[Podcast] Kortney Harmon Keynote | The Relevant Recruiter Show – Scaling Recruitment Efficiency: Integrating Tools for Better Outcomes

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Show notes

In this episode, Kortney Harmon, joins Donnie Gupton on The Relevant Recruiter Show where we’ll delve into the dynamic world of recruitment, exploring the myriad tools and platforms that recruiters from job boards and LinkedIn to virtual interview platforms and social media. We’ll tackle the critical issue of visibility in recruiters’ activities and how it correlates with productivity, commission, and the ability to scale your organization.

Join us as we discuss the transformative power of technology integration, particularly the importance of syncing your phone systems with your ATS for streamlined operations. We’ll explore the impact of AI on the recruiting industry, the balance between technology and human interaction, and the multi-channel outreach approach crucial for warming up prospects. Whether you’re grappling with process improvements or looking for ways to leverage data-driven decision-making, this episode is packed with actionable insights.

Follow Donnie Gumption on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/donnie-gupton/
Listen to The Relevant Recruiter Show: https://open.spotify.com/show/0pCksvchbNe8tnPCeurK5c
Follow Crelate on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/crelate/


Kortney Harmon [00:00:01]:
Hi, I’m Kortney Harmon, director of industry relations at Crelate. Over the past decade, I’ve trained thousands of frontline recruiters and I’ve worked with hundreds of business owners and executives to help their firms and agencies grow. This is the full desk Experience, a crew late original podcast where we will be talking about growth blockers across your people, processes and technologies. Welcome to another episode of the full Desk experience welcome back to the full desk experience on today’s show. I’m so excited to share the conversation I recently had with Donnie Gupton. When I was a guest on the relevant recruiter podcast, we went into depth with what’s holding recruiting firms back today. From true scalability, we dove into the power of process improvements to dramatically enhance efficiency and true growth. During our conversation, we talked about actionable strategies for overcoming those common bottlenecks like outdated processes, procedures and technology gaps.

Kortney Harmon [00:01:11]:
You’ll learn how to leverage tools for true performance insights beyond just the vanity metrics. More importantly, we talked about the blueprint for identifying and eliminating operational efficiencies across your entire workflow. Whether you’re struggling to source top talent, streamline process, or simply just want more of a data driven approach, this session is packed with invaluable insights. Let’s get started. Thanks so much, Donnie, for the amazing.

Donnie Gupton [00:01:39]:
Conversation live episode of the relevant recruiter show. Today we’ve got a special guest, Kortney Harmon, and Kortney is the director of industry relations at Crelate as well as the host of the full Desk experience podcast. And today we’re going to dig into streamlining for scale. The critical process fixes your recruiting firm needs. So if you’re in the process and you’re thinking about scaling right now, this is the right episode for you. As we get this thing going, make sure to go give us a like go in the comments. Let us know that you can hear us. We would appreciate that and please be interactive with us today.

Donnie Gupton [00:02:12]:
Feel free to ask any questions to Kortney as we get into this podcast. Now, Kortney has over 15 years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry and she’s established herself as a highly regarded thought leader, dynamic speaker, and respected industry principal in the staffing and recruiting field. She has over a decade of experience. She’s a true trusted advisor empowering professionals and organizations to achieve remarkable growth. And as the host of the full desk experience, she facilitates engaging workshops where participants can directly interact with her and gain invaluable insights. I was just on the podcast last week. It was excellent. Looking forward to that rolling out.

Donnie Gupton [00:02:51]:
Kortney, thank you for joining me today on the relevant recruiter show.

Kortney Harmon [00:02:55]:
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here, and I’ve been following your content for a while. You have such good things. So I’m here to join the club.

Donnie Gupton [00:03:03]:
Awesome. Well, I’m looking forward to get to know you more. This valuable topic that we’ve got to the table today. We’re going to stay away from college basketball. We talked about this beforehand. Kortney’s not a college basketball fan. I am. Go Wolfpack.

Donnie Gupton [00:03:15]:
Going to the Salt Lake today after this. Go watch the tourney game. But Kortney, give us a little bit of background. We were talking. We both have college athletic backgrounds. Share real quick as we get into this, you know how your college career has helped you in your professional career.

Kortney Harmon [00:03:30]:
You know, I have this discussion with my parents still today because now I have kids and I’m like, I’m competitive at anything now. Tiddly wings. You want to play, you’re going down. That’s just my personality. But according to my mother, I was not that case till that way, till much older. So there’s hope for my children. That’s all I have to say. But, you know, athletics really do a lot of things for a human.

Kortney Harmon [00:03:52]:
You know, you play a part of a team. I was a person that always looked for suggestions on how to better my performance. I was a college pitcher. I was a division one college pitcher, got a full ride. And it was like, it was kind of expected for you to give me feedback or my dad to give me criticism on my no hitter. But my running joke is I could never throw a perfect game without criticism on my no hitter. And it was like. It was like, almost like I just never.

Kortney Harmon [00:04:19]:
It was almost never good enough. And I don’t have that mentality, but it was like, always like, well, tell me more. Tell me what to do to get better. So I think athletics really drove that in me, and I’m here in that way in this world today. I think it’s really made me who I am, my passion for operations and staffing and recruiting firms, and really, the idea of, I’m here to help you get better by tweaking the little things, the foundational things that really make a difference with your overall growth for an organization. So, yep, it’s made me who I am, and I still coach my kids today.

