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Are you looking to scale your processes and replicate the success of your top performers? Then this episode is for you! We delve into the advantages of automation for operations people and how it can improve quality and save time. We also explore the importance of consistency, attention to detail, and training in building a successful recruiting firm. Chris Hesson shares valuable insights on lead generation, building a strong bench of candidates, and the recurring revenue opportunities in the staffing industry.
Join us as we uncover the power of automation and personal connections in business interactions. Plus, don’t forget to stick around for some great tips on reference check calls and their impact on hiring success. This episode is packed with actionable strategies and thought-provoking ideas. So grab your headphones and get ready for a transformative episode of The Full Desk Experience!
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Chris Hesson [00:00:00]:
Pitching an MPC, whether that’s doing an interview, debrief, taking a job order, those are high value, high dollar activities. Can automate those. What we do want to look at is what are the other things in your day to day that take you away from that that might enable you to do more and spend more of your time on those components that really are the high value add and high personal touch components.
Kortney Harmon [00:00:24]:
Hi. Hi. I’m Kortney Harmon, staffing and recruiting industry principal 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 where we will be talking about growth blockers across your people, processes and technologies. Welcome back to another workshop. On today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about automation. I feel like this is like the next natural conversation with so much talk of AI being had at the moment and then a lot of people are jumping in.
Kortney Harmon [00:01:08]:
But before you go jumping in with both feet on AI because it’s going to make your life easier. Now it could make your life easier, but it could be replacing that human interactions that you have today. There are steps that you can take to take the burden off your teams and their desk and maybe to help you get time back in your day. Most importantly, to help you do the tasks that maybe you don’t have time to do, when honestly, they just don’t get done if you don’t have time to do them. So we’re going to talk about certain processes that truly equal dollars for your business. Many of the offices that I’ve worked with, and I’m sure Chris has too, have focused and prided themselves on processes. Right. We’re different.
Kortney Harmon [00:01:46]:
Doing things that made them different from others in the talent industry. Is that your office? Think about what makes you different. A lot of times what I hear through what speaks to people is maybe a lot of the times they maybe form more of trust and relationships with their candidates and customers. Maybe they have outstanding customer service. They truly care. They form a relationship with each and every person. Now, is that a differentiator? Absolutely. But let’s face it, your teams are talking to so many people, making so many calls.
Kortney Harmon [00:02:19]:
Do they have the time to follow those processes that you want them to to help you stand out from the rest of the crowd? So today is all about making your teams have the technology in place to help you execute on those processes that are the golden ticket to keeping your company success higher and higher revenue, essentially. So I know your teams are busy and I want to shine a light on just one of the processes that we’re going to be talking about today. I want you to think differently about something because a lot of times we get to the point that processes well, we don’t have time to do them. We’ll do them later. It’s not a big deal. But what comes down to it is the idea that we’re losing money. We’re leaving money on the table. And in times like now and today, we’re in a down economy.
Kortney Harmon [00:03:03]:
So can you afford to leave those processes on the table? So I want you to think about reference calls. Reference check calls. Do we have time to do all of them all the time? I’m going to guess no. Why? Because your teams are busy. They’re too busy filling orders, sourcing candidates, chasing no shows, setting up interviews. But let me ask you, do you have turnover within your clients after you set up that initial candidate at their job? Because if you do, could that reference check have helped you prevent that turnover? It’s something that you can’t always predict or can’t always know. But this call not only is going to have a way to gain extra information and insight into this potential candidate’s performance and ability, it could help you retain candidates for your client. Did you know that 34% of job candidates are removed from the hiring process due to the result of the reference check call? 34%.
Kortney Harmon [00:04:00]:
That directly probably correlates to turnover. So that one simple call may show you a red flag or an issue that you’re not seeing during your conversation. But the reference check call isn’t always for candidates. No. This is also a warm call to a hiring manager. That hiring manager that hires the same type of people that you placed. Now, is your organization struggling finding new job orders or people that are actually ready to hire? Because I’ve heard sales are down in almost every single one of my conversations. In most segments of our industry, sales are down.
Kortney Harmon [00:04:35]:
Are you using these reference check calls as leads for your sales team? Why wouldn’t you call these people? These are reference check calls. They want to help the other people that you’re talking to or that they’ve worked with at some point in time. It’s the quickest way to a warm lead. Again, I know what I’ve saw with thousands of recruiters, it comes down to time. But I want you to think smarter, not harder. In these situations, your teams could have automation set up for these things to happen on the back end. Chris is going to talk a little bit more about this, whether it’s automation of the task or automation of the planning of the task so we don’t get lost in the shuffle, use these automations to send emails. Create those leads.
Kortney Harmon [00:05:16]:
Talk to these hiring authorities. Add them to your sales funnel. Bring value to your clients, your prospects, and your candidates. Every single email and every single conversation. All right, I’m going to get off my soapbox for a minute and I’m going to bring on my favorite guest. Chris Hesson is by far my favorite guest that we continually get to have on our podcast. Chris is the king of process improvement. Not only to make your business run more efficiently, but also to get the most out of your systems that you work with to increase your bottom line.
Kortney Harmon [00:05:45]:
Let’s face it, during this down economy you don’t have the time or the resources not to put what we’re talking about today into play. So Chris is going to dive into the details of the certain key processes that you’ll want to focus on automating first before looking at automating everything. Right? We start to get those dominoes going and we think we have to put the process in play with everything. So with that being said, Chris, thanks for joining us today. Automation can save substantial amount of time and effort. So before we dive into this, talk to me about why automation. Why is it important? Why is it important for us to put these key pieces into our business? And there’s a lot of people that just don’t know where to start. So is it truly the idea of understanding why before they get started? Give me your insights.
