Here’s everything you need to know about staffing this year; from finding candidates to onboarding and beyond. In this video, a panel of staffing industry experts comprised of Allied Insight CEO and Founder Jeff Pelliccio, Sense Co-Founder Pankaj Jindal, VP of Customer Solutions at Accurate Katie Hartley, and Employdrive CEO Jeff Jefferson shares their 2022 priorities with Accurate Senior Marketing Programs Manager Marie Quinones as moderator.
The panelists answer questions about navigating today’s candidate-centric job market and how enhancing the candidate experience in terms of processes, marketing, automation, proactive information gathering, onboarding, post-hire initiatives, and pay can enable staffing agencies to outperform competition, leverage growth, and maximize potential. Here are some of the major takeaways.
One of the things that the pandemic did was force companies into digital transformation. In the early stages of the pandemic, companies are left to be reactive and quickly adapt to unexpected disruptions. But in 2022, our panelists emphasize being proactive in the strategies we build and implement.
In a world where there are more jobs than candidates, the panelists also talk about the current candidate pool, how companies can deal with the candidate famine or feast they’re facing, and how to retain talent. The answer lies in the candidate experience your staffing agency provides. There’s great potential for ambassadorship, advocacy, and redeployment when the candidate experience is delivered accurately and consistently.
The backbone of automation is accuracy. Automation plays an integral role in providing a smooth candidate journey by removing as many bottlenecks and manual touchpoints as possible. Process, compliance, communication, and technology alignment are made possible through the use of tech tools such as chatbots, automated background checks, applicant tracking systems, and many more. And in 2022, it’s imperative to take full advantage of these in order to drive your company forward.
Connect with us for more insights into how your staffing firm can navigate today’s candidate-centric job market and what to prioritize in 2022.
Marie Quinones 0:00
Good morning and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us today. My name is Marie King Jonas and I’m the senior marketing programs manager with accurate background. We have a great lineup of panelists for you today. Let’s welcome Jeff. Jeff, please introduce yourself and who you work for.
Jeff Pelliccio 0:23
Emory, thank you so much appreciate you putting this together and being able to be here. So I’m Jeff Pelliccio. I’m the founder and CEO of allied insight. We’re a growth marketing delivery company built exclusively for staffing. We also provide coaching resources for staffing firms who have internal teams, or even incubator programs for staffing firms looking to establish in house teams. So we’re basically your all in one stop shop for all things marketing and staffing.
Unknown Speaker 0:53
Great. Thank you so much, Jeff. Pankaj, welcome.
Pankaj Jindal 0:58
I’m Marie, thank you for having me. Good morning. Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Pankaj, I am one of the founders of sense. Sense is a talent engagement platform. I started the company about six years ago. We work with over 600 staffing companies today. And before I started since I ran staffing companies for 15 years. So this is the world that I came from excited to be here. Thank you again.
Unknown Speaker 1:21
excited to have you, Katie, welcome, Katie.
Katie Hartley 1:27
And good morning. Good afternoon. I’m Katie Hartley. I’m our Vice President of customer solutions here at accurate background. We are a global background screening provider in business actually, this is our 25th year started in 1997. I’ve been with the organization since 2002. I always joke that this is totally what I planned on doing after college. I don’t know that really what we do requires much explanation. But I’m here just to represent the background screening and drug testing and of the onboarding process. So happy to be part of this panelists group. And joining this this webinar today.
Unknown Speaker 2:06
Thank you so much, Katie. And last but not least Jeff, Jeff Jefferson.
Jeff Jefferson 2:12
Thanks, Marie. My name is Jeff Jefferson. I’m the co founder and CEO of employee drive. And we are a payroll benefits administration and ACA compliance vendor and outsource payroll exclusively for the staffing industry. I personally have been in staffing and around staffing for over 20 plus years. So I really appreciate you guys having me on the call today. And I’m excited to help where we can.