Donnie Gupton [00:04:52]:
Yeah, I love that. I can definitely align with the competitiveness, and I’m still waiting for my kids to crank that up a notch. Although my. My oldest daughter’s definitely on board with that, a little bit more than the younger ones. So what was in the pitching arsenal? We got a fastball. And what else?

Kortney Harmon [00:05:05]:
Fastball. I had two change ups. Screwball, curveball, drop ball, rise ball, drop, curve. Geez, you kind of threw it off there.

Donnie Gupton [00:05:16]:
I like it.

Kortney Harmon [00:05:17]:
It was more speed for me. I was, on average, 68 to 72 was my speed, so I was more known for speed than my breaking pitches.

Donnie Gupton [00:05:25]:
There you go. So tell us a little bit, how’d you get going into your professional journey here in the recruiting industry?

Kortney Harmon [00:05:31]:
You know, it’s a great question. None of us get here because we wanted to be this whenever we were growing up. Through my college career, I went to school to be an educator. I had a passion for helping others learn. Giving back learning did not come easily for me. Whenever I was in school, I had to, like, study with myself before I studied with a smart kid before I took the test. That was just kind of who I was. So I went to school for education, and I came out of that in the whole boom of everybody going back from retirement to go back to find teaching jobs.

Kortney Harmon [00:06:03]:
So I worked at a staffing and recruiting office in the summers of when I was in college there to help people. Lo and behold, I worked for that firm then, you know, 20 years later, but I started in there just by accident and summer jobs because my parents mandated me to get a job. Went. I was an athletic director for a few years. Loved it. But then the school levy failed, and lo and behold, I had actually an ATS experience through a college from that firm that I was working with, and someone recruited me to say, hey, can you come teach my organization how to use the software that you’ve used? And I did, and it was amazing. I loved it. But the competitive nature was like, oh, wow, you can make commissions in this job, and they’re pretty good.

Kortney Harmon [00:06:45]:
I don’t want to do this anymore. I want more. So my drive really kind of pushed me. I ran a desk for almost ten years and then was recruited away to more, like, combined my degree. It was really, like, education and staffing and recruiting. So I actually worked for the MRI network, where I was ahead of their, like, franchise organization, where I was teaching all new franchisees and went to be director of learning and development for a staffing company with ten operating companies underneath, did all of their training, their processes, and now I get to talk to everybody about that. So, lo and behold, it just kind of plays in, and it meshes perfectly with my background from education and staffing and recruiting. They kind of bode well together.

Donnie Gupton [00:07:24]:
Yep, I love it. Now, how did you end up at crelate and what kind of attracted you to them specifically?

Kortney Harmon [00:07:29]:
Yeah, obviously being a process person and really about how you do your work and how people function. Whenever we’re in the staff and recruiting world, we move fast. And it really comes down to I trained people how to use softwares. So whether it was PCR or bullhorn, whatever it was, I was teaching people not only the methodology of how to do their job, but the technology of how to track it correctly and see the return. So I’d used a bunch of systems and it was like the necessary evil. And then I got a chance to look at crelate and it was really functionally, it was easy to use, it was streamlined, it was really focuses on workflow management, which is kind of my gig and my passion. So it really drove me here, and now I get to talk to people for a living about these issues and try to help them succeed. So again, mesh perfectly together.

Donnie Gupton [00:08:20]:
Excellent. So let’s dig into our topic today, which is streamlining for scale. And from your perspective, why do so many recruiting and executive search firms, staffing firms struggle with growth and scalability?

Kortney Harmon [00:08:35]:
You know, there’s a few pieces that go into this facet, but many firms get stuck on this trap of the KPI hamster wheel. You know, we get stuck in this only if you only would make more calls or if you would only do more things, really chasing surface level metrics instead of really focusing on core drivers. What really moves your business forward? I’m a root cause kind of girl. I like to understand the why. I was one of those annoying only children that needed to know the why. This guy was blue concept. It didn’t change as I got older. Hate to break it to you, but it was really why? Why is this the case? But when you got in and you were really in analysis with these organizations, you understood that some of the foundational issues were fundamental.

Kortney Harmon [00:09:19]:
It really comes down to their process, their systems, their decision making abilities, because of the data that was in the system is hindering their ability to scale and grow because they’re not seeing what’s in their system, or it’s not being done right, or your systems aren’t talking. But it all comes back to process. And those are really your foundational building blocks. That if you don’t have a process and you’re relying on your top performers to do the best thing, or you’re relying on people to work outside the system, or you’re still working on an excel spreadsheet. Guess what? You’re not going to be able to make data driven decisions to help your agency grow. And you can’t say, well, oh, well, they get to do what they want. There’s no question why you’re not growing anymore right now.

Donnie Gupton [00:10:00]:
Why do you think some firms focus on the surface level activity metrics rather than the core KPI’s that drive success?

Kortney Harmon [00:10:07]:
I think people get caught up in KPI’s. There’s so many people, we as leaders look at it to be like, well, I need to know what you’re doing. Um, almost like a quantity versus quality concept. And then the people that work in our organization look at it as almost like a big brother. While they’re watching me, they’re judging what I’m doing. They don’t trust me. In reality, they’re amazing coaching tools. It’s really diving in.