Kortney Harmon [00:06:30]:
Talk to me all things automation.
Chris Hesson [00:06:31]:
So automation has it’s a buzzword I think we’ve heard for a very long time. It first hit the industrial world. Think of manufacturing automation in, the jobs are all outsourced. Automation has the ability to improve efficiency dramatically. But it’s a double edged sword, especially in our line of work because relationships are so vital and important to what we do. I look at where I’ve seen some recruiting firms talk about the future of AI and automation going and their version of this future almost eliminates the recruiting job completely. And I look at that and say that’s terrible first off. And that’s never going to happen.
Chris Hesson [00:07:08]:
Second off. Because so much rides and so much is important with the human interaction and the value that you guys bring. If you look at the recruiting industry as a whole, there’s a lot of low hanging fruit type of recruiters that can get automated. You can’t, hopefully you can’t in that you are providing value to relationships. You’re doing that human element. So what can we automate? We should be looking to automate the things that take you away from the human element. Things that take you away from building that personal brand, building that business relationship brand and giving you the access to additional candidates and clients as you go into the future.
Kortney Harmon [00:07:43]:
We’ll get into what we need to automate first. But let’s get into the idea of the pros and cons of automation because you hit something that the human element is something that either could go by the wayside if we don’t do it correctly. But that’s also where people pride themselves of being different, right? So as we think of automation sometimes from the old school offices that I’ve worked with, automation is a curse word to them. It’s a powerful tool for scaling your business. But it’s also paralyzing because they think the robots will take over. Or it’s the idea that they’re not going to have that touch. Right. So it can get overwhelming.
Kortney Harmon [00:08:21]:
So let’s talk about the pros and cons of automation. Let’s start first with the cons. Obviously loss of human touch. Automations can make those interactions with candidates and clients feel less impersonable if not done correctly, right?
Chris Hesson [00:08:34]:
Absolutely. Something else I’d build on with that as well is something you said in the beginning. In software, we have a phrase you’ll often hear, it’s kind of a crawl, walk, run concept. So in software, often you’ll build something in initial version, then you’ll slowly expand it and get to where you want to be. I’ve seen some firms decide, I’m going to jump all in too much too fast. They’re not ready for it, they don’t have those processes dialed up. It can be overwhelming, it can feel like a lot, and it’s too much too quickly. As we start to talk a little more about some of the specific actions you can take, think of that crawl walk, run approach.
Chris Hesson [00:09:10]:
Start small, let’s pick one thing, see how that goes, then add in a second one, add in a third. But from a con perspective, human piece is really the biggest. I think second would be too much reliance on it as well. Keep in mind that a good recruiter, you’re building relationships with your clients. Your clients trust you as a trusted consultant and a value add to their business, not a piece of machinery and software. Because at the end of the day, if that tool exists and all your client wants is a machine to automatically send messages and automatically vet candidates and then automatically put them through, they would just go buy that software and not need you. So your value is in your humanity. We don’t want to take that out of the equation.
Kortney Harmon [00:09:51]:
I think. Look at it like when you call, like whenever I call Amazon, whenever I have to deal with a return, I just want to talk to a person, I just want to push zero. I just want to get through the human element where I can have that conversation to really make the connection. So I love that. Do you feel that people look at it as loss of control whenever they think of automation?
Chris Hesson [00:10:14]:
I think to some extent, yes. And often there’s this fear of like, well, what’s automated? What’s going out? I see that most often in firms that jump in too quickly, especially if you’ve got a larger team and then people aren’t quite sure, are emails going out, are things happening? Cross communication. It looks sloppy. Like internally you don’t know what’s going on. So there is that element of you’re taking some things out of your control. We’ll talk a little bit more on it, but I really view it. And there’s two elements. One is you’re automating the actual execution or you’re automating the planning and one of those might be the right choice for you and we’ll talk a little bit more about what that means.
Chris Hesson [00:10:49]:
But I’m really excited about those fronts.
Kortney Harmon [00:10:51]:
I love it. And what we’re talking about here and what I’m hearing you say and I think where my brain is going is you have to have an established process of how you want that exact process to go or workflow to go in order to automate that. And is there times that you ever see offices? They want to do that but maybe they don’t even have a process in place.
Chris Hesson [00:11:10]:
The process has to come first. You can’t automate something where you don’t have a process for I look back again going old school. The first firm I worked at, it was 100 dials a day or you’re not going to be there tomorrow type of place. Very glad that environment has shifted that’s a lot. There’s probably many of you on this call who grew up and that’s how you started out. We know the market has shifted. However, I always had a very clear cut process whether that was an outreach process for trying to get a hold of people on the business development side or on the candidate side. That could have been a process around how and what does my touch plan look like from a reference check standpoint or using that again for business development or prospecting.
Chris Hesson [00:11:48]:
But the process comes first. You really need to sit down and look holistically at how you approach this business and say what are all the things that have to happen for us to be successful? Which of these elements require me and which of these elements don’t require me or which of these elements take me away from the high value, high money aspects of what I do on a daily basis? Your calls with clients, whether that’s pitching an NPC, whether that’s doing an interview, debrief, taking a job order. Those are high value, high dollar activities, can automate those. What we do want to look at is what are the other things in your day to day that take you away from that that might enable you to do more and spend more of your time on those components that really are the high value add and high personal touch components.
