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On this episode of The Full Desk Experience, Kortney Harmon interviews a fantastic guest, Mel Spraw, a Senior Product Consultant with nearly a decade of experience in the talent industry. In today’s episode, Mel will be diving deep into the topic of adoption within the staffing and recruiting world.
We all know how important it is for businesses to embrace new tools and technologies, but what happens when those tools aren’t being fully adopted by the team? How can leadership effectively communicate the value of these tools to recruiters and staff? And what strategies can be implemented to incentivize technology use and ensure a smooth transition?
Mel will share her expertise on how to drive consistent usage of recruiting tools and solutions, the role of training and ongoing support, common mistakes that hinder user adoption, and much more. We’ll also explore the challenges faced during the implementation process and the importance of understanding and appeasing the change makers within your organization.
Kortney Harmon [00:00:00]:
I love that you want that, but make sure you’re pulling the right data over.
Mel Spraw [00:00:04]:
Absolutely. It drives and I even tell them like, are you sure you want that note from 1997? Does that make sense to ring over? And they’re like, yes.
Kortney Harmon [00:00:10]:
It’s crucial this goes along with KPIs. We talk about KPIs all the time too. Make sure where you’re measuring your team to the right cadence of KPIs, just not being on that hamster wheel of doing more, making sure your quality is better, not just your quantity. 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 to another episode of The Full Desk Experience. I’m your host, Kortney Harmon, and today we have a very special guest.
Kortney Harmon [00:01:03]:
Mel Sprawl is a senior product consultant who has nearly a decade of experience in the talent industry and has worked with hundreds of offices globally. Mel has truly seen firsthand the challenges that staffing and recruiting firms face when rolling out new technologies. Now, whether that’s a new ATS, a new tool, a consolidation of tech stack, trying to get all these employees adoption for these tools are so crucial in our success. With so many recruiting tools and AI solutions coming to market, driving consistent usage is crucial for seeing return on investment. So in our conversation today, mel is going to share her insights on how leadership can communicate the value of new tools to their recruiters and staff. We’re going to discuss training strategies to ramp up adoption. You know, training is the way to my heart and ways to incentivize recruiters to utilize technology and how to pilot tools pre implementation to drive engagement. Mel’s also going to talk about common mistakes firms and agencies make that hinder user adoption and how recruiters can be involved in the selection and rollout processes.
Kortney Harmon [00:02:13]:
There are so many lessons to be learned about change management when it comes to getting your team on board with new tech. With digital transformation accelerating across our talent industry, adoption is such a critical issue and I can’t wait to unpack Mel’s knowledge and experience on this important topic. But first, Mel, tell us a little bit about you and what led you to become so passionate about driving technology adoption across offices?
Mel Spraw [00:02:42]:
Yeah, well, first thing, thanks for having me. Super excited to be here. So, yeah, my name is Mel Sparrowma, Seiner product consultant, and I am extremely passionate about this because I come from the industry myself. So I live and breathe technology, I live and breathe training. That has always been my passion to make sure teams are set up for success. Everybody knows what’s going on at all times. So really, adoption to me, is so crucial because I think honestly, it really drives progress, it enhances efficiency, I think it really empowers innovation and I think it helps really stay competitive in the market. So I think that’s the biggest thing to me, and I will always be passionate about it.
Mel Spraw [00:03:22]:
And you guys are taking the time to spend money on new technologies ATS whatever it may be. Let’s take the time to learn it, train it and breathe it. So that way, again, by embracing these new tools, we can really just unlock potential and have transformative changes in the industry itself or even just in your office. So I’d say again, this is obviously you can tell one of my biggest passions that I have and excited to talk through it today.
Kortney Harmon [00:03:46]:
I love it. And obviously, senior product consultant, you have the knowledge and see where it’s failed, but you also lived the seat. You are in the seat of this audience as well, correct?
Mel Spraw [00:03:57]:
Absolutely, yes. I’ve seen where things go wrong, I’ve seen where changes could have happened to make things go a lot smoother. I have trained hundreds of offices, I led recruiting teams, led sales teams. So that is just a pain point I see across the board. And again, it can just make such a difference when you’re taking the time to learn it and train it properly. So I think it’s a huge thing.