Kortney Harmon [00:10:31]:
It’s not the root cause that you don’t have the submittals, right? What’s the root cause between what you’re actually saying to your candidates? How are you actually reaching out to potential new logos? What is the process in which you’re doing it? What is the words in which you’re using? Are you rolling over whenever there’s resistance? There’s so many pieces to this, and it comes down most of the time. If you didn’t have a process, maybe you’re not training on that process. Maybe you don’t have a preferred way, and you’re just relying on your top performers to drive your organization. And guess what? It’s gotten you through the ups and downs of our economy for the past ten years, so why change it? And a lot of firms look at that and they’re like, it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Or that’s just the way we’ve done it over the years. I love that. So it’s a struggle, and change is not fun for anybody. Nobody loves change.

Kortney Harmon [00:11:18]:
So, you know, there’s heels on the ground, they don’t want to move forward. And in reality, you have to step back and reevaluate your process. Knock down your blocks and build them back up again.

Donnie Gupton [00:11:28]:
Yeah. Going a little bit deeper into KPI’s. And I know this will be very from every organization, but what do you think are like two or three KPI’s that every firm should be really focused in on?

Kortney Harmon [00:11:38]:
I’m going to start where they shouldn’t be. A lot of the times I see people focused solely on call time or the number of calls that you’re making and in reality, call time might be great. And it’s honestly not a bad metric if you’re on the phone. But I’ve seen the people that kind of, like, bulk the system. They were calling the Santa Claus hotline or the White House and listening, you know, it comes down to a metric that you’re measuring them and they’re just trying to find out how to fix it or how to achieve the goal. And you’re. They’re not understanding, well, I’m not getting placements. I’m not making money.

Kortney Harmon [00:12:10]:
I’m not getting the commissions I want. And I’ll tell you what, the most successful firms that I see and I’ve worked with, they really only track one. And it comes down to submissions. Submissions tell you a lot about your organization. And it’s, if I’m not getting this submission, there’s a root cause to why I’m not getting there. If I am, I’m usually obtaining the goals that I’m trying to hit for myself and for the organization. But that is probably the first and foremost one that you need to measure. Obviously, if you’re a leader, you’re going to look at different trends for how your revenue is going, what’s happening within your organization.

Kortney Harmon [00:12:45]:
But oftentimes we just measure too many and we get lost in the quality of what we’re doing versus the quality of what we’re doing.

Donnie Gupton [00:12:53]:
Yep. Folks, we’re live with Kortney Harmon from Crelate and the host of the full desk experience. Feel free to go into the comments or questions or wait. Yeah, go in the comments and ask any questions if you want. Yeah, that’s what I’m looking for there. And if you’re liking what she has to say, give this a, like, thumbs up, some sort of reaction so more people can see this. We’re going to continue to dig in here. So can you explain the concept of a shadow process? I mean, we’re talking so much about processes right now, like, what’s a shadow process and how do they really contribute to, like, a siloed operation within, you know, a recruiting firm?

Kortney Harmon [00:13:27]:
Yeah. Oftentimes, you know, going back to those top performers, it’s like we. We allow people to do what they need to do, but in reality, they’re going down the back road on a dirt road on a foggy night, and we don’t know how they’re getting to where they’re getting. We don’t necessarily know what they’re truly measuring, and we really need to understand if they’re obtaining how we need them. To get there. And how do we replicate that if it’s happening outside of your system? I mean, the last organization I was with, I had an entire operating company that was still solely focused on Excel spreadsheets. Granted, they were hitting all their numbers, they were doing all the things that they needed to, but there was no able way to replicate a process of someone that was doing something amazing because the systems didn’t talk to the Excel spreadsheet. Right.

Kortney Harmon [00:14:10]:
You weren’t able to measure the exact number of submittals because guess what? That person didn’t go update this sheet. And in reality, I don’t know about you, Donnie, and the people that you’ve worked with, but kind of my motto is, if it’s not in the system, it didn’t happen. Whether that’s good or bad, it comes down to commissions, checks, whether you’re getting paid on time or the right amount. It happens to give you data driven decisions to drive your organization in a right way. And if you’re having your people work outside their systems, if you there, your systems don’t talk, if there’s no open API, then again, they’re doing stuff outside. How many times do your people get caught up on LinkedIn looking for one candidate and they go down the rabbit hole of the right hand side to look at the next candidate and the next candidate, and 2 hours later they’re coming up for air and they’re like, wow, that was wild. But it really comes down to understanding and trying to make that for scale. If you can take your a player and understand the process in which they work, they obviously are doing something correct.

Kortney Harmon [00:15:10]:
If they’re working in the systems they talk, then you’re able to say, hey, junior recruiter, I can take you and excel you faster, get your productivity up faster, get you more commission sooner. I can take my b level recruiters and elevate them to a b or an a, it’s all about scale for that and how quickly we can do that by understanding the process in which they get there. So we don’t necessarily want the back road conversation on a foggy night. We want to be able to see all the things connect, to be able to make our decisions.

Donnie Gupton [00:15:39]:
Right now you love metrics way more than I do. If I’m, I can just tell you, right, about metrics, process and numbers. So I love it. But like, if I don’t have metrics, you know, or if they’re incomplete, if they’re disconnected, if they’re falling, these categories are some of the things we’ve been talking about what types of challenges might that lead to in my organization.