Unknown Speaker 2:38
Thank you guys so much. Thank you all online for virtually joining us today. Today we will be discussing your 2022 priorities from candidate to higher and beyond. In 2021, recruiters were focused to recruit from a hybrid talent landscape and adopt digital new recruiting methods in this new candidate centric market. But as we entered 2022 In the midst of this great migration period, our time to reprioritize and refocus is now in a world where there are more jobs than candidates. recruiting top talent is becoming increasingly competitive. Boasting your company culture isn’t enough to attract and retain your talent anymore. Automation and integrated workloads are key to ensuring that seamless candidate experience with new market trends and norms constantly changing one thing remains the same. And that’s candidate experience. Companies that seek to adapt and exceed the candidates expectation will outperform your competition and maximize the potential. Today we’re going to focus on turning your hiring challenges into priorities from Canada to higher and beyond. Today, we’re going to kick off the panel with processes and technology. As we shift to remote work, staffing firms had to quickly put in place processes to adhere to this new normal. But the challenge is that those processes were put in place with the mindset that they would be temporary. So Jeff, how do you align your processes with communication and technology? Sorry, I was muted.
Unknown Speaker 4:16
Uh, another thing that we’ve all experienced from being in more remote work. So fantastic question. You know, when it comes to the reality of staffing firms over the last couple of years, there was a lot of pivoting in order to, you know, for self preservation, to make sure that they were able to last long enough to get through all the chaos. And I think with a lot of those changes, as you mentioned, many thought they were just temporary changes and that they wouldn’t be reflective of where things would be headed in the future. Unfortunately, in making those adjustments, not many staffing agencies took the time to really revisit what it is that they had in place from a process and technology perspective. So when they made These amendments, it was only in terms of being able to cover a given period of time to which then they would be able to go back, that’s created a lot of manual processes for organizations, which is starting to now become too cumbersome to handle. So the process is really, really simple. It takes the time to go back through revisit your client and candidate journeys that you’ve already mapped out from pre pandemic stages. include those adjustments that you’ve made to the very real market that we’re experiencing today, that will likely be here for the foreseeable future, and make the adjustments back into your automation into your technology, and identify any of the gaps that you might have, within the framework of your organization. Those will all sort of point to where you might have like lack of efficiencies, or where you might have drop off or friction in the funnel, that is going to reduce your conversion ratios, as well as you know, challenge maybe some of the people to continue through and create additional term as they go through your process.
Unknown Speaker 6:10
That’s great. I think that’s exactly true. Does anyone
Unknown Speaker 6:16
sorry, one of the things I was gonna say was I talk about this quite a lot, you know, the fact that everybody was on a digital transformation journey, right? I mean, some people were much further along, some people were just getting started. One of the things that the pandemic did is it basically precipitated that for everybody, you could no longer avoid it, you immediately had to do a technology transformation. You know, people overnight found out that not only are you no longer able to stay in touch with your talent, or candidates that you were meeting before, you can’t even stay in touch with your own staff, you can’t even stay in touch with your customers. So you were no longer essentially meeting anybody? And how do you? How were you going to give everybody the same personalized white glove experience that you were hoping to differentiate your company? All right, so the pandemic I think, helped precipitate digital transformation. That’s one of the things that happened. Now, to Jeff’s point. You know, for some people, this happened in a hurry, this happened without any process without any thinking. I know, tons and tons of companies who did this very thoughtfully, where they essentially went, what are all the processes today that are repetative? And how can they be automated, which ones of these are of no value to us, because they’re basically just busy time. And which are the ones where we actually can mimic our best recruiter mimic our best account manager and then say, hey, this person does this, our automated process is going to do this for all the other 500 account managers that we have. And I think some of those changes are here to stay, they are not going away, companies have already seen ROI from IT companies have already seen this leads to more placements, this leads to happier candidates and leads to happier customers, so on and so forth. But then, of course, things that you just did in a hurry, which you know, didn’t need to be automated or could actually give you a way to connect with your people. Whenever the world fully opens up. And we are able to do that. I think those are the ones that will that will retract. And that’s when people will start rethinking about do we need to automate those processes are those the ones that are best served by an in person interaction. So that’s my sort of viewpoint on this.