Kortney Harmon [00:12:34]:
So if we have anybody on the fence so we just talked about cons, what are the advantages if we look at automation when we have operations people on here? Do they bite the bullet? Do they go into automation? Let’s talk a few things about advantages. I think quality number one comes to mind because we know that they’re being done a lot of times as leaders and operations leaders, we want something to be done a certain way and we think in the back of our mind and I’ve seen this done hundreds of times is well I want them to do this process. This way it’s being done. And in reality there’s not enough hours in a day for someone to even execute on half the things that they want to be done because there’s just not enough time in the day. So the quality is there and the process is followed. If automation is in this play, I think quality is number one in my mind.
Chris Hesson [00:13:16]:
Absolutely. And again, automation can give you that time back. So think of the mundane elements. For me, one of the most valuable activities that goes underappreciated in so many recruiting firms is doing regular check ins with your candidates as well as the hiring managers post placement. Again, this is a candidate who now for a short period of time, there’s a window where they owe you a lot. You have greatly impacted and benefited their personal life and their professional life. Are we leveraging that? Are we having follow up with them? Are we continuing that relationship? Far too often it’s oh, I accepted the offer, placements made, done, never hear from that recruiter again until the recruiter needs something else. Use automation to foster those relationships, hiring managers.
Chris Hesson [00:14:00]:
In the same way, I always love to have a process even before automation did it for me of 30, 60, 90 day, six month year check ins with both the candidate as well as the client. Someone that’s written or is writing you a check is most likely to write you another one here in the future. Why am I not staying on top of them? They can feel like mundane tasks. I have too much focus on current projects, trying to build up my sales funnel and then we don’t have time for these things that are huge value adds, automated.
Kortney Harmon [00:14:27]:
Again, I don’t think people can not automate these tasks in the environment that we’re in today or the economic environment that we have today. Anything else as you think of pros for automation? Obviously efficiencies quality, faster process, I think scalability. Anything else that comes?
Chris Hesson [00:14:45]:
I would say consistency as well. So especially if you have a firm with multiple recruiters, when you hire new people, it’s often hard to ensure we have the right message going out. So think of it, if you hire a rookie recruiter, you can ensure that they have a strong message that is going out. Something that is going to mirror what a veteran in the industry may be able to do. So you now maintain this consistency and avoid maybe that ramp up time for somebody new coming in or I’ve been the recipient of terrible emails that things are misspelled, fonts are all off. I mean, it is very clear that someone had no attention to detail at all when they sent something out. You can control this, you can ensure what is going out, how is it going out, when is it going out? Who is it going to so you have now consistent quality that adds efficiencies to your business.
Kortney Harmon [00:15:40]:
You just spoke to Katie and I, so training and development, getting those rookies up to speed quicker, amazing. Who doesn’t want that to be pulling in revenues faster? And then Katie proves my stuff on a daily, so I’m not going to say anything. I think all of this comes down to these all equal dollars for us. If we’re not doing them, if they’re activities that we know that create value and we’re not doing them, we’re just leaving money on the table. There is another process. When we were talking about references for lead generation, 66% of sales professionals say that lead generation from referrals are the highest quality of lead that they even work. We’re struggling to get new business. If that is the highest value add for our leads, why are we not doing that? And if we don’t have time to do that, let’s at least automate a task to start that process for us to keep it forefront in our mind.
Kortney Harmon [00:16:33]:
So I love it. All right, Chris, anything else pros and cons that come to your mind before we dive into the good mean?
Chris Hesson [00:16:39]:
I think if you look at the pros here, it’s the ability to ramp up your team, control the messaging, ensure those mundane things are getting done and getting done correctly to grow your business, giving you time back in your day. Biggest thing is why are you not considering or doing it now? So there’s all the reasons to do it, but you have to do it correctly, which we’re going to give you some good insights on.
Kortney Harmon [00:17:01]:
I love. So as we think about the biggest places that you see, I mean, you’re working with hundreds of offices. Where do you see automation, pardon my lack of language, kicking butt and taking names in our talent industry, where’s the first place? If someone needs to start somewhere, what is one of the process that they should automate?
Chris Hesson [00:17:20]:
So we’ve talked about a couple already. Ultimately it’s all going to come down to outreach. Now, outreach at different points in your process that might be outreach to references, outreach to candidates, outreach on the sales side. As a recruiter, half of your job is just trying to set up a conversation with someone. Back in the dial and smile days, it’s all of the calls to talk to a handful of people. These are the outreach items we want to automate. Now, references I have an incredible passion for and I think in a few different veins here. Most recruiters view references as a nuisance.
Chris Hesson [00:17:54]:
It is a hoop. Their client may require them to do so. And if a client doesn’t want references, they have this woohoo moment and feel like, hey, I got away and I don’t have to do a reference check. That is the backwards and wrong approach and way to look at it. References, I think in two veins are enormous. One Courtney had mentioned already what an easier way to do prospecting and business development? How many people have a Zoom Info license or are spending so much money on sourcing tools to find emails and phone numbers? Your candidates have emails and phone numbers of hiring managers? They do. All you have to do is ask them for them. Now, when asking candidates for references, I need to position it to them so it makes sense.
Chris Hesson [00:18:31]:
Why would they want to share this information with me? And asking for references early and often is something both Courtney and I kind of grew up with. And I am a staunch believer in supporter in two reasons. One, I have that phone number, I have that email, I have a list to build on my prospecting side. But two, if you do that reference check early, you now have additional components you can provide when submitting a candidate. You have additional information and details, hopefully catching anyone that should be disqualified, but better selling points to provide as well. Now, from a reference standpoint, automation. I see really in two veins here. One, we can automate the outreach.