Kortney Harmon [00:16:01]:
If you don’t have metrics, it’s really hard to make decisions of where to go. It’s hard to understand what movements you should make if you don’t know where you’ve been. So it’s really understanding. If you don’t have a baseline, that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up over it, but slowly start to take what is working and go month after month, figure out what is happening today, and then how do I make it better? My curveball was working great today. How do I make it better?

Donnie Gupton [00:16:28]:

Kortney Harmon [00:16:29]:
It literally comes down to just working an inch at a time. You don’t necessarily look at the whole flight of stairs that’s ahead of you. You look at one step at a time. So what is one thing I could make better today? Not? I need to hit 52 submissions and two months. It’s not necessarily that, but it’s like, how do I get one extra one this week? Or what actions provide me the guidance to do that?

Donnie Gupton [00:16:51]:
I like that. Kind of breaking it down into smaller chunks instead of trying to eat the whole thing, you know, in one bite. Yeah, that’s overwhelming for a lot of people. Yeah, yeah, I love that. So in terms of, like, kind of shifting into, like, operations now, what are the most common bottlenecks that you see in recruiting firms?

Kortney Harmon [00:17:07]:
You know, a lot of times is not even having a process. So we talked about not having metrics. You don’t have a process because a lot of times, what I saw as franchise owners, I saw, you know, hey, I ran a good desk. So I want to be my own boss. I don’t want to answer to the man. But in reality, I’ve gone and I’ve established I’ve got my tools, and now I want to hire because I’m doing so well. I have so much business. I need someone to do business development because I don’t like to do it.

Kortney Harmon [00:17:35]:
But you don’t establish what made you successful. So understanding, being successful, understanding, working with your managers. A lot of times, even you yourself, if you are opening up an organization, oftentimes we don’t know how to manage people. We don’t know how to hold people accountable. We don’t necessarily know how they want to be held accountable or what metrics they want to add. So there’s actually a lot to that. Whether it’s leadership as a bottleneck, whether it’s metrics as a bottleneck, or it’s truly process, or lo and behold, technology might be your bottleneck because you’re literally duplicating data or you’re, you know, you get lost in the systems. And now we have no metrics or understand nothing else that we’ve actually put our entire day into.

Kortney Harmon [00:18:17]:
And we’re not any further ahead at the end of the day than we were in the beginning.

Donnie Gupton [00:18:21]:
Yeah. I’m curious your opinion on this. My, you know, I’ve speak to a lot of people, we probably speak to a lot of similar people, similar walks of business, but I think one of the common mistakes that I see people make is they think person before process. So. Oh, my business development struggling, for example. So I’m going to go hire somebody and then it’s like, well, what’s your process? You’re going to have them do? Oh, well, I don’t know. I’ll let them figure that out. What is your opinion on that? My opinion very is I think that’s incredibly flawed.

Donnie Gupton [00:18:48]:
But what is your thoughts on something like that and that type of an approach?

Kortney Harmon [00:18:51]:
I think we’re still seeing it today. Not only, yes, I’m a process person, it has to be established, because if you don’t give someone the right environment to thrive, the culture, the team, obviously that’s taught me all so well, then they’re not going to be able to thrive. But we’re seeing this, too in technology today. We have like this silver bullet shiny tech object syndrome that like, if I just go get AI today, it’s going to make me more productive. But how are you going to automate? What are you automating? Do you even have your process developed today to go bolt AI on? Because if you don’t, it’s not going to be your shiny bullet. It’s not going to be your revenue maker. It’s not going to be what you want it to be because you’ve not established the foundational blocks of your foundation, one to two rows before you start building up.

Donnie Gupton [00:19:33]:
Yeah, I think it’s kind of like short term versus long term. Right. So it’s, I think that’s the challenge with a lot of things that are happening in this industry. Challenge of really the Internet, all these solutions that are out there, right. Is what’s the next shiny tech? Like you’re saying, what’s the next shiny strategy? And so many people are focused on, like, short term wins versus like, long term solutions and strategies that they can rinse and repeat and then teach and scale from.

Kortney Harmon [00:19:57]:
It’s our overall human race. We’re immediate gratification, our attention span, what decreased 20 seconds overall over the past year just because of this wonderful thing that you can continue to scroll through. So, yeah, it’s par for the course.

Donnie Gupton [00:20:10]:
Yeah, we’re in now world, right? Like this mic. A couple weeks ago, I had somebody here listening to me live and he was talking about my audio. I went after that, bought a mic and ordered it at Tuesday night and it was on my doorstep at Wednesday morning. I can get things right now. And I think that’s the way we think that everything happens in life, right?

Kortney Harmon [00:20:26]:

Donnie Gupton [00:20:27]:
So let’s kind of shift into tech stack here. Now, why is integration between ATS, CRM and other tools so crucial for a firm success?

Kortney Harmon [00:20:36]:
You have to think as much as your ATS. It’s crucial, but it’s only like I want you to think that is like your foundation again, it’s more about the pieces that you can add on that speak. Because your recruiters don’t spend all day, every day, only in their ATS. They’re doing work on job boards, they’re doing work on virtual interview platforms, they’re doing jobs on LinkedIn and social media, depending on their industry. But you don’t necessarily want all of their work to go unnoticed, or they don’t, at least, because if most of them have a commission based and it’s activity driven, like, well, if I do these, make so many calls and I make so many submittals, I’m going to make so much money this month. And when you kind of take that visibility away from those leaders, they feel like their teams aren’t working well, you’re not doing what you should do. So your job’s on the line or my organization’s not scaling, or you know what? I’m not getting what I need out of you. I need to move you in the right seat for the right person at the right time.

