VMS Process Remastered: How companies have adapted to the new market to fill more requisitions


Mark Hummel: Good morning, everyone. All right. Looks like we got everybody rolling in. So let's go ahead and get started. First, thank you for joining me this morning. My name is Mark Hummel. I'm our director of sales and strategy for all things, automation and AI here at Bullhorn. If you're unfamiliar with Bullhorn, we have the opportunity to partner with over 10,000 firms within the staffing and recruiting industry.

Mark Hummel: We provide industry leading software, everything from applicant tracking systems through to some of the automation products that we'll talk about today. But as we look at the session title here, we want to jump into this VMS process remastered and the reason that we went, this route is much like the rest of the industry and the rest of the dynamic or our industry.

Mark Hummel: There's been a lot of change in the way that we've seen VMS requisitions work but really much like the rest of the industry. It's less about the jobs themselves and more about how we actually find nurture and deliver these jobs to the right candidates. And so that's really what we're going to talk about this morning is yes, this process can be even more streamlined and automated within the VMS framework.

Mark Hummel: But a lot of what we'll talk about today works very well for clients within our retail business as well. But if we look first that again, why this is such an opportunity for us within VMS specifically, you'll see that over the last few years since 2009, VMS usage has exploded by enterprise buyers. So as staffing firms, our clients have seen, you know, any client that's a thousand full-time hires and larger has seen anywhere from the 50% usage of VMS in 2009 to now a whopping 81% of these types of contingent buyers are using VMS technology.

Mark Hummel: So delivering these requisitions through an MSP in most cases to all of us as staffing suppliers, And the spend over the last three years has been amazing growth. We looked at a couple of different industries here, so light industrial tech and financial. We took some of the data points that we have across three companies in each of these areas and kind of average them out.

Mark Hummel: So you could see this trajectory from 2009 or 2019, excuse me, to 2021. In Light industrial, where we've seen quite a bit more adoption of medium-size and low size large firms actually using VMS technologies where they hadn't before. The ones that had been using it for quite a while have seen pretty decent growth.

Mark Hummel: I think we all know what happened here in the first half of 2020, why these numbers dipped quite significantly. But if we look at the comparison for the second half of 2021 against the first half of 2019, we've actually seen a 15% growth, despite that dip in the middle. Again, more digitization coming from our clients, wanting to put more jobs on these platforms then pushing more jobs out to us as suppliers in an automated fashion.

Mark Hummel: And the tech and financial industries have had an amazing boom of their spend going through VMS platforms. Again, you can see in 2019, the first half is still an amazing spend over you know, $200 million in contracts going through a VMS system across the average of these three clients that we studied. But when we look at the second half of 2021, there is a 43% growth because we are hovering right around $360 million going through. These platforms or these tech and financial companies. 

Mark Hummel: So what that tells us obviously is that VMS, I don't think anybody who's been doing this for a while, thinks VMS is going anywhere, but we're seeing more digitization, more push through these platforms so that an enterprise buyers can keep track of their spend, can keep track of their historical position counts and start to do some trend analysis as well with the MSPs.

Mark Hummel: So a strategy to grab all this growth and double down on it is very important, but there's also been some more shifts that we've seen thanks to all this shakeup in the market. And one of the biggest ones for us. I think when we look at the VMS landscape specifically, and these large enterprise buyers, what most of us consider strategic customers to our business is that they've always had these national positions, but now most of our large clients are telling us that more than 50% of their VMS opportunities are remote opportunities.

Mark Hummel: So as a remote opportunity, we've got some real cool implications to this. Now with more positions being remote, we can start to leverage a national job pool, a national job pool way of you know, working in these requisitions, but probably most excitingly a national talent pool. So, you know, as we've typically seen, obviously we have clients or candidates, excuse me, that have a specific location that they want to be in.

Mark Hummel: And that had really before limited their placement opportunities, that redeployment opportunities, but now with so many positions being remote, we've got this amazing opportunity to leverage a national talent pool. And we're seeing that kind of trickle into. New multi-market office strategy. So a lot of our clients who have, you know, 50, 60, or 5 or 10 offices across the country are having to really think about how they're going to market, how they're positioning candidates, candidate ownership, etc.

Mark Hummel: When they think about this national talent pool, because we want to stop looking at these, you know, pieces of business in silos, because really the market's not looking at them in silos anymore, either. How do we take the economies of scale approach? And we have a good barometer for how this works successfully.

Mark Hummel: Some of you might've seen the session yesterday. With Larry from Insight Global and Amy from CHG, some great partners of ours here at Bullhorn. They talked a lot about that healthcare playbook. Healthcare has had this for a while, you know, especially if we look at travel nursing 13 week contracts, there's constant movement, constant redeployment, and a national talent pool of candidates, a national pool of jobs.

Mark Hummel: And so they've had to look at this as a non-siloed approach for how they address, you know, making those fields within their VMS programs. But I think the one other piece that's interesting when we look at healthcare, right. Healthcare has always had a, or has for the most part, always had a candidate first mentality because everybody has access to all of the jobs.

Mark Hummel: If you were certified and you have, you know, decent national level relationships, you have most of the same jobs as your national competitor in staffing. Before that hadn't always been the case in our light industrial and Tech and Finance rules, but we're starting to see that be more of the case today, as we look across the several hundred different firms that we automate their VMS positions through, we're starting to see more duplication of roles across our clients than ever before telling us that the opportunities that you have in your pipe, or often the same opportunities that your competitor has in theirs.