Kortney Harmon [00:04:19]:
I love it and I love that you can look at it with so many different lenses. So, with that being said, let’s go ahead and jump into our first question. Yeah. What’s the biggest obstacle to user adoption that staffing and recruiting firms face with new technology? Rollouts, obviously. Let’s come out with the big guns in the beginning. What are the biggest obstacles you’ve seen working with offices?
Mel Spraw [00:04:38]:
Well, it’s no secret that people are just naturally resistant to change, especially recruiters. I’m guilty of it. I will wait till the last second sometimes in order to use a new technology. I’m like, I’m not going to learn that, I’ll wait till I have to absolutely do it. But again, that’s what really can just disrupt everybody’s workflow. And I totally understand being hesitant to learn a new system. The worst thing, and I tell this to all my customers as well, is there’s nothing worse than having a tool get in the way of you doing your job right. I want to make calls, I want to make money, I want to make placements right.
Mel Spraw [00:05:09]:
If I have to spend so much time documenting things and it’s so cumbersome to the point where it’s like, I just don’t want to do it, people aren’t going to do it. So I think that’s the biggest thing. And as I said, again, people are just naturally resistant to change. They don’t want to do it. I think the other piece too is just making sure there is a point person that is really handling the rollout of this to make it an easy process. The other issue that I run into a lot with customers are they don’t plan it properly. They rush into it. Hey, we lose the system tomorrow, let’s go ahead and implement a new one the next day.
Mel Spraw [00:05:42]:
Unfortunately it happens. I get it. But I think really planning ahead and making sure I have a point person that’s really going to own this project and help with that again, rolling it out, being able to train, creating. SOPs whatever it takes to really make your team successful. So I would say resistance to change. Obviously I think user adoption and just training overall is a piece that is always going to be an obstacle and then I think sometimes too just unrealistic expectations. Hey, we lost bullhorn yesterday, we lost another system yesterday. Let’s go ahead and switch to a new one tomorrow.
Mel Spraw [00:06:13]:
And I want everybody to understand it.
Kortney Harmon [00:06:15]:
Whatever world they’re in, I want to play the same lottery that they want to win on. So that’s very valid. I love that. And now, I mean a lot of the times that we’re going to talk about today is really maybe adoption of a new ATS. But this goes with anything. This goes with new generative AI that’s coming out or the new tool or RingCentral or any other integration pieces. Because I think I’m sure you’re going to hit on this. It’s not just one system with us to get the holistic view of your business is something that I preach about, is really foundational processes.
Kortney Harmon [00:06:45]:
Make sure systems are talking to each other so your organization and your owners have holistic view of what’s happening.
Mel Spraw [00:06:51]:
Absolutely. Totally agree.
Kortney Harmon [00:06:52]:
I like it. All right, let’s think about leadership for a second. How can leadership communicate the value of a new tool to get buy in from their offices? A lot of times it’s the being told, well, you have to use this. So how can leadership and their communication streamline us easier?
Mel Spraw [00:07:11]:
Yeah, I think it’s truly understanding the pain points of the team. Right? So what are the pain points are we having and what is this tool going to solve going forward? Because that’s the biggest thing I want to know. Okay, how’s this going to make my life easier? And I think too just really selling realistic expectations again that hey, we’re not going to expect you to use this day one, but we are going to roll out a process for it. And I think the biggest piece is really just measuring and sharing positive outcomes. So hey, even if that’s a reference, we talked to another firm that used this tool and they were really successful with it and they shared their stories with us. I think you have to see the why, right? I think here’s the why. Here’s how it’s going to help us improve business and here’s how we’re going to make it easy for you guys to have a nice smooth transition. So I think that’s the biggest piece when it comes to getting a buy in is really just understand what are the pain points, what are the challenges we’re running into.
Mel Spraw [00:07:59]:
Let’s talk through what kind of expectations are going to happen with this. And then really just being able to clearly address like, hey, here’s the positive outcome we’re going to get from this going forward. Hopefully this makes your life a little bit easier.
Kortney Harmon [00:08:11]:
And honestly, depending on who your team is, every person may have a different lens or every role could have a different lens of focus and what that means. So don’t just stop short of one person is my guess. Am I wrong?