Kortney Harmon [00:21:32]:
And in reality, your systems might just not be talking and they might be doing the work. Or what I’ve seen a lot of when doing coaching sessions with people is you’ve developed something to say, I want it to be this talent and chair or whatever that looks like. And your people have a different understanding what that means, and you’re just not getting the whole view. So your tech needs to talk. It can’t be siloed, it can’t be working against each other. And your teams don’t want to do duplicate dual data entry. If you’re going to require that, they’re not going to do it. And it just takes them more time and then lack of insight from your awareness because they didn’t do it in the first place.

Kortney Harmon [00:22:10]:
Because it’s hard to get them to do it the first time in your ats, let alone an additional time.

Donnie Gupton [00:22:15]:
Right. So could you get a little specific here? Because I know that people that watch the show love, like, the detailed example. So could you share a strategy or some strategies? I don’t know. Maybe, you know, of a tool out there that’s good that you can, you know, recommend firms can use to improve their process and efficiency?

Kortney Harmon [00:22:33]:
Well, I’m going to use examples of text messaging and phone calls.

Donnie Gupton [00:22:36]:

Kortney Harmon [00:22:37]:
Those are the things that we. I don’t necessarily know about you guys, but whenever I read my desk, I was texting people on my own phone, and it. Was. It coming from my personal number. Yeah. Is that a problem? Not necessarily. But me as a leader now, if I think of this differently, yeah. My teams can text outside of the system, no problem.

Kortney Harmon [00:22:55]:
But I want it to talk. I want to know that they’re doing those activities. I want to measure that because guess what? That data, I don’t want that to be theirs per se, because that’s what I’m doing as a staffing and recruiting leader in this organization, as a CEO, as an executive. That’s what you have to sell. It’s your data that you’ve put in the hard blood, sweat and tears to be able to take this, to say, okay, I’m going to sell this. I’m ready for retirement. What is next? But guess what? If it doesn’t talk, they’re not doing it. I love, I know this is silly, but if you don’t have ringcentral or whatever your phone system is integrated into your ats, it just takes them so much more time to say, oh, oh, here, what’s the drop down? Let me scroll, let me find call, let me type what was talked about.

Kortney Harmon [00:23:38]:
And I know that seems like such a simple little thing, but whenever you have to do that many more steps, you’re not understanding that they’re actually making 52 calls or they actually sent a text message about their interview follow up or the interview prep. You don’t necessarily know if they didn’t prep their client. I wonder why it fell off. Well, lo and behold, they were doing it on their personal cell phone, and I wasn’t able to have that integration. So it’s something as simple as an integration to your phone, to your ats, will make your team’s life so much easier. That goes so much deeper. And when we get into automations relate, you know, you could have interstellar, you could have all of the other tools that do the automation. We actually have it built in one of those nice features to make sure that you know the number one complaint about recruiters is they call too frequently.

Kortney Harmon [00:24:25]:
The number second complaint is they never call enough. They call, they get what they want and they never call me again. What the heck?

Donnie Gupton [00:24:31]:
Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, huh?

Kortney Harmon [00:24:33]:
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. But you do have the ability to stay in front of them, keep your name in front of them, whether it’s posting on social. I’m a big fan in our role today. We always want to have a social presence. Donnie, I know you’re the same. I use tools like buffer on my own to make sure I’m posting daily, be able and able to do those things on a consistently basis. But I think that’s what it comes down to in anything you do. It’s about consistency and ease of use.

Kortney Harmon [00:24:56]:
And that’s kind of what we really tout here at crelate is that workflow process and ease of use to built into all of your systems. So they talk and you cannot truly have a realistic expectation of what your teams are doing.

Donnie Gupton [00:25:07]:
I love that, the seamless integration. I know you guys just did this with one of my clients and one of their automated tools, and they’re just stoked about how it’s all kind of tying together and not having to move candidate from LinkedIn over to here and just, yeah, so I think those integrations are so powerful. What is, when you look at kind of the challenge that an organization will have, right. Bringing on a new system, what role does leadership play in overcoming kind of those issues and getting the team on board? You know, I’m sure you’ve had a situation where you’ve had kind of an owner that’s like, yeah, sign up and then I’m not going to be fully. I’m not going to invest in this at all. Versus an owner that’s like. And maybe it’s not an owner, just the leader of the organization, whatever it is, but explain the importance of the leadership. You know, when adopting a new process and even a tool, I’m going to.

Kortney Harmon [00:25:54]:
Say there’s two parts. First off, you want them early and often you want them ahead of the process. You want them to see the impact of what’s happening. With that being said, that person has to give enough time for that adoption to happen. So whenever I say adoption, you can’t choose tomorrow that you’re going to change an ATS and everything to be running smoothly in three, four weeks. There’s time of understanding your own system and your own data. There’s, I don’t know about you, but there’s no better time to clean out your house and get a dumpster as whenever you’re moving. So same kind of concept.

Kortney Harmon [00:26:23]:
Whenever you’re switching your ATS, like, that’s the time to understand the use of your data. Our professional services team is amazing, and they actually do this like, oh, you think that node action type is important? I’m glad you think that because your team’s only used it twelve times in five years. But the realization and the reality, because oftentimes the things that leaders realize is drastically different from the reality.