Mark Hummel: And the question is really, how can you fulfill them quickest with the best candidate and the most sticky candidate to give them the best experience. And so that's a big piece of what we're going to chat about because while the VMS and jobs have certainly changed and the market has boomed much too all of our wallets appreciation, we're starting to really see a change in how we match and that other side of the equation.

Mark Hummel: And that's the candidate. So when we did this survey, you might be familiar with the Bullhorn grid survey that goes out every year. We've got over 4,000 global staffing professionals and ask them our favorite question, ranked your top priorities and top challenges for the year ahead. And if you have seen these surveys in the past, you've seen that typically the top priority is actually winning clients, winning business, winning job requisitions that has always been at the top year after year was we've done these surveys, but now if you see that has shifted down to number five and candidate acquisition sits a top.

Mark Hummel: Number one, and I would say followed not so closely, but followed by digital transformation and candidate experience, which is we're going to talk about here in a second. We really see as all one in the same persue. So a huge shift. We now all know that the jobs are coming in. We walk onsite with a client and they've got a backlog of jobs that other staffing firms may be having trouble filling and they're giving us requisitions.

Mark Hummel: That's awesome. Do we have the talent pool that is ready to quickly and on demand meet those requisitions because we look at the top challenges, obviously talent shortage sits at the very top, certainly reskilling as people look to figure out how they can get people that they have great relationships with, who are maybe more entry level into you know, this next phase of their career.

Mark Hummel: But everybody is looking at how do they find the people to fill the roles? Because the opportunity seems almost limitless, but generations and how we work with them have certainly changed. And you know, many of you probably have this feeling as you start looking across the candidates that you're recruiting, you know, we're starting to see certainly generation X where we've typically had those relationships with hiring managers is starting to get a lot more generation Y so we're starting to see that 21 to 40 year old generation takeover into management roles and start to have, you know, much of the hiring capability.

Mark Hummel: And obviously it is controlling what gets us placements at these customers. And they want to be interacted with differently as well. So not only do they certainly have some somewhat different motivations, a little bit less on the teamwork and when as a team more on the responsibility, personal work experiences can you know, competitive goal oriented, but from a more singular approach.

Mark Hummel: And that gets, you know, extrapolated even more as we look into gen Z, they're looking for creativity for individuality. And they're really driven by, again, those singular on demand experiences. I think that's the biggest thing. If we look towards the bottom of this chart and we look at what type of marketing, what type of leadership style we look at gen Z, we're looking for empowerment and inspiration.

Mark Hummel: We're looking for digital and real time on demand for marketing. And the reason those are such an interesting correlation is obviously empowering means self service. As soon as we think about that you know, the opportunity for a gen Z person to really be self service, not maybe in their job search, which we'll talk about a little bit more, but in everything beyond that, they want the recruiter touch, but they want to be able to use the recruiter when they need the recruiter and be able to self service when they want to self service.

Mark Hummel: And certainly generation alpha is going to be an extreme piece for that where we'll see probably even more craving for self-service fidget spinners, probably a pretty relatable, iconic toy for them with the attention span. So, what does all that mean? As far as let's put some numbers behind this and give you guys some insight into what the candidate is saying?

Mark Hummel: So that same survey that we talked about 4,000 clients that we interviewed about what are their challenges, what are they thinking about the market this year did the same thing for the first time. This year on the talent side, and the talent had some really interesting things to say about working with recruiters in that recruiter experience.

Mark Hummel: So first off 66% have a very favorable opinion of working with recruiters and 70% say that they want human interactions during the job search process that tells us they absolutely want to work with recruiters. See the value of working with recruiters and that's here to stay. So this is by no means a new generation that doesn't need human interaction.

Mark Hummel: That is still very much here. But they're craving a better way of getting that human interaction. So one of the pieces, 50% have said that they've given up on a job search because the processes took too long. We've got some other research as well that says that there's a heavy burden on the amount of inefficiency that they've experienced back and forth.

Mark Hummel: They have experience with recruiters. Again, just wanting to have the information when they want the information and be able to do with it, what they need to do with it. 93% of workers say that these online talent platforms that we've all heard of, the fibers and the Upworks actually offer a way more streamlined, better platform experience.

Mark Hummel: That being said, they would still rather work with a recruiter. So they're craving some of those pieces, that digital experience, but they still want human interaction. It's just more that they want it on demand when they want it. And a lot of these pieces, again, we'll talk a little bit deeper about this as we get into kind of the flow and how some of this has changed for our larger clients.

Mark Hummel: But a lot of this is they want that interaction upfront, that relationship build that nurturing through a job search. And they really want to be able to self service deeper and deeper into the process. And so when we say that their expectations have shifted again, 90% say that they want it during the job search itself 93% are still looking at that online platform of the rent, the ratings for the employer, the visibility into where they're at in the job process as well as you know, the visibility into how their profile stacks up against their competition.

Mark Hummel: So all of these pieces seem to give us a really interesting look at what that digital experience could look like. And certainly, I think most of us have felt this as we've seen this change, certainly over the years, that job comes out, how do I reach out to them? We all have our best methods for whether I'm going to reach out via email.

Mark Hummel: I'm going to search for people for LinkedIn and send LinkedIn messages. I'm going to reach out via the phone. This. Tell us that there is no one size fits all. There is no one right answer for that first reach out to a candidate. The fact that we see 38% want to first reach out to be email, actually somewhat tells us that they want some anonymity and some availability to maybe not to ignore that request.

Mark Hummel: So again, the true omni-channel approach is going to be what wins this process. And that kind of has led us to our initial thought on this. And you might've seen some of you who attended Bullhorn engage or some of the other conferences that we've attended. This has been very much our talking point in the last few of these, but I'm going to give a little bit of a twist into what we've learned on this.