Unknown Speaker 8:20
I know for us, it’s it’s continuing to focus on on mobile first, as it relates to the to the background check, and being as proactive in collecting information as we can be, because, you know, historically, when I started in this industry years ago, employers would screen multiple candidates in there that were up for, for any given job, right, as an elimination tool, it wasn’t, it wasn’t something that was being done post hire. So now that it’s post hire speed is of the essence. But not only that, with with a remote workforce or a more remote workforce, due to the pandemic, being able to engage with with candidates through their mobile devices, and in a proactive way, meaning present to them, all the things that are required up front, be proactive speed to hire is even more critical. I think, where we also saw probably some of the biggest challenges was with with things like drug testing, too, because with with a pandemic, a lot of the same clinics that conduct drug testing, we’re also doing testing for COVID All of the same labs that that conduct drug testing, where we’re testing for COVID So that supply chain was greatly impacted. So we’ve seen a lot of employers also sort of shift how they, how they handle that and more employers moving to oral testing, and oral testing through video. And just very, you know, things that to your point, we’re done rapidly but are probably here to stay. Right. Yeah, um, so continuing to focus I think on mobile first and, and really making sure Sure, we’re not chasing information after the candidate engages with our process, but instead, being proactive in our collection on that first stop is very critical to our piece of the process. And for the candidate.
Unknown Speaker 10:13
Sony has no say you probably even have thoughts on a lot of our customers talked about, like remote eyeliner verification.
Unknown Speaker 10:19
Oh, yeah. And the notary network. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 10:23
Tell us a little bit more about that. Like, how did that change?
Unknown Speaker 10:25
Oh, it was the same. I mean, there was very, the challenges with getting getting the full I nine form executed was was rampid, because you had people that couldn’t come into the office anymore to execute on the second signature, right, and the witness, so the notary network was used more than ever, but the government also changed and relaxed some of the rules, especially during the peak pandemic times when things were really closed down. And I think a lot of that will continue to move in a more electronic fashion, right. And for the better, I mean, there are some positives there, right? Because the more let’s be honest, the candidate pool wants to, to engage in electronic way, they also want to, they want to choose their destination, whether that’s drug testing, or getting their I nine form completed. If I’m, if I’m a candidate, I want to be able to schedule that stuff on my mobile, and choose how far I have to go or where I have to go to get it done. So all of those things, from a technology standpoint, continue to be vitally important.
Unknown Speaker 11:33
Yeah, the one thing I’ll add to that, just from a technology perspective, obviously, it forced small and midsize companies, obviously, to become more automated and adopt technology. And what we found is when you know, it forced them because they identify those gaps in their processes, because you’ve got someone who’s working from home, that’s processing payroll, the timecards are coming in all sorts of different ways. They weren’t on any sort of secured network, they’re just on a Wi Fi at their house, right? There’s no VPN, or any of that sort of stuff, so that the infrastructure, you know, companies had to beef that up, we saw that multiple times on our on our conversions, you know, that that clients just had no concept of the amount of compliance issues that they could face, because socials are going out over regular email and bank accounts and those sorts of things, right. So not only adopting the technology, making sure the infrastructure is in place, so that the technology is complying with all of the data protection rules that are out there. We see that all the time. And it’s scary as I’ll get out.
Unknown Speaker 12:39
It sounds like one consistent theme from all of our panelists is about being proactive. So I know, in the midst of all of this, we’re trying to react to everything that’s happening. But if companies can proactively adhere to new technologies and processes, that seems like if we’re expecting what’s going to come ahead, that will essentially help, you know, move companies forward. So I don’t know if that’s kind of the the gist or maybe the summary of what you guys are talking about. And let’s move forward, you know, talking about being proactive, and you know, we mentioned the candidate a couple of times and what they’re looking for, yeah, let’s take a look at the candidate pool, you know, with more jobs than candidates right now, companies are experiencing either a feast or famine. Pankaj, how do you address the famine where companies aren’t applying? But then also the feast where they’re, you’re sifting through the volume?