Donnie Gupton [00:26:48]:

Kortney Harmon [00:26:48]:
So number one, make sure they’re ahead of the game. You give enough time, but number two, you have to be in the system. Yep. You don’t necessarily have to use it every day. You’re not necessarily logging your calls, but are you running your meetings from that? A lot of times, you know, well, I don’t know how to run a report. I don’t want to do that. But you get buy in, I can tell you. I’ve heard it a bunch from other organizations.

Kortney Harmon [00:27:12]:
The CEO doesn’t use the system. Why do I have to? So how much money are you spending on wasted tools? Because you’re not bought into the system, you’re not bought into the process, and you’re not holding your teams accountable. It all comes down to change management. I did a lot of things differently when I was in college. I went and we had a timed mile. Donnie. I hated that. Dang time mile.

Kortney Harmon [00:27:32]:
It was like the green mile above our gym. But you know who ran it with us every single time that we had run?

Donnie Gupton [00:27:37]:

Kortney Harmon [00:27:38]:
Our coach.

Donnie Gupton [00:27:39]:

Kortney Harmon [00:27:39]:
She beat me every damn time. Um, so it was one of those things your teams will buy on easier. You’ll have an easier time of adoption if you’re not only giving your teams the grace in order and time to do it, but you’re also bought in with the process or at least checking in with the people that feel the pain on a pretty consistent basis.

Donnie Gupton [00:27:58]:
That’s definitely, you know, my experience too, of having that, you know, good leader and bore on board. I think one of the things, again, just kind of from my seat is so many people have so many tools that they’re not even scratching the surface on their capabilities. And yeah, there’s so many things that could probably be either removed or like, let’s go all in on this because I think that goes back into what we were talking about earlier a little bit, that shiny object chasing syndrome. And it’s like, hey, sometimes that shiny object is already sitting within your tech stack, you know, and I can’t tell you how many people, like, just miss it because they’re not fully invested in what they actually choose to move forward with.

Kortney Harmon [00:28:32]:
Have you seen organizations where it’s like, they’re like, oh, I need a new sourcing tool. It’s like, well, you have three currently.

Donnie Gupton [00:28:37]:

Kortney Harmon [00:28:38]:
Have you seen that working?

Donnie Gupton [00:28:39]:
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, yeah. Which of these are working for you? What are you doing? What, how are you executing on this on a daily basis? Yeah, and that’s why I go back. And I think it’s such an important thing for the leadership. I think that sometimes, you know, leaders don’t want to touch and get into some of that stuff because it’s a lift. Right. Especially if you’re making a change from, you know, an ATs to another ATS. There’s a lift there, you know? So how invested do I want to be in that? I think is where some people get bogged down.

Kortney Harmon [00:29:04]:

Donnie Gupton [00:29:05]:
Going into that, could you share a little, like, of a specific success story? Whether it has to do with crelate system or just a company you’ve helped in the past, you know, improve a process or efficiency, what do you got?

Kortney Harmon [00:29:18]:
I love that. Yes, I’m a numbers person. You’ve already called out my type a personality, so thank you very much. At my last organization, they actually didn’t have a training, a process, like, I’m going to say sports analogy. They didn’t have a playbook. They didn’t have a playbook for recruiters, they didn’t have a playbook for salespeople, came in six months, changed, actually didn’t change a whole lot, but just to find it, because a lot of times it’s like, well, it’s in the Google Drive, just go find that SOP. People aren’t going to take the time to do that. It’s not necessarily laid out in front of them.

Kortney Harmon [00:29:48]:
So we walked in, we implemented the methodology with the technology of like, this is what you should do, and this is how you do it in the system and what, whether it’s a node action or activity or how to track it, and then here’s how you measure yourself, self awareness. And in doing that, after six months, we saw 146% change in gross profit from someone who didn’t go through the system before or the system, the training, so to say. So they were just kind of left at their own free will to say, you’ve been good at your job, you were a recruiter somewhere else, hey, come do this here. You can do it. Good job. Pat on the back. Attaboy. And after implementing that, we saw a drastic difference in productivity.

Kortney Harmon [00:30:30]:
We saw more actuals to change our business, to be able to make business decisions. And I mean, what’s better than higher gross profit by that much? Because those people were making commissions earlier. It was keeping their retention at the company. And we were able to then scale our training up. So then we were able to start a certification program, whether it was helping up level the mid level people. So it wasn’t just helping our new recruiters coming in. We were also changing the trajectory and the lives of our middle management to get them certified and get them additional training and get them on track to leadership.

Donnie Gupton [00:31:05]:
Love it. That’s awesome. Folks. I’m with Kortney Harmon. We are coming towards kind of the industry. Got a couple more questions for. I see your question, Janelle and Jody, so I will get to those here shortly. Looking ahead, what emerging trends or technologies do you believe will influence scalability and things like that for recruiting firms?

Kortney Harmon [00:31:25]:
You know, if I don’t say the word AI, someone’s going to find me in Ohio. I think what it comes down to is AI is going to change the trajectory of our business. Absolutely. But I also think we can’t lose the human element of anything. That’s where relationships are made. You and I talked about this, too. Even our college coaches before this, like so many people go through their program and leave. I think I text my coach two days ago and I’ve been out of college for quite a few years.