Mark Hummel: So we've always said, and Larry said it really well yesterday in his session that Upwork and Fiverr. Really racing to become more traditional staffing firms because they have that great platform already. And all they need to do is figure out a way to give the personal touch and all the service pieces that we have staffing firms.

Mark Hummel: And then of course become an employer of record and all the technical back office stuff as well. And that staffing firms are racing to see if they can transform themselves digitally so that they don't get their business taken away by the Upworks and fibers that had always been kind of how we looked at that race to the middle as we called it.

Mark Hummel: But now what we're seeing is it's not so much about the Upworks and the fibers being our immediate threat immediate competition. It is. Recruiters still very much want to work with staffing firms and want to work with recruiters. So it's more about how we race to the middle against our own competitors in the market.

Mark Hummel: So staffing firms at an increasing clip are bringing in outside perspectives on digital transformation on candidate experience. And we're starting to see, now, a lot of polling and interaction with candidates to understand better how they want to interact with the firms. And so now we're seeing this race, the middle actually between staffing firms and staffing firms of everybody's trying to figure out how they're digitizing quickly enough to make their experience permeate to more and more candidates and attract more candidates into this pool and engage with them and retain them.

Mark Hummel: So when you look at your own candidate experience, how does that stack up to your expectation of a digital experience today? I say you were expecting a digital experience because as I'm sure it's no mystery to everybody on this call, we have digital experiences all around us. Our world has become an on demand, digital experience.

Mark Hummel: You can order groceries. Certainly the well overused Uber example banking, all of these pieces are on demand. We talk to somebody when we want to, when we got to cancel our plane ticket, I probably don't call American airlines. I will probably do it in the app and just reschedule it. So one of my favorite examples, and again I'll steal this from our friends at Insight global is to think about the modern home buying experience, because a lot of what we talk about in digital experiences today the easy way to dismiss some of that would be well, those are small time decisions, small time purchases buy don't get a great experience with a person, for my ability to order groceries for a hundred dollars.

Mark Hummel: I probably just won't use that service again. Well, buying a home would arguably be one of the biggest experiences that we see you know, anybody pursuing a, certainly a big expense and think about that process today. It used to be that your real estate agent would shepherd you through this entire journey.

Mark Hummel: They would be the ones that show you the houses that they think you'd be most interested in seeing. They obviously walk you through the houses and they go all the way through closing. But today, most real estate agents are there again, when you need them, you're searching for your own houses on Zillow and realtor.com.

Mark Hummel: You're sending them to your real estate agent and telling them I'd like to go see this house, please. They're doing a great job, unlocking the door and maybe giving some additional expertise on this is a great school district, or this is a great resale market, et cetera, but you're really using them for that market knowledge more than you're using them for the little odds and end pieces that you use them for in the past.

Mark Hummel: And then certainly. We get it into the onboarding process or in this case, the actual purchase process, you're seeing a lot of automation come into play here with most of these large realtor firms. So they're automating when you need to sign certain documents, automating, when you need to accept certain disclosures, all of that process just kind of streams to you and you pick it up and do with it what you want with an on-demand facility.

Mark Hummel: And so all these different mediums are used. All of this is on demand and your agent's just kind of there to give the expertise when you want it. And that's really how we see a lot of staffing firms starting to win. As they think about this new digitized candidate experience. Because the secret to success that we're seeing on these experiences is obviously they have to be multi-channel engagement.

Mark Hummel: But the big piece to the multichannel is it's great that you can text and you can email and you can send stuff through an app. You can be there when the candidate, where the candidate wants you to be, but you have to use automation and AI to know where the candidate wants you to be for each of those phases.

Mark Hummel: And then that gives the candidate the ability to self service. So if we start learning from their behaviors, learning from their preferences of when they want to interact with what forms of medium, and we can serve that up in a self-service fashion, we're seeing a lot of candidates again, harking back to the online platforms like the Fiverr and the Upworks.

Mark Hummel: A lot of candidates appreciate that ability to, on demand, do what they want when they want to. And so this new experience, obviously we need to build these loyal candidates and workers because those jobs are sitting there waiting to be filled, who can have the most robust, most engaged candidate pipeline is really the name of the game today.

Mark Hummel: The increased redeployment. This is an interesting one for us, because again, as we study statistics across those of our clients who do track redeployment, even though the the number of jobs that have gone remote have increased, and that should then imply that you now have a national talent pool to service those, which means that redeployment should be easier because you should be able to suggest a lot more jobs to each candidate.

Mark Hummel: We still haven't seen a boom in redeployment that matches the boom in remote work. So an opportunity, you know, sits there for us to be able to serve up the right jobs on a national scale before anybody rolls off of their assignment. And, you know, certainly reducing operation costs, job board spend, they always hear the stats of how many candidates could have been found in your applicant tracking system.

Mark Hummel: But the first step seems to be to go out to the job boards in this process, this digital experience really makes sure that we utilize what's in our database first. Utilize what's in our database every time. So that we can still go out to the LinkedIns, the monsters and career builders. But in the background we're using the candidates that we have to the best of our ability.

Mark Hummel: And so what does that process kind of look like? So if we have a product called Bullhorn connect, but if we think about this, just in any digital talent platform, what needs to happen is you need to be able to access every phase of this process and interaction with the candidate in one seamless end to end experience.

Mark Hummel: So. You'd be able to nurture that talent pool for sure. With multi-channel engagement things like, you know, sending out great newsletters or industry blogs targeted specifically to the candidate based on what their roles are, their skill sets, et cetera. We also need to serve up those smart jobs to them.