Unknown Speaker 13:34
Yeah, no, great question, Marie. This is, this is quite central to what we talk about here at sense, right. I mean, pretty much all of our customers, every single one of them is talking about how they have open jobs, but no candidates are applying. Now, in the middle of the pandemic, part of it had got to do with while people were worried about the pandemic, then they had unemployment, and they had supplemental unemployment, and you can just sit at home, you know, which then finally, of so many sort of weeks and months of sitting at home gave birth to Am I doing the right job, I just want to change my career. And that kind of gave way to the great resignation. So, you know, what’s the statistics that are shocking now are we have customers telling us that they have manufacturing plants, but they have 5000 positions open and they can’t find a single person. So you know, the entire facility has to shut down because they can’t find enough number of people. So that’s what we’re talking about from a famine standpoint, you put out a job and not enough people are responding to it. Now, what are you going to do as a company, right? I mean, if you were used to putting a job out there and have 10 people apply to you, and now there are only two people apply. You’re not going to automatically have five times the number of recruiters trying to fill this job. So that’s where technology comes to help you. One of the things we’ve seen help a lot and this is what’s popularly called a chatbot but essentially a conversational recruiting assistant. What you can do with in the situation of famine is cast a wider net you could reach out to 1000 people, instead of reaching out to 50 people and say, Hey, this is the job we’re looking to fill. Everybody gets a link that they sort of click on and simply just answer five or six very, very quick questions in less than 30 seconds. Are you wise to come to us? Have you ever been in a felony? Or will you subject yourself to COVID? Screening every day? Can you stand on your feet for eight hours a day? Can you pick 50 pounds? at one go? You know, assuming you were finding a picker Packer. So obviously, your questions will differ based on the job. But if there was somebody who clicked on this link, replied to all these five questions accurately, technology will immediately throw them a scheduling module and say, Great, I’m going to have you talk to Katie, or I’m going to have you talked to Stephanie at a time of your choosing that works for you. And you’re now scheduled on this recruiters calendar. So we’ve seen this being super helpful were also because of remote work, it doesn’t really matter where you’re located. So if you’ve cast a wider net, you just go to find people. Now, conversely, if you have a feast, and very few people will tell you that they have a feast going on right now, where you put out a position and instead of 10, people applying 500 people are applying to you. Again, you can’t have 10 times the number of recruiters sifting through those resumes. So same exact thing the conversational recruiting assistant comes in to help you right, I mean, it’s the same exact situation where this board, if you will, can talk to 500 people, pick the top five candidates and have only those five candidates, talk to your recruiter. And oftentimes you’re submitting these people within 30 seconds to a minute, we have customers challenging us now, where they essentially say they in light industrial situations, they want to go from hello to hire in 30 minutes. So somebody comes to their website, this is the person that they’ve never met before. For the first time, they’re saying hello, talks to a bot gets thrown a job at them, says I like the job and get submitted to that job and actually either just gets hired, or gets scheduled with the recruiter to Katie’s world where somebody would be like, Hey, I got to do your I nine verification and this and that. But otherwise, you have a job. So anyway, this is I think, the biggest topic right now, which is how do you first of all, build a talent pool and then second, for people who’ve over over the last 1020 years have spent hundreds of 1000s of dollars, building a candidate pool from job boards? How do you mind that talent pool to fill the positions you have open now? That’s great.
Unknown Speaker 17:31
You know, to piggyback on this, I mean, what we’re really talking about, again, is like adapting, right. So as the as the environment is shifted, the things that we did yesterday, they’re not going to be as effective today. And so this is where you have things like in those famine situations, you have companies that are really pressing on, like recruitment marketing, right. So being a little bit more clever about how it is that you’re, you’re doing your distribution of jobs, it isn’t a matter of just going out and pushing these jobs on to job boards anymore. Like now, it’s a matter of like really seeking out where these audiences live. And so you know, using technology to be able to cater to them and to deliver to them in real time to give them the responses that they want, when they want them is is critically important. But it’s also really important to make sure that you know where these people live. And then to to also sort of back that up, you also do have to understand what they need when they need it. So the creating sort of those automated tools, or working with an automated tools in order to be able to create the q&a or the the response Oriel elements to help qualify is fantastic and moving people through. But you also have to do things to educate and sort of give them it’s feeding them fishing, sort of teaching them the fish at the same time. Right. So give them those tools and resources so that that way, they also see you as a resource for them. You know, I see a lot of my clients right now are really focusing heavily on trying to identify these different subgroups in all these different areas where candidates are living, where they’re talking, where they’re commiserating about, either the experiences that they’re having the challenges that they’re facing, or even, you know, passing along opportunities that might be out there in the marketplace. And they’re they’re finding ways to sort of draw messaging in to participate more in those environments, and be seen as a greater resource to that group that maybe wouldn’t have otherwise been heard.