Mel Spraw [00:08:22]:
Absolutely, yes. I think getting the whole team on board too, and getting again all those pain points, you may have a different pain point than I have, and making sure that we hit on all of those. And again, just really being able to share like a positive outcome on how is this going to help us going forward.
Kortney Harmon [00:08:36]:
I love it. We talked about training, you mentioned it, but what training strategies have you seen successfully ramp up adoption of new recruiting platforms?
Mel Spraw [00:08:47]:
Yes. So a couple of things that I think make people really successful is, again, going back to having just a point of contact that really is going to be the one to own the entire process. Or maybe that’s a couple of people, whatever that looks like, but having them really take the time, own this project. Let’s learn everything we can about a system. And I’ve even had customers that go to the point of creating SOPs. Right. Because a lot of systems, obviously they have great help articles or resources that you can go to, but it may not be relevant for your business. Right.
Mel Spraw [00:09:16]:
So I think taking the time to create an SOP of here, here, this is how this is going to work for us. This is how we’re going to use it going forward. I even like the train the trainer approach. I know you come from hospitality background like myself way back when, so I think having a train the trainer is always a good option as well. So that way, if you do have support when it comes to training, whoever is heading that up can really properly train it to the rest of the team. So I think having those few options, really you’re setting yourself up for success. And I think the other option too is just making sure you have ample time before the transition. Right.
Mel Spraw [00:09:49]:
I’ll keep hitting the nail on the head on that when it comes to just making sure we have ample time and making sure that we have somebody dedicated to really set the team up.
Kortney Harmon [00:09:57]:
For success, being able to hit those milestones will make you successful and feel less rushed. I mean, I know SOPs seems like basic, but SOPs really come down to training not only existing employees, what the new system is, but every new person coming into your organization. Because, absolutely, your teams are too busy. They’re too busy running their own desk to be able to go train a new person if they can at least get some insight. Watch a video, see an. SOP they’re going to be able to check things off of their desk. Way easier in the beginning than trying to stop someone senior in their tracks.
Mel Spraw [00:10:31]:
Absolutely. Because we know it takes time, obviously, to ramp somebody up. And this way they have that beginning piece of getting to understand the system, getting to understand the process, because I think that’s a piece too, making sure you have a process. There’s been plenty of times where I know we’re going to touch on unsuccessful things, but if we don’t have a process laid out, that’s a big pain point as well.
Kortney Harmon [00:10:50]:
Have you seen that? I have.
Mel Spraw [00:10:52]:
Yes, I have seen where I’ll talk to a customer, I’m like, hey, walk me through your recruiting process, walk me through your sales process. And it’s kind of all over the place and it’s like, let’s sit down, let’s talk through this first and really understand. And this is a good time too, to clean up those processes, right? Because now we have this brand new system that we can start working in. Let’s clean it up, let’s get it nailed down. So that way it’s easy, it’s streamlined, it’s to the point going back to when things are just too cumbersome again, people aren’t going to do it. So let’s make it as simple as possible, effective, and then of course, again, automated, if we can, to make it happen.
Kortney Harmon [00:11:24]:
I think that’s amazing. I’m going to ask more questions around that later because I know you’re probably going to hit on that. So I’ll quit, like jumping ahead.
Mel Spraw [00:11:32]:
Kortney Harmon [00:11:33]:
Obviously we talked about training strategies. What are the biggest challenges you’ve seen talent businesses face when it comes to adoption? Yeah, so I would say some of.
Mel Spraw [00:11:43]:
The biggest challenges that I’ve seen when it comes to adoption and with new technology, first thing would be, again, just lack of training and support. I think having inadequate training and having that support not be an option can really just hinder adoption. Without guidance, people aren’t going to want to use it. They’re going to get frustrated. You’re going to have people using one software or one ATS and then using another one. And we’re trying to pull reports out of one and out of the other and trying to figure out who’s and what. So I think that’s a big piece there. I think the other piece too is just having, again, user experience concerns.
Mel Spraw [00:12:14]:
I think there’s a lot of times where, hey, this looks too complex for me. I don’t really understand this. I don’t want to care to learn this, unfortunately. So I think that comes into play when it’s not very intuitive or user friendly people get discouraged. Or especially too if you’re less tech savvy that we run into, that where, again, it’s just too frustrating and we don’t want to do it. So those are some things that I’ve run into along with just, again, having poor communication about what are the benefits of this tool. If we’re like, hey, just use this, go ahead and move forward. People, they don’t know the why they don’t want to move forward in using it and they’re going to stick to their old ways.