Mark Hummel: So keep them consistently engaged to come back and look at the jobs that you have available. In that same interface and that same multi-channel approach, you need to be able to, once you get a candidate, really excited about a role to be able to let them fast and easily apply to that role and engage them throughout the application process with, again, the channels of which they prefer to work with, you know, same can be said for every additional stage in this, the hiring process, the new hire piece you know, attracting or keeping your consultants engaged and active.

Mark Hummel: But then I think, again, the biggest piece here, these last to the end of assignment and the alumni engagement, how do we automatically make sure that everybody in your organization is aware of candidates rolling off of assignment, but also that those candidates are actively being marketed, additional opportunities as they, you know, near the end of that assignment and this entire platform. Looks and feels like one seamless way to interact with you as a staffing firm. And certainly on all of these pieces, giving them the opportunity to text you and call you is still there, but they have one centralized dashboard to kind of understand where they stand in the process. And we're going to show you what this can look like on our platform today.

Mark Hummel: But if we look at it again, what this architecture needs to be is basically everything that you're doing in your applicant tracking systems. So you're looking at, you know, the jobs that you recommend, the job search, the managing of your candidates profiles you know, all the way through to tracking their time.

Mark Hummel: Getting their feedback on positions, all of that stuff today probably lives in your applicant tracking system, but the candidate can't access that directly in many cases. And that's where this connected product that Bullhorn has brought to the market addresses. It gives the candidate the view into the things that you want them to see and interact with about their own profile, about you know, within their applicant tracking system record.

Mark Hummel: So giving you multi-channel communication, but serving up the pieces that they need through automation and AI, and being able to self-service everything from selecting a job, you know, managing, updating their profile, adding a new resume all the way through to submitting time and getting paid all in one platform.

Mark Hummel: And so let's take a look at what that actually looks like in a flow for a candidate. How does the candidate interact for you? So, again, it starts with this talent nurturing piece. If we look at you know, a candidate that's in your ATS today, and maybe it's dormant haven't, we haven't talked to them in 90 days, we haven't placed them in, you know, six months.

Mark Hummel: However you think of, you know, candidate that needs to be a refresher, let's say you want to build some automated campaigns around reaching out to them, engaging with them, giving them industry specific content that works for their job, their title, et cetera, and keeping in mind different ways that they want to be interacted with.

Mark Hummel: All of these different pieces can be kind of automated into a drip campaign. We've heard a lot of our clients say something pretty interesting on this portion of it, especially our larger clients. This is shifted more to the job of the chief marketing officer or someone within the marketing department, because much like HubSpot revolutionized inbound marketing for an entire industry.

Mark Hummel: We're really starting to see staffing and recruiting, being more of an inbound marketing industry as well. How do we get the candidates that we already have access to their information, being interested in talking to us versus us chasing them down with phone calls specifically when we have a role available for them.

Mark Hummel: And so this type of engagement, you know, this nurturing continues through data health as well. So we started getting some engagement from them and we started seeing that they're checking these emails that we're sending out. Now it's time for us to ask them for, you know, some pieces of information.

Mark Hummel: Is this still the correct working title? Is this still your resume? Is this still your next available start date? All these pieces can be asked from the candidate or to the candidate and an email and the text and that information should flow back to your applicant tracking system to update the records automatically.

Mark Hummel: And all of this, again, through text messages to, let's say that at some point in this process they're actually open to having a conversation and they want to have a chat with a recruiter and they text back in this automated process that they'd love to set up a time to talk. The recruiters should be able to seamlessly see the interaction with the candidates, having throughout this journey and step in at any point to give that human touch as well.

Mark Hummel: So again, for example, having this a text message, be able to be grabbed, assigned to that recruiter and the recruiter setting up some time for them to chat about those next steps and that continues into the registration. So we think about now they've had all this interaction with us as a brand.

Mark Hummel: They've seen that first role that they want to apply themselves for. Amy, actually from CHG, on yesterday's session had a really good point that it's a very delicate balance of how much information do we ask for and how much information do we save for later because we want to keep the candidate engaged and get them into our system and start working with us.

Mark Hummel: But we also need all of this data at some point. So we're seeing, you know, that strategy looks something like let's just grab the first level of information that we need, like name and contact information as they go and tell us that they're interested for a job. So that can start with just, Hey, you know, give us this information.

Mark Hummel: You've now been put into this mobile platform that you're able to look at jobs, get jobs suggested to you. And all you had to do was give us some basic pieces of contact information. And as you start looking through our jobs and you want to apply for some of them more specifically, then we'll ask you specific questions on those positions, all in an automated fashion.

Mark Hummel: So again, an example here via email, thanks for your interest in the position. And we're going to send you some knockout questions to review, you know, if you'd be good. And then we keep this going. And Larry again from Insight Global mentioned yesterday, that long gone are the days where we are saying this candidate is only getting submitted to one role in the tech and finance fields that used to always be the thing we'd be.

Mark Hummel: We'd be making sure that we're good partners to our clients and say you exclusively have access to this candidate. We've submitted them nowhere else, but really. Again, with a national talent search, the opportunity is to give this candidate access to all the jobs that they'd be the right fit for and let them kind of self-service their way through what jobs they want to apply for.

Mark Hummel: So within that same experience, giving them access to, you know, consistently see the jobs that they might be a good fit for and all the way through, up throughout the process until they get to, you know, an actual hiring stage at which case, obviously you likely wouldn't want to keep recommending the new jobs as they're on assignment, but all of that can be done, you know, during the new application process.