Kortney Harmon [00:31:53]:
Yeah, but those are the relationships that you don’t necessarily have. The one and done relationship. It’s not necessarily, oh, I just made one placement, I never did it again. It’s no one hit wonders here. So as much as you understand AI is a part of your process, it’s going to be in it, figure out where it should be, figure out what the role of it is and if it’s to help you in productivity. Yes. Amazing. Help you get to the phone quicker, help it get to the human element quicker.

Kortney Harmon [00:32:21]:
I am all for it. But don’t let it ever replace how you’re working and what, like your communications with those people. So I think it’s going to be an interesting journey. I did a podcast with Maurice Fuller. We dropped yesterday. He was talking about AI and the tech trends, ten AI tech trends and how it’s changing our industry. I kind of walked out of there amazed. He said a stat and he said the average or the gold standard of automations and staffing and recruiting firms today is 100.

Kortney Harmon [00:32:52]:
If firms don’t have a hundred automations, they may be falling short. And I was actually baffled by that number.

Donnie Gupton [00:32:59]:
That is, that’s a large number.

Kortney Harmon [00:33:01]:
Yeah, that is a large number. So in understanding it’s going to be a part of this, but we just have to figure out what its role is.

Donnie Gupton [00:33:07]:
Yeah. I couldn’t agree more with the whole thing of AI and I also think that that’s, I think some people get overwhelmed with it because they don’t fully understand it yet, but I think the whole fear of AI taking over I just don’t think is valid at all. I think the most dangerous recruiter is somebody who understands AI really, really effectively and is just incredibly dangerous with all the other stuff. It’s funny, I was talking to a client yesterday and he’s like, you know, with all this AI and how effective I’m becoming with it, you know, his whole thing was like, there’s going to be few people that he’s been in the game. He’s actually an MRI guy. He’s been in the game for years, right? And he’s like, I’ve got phone skills that are top notch. I’ve got these interpersonal skills that are insane. And now I’m going to have AI.

Donnie Gupton [00:33:50]:
He’s like, I’m going to be an anomaly because all the younger generation is only going to grow up with AI. So it was a really interesting perspective to think. For those of you that have been playing this recruiting game for a while, you learn AI, you are a dangerous, dangerous individual when you combine kind of the way this industry has always been brought up and then this new technology, I thought it was really, really interesting perspective.

Kortney Harmon [00:34:11]:
So totally on you. I will find you.

Donnie Gupton [00:34:14]:
Yeah, for sure. So a couple questions that kind of came in, one from Janelle was just thoughts on cold emails versus cold calls. Any information or thoughts on that?

Kortney Harmon [00:34:24]:
Yeah, I love that. I will tell you, I think they both have a play here. I’m a fan of a strategy and it’s not necessarily one, it’s not necessarily one channel, it’s not necessarily one avenue, but it’s a play. I’d like to think of a twelve point touch plan strategy within two weeks. So, Donnie, I’m not going to lie, I don’t necessarily know what yours is, but it’s really the idea of, I like to make my presence known before I make a call. So I will send a LinkedIn connect or I will send an email prior to and I will say that I’m going to call. So when my name comes up in caller id that I’m making that cold call, they’re like, hmm, that name sounds familiar, right?

Donnie Gupton [00:35:04]:
You’re warming them up more than, it’s like a true cold call.

Kortney Harmon [00:35:07]:
Warming them up. So I like phone calls. I don’t necessarily, I don’t know about you, but I don’t answer anything. True cold call, it goes to voicemail until I understand who it is and then I can call back. Um, so I’ll cold email before I cold call, probably. But calling is part of my arsenal and it’s probably my number one because if I can get someone on the phone for at least 5 seconds, I can keep them there. I have that much confidence in my ability and I don’t really fall to rejection. So I would say as long as I can get them there.

Kortney Harmon [00:35:33]:
But it’s making the right addresses beforehand to get them on the phone.

Donnie Gupton [00:35:37]:
Right. I like that.

Kortney Harmon [00:35:38]:
What about you, Donnie?

Donnie Gupton [00:35:39]:
Me? I don’t cold call, but uh, yeah, I mean, I, I believe in everything you’re saying, multi channel. And I. For me, I guess the word is like, I don’t believe in just 100% cold outreach. I think that a phone, obviously you have to win with the phone in this industry. And so. Yeah, what you’re saying. Totally, I believe in. Which is like f, I’m going to pick up the phone, I’m going to send them a LinkedIn connection request, I’m going to send them an email.

Donnie Gupton [00:35:58]:
And again, going back into automation, there’s so many automated tools that you can basically create five to six touch points before you ever pick up the phone. Right. And yeah, then it makes a lot more sense. But then on the flip side of that is like, how much time are you spending sifting, trying to find phone numbers, going through voicemail boxes, doing all these things? You know, I think there’s more efficient ways. That’s just my two cent on it. But I don’t think that the being off the phone is not the way to win. Right. So I just think warmer is where it’s at.

Kortney Harmon [00:36:22]:
I’m more of a fan of LinkedIn, voicemail or video cold than I am a cold call.

Donnie Gupton [00:36:28]:
Now we’re talking. Yeah, I like that approach.

Kortney Harmon [00:36:30]:
You didn’t pay me to say that.

Donnie Gupton [00:36:31]:
I love. Uh huh. Yeah. Well, yeah.

