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How to Find the Right Candidates Without Spending More

In this session, Leah Daniels of Appcast, Inc, shares three tips on how to find cost-effective candidates.

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Presenter: Leah Daniels (SVP of Strategy, Appcast, Inc)

Due to COVID-19, job openings fell by 2 million from February – April 2020, while the number of unemployed candidates skyrocketed. What’s more, apply rates for job openings also fell by a whopping 34% from January – June 2020. The job market is volatile and unreliable—and yet staffing agencies still need to make placements to remain profitable. How? 

Recruiting in Today’s Market

To recruit successfully in today’s environment means one thing: fixing your own processes so that you can outmaneuver your competition. If your firm has a defined strategy for streamlining internal processes, you significantly increase your chance of remaining profitable, even through the most uncertain times.

So what are the processes you need to examine? Generally, they can be broken down in three levels:

Once you have this framework in mind, it’s time to examine how you can outmaneuver your competition at every stage. 

Outmaneuvering Your Competition

When everyone is teetering on the brink between profitability and non-profitability, it’s critical your firm creates and implements cost-effective processes. Every penny you save is one you can use to attract more clients and outstrip your competitors. Here’s how. 

  • Measure your baseline. Part of improving is understanding what you’re improving from. Start by identifying key events in your workflow. For example, maybe you want to measure how many clicks you get, or how many applications you receive. 
  • Calculate costs. Once you’ve identified the key events in your workflow, it’s time to run the numbers. How many key events does it take your team to make a hire? And how much does each of those events cost? Is there room for improvement? Remember – the fewer actions you need to get a hire, the more cost-effective candidates you get. 

Analyzing the Recruiter Level

Let’s take an example. Say you want to analyze your recruitment process, and you’ve discovered that your CPC is too high. You’re losing money and not acquiring cost-effective candidates. What kind of questions can you ask to begin fixing the process?

Well, a few may include: 

  • Average CPC per industry (are you paying more or less?)
  • Average CPC per state (are you paying more or less?)
  • Average cost per day of the week (are you posting on the most cost-effective day?) 
  • Are your job titles shortened to optimize engagement?) 

Making sure that you have access to the above industry stats is key to analyzing the holes in your process. It may be that your CPC is up because you’re hiring in a certain location—there’s not much you can do about that. But it also may be that your CPC is up because your job titles are much too long and no candidates want to apply. There is something you can—and should—fix ASAP.

Analyzing the Team Level

Maybe a few of your teams are struggling to make placements. In such an uncertain job market, that’s very likely. After all, apply rates are down by 34%. But that doesn’t mean there’s no way to improve. A few quick questions you can ask to improve your team’s performance might be:

  • Is your mobile application process optimized? 
  • Is your application length under 10 minutes? 
  • Is your client’s Glassdoor rating high?

The point about mobile applications is particularly important. Even as apply rates bottom out, mobile applications are on the way up, increasing by more than 8% from January to April 2020. As a team, then, it’s important to stay on top of industry trends, especially in uncertain times. That way, you can use real-time data to adjust practices on the fly.

Analyzing the Organizational Level

It’s daunting, but it has to be done. Perhaps you’re in a situation where across teams, your agency is failing to perform. In that case, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate big, company-wide practices, to see if they’re helping or hurting your business. A few questions to consider are: 

  • Do your teams know what day of the week is best for job postings? 
  • Do your teams edit job descriptions and applications to increase engagement?
  • Are your teams taking job descriptions down when they have enough candidates?

The last point is especially important. Remember: on average, a job posting gets 250 resumes. By the first 100, the likelihood is that you have a qualified candidate. Accumulating those extra resumes is just time and money you could be spending elsewhere.

Getting Started

If you don’t have a strategy in place, it’s time to implement one—fast. Any active hiring should shift to a 5-part plan, as outlined below:

This plan broadly covers all considerations for acquiring cost-effective candidates. But the reality is, if you’re managing more than a few open job requisitions, you need technology to help. Programmatic tech systems, in particular, help with minimizing costs and identifying the best candidates. With programmatic tech, you can: 

  • Get jobs out that still need candidates 
  • Pull jobs when there are enough candidates 
  • Determine which jobs to spend money on (and what the market price is) 
  • Use data signals to hone in on qualified candidates

Programmatic tech providers, such as Appcast and their brand new tool, Xcelerate, help companies get the right candidates without spending more. And as the uncertainty from COVID-19 continues, these technologies will become more and more important to successful recruitment. 

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