Mark Hummel: And then as you move into the hiring process, we're seeing, again, this continues to be a great spot for automating the touch points that aren't the huge value adds of personal touch. So just a reminder that you have an interview coming up again, that information probably lives in your Applicant Tracking System today.

Mark Hummel: And you can make an automation be able to look at that date and reach out to them via text, via email, via this mobile portal, whatever makes the most sense for that candidate and these pieces. Again, we look at onboarding is probably the number one spot where our candidate data tells us that while they appreciate the human touch of a recruiter and the ability to give industry specific guidance as a recruiter, the understanding of their onboarding documents and walking through that process, isn't necessarily where they want, you know, somebody over their shoulder.

Mark Hummel: So being able to say here is, know, you're certainly your eye nines and all of these pieces as they're going into the actual new hire onboarding process. But maybe even earlier in the process asking for the resume or asking for additional certifications all of those pieces can be, you know, kind of put into this one experience that they can self service, that information whenever they need to.

Mark Hummel: So certainly if we look at health care area where we have, you know, credentials and licenses that are needed for pretty much every position or in our more regulated industries, like, you know, government, et cetera, you know, those pieces, all of this can be collected via one interface, one experience from the candidates point of view, and be flowing back into the app and tracking system and notifying the recruiter of the completion of all these pieces.

Mark Hummel: I think one of them. Again, most interesting pieces too, as we think about that process that we have today of where does the candidate go to fill out each one of these documents today, we send them through, here's your you know, log in to look at jobs. Here's your login to look at onboarding and fill out your onboarding documents.

Mark Hummel: Now for this client, we actually have to use this background check provider. So you'll have this log in for this background check provider. And then if they need to go back and do anything in any of those systems, they need to remember which logging it was and the kind very friction very friction-heavy end-to end process.

Mark Hummel: And so that's what we're looking at. Initiating background checks within the same platform, you know, clicking into this and immediately being directed to your background check and your background check provider. That's specific to that client that you're onboarding them for and having again, one login across all these platforms.

Mark Hummel: One experience really elevates you as a brand too. And now you've got them hired. You got them through that entire process. And you've got a lot of stuff that you still want to keep in communication with them on. And certainly, you know, there's going to be the human check-ins too, of how was the first day, you know, give me any information that you need for us to help you with the, you know, day number two or the rest of the assignment.

Mark Hummel: But a lot of these other pieces can be, you know, automations that reach out to the candidate or automations that present something to the candidate in this mobile portal that they can interact with. So things like in certain industries, setting your work preferences, you know, maybe it's a shift that you are most interested in or selecting a shift for future shifts, et cetera.

Mark Hummel: Assignments start reminders. So certainly in this candidate driven candidate, short market, we see, you know, an increase in ghosting on that first day. You'd be amazed at how many successful clients of RC. Having an automated reminder that lets the candidate know that today's your first day, here's the information you need to know about the job, et cetera.

Mark Hummel: And that can be done via automation too. You know, an email or texts, but certainly if we're keeping them all within this one experience, they might look at you know, something like the screenshot on the right here, getting the map directly to the facility, et cetera, all of those pieces available in a mobile fashion since that's what their preferences digest.

Mark Hummel: And then that first day of arrival check-in is interesting because it doesn't have to just be, Hey, how was the first day? But we're starting to see a lot of use of, you know, that NPS score. For how was the first day, how was your experience with us as a staffing firm up to this point? Or how is your experience with the client that we've put you on site with?

Mark Hummel: And all of those different scores can be kind of factored back into your applicant tracking system. And again, if we start to think about transparency and that being a desire that the candidate has, especially with working with those, you know, Fiverr and Upwork systems, this data can start to really give a picture for you know, what candidates think about working for a certain client of yours or what clients think about a certain candidates.

Mark Hummel: And you can start to use these scores and how you rank the candidates in your searches as well, which we'll talk a little bit more about. But then certainly as we get to, they are an active consultant. They're working for us onsite with a client or remotely with a client, I guess, so it is more likely we can do these automated check-ins as well.

Mark Hummel: The, you know, certainly how was the first day, but how, you know, how has the first three weeks of your assignment been? Was there anything that we didn't prepare you for, that we should prepare the next person for? How likely are you to go back and work for this employer? Again, if another contract arises, et cetera.

Mark Hummel: But then these other pieces that we think about again, how many different systems do we send a candidate to, to capture their time, capture their expenses? Are they going to the VMS? Are they using our own proprietary time capture tool? That's another log in somewhere where they're punching on a clock.

Mark Hummel: You know, if we can bring all this and streamline it through. This one interface is one experience and they don't have to remember a bunch of different passwords to accomplish just punching in and out every day, a huge boost again, in that candidate experience. And then one of the things we're seeing as we partner with some of these, especially as we partner with some of these daily pay providers today is being able to review your pay and maybe getting cashed out on your pay at the end of a shift.

Mark Hummel: So certainly we see the precedent for this with a snap nurse within healthcare. There are also plenty of light industrial firms in the hospitality firms that are starting to experience, you know, daily pay providers where you finished your shift for that day and can cash out your paycheck, just like you could, if you were an Uber driver at the end of your shift.

Mark Hummel: And that experience going through one application is probably one of the most sticky experiences you can have to be first firm there thinking about when it's time for them to redeploy to another place. And so then again my favorite part, and I say that somewhat unenthusiastic sometimes, because it's, it is such an opportunity for us, for a redeployment is that end of assignment, as we're nearing the end of that assignment, how do we get the candidate engaged with us again, certainly if we've lost any engagement, but how do we give them job recommendations for what their next assignment is?