Chris Hesson [00:19:09]:
You have lists of references you’ve put together, references you’ve gathered from candidates and I want to automate the outreach to them. But two, and this is where I actually see is critical and is often never utilized. How many of you have ever thanked a reference afterwards?
Kortney Harmon [00:19:24]:
So you’re saying like sending a thank.
Chris Hesson [00:19:26]:
You post their placement 1000% or thanking them no matter what later. So think of it, this reference, you have an excuse to call them. You’re reaching out to them because somebody they know has provided their name as a reference. Your odds of making that connection already go up dramatically. Well, let’s automate a touch plan to send emails, phone calls to make sure we build that connection. We can automate that outreach. But two, after you have that conversation, I want to put them in an additional Drip campaign to thank them for having that conversation. Stay in touch.
Chris Hesson [00:19:59]:
How else can you work with them or help them grow their career or their business as well?
Kortney Harmon [00:20:05]:
And you can value add any information to them now that you’ve already established that relationship. The more times they see your name, the better. So you talked about two things, automating the task. But you talked about automating planning. Talk me through automation of planning. I mean, I think I’m following your brain, but help me for our audience, talk me through automation of tasks and automation of planning and how you would do that here in references.
Chris Hesson [00:20:26]:
Yeah. So automation of execution or of the task is, I think, what most people think. They think the email is sending, the call is happening. I don’t have to do anything. As a human, I have no interaction. For some people that may make sense, especially in your markets and firms. That’s also very scary when you have a business or personal brand that is now on the line on what’s going out. From an automated standpoint, a good recruiter is a planned recruiter.
Chris Hesson [00:20:49]:
A good recruiter comes in and already knows for the rest of the day what are they doing, what projects are they working on, who are they reaching out to? Why are they reaching out? They’ve got everything ready to go. Automation doesn’t have to mean the execution is now taken out of your hands. I used to spend a half hour, hour at the end of each day going through and planning. What am I doing the next day, what searches am I working on? Who am I reaching out to? Who do I have follow ups with, ensuring that 738 o’clock the next day I’m buttoning up, ready to go. We can automate the planning component as well. So automation does not have to be the email sends automatically. It could be, hey Courtney, it’s time to go send that email. Here’s the email template you put together.
Chris Hesson [00:21:24]:
Why don’t you go look over it, give it a check, add something in if you need, and then you can hit send on it. Really? If your recruiters or your team show up every day and they have a tool saying awesome, time to make the next call, time to send that email, time to do the follow up, time to ensure that you do the reference check, time to have that debrief conversation with a candidate. They do the execution, they do the work. System is doing the planning. It’s ensuring they’re not missing things. Things are having the appropriate follow up and you have that consistent quality, Courtney, that you had talked about.
Kortney Harmon [00:21:51]:
I love that. Okay, you and I probably could talk about references all day long. So side note, whenever we drop this episode, we are going to give best practices around this process. What does that email look like? How can you develop this? How can you make it plug and play within your office? So be sure to check out the ebook whenever we drop that. Chris is going to continue to give hints as we go through this. So we talked about references. The other side of that coin naturally in my brain is referrals, Chris, because how many times I can tell you that I’ve worked with candidates they don’t ask for. Who else do they know? I think they feel like they haven’t earned that right.
Kortney Harmon [00:22:27]:
But honestly, I like to swizzle a little bit differently. Like if you could make the dream team of people like you, who would you want to work with? I see that being felt fallen by the wayside and not even touched because we don’t have time. Talk to me about referrals, how we automate that, what are some best practices, things, common mistakes that we do in this process? Anything you want to tell me about referral?
Chris Hesson [00:22:49]:
So there was a study and I’ll have to find it. So Katie, you can include it in one of our things, but it essentially looked at people’s disposition. And generally people like being helpful more than they like being sold to. I used to tell the story like I hate being sold to. I will walk out the mall door in the rain to avoid the little kiosk that’s trying to sell me something with the aggressive sales. It doesn’t work. Don’t sell to me. I don’t like it.
Chris Hesson [00:23:13]:
I’m going to avoid it. I don’t want to do it. But if someone asks for my help, I am 100% all in. When you’re coming for referrals, you’re asking for help. You’re being human in reaching out and asking for somebody to help you. You’re not selling to them. You’re connecting with them. You’re building a relationship with them that hopefully comes forward.
Chris Hesson [00:23:31]:
I know recruiting firms, Courtney, I know you as well, who when they recruit, they don’t even pitch the job or sell it at all. They literally only call people and ask for referrals. And that’s everything they do. And they’ll find that candidates who are interested will raise their hand and say, hey, actually I would want that role. So when you’re going with referrals, I think there’s two ways to look at it. One, ensuring that people you’ve had contact with, you’re following that up with a, thanks for the conversation. Who else do you know? Who else should I talk to but the people you have better relationships with, candidates you’ve placed hiring managers who you’ve worked with in the past on other roles, other people you’ve had in process and maybe they didn’t even get a placement. You can build incredibly strong relationships by asking for help.
Chris Hesson [00:24:14]:
Who do they recommend? Who do they like? And you said it well, Courtney, who would they want to be in the trenches know, when they’re working on a big project? What’s that candidate or that other employee that they would want right beside them? A players know, a players. A players will bring A players with them. Develop those relationships and you can now automate again a touch plan, a drip campaign that is following up with these people you have relationships with to help build your bench. So probably even more important for those of you in the staffing side where you have a lot of recyclability, I mean, you have roles you will always be able to hire and fill candidates for. If you’ve got a rock star, you can get that person on assignment next week. Build your bench, ask for referrals, and have that be a consistent part of your outreach plan, whether that’s following conversations or with those known entities, candidates thinking you’ve worked with in the past, people you have on assignment now, or people.
