• Jack Sharp

3 ways we can automate the candidate experience

Executive search is a challenging industry for one main reason: good talent rarely comes to you, you have to go and find it. As a result, retaining talent throughout the hiring process can be difficult. One failed reply or late email will set the tone for the candidate experience and determine whether someone sticks through the hiring process or goes elsewhere.

But, there’s a lot of work behind-the-scenes that needs doing when recruiting executives. Most successful recruiters have 100-125 calls ready before they show up for work the next day, and in-between this time is research and verification. It stands reason that nine out of ten recruiters fail in their first year.

A smart recruiter, then, is a successful one. Here are a few ways we can begin to automate the candidate experience so we can regain our time.

Email workflows

If you’re dedicating most of your day to checking emails, you’re wasting your time. Many enterprise-standard applications like Outlook for Office 365 and Gmail give you the ability to schedule follow-ups, push emails back and reschedule when they come into your inbox, and prioritise your replies.

Further, tools like Zapier and IFTTT allow you to automate your replies and setup workflows. So when a candidate replies to a job listing on your website, an email is triggered and sent to their inbox that introduces who you are and how you can help. If you’re a Zapier pro, you can integrate your calendar, too, and setup automatic call scheduling. With this in place, you no longer need to email or schedule calls, technology will do it for you.

Mobile working

On the train, at the coffee shop or even on the loo. 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to check candidates. Don’t spend your time at the office researching on the platform when you have the app in your pocket. Executive search is competitive, and you need to be using every ounce of time you have to close deals quickly. Set up your phone, then, to operate as a workstation.

Take calls on the go, send emails, conduct research and read CVs wherever you are to help you tick off those in-between tasks that need doing. That way, when you finally reach the office, you can focus on pushing forward with qualifying and closing, not researching and validating.

Transparent management

Trello, Monday and Basecamp. Strategy and process count for everything, and an automated and transparent task management tool keeps everything under one roof. With a central hub for how you operate, you can regain your time and focus on candidate interviews and shortlisting, boosting the quality of candidates you’re placing.

Task management is just the tip of the iceberg, too. Digital signature tools and online conference calling software can save you hours of time. No longer do you need to travel to meet with someone in person, you can improve the experience for the candidate and regain lost commuting time by interviewing on, for example, Skype for Business.

Experience is everything

You, like every other business, sell. Starbucks was so successful because it was the first coffee company to introduce ‘experience’ into buying a cup of coffee. People want to feel valued and worthwhile. They want their names (spelt correctly, albeit) on a coffee cup. Candidates are the same. They want to be incentivised and taken care of with as little input from them as possible. They want transparency and clarity in the role they’re applying to.

By automating the back-end of your job role, it gives you more time to focus on the client side, and more time spent speaking and interviewing qualified candidates, the more deals you’ll close. As illogical as it might sound, use technology to become more human.