Mark Hummel: So that they're thinking about us for their next assignment instead of you know, the next staffing firm now that we're all working on a very similar playbook of jobs, we know that, you know, we have. Every ability to redeploy them depends on the national pool of jobs that we have, but also, so do many of our competitors who have the same types of positions and who probably have this candidate sitting in their database as well, and are actively reaching out to figure out what their next statuses are.

Mark Hummel: And we also can certainly get, know, these NPS scores. But I think the big thing we've talked about NPS scores, the big thing is how we act on those automatically as well. So how do we turn a great NPS score into a request for a referral? So thanks for the 9 or 10. I'm glad that you, you know, enjoy working with us as a staffing firm, or enjoy working with this client.

Mark Hummel: Is there anybody else that you guys would feel good about introducing us to, for their next opportunity? Certainly 7 or 8, you could do something like solicit feedback, ask them for, you know, more information of what was not perfect about the assignment or what was not great about working with us as a firm and certainly anything less than the 7.

Mark Hummel: We can alert people, you know, alert the recruiter. We can alert the management of the staffing firm. All of these pieces should be kind of baked into one automated process so that we're not just grabbing information from the talent that we work with, but we're also getting real action capabilities out of the back end.

Mark Hummel: And then if we look at them again, now there are alumni, maybe we weren't able to place them towards the end of this. Very similar to that initial talent nurturing process, right? We're ongoing. We're going to try to engage with them or try to connect with them, put jobs in front of them. So that we're the first firm they're thinking about because we all know that the cost of candidate acquisition is high.

Mark Hummel: Thinking about how much we had to work to get them onto that first assignment. The hope is that we can kind of double down on that reputation and that relationship that we have with them and continue to be, you know, where they're coming back to for jobs. So that was the recruiter's view of this whole process.

Mark Hummel: Again, lots of things happening in that view, lots of moving parts. But if we think about the process today, those moving parts happen in a lot of different systems. And they're kind of at our, on our demand as a staffing firm as to what system they go into versus the recruiter, or excuse me, versus the candidates.

Mark Hummel: So now we've given the candidate the choice to interact with us when you want, how you want, as on demand as you want. But what does the staffing firm's view of that process look like? Well, the great thing is that now we freed up so much time because we've automated so many of the lower end touch points or less pertinent, less value added touchpoints that the recruiter can really focus on.

Mark Hummel: Again, building that relationship. So if we start just with the job being received, then go back to the initial premise here of VMS jobs. They're coming in like crazy. We've got more VMS jobs than we've ever had before. As these jobs come in, do we still work them? Like we work a traditional retail position. Do we still see recruiters or excuse me, account managers getting this job and shooting a text to a group of a couple of recruiters or waiting for allocations at the end of the day.

Mark Hummel: Or maybe sending an email blast to their whole office, but it's to their office. Or is there some better way for us to make sure that we immediately, as soon as we get a job, look at the entire database and start you know, working a process around a global talent pool or a national talent pool instead of a local one.

Mark Hummel: And that's the first piece that we see in some of these examples here is that job comes out. You get the notification yes. From the VMS that a job exists. But what if at the same time you're getting a notification from your Applicant Tracking System. And it's saying, we see that this job just appeared.

Mark Hummel: We've actually already matched these five candidates, these 10 candidates. And we've automatically reached out to them to gauge their level of interest in this position. And so you walk into the office in the morning, which is five steps away. Cause you go from your kitchen to your here, to your office now instead of across town, like we used to but you get, you sit down at your desk, you open up the computer.

Mark Hummel: You've probably already seen some of these come across in your phone, but now you're opening your computer. And you're saying, I have four jobs that came in since this morning and I've already got candidates that have been reached out to, for all these positions. And we take that action a step further by saying it's not just that we've reached out to them, but we've been active in how we've reached out to them.

Mark Hummel: So the next phase of this, and especially if we look at VMS positions are national positions, strategic positions. We all know what the knockout questions are for this. We know what the VMS asks us. We know this specific client, because we've had hundreds of roles for them, probably hundreds of roles with similar titles, from similar hiring managers.

Mark Hummel: We know what the questions are and what they're looking for. Yes. We can ask them over the phone, but that back and forth that, Hey, I forgot to ask you this one question that the account manager wanted me to ask you. Let me give you another call and make sure that this one piece is correct. If we just put that all into one streamlined process and made it on demand for the candidate, I think there'd be a real uplift in their willingness to give us that information.

Mark Hummel: So here that you know, we just reached out to this candidate that we saw the email of the five candidates we reached out to. And as they select a yes, that they're interested in hearing more about this position. So the email again, generically gives them a, we've got a client there you know, offering remote work for this type of position.

Mark Hummel: Maybe you even put the pay rate in there because we've done some auto calculations off the bill rate if seeing some cool stuff down there too, but they've selected, they're interested. They want to understand more. And we invite them into these just really straightforward, really quick knockout questions that come to them from their phone on their phone, in a text message.

Mark Hummel: They click the link, they open it up and they get asked a few knockout questions that they would be asked normally over the phone. Are you eligible to work in the US?Yes. Have you worked for this company before? No. Are you familiar with angular JS or you worked within, in a different position? Yes. 

Mark Hummel: What about the skill set here? Yes. Have you had some experience developing mobile applications? Absolutely. Cool. Well then when would you be available to start. And these questions are all questions that came directly out of the VMS system because this specific client asks this question for every type of this type of role every time.