Mel Spraw [00:12:47]:
So those are just like a few of the biggest challenges that I’ve seen when it comes to adoption with new technology and tech stacks I love.
Kortney Harmon [00:12:54]:
Mel Spraw [00:12:55]:
Kortney Harmon [00:12:56]:
I don’t know if you’ve seen this. I’ve seen this and I don’t necessarily I’ve seen it in training in general. I’m just curious if you’ve seen it in technology adoption. Oftentimes offices have those top performers. Those top performers is like, well, they know what they’re doing. We’re going to follow their process or they can do whatever they want, which in theory seems nice that they’re self sufficient. But for us as leaders that are trying to understand what our forecasting is, where we’re going in the business, in reality, that one poor person that’s pulling reports is dissecting. It probably takes them two to three days to pull reports.
Kortney Harmon [00:13:31]:
It’s not giving the holistic view of their business. Have you seen that on your side of the house too? That well, this person does this or this person does this. Is that common?
Mel Spraw [00:13:39]:
Kortney Harmon [00:13:40]:
Mel Spraw [00:13:40]:
That is a common thing that I’ve seen. And again, I think you hit the nail on the head with that. It’s well, it seems to be working for them, so let’s just move forward with it when unfortunately, sometimes things need to be changed. We need to know what’s going on in the back end and maybe again, this is a good time too to train the other team members on, hey, I do it this way. Well, I do it this way. Let’s come in the middle and figure out how it’s going to be successful for the entire team or how to.
Kortney Harmon [00:14:02]:
Make that one thing that’s successful scalable for the whole team.
Mel Spraw [00:14:05]:
Kortney Harmon [00:14:06]:
One person. How can recruiters be incentivized? I know, it’s a shame that I’m even saying that word. I feel like I’m manipulating my kid at this rate, getting him to clean his room. But how can recruiters be incentivized to fully utilize new tools instead of relying on old tech? Because let’s face it, we have a lot of people that are stuck in their ways. They don’t like that change. How do we incentivize them to do better change and really adopt? Yeah.
Mel Spraw [00:14:32]:
So I think there’s a couple of different ways we can incentivize people. I think one of the biggest things is going to be sharing success stories. So hey, I did this the other day and it worked really well for me, share it across the team. So that way, again, everybody else can be successful when it comes to that. So really just sharing the knowledge within the team. I think the other option, and this is silly, but I’ve seen it and it works, hey, if you go through all the videos or all the help articles, I’ll give you $50 when you finish. So I have seen that it has worked. So that’s an option as well.
Mel Spraw [00:15:01]:
I know it’s silly, but honestly, again, it’s a good way to incentivize the team. And I think too, just really leveraging that, giving a safe space almost of like, hey, let’s give me any user feedback because then they’re more likely to use the tool. They’re more likely to give you feedback on what’s working, what’s not working. And then I think just doing regular check ins to see again what has been successful for you guys, what hasn’t worked for you, and really just continuing to share the success stories.
Kortney Harmon [00:15:26]:
I think you hit on something that not a lot of people do. And this was just from my perspective, not a lot of people want feedback because if they ask for feedback, they’re going to hear negative things. But in reality, leadership thinks that they need to do one thing. This is the outcome I want to see. But they’re not understanding. Going back to those pain points and understanding the people that are using the system every day, they don’t ask for feedback because honestly, it’s just going to complicate things. Don’t tell almost for sure. I’m not wrong.
Kortney Harmon [00:15:53]:
That’s all you’re telling.
Mel Spraw [00:15:54]:
You’re not wrong. Not at all. All right.
Kortney Harmon [00:15:57]:
Incentivizing even. Hey, $50 just at least to make sure you’re understanding. But again, maybe even just leaving a portion in your morning meetings, if you’re doing the morning meetings still, or your wrap up meetings or whatever, what is your feedback, what’s working, what’s not? What do you need to see next, anything along those lines. But just leaving that feedback door open is key.
Mel Spraw [00:16:17]:
Absolutely. And even if, hey, that helps me just endorse with my goals going forward and in career growth, I think that’s a big thing too, of just leaving that door open. So you’re absolutely right.