Kortney Harmon [00:36:33]:
You didn’t pay me to say that.

Donnie Gupton [00:36:34]:
I know I didn’t. I didn’t pay that. I’ll slide you the 20 after another question came in from Jody. Thank you, Jody. I’m only tracking interviews. My thought process with that is that any amount of subs that can just be thrown on the wall to see if it sticks. On the other hand, interviews tell me my recruiters are submitting quality, solid candidates from the interview stage on, it’s up to the candidate and client to make a placement. In my opinion, am I wrong to track on the interviews?

Kortney Harmon [00:36:57]:
No, you’re not necessarily wrong, but I would stay close to the ratio of what that looks like. In the end, one of my favorite classes to teach was driving metrics to success. And it was really about ratio reporting. I knew when I ran my desk it took me x number of calls to get x number of interviews and x number of submissions to interviews and placements. So I would say as much as interviews is a great thing. No, I don’t think you’re wrong. I think it might make sense depending on the industry that you’re in. But I would also just try to keep track and maybe make your people keep track of their submission to interviews or interviews to placement ratios so they can only increase the rate in which they’re working so they can get a clearer view of that picture.

Kortney Harmon [00:37:37]:
So, no, I don’t think you’re wrong, Jodi. I think you’re right on track, but just keeping an eye on the full picture.

Donnie Gupton [00:37:41]:
Excellent. Awesome question. Thank you, Jody. Thank you, Janelle, for you guys interaction. If a firm is ready to tackle some of these challenges we’ve discussed, what initial steps would you recommend they take.

Kortney Harmon [00:37:51]:
If they don’t have any of the pieces in play today? Analysis, figure out where you are today. Don’t think you have to go have a process of twelve point touch plan tomorrow, but figure out, like, just do some recon to figure out what you’re doing that works, what is happening today? And I will tell you, what works today did not necessarily work two years ago. And it is an evolving industry. It is ups and it is downs, and what works today will not work tomorrow. So you just have to understand that. Be realistic on the idea and start small. Start with a three plan touch point strategy, or follow a three step process for your submissions. Whether you’re creating a form for all of your people to use for their submissions or however it is, start small.

Kortney Harmon [00:38:38]:
Think about one to three steps. If you’re there, add on to that. Don’t necessarily sop your people to death. We don’t want that to happen. Don’t make it so convoluted that they have to look at a piece of paper to know how to do their job. So I would just say keep it simple and just add on that as you go.

Donnie Gupton [00:38:54]:
I love that advice. One last metric we did not connect on today, and I think it’s really important is what was your era?

Kortney Harmon [00:39:02]:
Well, in high school it was. .08 dang. Yeah, that’s what got me my full ride. I love that you asked this. I actually had a good batting average, too. I had 400 batting average. It’s rare for a pitcher to be a hitter. I was a four hitter.

Kortney Harmon [00:39:19]:
And then, yeah, in college it was different. I think what I’m most proud of is I had like 36 straight scoreless innings in d one.

Donnie Gupton [00:39:27]:
That’s impressive.

Kortney Harmon [00:39:28]:
So that’s good.

Donnie Gupton [00:39:29]:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Awesome stuff. Awesome stuff. So, Kortney, first off, if you are listening with us right now, if you could just go in and tap that reaction button, if you, I mean, tremendous amount of value that Kortney gave today. So if you can just give her a love, go in the comments, share your thoughts about her being on the show. Would definitely appreciate that. Kortney, how can people find you and what would be the next steps if they wanted to explore crelate?

Kortney Harmon [00:39:56]:
Absolutely. You can find me on LinkedIn. I know Donnie tagged me in this event here, so you can find me there. My email is Kortney or kharman.com. send me an email on my LinkedIn profile. There is ability to book an appointment with me. I am happy. If you want a demo, we can talk if you want to talk about metrics with your organization, happy to help.

Kortney Harmon [00:40:16]:
And we actually run the podcast as well. It is on the crelate.com website. If you do resources, you can sign up for just like this. We actually do one live event a week and we actually drop podcasts every Thursday. So be looking forward to our second part of our AI conversation. I would encourage you to listen in on all podcast platforms. It’s called the full desk experience.

Donnie Gupton [00:40:39]:
Love it. Kortney, thank you so much. This was awesome.

Kortney Harmon [00:40:42]:
Thank you.

Donnie Gupton [00:40:43]:
Loved your energy, loved the value. People are already going in and saying how much they enjoyed it. So, yeah, thank you for being here. Thank you for dropping some value for the relevant recruiter community. We’ll be back next week live again on Wednesday. I think next week we’ve got the infamous. Before I make the announcement. Yes, next week it’s the infamous rich Rosen.

Donnie Gupton [00:41:04]:
So we’ll probably be talking about big billings. So tune in next Wednesday as we dig into that. Kortney, thank you so much for being here.

Kortney Harmon [00:41:12]:
Thank you for having me.

Donnie Gupton [00:41:13]:
Later. Make sure you tap that button before you get out. We’ll talk to you soon.

Kortney Harmon [00:41:16]:
Bye, guys. I’m Kortney Harmon with Crelate. Thanks for joining the full desk experience. Please feel free to submit any questions for next session to fulldeskcrelate.com or ask us live next session if you enjoyed our show. Be sure to subscribe subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen, and sign up to attend future events that happen once a month.

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