Kortney Harmon [00:25:02]:
You used to and you talked about after you send the email. I know this isn’t an automation, but having those templates there to understand that that’s what you’re asking for. And my brain is just essentially like an. Automation for me to be able to be like, okay, this is what I’m sending, this is what I want to say. And I don’t have to take the time to craft the message every single time. It’s saving me time, it’s saving me money. But it’s also ensuring that I’m doing it. But what better when you move them into a process that they’re vetted or whatever term you want to use that they’re vetted automatically sends that.
Kortney Harmon [00:25:33]:
That’s amazing. Let’s back up in the process. Actually, it’s not backing up, but it’s how many times do we have candidates in our system that we forget about Chris, everything that happens, that we just put them in the system, set them and forget them.
Chris Hesson [00:25:47]:
I’d recommend each of you look at how many candidates you have in your database. How many of them have you touched, had any interaction with in the last six months, six years? My guess is it’s probably a small percentage of everything you have. You’ve got this wealth of information that’s not being used, not being leveraged. You’ve forgotten about them, they’ve forgotten about you. That’s a problem.
Kortney Harmon [00:26:08]:
So thinking in this terms, thinking of we’re going to call it reengagement for all intents and purposes today, I know with some of the offices that I’ve worked with in the past, twice a year we did a reengagement campaign. If they don’t have a phone number, we were reaching out. Or if we haven’t touched them in six months, we were sending out a campaign. What are some other things? Let’s talk about reengagement. Obviously, we want to get our people within our offices to look at our database first. But when there’s not accurate data, it’s almost like they’re starting from square one every single time. So help me think this proactively for our listeners out here and our operations people, what are some things that they can do for automations to reactivate candidates and how frequently should they do it?
Chris Hesson [00:26:51]:
Yeah, so I like your idea of twice a year. I think that’s really a good start, especially if you have larger firms, larger pools. I know people with seven users with 600,000 contacts in their database. It can get ridiculous sometimes. But look at these people you’ve had conversations with in the past. Just dropping your name back out there, even having that email that’s, hey, Courtney, I know it’s been a while since we last chatted. Just wanted to reconnect. Hopes all going well.
Chris Hesson [00:27:17]:
Reference changes on LinkedIn. I’m a big believer. Everyone is on LinkedIn. First off, everyone who’s a recruiter, you get those notifications that congratulate so and so. They got a new role, new job. What a fantastic excuse to reengage with someone, add them to a list to now reenter in an automation drip campaign to congratulate their new role and build that relationship further. You’ve invested time and money to source someone in the past, have conversations with them, qualify them as either a sales lead or as a candidate. All of this time is money you have spent.
Chris Hesson [00:27:51]:
But the number of candidates we engage with compared to we place, it’s very different. You might talk to 50 people to place one. What are you doing with the other 49? How are you ensuring that you didn’t waste your time on those 49? And you still have a revenue benefit coming from those relationships. So when someone works with you, don’t view this as a one and done. And that’s far too often how recruiters approach this. And it’s why the biggest complaint people have about recruiters is their consistency. I’ve mentioned it on this podcast before, but Reddit has a I forget what it’s called, but it’s like an I hate recruiters subreddit. Look through there and I really say you’ll find great examples of poor implementation of automation, poor recruiting practices, what candidates dread.
Chris Hesson [00:28:29]:
One of the things is, hey, the recruiters only call me when they need me. Well, we can automate outreach when we don’t, so that when they need us, we’re there. Or when we need them. It doesn’t feel like it’s the first time and we’re begging them for something.
Kortney Harmon [00:28:41]:
I know this is something I’ve heard this out of you before just through training and MRI. Chris, for those of you who don’t know, chris is a foodie. He loves to cook. Chris had talked about even sending his favorite barbecue recipe out on Memorial Day. As goofy as that sounds, I don’t know if anyone on this call does stuff like that. Something that you’re giving information without requiring information from a candidate is huge. Whether it’s something little or something big is it of value to them. Every single person in this room and sitting on this call is what’s in it for me? Is this beneficial to me and your candidates? Think of it is the exact same way.
Kortney Harmon [00:29:16]:
And I can tell you, I can’t even count on both of my hands how many times I’ve seen someone say, oh, look at this amazing candidate I found on Sip recruiter. Or indeed, oh, they’ve been in our system. Oh, they were actually in our system back in 2021. But guess what? We are spending money on that job board to get new candidates. In reality, it’s just recycling a lot of the same people that we’ve already had in our system for years that we didn’t take care of in the beginning. That’s a hard truth right there.
Chris Hesson [00:29:44]:
I’m sure all of you have had that. I can remember vividly the first time it happened. I was in a new industry. Was only in it for about six months. Had like $150,000 Role I’m working on on the perm side. And the candidate that was placed was in our database. Never would have found them compared to it. The information was old.
Chris Hesson [00:30:04]:
They’d been in there for eleven years. No one had looked at them or touched them. It’s stale data. Your database. And the information you have is only as good as your usage of it. You can’t just Shove it in Here and Forget about It and Think you’re going to come Back five years later and it’s still going to be of any value to you Whatsoever. You have to keep using It, you have to keep up with It. And automation in these aspects is a great way to ensure you have these continual touches going out.
Chris Hesson [00:30:27]:
You have a bounce back. The email is bad. You’re going to know now as opposed to six years later when something pops back up. You have now a chance to great. Let’s go ahead and take a look. Though they changed jobs. Great. They’re now a new role.