Unknown Speaker 19:23
Yeah, I know for us, for us, it’s again, it’s about when it comes to our role and again, most commonly these days our role is post hire right or post offer rather, so the candidate is already been offered the role. We’re under the gun to get the background check done so they can get in the door and start the job. So any efficiencies we can build into our process to make that as seamless and painless for the candidate and the recruiter is key, right? So being proactive in what we collect is critical, but also you know, the data we collect Making sure that that we’re only requesting the minimum data we need based on the requirements of that background check. But also with our partners, our partner network, the applicant tracking systems, the HRIS systems, really mapping as much data as we can from that job application into our system. So the candidates not duplicating their data entry from one system into another. Instead, they’re just filling in the blanks on what we might need to supplement the background check and have a thorough results. So all of those what might seem like little efficiency gains, create a much better candidate experience, and make our turnaround time on getting those candidates to respond to us much faster.
Unknown Speaker 20:41
Yeah, it compounds. It does.
Unknown Speaker 20:45
Yeah, and, you know, obviously, I have a little bit of a different sort of take on that feast or famine for us is there’s no difference, right? If it’s feast or famine, you have to pay people correctly, give them a good experience, once they’re on your, you know, on your payroll, and really that, you know, from our perspective, especially in, you know, the famine market, if you’re not paying your people correctly, they’re less likely to be a referral source or help you with, you know, talking, talking you up to the customer, that sort of thing people have worked for you in the past are going to come back and work for you again. Right. It’s the whole idea of staffing is one of the only businesses where you get your payroll wrong, and your revenue is impacted. Right. So they have to get paid correctly and on time, and you have to have systems and internal staff and vendors in place that are also, you know, committed to that end. But But for us, it doesn’t change. Right, the back office has to be, you know, locked down, whether you’re just slamming jobs and just going or you just you can’t find anybody. Yeah, you got to pay the folks that are on the book correctly. Right.
Unknown Speaker 21:47
Yeah. And I was gonna say some sorry,
Unknown Speaker 21:50
Pankaj, yes. We actually had a question come up for you. So, Eva would like to know, how does a chat bot? How can that be set up? Is that something that you work with your clients to put together? And who comes up with the link?
Unknown Speaker 22:05
Yeah, so super straightforward. First of all, your customer success manager, if you already worked with sense today can help set this up for you. You actually have 100% your authority over building your own chat bots. So you actually just design your own workflow? Hey, these are the five questions, I’d like to ask people who are applying for this kind of job versus seven questions to people who are asking for this kind of a job, we’ll design it for you. And then the system automatically generates a link. So once we build the chat bot, the chat bot would have a link. And that’s the link. Like I said, you can send out to 10,000 people at a time a million people at a time, you can send it via email, you can send it via text message. So it all happens automatically. But obviously, you just completely own the natural language on it. And what questions do you want to ask? And what’s your flowchart? Like, you know, Hey, have you ever gotten a felony? Yes, well, do you want to immediately go to your rejected, or you want to send them a polite message and say, this job might not be a fit for you, but go look someplace else, all that happens automatically,
Unknown Speaker 23:04
would also be a really good opportunity to to like drop in a chat bot within a campaign in order to help revitalize people in your database to right like, if you’ve got if you have a dormant database, especially if you’re dealing with these famines today, like segment that database down, find out who the dormant individuals are, run them into a campaign, let a chatbot go through the process of creating them into qualified candidates, and then start bringing them through a pipeline where you already have your open jobs. That is
Unknown Speaker 23:31
absolutely correct. So when we build chat bots and cents today, they are actually of two different kinds. One is pre screening, which is kind of what I’ve been talking about. And the second one is called database enrichment. So you literally get to like you said, Jeff, a million people. The first question you want to ask all these million people? Or are you looking for a job? And maybe only 5% of the people will respond and say yes, and those are the 50,000 you care about? And then you be like, great, when would you be available this week, next week, next month? And then you go from there to? Well, we don’t seem to have your updated email, zip code, how much money do you want and basically enrich your database? That’s amazing.