Mark Hummel: And so now we've filled all those knockout questions out as a candidate. And as we close out of that, we're dropped right back on the staffing firms website. So your website, see other open positions to maybe go select to build your profile with us, et cetera. But the great thing is we've answered all of those questions.

Mark Hummel: All of that has immediately come back and is in our applicant tracking systems. We're not duplicating the effort of reaching out, missing some of this information, missing some of it in the note, et cetera. That's all come back to us and we've now also tracked that once they landed on our website, what did they do from there?

Mark Hummel: How did they interact with us as a brand? Once they were on our website, did they look at other jobs? Did you know, interacting with this blog, all of those pieces, once they've kind of entered the website through an automation can be tracked and formed again into automations that you can have with the candidate.

Mark Hummel: And so again, we look at the recruiting process of this, that candidate has filled out that five question survey that took them, you know, 35 seconds to read all the questions and answer them. And now we've got real actionable insights in our app and tracking system. We know when we looked at the job, these are the candidates that were automatically reached out to, but these were the candidates that have already engaged in have already, you know, given us answers on these questions and they qualify based on the knockout questions.

Mark Hummel: We also have this engagement score. That's really interesting, certainly from a you know, let's say you ask for a hundred matches and we reach out to a hundred matches and you get 40 of them back as interested and qualified. The engagements were, give us some understanding of how likely they are to pick up the phone if you call them.

Mark Hummel: Cause that tells us how much they have interacted with us as a brand, through all of our different content that we've nurtured them with, but then certainly the role of the recruiter searching for jobs. Isn't going away. That's still a huge, valuable asset. We all have the recruiter, certainly in our office that every time a new hire gets strained, you're going to send them to that person because they're going to teach them how to write Boolean and they're gonna teach them how to do it in Monster, how to do it and Career Builder, how to do it in Bullhorn.

Mark Hummel: How do you search for this exact candidate with every keyword and every action capability within a Boolean search that you want, that doesn't go anywhere because you're still not going to just have all of these handed to you on a silver platter, as much as we'd love to say that technology solves at all.

Mark Hummel: So now you're looking in your database, you find this search with your perfect Boolean match. You're looking at a list of candidates that you know would be good for the job, but you don't know from looking at if any of them are likely to pick up the phone. You're probably searching through notes.

Mark Hummel: Seeing when the last time was that they worked with you. You know, any type of engagement that you can figure out to see, Hey, how do I enter myself into this conversation? But what if you could just click the drop down in your list view and say of the candidates that are a good fit. Who's been the most engaged with us as a brand over the last 90 days.

Mark Hummel: And that engagement score that you see on the screen here tells you just that. So it tells you essentially who's most likely to engage with you because they have engaged with you most going on going into the past. So they have a recollection of who you are as a brand. They have an understanding of maybe a recruiter that they've worked with.

Mark Hummel: All those pieces are prime signals for you to reach out to them because they're going to be most likely to interact back with you for a role. So again, it doesn't go away that we have to search the database for jobs. What we're the, we had to pull candidates certainly from LinkedIn and Monster, and Indeed, but the hope is that your candidates within your database, that you've been actively nurturing.

Mark Hummel: Now have some ability to be scored on how much they've interacted with you as well. And then that contractor took care of the piece as well. So if we go back into thinking about this as you're the recruiter, we have candidates that are on site. You know, you want to remind them certainly on all those first day check-ins that we talked about, have the candidate give you some additional information?

Mark Hummel: One that's been particularly relevant now is that COVID related health feedback check. So being able to, again, roster. On you know, if they've been in contact with somebody in the last 14 days, if they are actually going on site, but all of those pieces are automated and the important part about it and why we still want to talk about it in the recruiter experience is that while the recruiter doesn't have to do anything, to get all of these pieces out to the candidate, they're getting the feedback from all of that back into the candidates record.

Mark Hummel: So as they're interacting with us about the first day check-in, if they give us a crazy bad school or tell us that they didn't find the cider, you know, anything like that, it can immediately escalate to the recruiter and an action can be made for them to reach out to the candidate. So we're getting all the insights from this, but we also aren't getting all of the noise and all of the you know, manual constraints of having to actually make the phone call, write the email, you know, probably the same email that we've written a hundred times as we've had starts over the years to these candidates.

Mark Hummel: Instead, we're just getting the, how do I help you with whatever comes out of that. And then certainly the redeployment piece. So again, we talked about, you know, wanting to reach out to the candidate, let them know that we have other opportunities, but think about the data integrity piece of this too. How many times have you moved candidates through this process?

Mark Hummel: Do we not change their availability from available to on assignment or available to placed automation should do all of that for you, as they, as we're going through this process, we should automatically change all of those to make sure that your candidate database is up to date and in sync at where the candidates at, in the life cycle, but at the same thing, as the contract's coming to an end, we switched that availability from on assignment to open to roles or whatever the, your equivalent for that is within your firm, because you want to be able to give account managers or anybody else who's searching your database.

Mark Hummel: The understanding that, because their contract's coming to an end, they should now be considered in all of these searches that everybody else is trying. And you want to reach out to the sales contacts to gather this information proactively. I love this one because how many times have we sat in a room or now virtually on a call with our recruiting and account management teams and a recruiter has asked the account manager such and such as assignments coming to an end.

Mark Hummel: Do we know if they're getting extended and sales, you crap, I need to call that person real quick. I will let you know, as soon as I get some information from them, what if after they've reached a certain level of that assignment, we automatically sent an email, a text to the hiring manager to ask if this person was going to be extended or to set up a Calendly invite, to chat with their account manager, all of that happening automatically so that we don't have to wait for the end report to come out you know, every week, every month and review that as a group, we're all proactively taking action on these stages.