Chris Hesson [00:30:39]:
Let’s reengage and see where we can make this happen or expand a relationship.
Kortney Harmon [00:30:44]:
Great Point. All right, let’s talk the opposite end of the process. I’m just jumping all around today. My brain. It’s a Thursday. I’m ready for Friday. Redeployment is something that I see so many organizations not do well. But in reality, an automation in play for Redeployment would probably help us drastically.
Kortney Harmon [00:31:05]:
Just mitigate the churn. And whenever I say churn. Obviously, when we get to the idea of someone is ending an assignment, we know that they’re coming to the end. But that doesn’t mean we can’t redeploy them. That means we probably have candidates or clients that are looking for another candidate just like that. Give us the chance to put them back to work. Talk to me about redeployment and automation. Do you see that being something that we should put into play? And what are some things that we need to think about if we’re redeploying? How do we walk through that automation?
Chris Hesson [00:31:34]:
I mean, staffing is such a fantastic business because you have this annuity that essentially comes, and the more candidates you place on assignment, the bigger this annuity gets. But that only grows if the people you’re adding on assignment increases faster than the number of people leaving. Well, one of the best ways. And for any of you in business MBAs, the cost of a customer leaving or somebody coming off assignment is so much bigger, a bigger time saving to keep that person redeployed than finding a new candidate and placing someone new. Your efficiency comes with keeping those candidates. They’re a known entity. You know the quality of their work, you know there’s demand for their product and you know when their role is going to end and they’re going to be available. Imagine if you had that for every candidate in your database.
Chris Hesson [00:32:16]:
Your job as a recruiter would be so much easier. Somebody who you know is good, you have contact info for they like you or have hopefully a good relationship with you. You know exactly when they’re available and what type of role they want. If you have that type of information for every candidate in your database, the number of placements you can make is limitless. You have that information for candidates, the ones you’ve placed that are on assignment, where that assignment is ending in November. It ends January 3. You know the end date. You know the project they’re working off is ending.
Chris Hesson [00:32:43]:
Why are we not kicking a cadence off two months prior to that, six weeks prior to that to begin outreaching and, hey, your time is coming again. Let’s reengage. Let’s talk. Let’s figure out what comes next so we can immediately plug and play that candidate directly into another project.
Kortney Harmon [00:32:58]:
Is there any mishaps whenever you think of redeployment besides someone not having a process in play, which I think is very common? Is there any other mishaps whenever you think of automation for redeployment?
Chris Hesson [00:33:08]:
I think this is one where I like scaling and changing how you do your automation. For example, we talked about I’m automating the actual execution versus the plan. People you have relationships with, crafted emails that you write are going to be better than what chat GPT can write. It’s someone you know, you have more information about them in your brain than a tool is going to be able to craft something for you. So maybe while you might start off with some automated emails that are very generic, automating the task reminder the plan to start reaching out, having follow up with phone calls to ensure you make that connection. Because here’s the thing. When that candidate comes off assignment, they’re not going to sit unemployed. They are going to go back on another assignment somewhere.
Chris Hesson [00:33:49]:
The question is, are you getting paid for it or not?
Kortney Harmon [00:33:52]:
They’re looking for their new job the minute they start their current job. At that point, if they’re looking to take on that risk and they’re looking to do that, they are looking from the minute that they’re on your assignment through the entire thing before they get their next one. Okay, Katie, you told me 240 was my limit. Do you want me to keep talking? Because Chris and I could go for hours. Oh, I know you could. No, I think that we have some very exciting things to get to, so we can actually do that now. Hope I’m sending a message in the chat. Okay, so I think that the first thing that we want to do is maybe draw our winner.
Kortney Harmon [00:34:34]:
We’re giving away two swag packs from the full desk experience, including fun things like a sweatshirt and a mag and maybe some other little goodies as well. And as soon as we pick the winners, we will be reaching out via email or however to make sure we get your size correct, because we do obviously have a sweatshirt. Mugs don’t need to be a certain size unless you’re Katie with her coffee. She’s waiting. This is true. I have all of the names. We had 90 registrants for today’s show. I dropped all of them into our little deal, and then I am going to as long as it doesn’t freeze on me.
Kortney Harmon [00:35:16]:
We are going to spend twice and I did this based on email because there’s multiple of the same names but different emails. So our first one is going to [email protected]. I’ll drop this in the chat way. We’ve got it there. So here’s our first winner. It always is that you are right. I know. And then I’m spinning again.
Kortney Harmon [00:35:47]:
And the second winner is [email protected]. So I will go ahead and send each of you an email to get your shipping information so that way we can get these over to you. Yes. Thanks Mitch. Yes. Sharing screens is always nerve wracking. I appreciate the support there. Okay, so you guys have talked a lot today about automations.
Kortney Harmon [00:36:13]:
We’re hopping into the AMA, sorry for the like switch. We got some questions coming through before the show even about how to do this within Crelate. And so I have directed some of those questions over to our success team. [email protected]. You guys can also reach out to support, which is just [email protected]. But you guys also talked about the things that you shouldn’t automate and not losing the human touch. Do you guys have any examples of going too far on automations or what hardline is the hard deck is of automating.
Chris Hesson [00:36:50]:
So we talked about references and why. Automating the outreach to references is huge. Automating the reference check itself, terrible. Don’t do it. Now I have seen this come more often from internal HR where they’re literally just send out a form to everyone who was listed as a reference because they don’t care about a relationship. They just want a way to have a CYA that says, hey, the candidate is not a psychopath. Their goal is not in building a relationship with the reference giver. Their goal is to check a box.
