Webinar recap: How to use Automation to 'Stay Full' in a Candidate-Starved Market

On September 1, SmartSearch's Executive Vice President, Bill Inman, hosted a conversation with Lauren B. Jones, a technology-obsessed staffing industry innovator, superstar, and founder of LEAP Consulting Solutions. In this lively conversation and freewheeling, unconventional "fireside chat" format, Lauren offers expert advice to recruiting companies on how to be more efficient, more successful, and more human.

"… one of the best hours I have spent on Zoom in a long time." – Julie Fleury, The PJF Group

Highlights include practical advice on how to:

* Use technology to build stronger relationships & connect with candidates

* Invest in your database to help find the right person at the right time

* What you need to know about digital transformation to elevate your recruiting processes

Watch a recording of the entire program below, or read more for excerpts and a summary.


"According to a global Manpower Group Study, up to 70% of companies have reported talent shortages. That's more than 20 years ago when about 35% of companies reported talent shortages. And we're in a new era. Great resignation, great acceleration of technology, the pandemic, those are things we'll discuss." ~Bill Inman [00:05:27.320]

So how do you 'stay full' in a candidate-starved market?

The statistics are pretty astounding; with the great resignation, we had almost 4 million people resigning a month. This was primarily due to a lack of investment in training and the inability to offer a hybrid work environment. Also, we forgot that employees are also consumers, and how they consume goods and services has changed. Consumers got used to having groceries delivered through Instacart and shopping on Amazon, where you could buy something in a second and return it a second later. So this immediacy has become the norm; we must not lose sight of consumers throughout the process, whether it's via text, chat, or email, it's meeting the consumer where they are.

"… the state of the market is the balance of power has shifted. Employers are no longer in the driver's seat, and we have an employee-driven market. People are rethinking the way that they want to work." ~ Lauren Jones


And as employers, I think we lost trust during the pandemic. The "quiet quitting" represents a lack of trust, lack of feeling valued, lack of feeling invested in, and overall burnout. How do you get past that? How do you stand out? Automation is one impactful way to keep pace with that consumer expectation of immediacy.

We still have these lengthy hiring processes that are prohibitive to getting the candidate in, creating a meaningful relationship, and establishing trust. One thing employers can do right out of the gate is shorten the duration-to-higher time. Rethink your application, and rethink that process.

Rethink the resume. Remember, a CV is a curriculum vitae, which is a course of life. That course of life should not have to be one straight line. Millennials have shown us that we can navigate all over to go gain different experiences. So the first thing that employers have to do is rethink what that first impression is.

And if you're in professional services and you're afraid of using a Bot, there is an elegant way for it to be done. And whether that's connecting human to human faster or simply looking for the convert, which is what is a Bot's number one purpose is: Conversion, to get the first name, last name, and email address. If that's all, you still get to capture information from a potential candidate that you didn't have before.

"…rethink your website and how quickly you can capture and convert candidates when you got their attention." ~Lauren Jones [00:14:13.370]

How do you balance that kind of automation in that very intensive personal work of recruiting?

Automation should give recruiters the time to have more meaningful conversations. You want people in relationships, automation on repetition. Where you have repetitious tasks, put your automation on. Where you need to form a relationship, that's where you put your people.

To do this, you also need to have an incoming candidate management strategy to create brand trust with the candidate.

If you're new to task automation, what do you do to get started?

I always say if you have a broken process and apply automation to it, you will break it faster. But there are some great places to start where you can iron out the kinks.

Start with the 4-R's: Referrals, Redeployment, Reengagement, and Reactivation.

Referrals are the best place to start with a track for automation, just a push message to generate referrals.

Starting with referrals is also a great place to work on redeployment. Redeployment is great for the brand, and you can get great testimonials. So finding ways to do like a career-forward program helps with both recruiting and retention.

What are the best practices in attracting candidates today?

Well, we need to articulate to the candidate what's in it for them. We have to understand that remote recruiting is now mainstream. And candidates want to have that flexibility as well. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are a powerful understanding that part of your marketing department's job is to ensure that everything important to society is important to you. Communicating your culture is a huge thing in attracting candidates. Candidate attraction is really interesting because it's about meeting the candidate where they are.

Maybe it's on GitHub, or perhaps it's on Twitter, or engage with them where they are on social channels and online communities. What's most important is consistency.

"Tell the world who your brand is. And if you haven't done an ecosystem exercise establishing your core values, mission, and vision, people want something to connect with. And so the attraction is about articulating that meaningfully, meeting them where they are. Big job." ~Lauren Jones [00:35:34.750]


Download a free copy of Lauren Jones's eBook HERE on Change Management: Turn Technology Tragedy Into Triumph, coauthored by Leslie Vickrey, and Holly Cohoon.

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