Kortney Harmon [00:16:27]:
So true. All right, what strategies help drive consistent usage and compliance with new recruiting processes? Yeah.
Mel Spraw [00:16:36]:
So I would say again, just provide thorough training and ongoing workshops. I think that’s a big piece to it, really involving your managers and leadership, again in that feedback and making sure you are getting that support. I always stress too, just conducting regular audits. So hey, check how things are going into the system, what’s being used, what’s not being used. Do those audits because it’s important to really customize. Again, what if we have set up? Does it still make sense for the team, hey, we’re not really using this piece here. Let’s go ahead and leverage this piece here. I think also, too, just having anything streamlined and automated where we can to make life easier.
Mel Spraw [00:17:12]:
Again, the less time that I’m spending documenting things down in a system or again, entering things that I don’t need to, is more time for me to be on the phones, calling candidates, making placements. So I think those are, again, just some strategies I’ve seen that really help consistent usage compliance. When it comes to those new recruiting processes.
Kortney Harmon [00:17:29]:
You mentioned audits, how frequently, especially like, let’s say, adoption of a new ATS, how frequent would you say that someone needs to conduct those audits? Because obviously there’s a first trial period, people are trying to still figure out the system. What is your recommendation on how frequently they conduct those audits?
Mel Spraw [00:17:47]:
Yeah, I typically tell customers, check things at least once a month. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but honestly, if you’re checking things monthly and keeping things clean and consistent, that goes such a long way. There’s so many times where I’m doing migrations or doing data dumps, and I’m seeing things that hadn’t been looked at or touched in ten years, and then we have all this bad data and what’s going on with it. Right. So I think checking things monthly, making sure, again, things are going in consistently cleanly, and we’re getting the data we need out of it, because that’s the biggest piece. Right. We’re spending all this time putting data into an ATS. Let’s make sure we can get it out in a way that’s efficient.
Mel Spraw [00:18:21]:
So I would say once a month is typically a good cadence.
Kortney Harmon [00:18:25]:
I love that. That’s great. I mean, data in is data out.
Mel Spraw [00:18:28]:
Kortney Harmon [00:18:29]:
We say this all the time. Right. But I think it’s crazy. I know just by sitting in on some of your guys’calls, it’s funny that people are like, well, I want to pull all this data over to my new system, but I’ve not used it in ten years. Well, if you’re not using it, you’re not measuring it. That’s crazy to me. I love that you want that, but make sure you’re pulling the right data over.
Mel Spraw [00:18:49]:
Absolutely. It drives and I even tell them, like, are you sure you want that note from 1997? Does that make sense to ring over? And they’re like, yes.
Kortney Harmon [00:18:55]:
It’s crucial this goes along with KPIs. We talk about KPIs all the time, too. Make sure you’re measuring your team to the right cadence of KPIs. Just not being on that hamster wheel of doing more, making sure your quality is better, not just your quantity.
Mel Spraw [00:19:11]:
Absolutely, it’s huge.
Kortney Harmon [00:19:13]:
All right, next question. What mistakes do firms and agencies make that hinder user adoption of new technologies, especially when it comes to ATS?
Mel Spraw [00:19:22]:
Yeah, so a couple of things that I see that really hinder adoption when it comes to new technology would be, again, just poor user experience if they didn’t have the time to have somebody train them and they don’t understand the UI or they don’t understand what they’re supposed to be doing. When it comes to process, I think that’s a huge thing. Again, you may have people that are not ready to move systems yet, so they’re still working in their old ATS. You have some people still working in their new ATS. I think ripping the Band Aid off is the best way to go and just get them start getting comfortable. Because again, I think the biggest thing is get comfortable being uncomfortable. I know you’re used to that. I know that’s the recruiting world.
Mel Spraw [00:19:56]:
Let’s get comfortable being uncomfortable and getting things into a new system. I think, again, the biggest piece, and I’ll keep highlighting this, is just rushed implementation. Right? Again, we’re trying to get this all done in a week. It just doesn’t happen. It’s never smooth, it’s never an easy process for anybody. It creates a lot of stress. So I think, again, that really hinders when it comes to adoption of, oh, well, we just did this last week, I’m not going to want to do this going forward, and then just not getting any sort of support. Again, as I mentioned earlier, training and being able to give that feedback of why are we doing this? What is the positives when it comes to us switching over to a new ATS or a new system? So those are just a couple of things that I’ve seen when it comes to hinder using adoption.