Unknown Speaker 24:05
That’s awesome. This is a great segue into our next question. I know we talked a lot about building efficiencies into your processes to address both feast and famine, again, different viewpoints from everybody. But all those little efficiencies, like Katie mentioned, they really add up. So whether that’s, you know, removing or creating efficiencies within your recruitment, marketing or helping somebody upload a chatbot. We’re going to talk next about those efficiencies. And as they relate to inaccuracies and discrepancies, if you don’t have efficiencies, you’re going to end up with inaccuracies and discrepancies so Katie, how can you reduce those discrepancies in the hiring process?
Unknown Speaker 24:48
Well, I love I always love this question because I mean, in background screening, this this comes up so so much, and what most people what it always surprises me that, that a lot of people don’t realize that as a consumer reporting agency, which accurate is we’re federally mandated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to ensure maximum possible possible accuracy in our results, that is literally in the law. But that aside, we have to leverage technology to get there, right. And I won’t bore you with how it was done in the early 2000s, or the late 90s. Or even before that, because it was the technology wasn’t there. But these days, technology definitely helps us. Now obviously, we still have to rely on a global network to an extent, and audits, you know, some of the old school ways of ensuring accuracy. But we lead with technology first. And how that’s done. And I’m sure it’s true for many parts of the process is through is through data validation. So even simple things like double keying a social security number, right. And validating that it’s not one through nine, or all nines or all eights can save a lot of time in the process and eliminate an inaccurate background check from the very beginning data that date validations in an in a person’s chronological employment history seems minor. But if you know an employer wants to verify previous employment for X amount of years, for different job roles, being able to handle that in your technology and say, okay, based on this chronological series of dates, my technology knows that I need to process this employment verification versus cancel it, because this particular employer or this particular job role doesn’t require that level of employment verification. So those those kinds of technology capabilities, not only ensure accuracy and process improvement, but they also eliminate bias in your hiring process, right. So they ensure that for different job roles, you’re running the same level of background check on each person that’s offered that same job role. And so it’s, it’s a vital part of what we do. Right. The other, there’s so many so many facets, to accuracy. But, but those are some of the key things, in addition to just algorithms, and lots of lots of things buried in the technology that confirm checks and balances to make sure that what we’re getting back from our sources globally. Makes sense. On the flip side, there are reporting laws to right so if we’re if we’re getting a person’s criminal history back, right, knowing whether or not we can even report that based on based on law is important. So those, again, day validations, things like that all lead to a statement for accuracy, because there are there are rules around what we can report as well. So any automation, we can build, and take out of humans hands, definitely makes for a better candidate experience. It protects the employers in the long run from using bad information in the hiring process. But I think the bigger benefit is, again, consistent hiring practices based on job role. And especially here in the US where there is a very, very hard focus from the EEOC on making sure that the kinds of background checks that are being run on people have a very close nexus to the type of work that they’re doing. So
Unknown Speaker 28:36
yep. And from our perspective as that, you know, that data is collected in the recruiting process, as it’s sort of rolling downhill, right into into payroll, if, like, you’re talking about validation. And if your your front office systems don’t have that capability, right, you’re not getting those dates validated. And, you know, the states are just the freeform text field, you know, that sort of thing, when that comes through, especially when we’re connecting, right? Because the whole idea is that we’re going to connect to those front office systems to make that back office as efficient as possible. Well, then that person doesn’t show up. And I apologize if I’m repeating myself if you don’t pay people correctly. Right. It’s that’s bad. Right? So yeah, we want to do it on time. So the whole idea is identifying, you know, what your system is capable of on the front office, right, that you’re getting that data is, you know, like said validating socials, validating bank accounts, you know, nine digits for a routing number, that sort of stuff, right? We see that come when we’re doing conversions from systems that don’t speak to one another mail from some of the big guys ADP and paychecks and those guys, and we see those those front office, you know, systems have none of that in place. And it takes us months to detangle that with a client and we become almost a process consultant in that, you know, in that relationship because they didn’t think about it before because they’re keying it in from one you no paper form into one system. And, you know, there’s no connectivity there. So you have to think about that, you know, that sort of sort of data management. Right. And that process? Yeah.