Chris Hesson [00:37:19]:
The whole reason references are valuable to you in a staffing or recruiting firm is the relationship that you can derive from it. Automation should not be automating the relationship. It is automating the outreach. It’s automating some of the follow up. Nothing is going to replace you getting on the phone and having a conversation and talking with somebody else. So don’t automate and say, hey, I’m just going to have a reference check form and I’m going to email that out to people and see if no, don’t do that. You are missing the entire point of where the value add really is. Use this as a mean to increase your number of relationships, not be a replacement for a relationship.
Kortney Harmon [00:37:55]:
I’m going to piggyback off that not only reference check, but I think as we look at new business logos, there’s a lot of organizations that are like, I have this drip campaign, it’s sending 32 emails, it’s sending automatic text, but they’re not hearing from anybody from the organization to understand the value. They’re not building a relationship and there is nothing more frustrating. And I would say it’s almost removal of trust in that process whenever you’re relying solely on a computer or solely on the interaction with an email or a text message to do the job for you. So as you look at even developing new business right now, right here, right now, I know that’s not a process we talked about, but is a process that you can start implementing or using automations to help you. I would say don’t be over reliant on those automations and make sure you are picking up the phone, you are having a conversation. You’re not using one of those tools that will just put you straight to their voicemail to leave a voicemail because you’re going to lose trust because you’re really, truly not trying to establish the relationship. So Chris, to answer your question, we will be sending out a copy of this recording hopefully within the next 24 hours. It’s something that StreamYard does automatically, speaking of automation.
Kortney Harmon [00:39:10]:
And then we will also be dropping this as a live podcast episode dropping on next Thursday. And as part of that you will get kind of some of the step by step guides covering the four processes that we talked about. Mitch, I see your question. I’m not going to ask it here, but I can connect you with somebody at Support or you can email support and they would be better suited to answer those kinds of questions for you. Okay, so you guys mentioned the first four things that you should automate within the four R’s, if you will, of automation. What comes next? After you’ve done these four things, we’re talking about saving time and optimizing processes, what comes next?
Chris Hesson [00:39:49]:
I love it. I love that you said the four R’s because I think that’s so fitting. So again, references, referrals, redeployment, reengagement, those are the four things I think to keep in mind. And Courtney and I kind of looked at this, we’re kind of targeting the things that a lot of people aren’t looking at or starting with today candidate outreach. A, I have a search, I’ve identified 30 candidates. That’s a pretty commonplace and that’s often where I see a lot of people begin some simple automation. But look at your content, what you’re sending in, the automation. The message itself is incredibly important.
Chris Hesson [00:40:22]:
Your subject line, I mean, take some basic marketing kind of approach to this. Your subject line, it’s got to be a really good subject line to get somebody’s attention. The content of your email, have a call to action because the goal is not sending the automated email. That is not the goal. The goal is to make a connection, have a conversation. So having a call to action for them to set up a meeting with you, to call you, to respond to you, to connect with you on LinkedIn, to follow your company page, check out something, you give them a request, have them do something that is going to give you, first off, metrics you can track. Most automation tools have the ability to track things like Opens and click through rates that’s going to tell you, is your message good. So a fantastic process with poor content is not going to work.
Chris Hesson [00:41:14]:
You need to have good content in addition to a solid and consistent process.
Kortney Harmon [00:41:20]:
So Chris, you actually said something that prompted a follow up question. When you talking about the reporting aspect, how would you be able to tell if something within your automation was like, what are the metrics that people should be tracking when it comes to reporting on this type of stuff?
Chris Hesson [00:41:36]:
Yeah. So a lot are going to be especially on the email front, you’re going to be looking at Opens, click throughs replies. Those are going to be three things where most tools, including Crelate, are going to give you those basic components. Opens is going to essentially confirm or reject your subject line. If you send out an email, the email itself could be incredible. But if the subject line is template number three, nobody’s going to click and open it. So the Opens is going to be reflective of, did you have an effective subject line? Your call to action is, did your message, the content, the body of your email resonate with them. Did you get their attention? Courtney had mentioned my barbecue sauce recipe.
Chris Hesson [00:42:18]:
It was a blueberry barbecue sauce and it was absolutely amazing. And I found that I could find around holidays, you send people recipes and I would have people reply back who I’d never talked to. Literally, this was their first response of, I made it this weekend. It was amazing. And I got a contract signed out of it. It’s incredible, the content, how important that can be. I personally, I’m a foodie. I like to eat.
Chris Hesson [00:42:40]:
I like to make my own food. Most people do as well. It’s something different, it’s something unique. Find something that is a value add in your content, because at the end of the day, it needs to be all about them, not all about you.
Kortney Harmon [00:42:54]:
I love that. I think that’s a good point. And that kind of brings back to a question that I missed further up about the process. So at the beginning of the episode, you guys said that you can’t automate without process. Can we talk about why that is and what the importance of the process is?
Chris Hesson [00:43:10]:
So from an automation standpoint, you’re essentially having a machine or a computer follow a process. You have to have a process to tell it what to do and when to do it. Courtney when we had trained rookie recruiters, we generally had an outreach, not automated. The recruiter, they were the brain behind everything. But we’d have a touch plan. All right, I’m working on a new search. Day one, I’m sending this particular email. Day two, I’m calling.