Mel Spraw [00:20:36]:
And then you just have those people that just don’t want to change, and it happens. And unfortunately, again, we just got to rip the Band Aid off.
Kortney Harmon [00:20:43]:
You said two things that now I want to have a follow up question. Rushed implementation, what on average, if you’re transitioning to a new ATS, like maybe through ours, what is an average implementation timeline, maybe range wise? I know it depends on a lot of different factors, but whenever we say rushed, that’s not tomorrow. What does that time frame usually look like?
Mel Spraw [00:21:06]:
Yeah, so a typical timeline, just depending, can be anywhere from really like six to nine weeks, I’ll say, and that’s if things are going smoothly, we have things laid out. There’s no hiccups in anything, nothing super complex. It takes time. And I think the other piece that people don’t realize is it’s a lot of effort for you to put in as well. I can’t do everything for you. I wish I could, but unfortunately, you know your data best, so it takes time for you to understand, what do we need to get out of our new ATS? What do we need to put in our new ATS? What makes sense? What cleanup can we do? Going back to, again, having that clean data and really just understanding that it’s going to take time and to do it right. I’m not going to rush things in and hope, hey, all this came over correctly. It takes time to do correct mappings and make sure things look good.
Mel Spraw [00:21:53]:
So I would say anywhere from six to nine weeks, depending. And I think again, knowing, hey, my ATS, my contract is up with them. When is that date? Is it tomorrow? Because I hope not.
Kortney Harmon [00:22:05]:
I think that’s great. I love it. And then the other side of that flip side. So, OK, it takes so many weeks, but then the ones that keep nursing the old system just in case, I got to keep it. So make your cut off date is your recommendation. Make your cut off date and start running your meetings from that system, not the old one. Right.
Mel Spraw [00:22:23]:
You would not believe how many times people say I’m going to keep a license still in my old system just in case. And I’m like, for what?
Kortney Harmon [00:22:31]:
Really need it, right?
Mel Spraw [00:22:32]:
I know, it’s like, why pay two things right now? So that is something I come across. And again, I think it is just truly just understanding to rip the band aid off. Let’s get in. It’ll make the process a lot smoother.
Kortney Harmon [00:22:41]:
I love it. Thank you for your insights. How should new tools be piloted pre implementation to drive engagement?
Mel Spraw [00:22:49]:
Yeah. So a couple of different things that I’ve seen, whether it’s during the demo process, let’s say again, you’re demoing a new ATS going back to kind of the sales side of the house, being able to test out and making sure that everything is going to do the way you need it to. Because there’s nothing worse than we go through the sales process. And now we’re in this implementation phase of getting data pulled over, and then it’s like, oh, shoot, this isn’t doing what I thought it would. So I think really understanding that whatever software ATS that you’re picking is going to achieve what you need it to do, obviously it’s not going to be perfect. You’re going to have some workarounds, you’re going to have some learning curves when it comes to that. But I think really demoing, testing out, hey, putting in resume, seeing what it looks like is really going to go a long way. And I think the other option too is if you can have some sort of maybe after the sales process, like a sandbox environment that I can play with and really test and see how that’s going to go.
Mel Spraw [00:23:40]:
I always recommend if you have a large team, having a couple of people really just test everything out and again, be that power user, so to speak, that can go in and really, hey, this is what’s working. Hey, I don’t think this is going to work for us. I think this is going to be a workaround and just having them understand that it’s okay to go through and really test these things before we do the implementation process.
Kortney Harmon [00:24:01]:
Amazing. We talked about this a little bit for feedback, but how can recruiters be encouraged to give feedback to improve the. Tools over time. Not just a once the implementation happens or pre implementation, but obviously change management is something that we obviously need to keep track of going forward. Your software tools are always going to have updates, things that they’re adding or things that you weren’t aware of or you realize you need. Long term, how do you get your teams to give that feedback? Long term?
