting, screening, and interviewing. You can spend this extra time creating a job post that speaks to the exact individual that you’re targeting, marketing it in a way that gets in front of the right eyes, and putting far more effort into screening and interviewing those who do put their name forward.
In the end, the top 25 applicants in your carefully selected pool of 50 are of higher quality than the 25 that you haphazardly chose from your overwhelming pool of 2500. You also aren’t left with multiple thousands of applicants who feel jaded by the process, and may never apply again. “I'm not contacting that staffing agency – I'll fall into the abyss again.”
The number one complaint about staffing firms is they don’t respond. For any firm eager to remedy this situation, incoming candidate management is the obvious place to begin.
On a broader scale, your technology choice should be made by pairing data and metrics with a deep understanding of who you are and how you want to treat people. Once you know where you want to go, modern tech can help to get you there.