Mark Hummel: And certainly as we proactively are taking action on this, as soon as the hiring manager responds that no, actually they're not going to extend it. They will end their assignment at the, you know, six month mark at the year mark, let's say we're going to immediately put this candidate into that re-engagement campaign, giving them active or jobs that are tailored specifically to their experience so that they can, again, self-select they click on this job.

Mark Hummel: It notifies the recruiter that, that owns their account, that this candidate has been engaged and interested in this position and kicks off this whole cycle again, of how do we get them redeployed. So we should start to see as we have this national talent pool and this national job pool redeployment rates start to really increase as we get more proficient in the process of working with these candidates.

Mark Hummel: I think again, we touched on this a little bit, but the hygiene throughout the entire process. So keeping those statuses up to date as they move from one status to another, obviously certainly keeping the job status up to date is something that we're doing already, but how do we keep the candidate status up to date and then gathering that feedback from the onsite.

Mark Hummel: How was there, how was this hiring manager or how was this company to work for? How are we as a company to work for all of those pieces should be fed back into your applicant tracking system and getting feedback means that we should escalate anything that is again, outside of our acceptable parameters.

Mark Hummel: So how do we immediately take action when there's a problem that's brought to our attention. And so that's the experience from both sides, knowing that we have five minutes, I'm going to kind of get into a little bit of the fun part, which is the blockers. Because that is often the question that we get is it sounds like as a staffing firm, we know the data, we see the data ourselves.

Mark Hummel: Hopefully we have, you know, the data from every job that we get from every VMS in our system already, because we're already automating it. That's why we're talking about the VMS process remastered, because hopefully at this point with everyone looking at digital transformation, including our buyers, our clients, as a firm, hopefully we're looking at digital transformation as table stakes, right?

Mark Hummel: So we know we have every job in the system and we know that we need the candidates data to be accurate. But then what would be the blockers for us to be able to deploy a process like this? Well, unfortunately the one first piece that we've run into, especially when we look at the AI matching that the bull horn product does specifically, but really any AI matching that you might utilize is the ATS data quality.

Mark Hummel: Your matches are only as good as the data quality. If you don't have things like categories or skills accurately filled out for the majority of your database, you don't have them in the right geographic location or have the right previous job titles in those fields. We can only, or any AI service can only match as well as the data that you have cleansed in your system.

Mark Hummel: And so that's why we always say the first step to this really. And one all-inclusive step at the first step in this process is how do you cleanse that data? Again, we would suggest in a semi-automated fashion as much as possible and in a self-service fashion. So cool. We have candidates that don't have the required skills checked on their profile, but we actually see that they've been decently engaged with our content.

Mark Hummel: Why don't we put every candidate who's been engaged, who doesn't have this piece of data into a campaign where we automatically reach out to them via text. And we asked them to check their most relevant skills. And when they select those skills, they immediately come back into the applicant tracking system. And now without a recruiter having to do anything, we have a much more cleanse data set on our applicant pool.

Mark Hummel: So as we bring up that data quality, we're going to start to see better opportunities for us as an industry to leverage AI and automation which will lead us to even more prosperous ability to just focus on the relationship piece. New tech, old process. This is a fun conversation that we have, especially with our larger national brands.

Mark Hummel: Again, we looked at VMS and we've talked about for a while that this needs to have at least a portion of it centralized. We've heard it is obviously called retail business or brick and mortar business versus your VMS and strategic business. But we still have requisitions that flow into an account manager's inbox, who is in your Boston, Massachusetts office.

Mark Hummel: And they put it in the ATS when when they get a chance to cause they're out on site, they're busy making other introductions, making other relationships. And then by the time it gets into the system, it's maybe only tagged to a certain group of recruiters or to a certain office. And the visibility there suffers, obviously.

Mark Hummel: So you miss the opportunity for the cross subs international process. So now we're starting to see a, and Larry mentioned this yesterday Insight Global's process around this as well is that you really have a national head of most of these strategic relationships. If somebody was thinking about my relationship with this farm tech company, you know, holistically across the nation, and they have contacts with the account managers and recruiters across all offices, because some positions will come out that will be market specific because they'll be required to be on site.

Mark Hummel: And that market probably has the majority of candidates for it, but other positions as they come out, want to be advertised to the entirety of your recruiting network. So all of your recruiters across all of your offices, and certainly the auto match helps with that because imagine being a recruiter and you come in and you're getting a message that says.

Mark Hummel: I have a perfect or you have a job that's perfect for this candidate. Meaning, that's an optimal way to get your commission check is to just be told that this candidate just needs to be reached out to, and you're good to go. And then, you know, certainly communicating the benefit to recruiting and sales.

Mark Hummel: Let's say that the last big piece of this pie is recruiting, letting sales understand that this process and this automation growth that we're going through is only going to benefit them because it takes away the minutiae of their job. And they only have to think about how great that relationship can be with the candidate, how great that relationship can be with the client.

Mark Hummel: So in a truly automated fashion, right? At 10:30, we are through the entirety of that. I know there's a ton of questions, a lot of great feedback. Hopefully the team at Bullhorn here that's joined has been able to answer some of those, but I will certainly speak with Jan to get those questions off the platform.

Mark Hummel: Want to thank Jan and the team for allowing us to come and speak with everyone. And certainly if any of you guys have any questions or want to do any followup, you can find me on LinkedIn again, Mark Hummel at Bullhorn. We appreciate you guys joining and have a great rest of the conference.


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