Chris Hesson [00:43:33]:
If I get a voicemail, I’m going to send this email. Day three, I’m reaching out on LinkedIn. Day four, I’m calling again. If I leave a voicemail, I send another email. Day five, reach out on LinkedIn the second time following week. Day six, you need to have well, what are the steps that you go through from an outreach standpoint as part of automation. And most automation tools, including Curl eight will support and help is multi touch. You need to have a multichannel approach as part of your process.
Chris Hesson [00:43:57]:
There are candidates who just don’t check their email. My personal email inbox sits at like 40,000 unread messages at all times. I have to hunt and good luck, because I don’t check it. I’m never in there. My work email is only like 300 unread emails, so it’s much better. Some people don’t listen to their voicemail. Some people don’t have their phone set up, not to see texts from unknown numbers. Some people never check LinkedIn Courtney and I remember we used to get asked, what’s the most effective way to get a hold of somebody? You’ve got Facebook, you’ve got LinkedIn, you’ve got phone, you’ve got text, you’ve got email.
Chris Hesson [00:44:30]:
What’s the best surefire way? The answer is you try all of them and see which works for that person. So your process needs to incorporate a multi touch approach because you may reach out ten times in a week. They only saw one of them because they don’t check their email. They don’t get on LinkedIn very often.
Kortney Harmon [00:44:47]:
Hey, Court, do we have a multi touch guide somewhere? I was going to get there. We do have a multi touch plan strategy. Chris, I don’t even know if you know that that’s what we called it, but this is for business development. So 16 and twelve point touch point strategy for creating new logos and new business. So we do have that. I don’t even remember what episode it was, but literally, we have an ebook that walks you through that entire process. I love that. Now, I will say a lot of offices, I know Chris can attest to this.
Kortney Harmon [00:45:17]:
A lot of offices, as they’re starting to scale, or even large staffing organizations, they rely on their top producers to be their process driver. Because, let’s face it, well, what they’re doing works. Or I don’t need to follow what Bob does because Bob produces his own thing. But what if you could replicate what Bob does for every single person in your organization, and they could have the same success that Bob does? Use that. If you don’t know where to start, use your top producers or use your strategy. When you were a top producer, if you were running a desk to be your starting point, that doesn’t mean it has to be set in stone and that you can’t alter it or you can’t change it after you’re understanding what works in your vertical. So be open minded and realize this is flexible. It’s something that can move, but you have to start somewhere whether it’s your top producer or it’s your process, you have to start somewhere to make it scalable for the rest of your organization.
Kortney Harmon [00:46:12]:
And Chris, highlighted in the beginning of the episode, what happens if you could get your rookie producing at Bob’s level within six months? What does that mean for that person making that money and within your organization? Who would not want that types of success? I love that it’s kind of coming full circle. Cool. Well, I think I’m out of questions for today. We will get the multi touch plan strategy. We’ll link it in these notes, the show notes of this podcast as well. So if you’re listening to the podcast later and aren’t here live, I will also include it in our downloads. If you are attending live and you registered for this event, you’ll get an email after the event showing next Thursday. When the episode drops, you’ll get the ebook and then you’ll also get the Multi Touch plan strategy email e book as well.
Kortney Harmon [00:46:54]:
That being said, Court, I am going to hop off and let you guys wrap up. Thank you, Katie. All right, chris, as always, thank you for joining us. I love when we can really dive into the details. And obviously, anybody who thinks as nerdy as I do, as frequently as I do, I always truly appreciate that. So thank you.
Chris Hesson [00:47:10]:
No, my pleasure. It’s great. And for me, this is such an important process component. But again, you can’t automate a process you don’t have. So look at your business, look how you operate, what’s the right way to do things? What is that path you wish every recruiter in your organization, every salesperson could follow? Let’s write it out, codify it, make it real, then we can automate it.
Kortney Harmon [00:47:31]:
I love that. Thank you. Obviously, as we wrap up another episode of our workshop in this Full Desk Experience, thank you again to Chris for breaking down the details on implementation and automation of your recruiting and staffing businesses. Again, automation can be a game changer, but it’s important not to get overwhelmed. Start with the key processes like we discussed today, whatever we’re looking through, processes that you can start with is reengagement references, referrals and redeployment. Obviously, we talked about that touch point strategy too, so it’s like a five for one. So focus on one area at a time. Follow best practices.
Kortney Harmon [00:48:08]:
Avoid common pitfalls that people fall into, but revisit them. Revisit them frequently. Now, if you have any other questions about optimizing talent acquisition strategies, what you’re doing, this podcast is exactly what we do. We really highlight everything from start to finish in the downfalls and successes that people have in this industry. So thank you, as always, for reaching out. If you have other ideas or questions, feel free to reach out to us at the Full Desk Experience or actually, [email protected]. Sorry, Katie, I screwed that up [email protected] for other topics. Thank you for putting that in there.
Kortney Harmon [00:48:45]:
Chris, Katie and myself will be at Staffing World, so if anybody is going to be at Staffing World, feel free to write in the chat. We’d love to see you. We’d love to connect. Come by our booth. We are booth 919. And then Chris and I will also be at SRA the following week as well. So look forward to seeing many of your smiling faces in the upcoming weeks. Thank you so much for tuning in today.
Kortney Harmon [00:49:06]:
If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please subscribe. Leave a rating review wherever you listen to again, it really helps us spread the word. I’m courtney hartman with crelate, and we’ll see you next time on the full desk experience. Have a great rest of your day. I’m Kortney Harmon with Crit. Thanks for joining the full Desk Experience. Please feel free to submit any questions for next session to fulldesk at or ask us live next session. If you enjoyed our show, be sure to subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen and sign up to attend future events that happen once a month.