Mel Spraw [00:24:29]:
Yeah, absolutely. I think the biggest piece is having those regular check ins. So let’s schedule meetings or do surveys, if you can do something like that, to gather feedback, just to make sure, hey, this is what’s going well, this isn’t what’s not working for us. Or again, just speaking to the updates piece, hey, there’s this new update. I think this would work really well for us. Let’s test it and try it out. I think too, consistency and making sure that, again, having that safe space of establishing like, hey, this is a non judgmental environment. We want to know, recruiters, are you having success for this? Is it making your life harder? Share your thoughts, share your shortcuts.
Mel Spraw [00:25:01]:
That’s the biggest thing too. I can’t tell you how many team trainings I’ve been on where they’re like, oh, if you just do this, this and this, and the whole team’s like, what? I didn’t even know you could do that. So I think having regular check ins, making sure that we have that communication across the board and really clearly communicate like, hey, this is how it’s directly going to affect us. And here are some success stories that we’ve had already to really help with and encouraging them to give feedback on how the tools can improve over time.
Kortney Harmon [00:25:26]:
That’s amazing. It seems so simple, yet I know there’s a lot of us that don’t do all of these things well, including myself sometimes.
Mel Spraw [00:25:33]:
Kortney Harmon [00:25:34]:
What lessons have you learned from Tech Rollouts that struggled with low adoption? I’m sure you’ve seen one or two.
Mel Spraw [00:25:41]:
I have seen many. So again, I’m going to harp on just having that point person that really understands the whole process and somebody that understands your business process and what you guys do as a firm. There’s nothing worse than I get on a call with somebody and they’re like, I just started, but I’m running this project and I’m like, do you know anything about the business? What’s the recruiting process look like? What’s your sales look like? And they’re not sure. So I think having that point person that really understands what’s going on, that can dedicate the time to the team and to this whatever new technology ATS that we’re rolling out. And I think just being able to communicate to the team that we’re going to have support on this, we’re going to create. SOPs on this, we’re going to make sure that we’re going to set you up for success because the people that don’t adopt it now I don’t have proper data. I can pull out and they’re like, hey, I’m making my KPIs. But if it’s not in the system, it didn’t happen.
Mel Spraw [00:26:32]:
Right. So I think that is a piece too, where I’ve seen people struggle or they just don’t want to learn. Unfortunately, it happens. They want some to do it for them and at the end of the day, I can’t do it for them, you can’t do it for them. They have to do it for themselves. So they have to really understand how important it is to take the time to learn the system. Whether it’s just checking a couple of help articles or a couple of videos just to make your life a little bit easier.
Kortney Harmon [00:26:54]:
And learning the right way could save you time. I mean, you don’t realize that. I saw a stat the other day and I’m going to vomit whatever it was, but it was like the average person changes applications whether it’s on the computer, on your phone about 1200 times a day, which equates to 40 minutes a day. So can you just imagine if you had the one tool that was better or that talked to each other where you could save that 1200 clicks? Right?
Mel Spraw [00:27:24]:
Kortney Harmon [00:27:25]:
It’s crazy to me that it adds up because my many tabs on my screen right now show that I’m one of those many. That statistic right there.
Mel Spraw [00:27:33]:
I know, I hear you. I am too. But I do make sure to take the time where I’m like, is this going to make my life easier? Let me go through this and see if I just go through this quick tutorial, it’s going to save me an hour.
Kortney Harmon [00:27:43]:
It will. It truly will. Now, how should recruiters be involved in the tech selection and implementation process? Because oftentimes recruiters are the end result. They’re the people that get stuck with the decision sometimes. Should they be included in the process and implementation process? I know you talked about that one user or whatever that team might look like, but give me your ideas.
Mel Spraw [00:28:05]:
Yeah, I kind of go back and forth with this. So obviously I think having too many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak, it can be harmful. But I also think having the right people on the call makes a huge difference. Right. If I have an owner or president or somebody that really isn’t living the day to day life that a recruiter is or a salesperson is, whoever it may be that’s actually down in the trenches, how are we going to know that things are set up correctly the way that they need to be set up? So I think having sometimes, even if it is your star person that actually knows the system really well or knows the process really well, being on those calls and testing. So when you are going through that demo phase of hey, this will work for us, this won’t work for us, I think makes a huge difference because again, you’re not setting up this entire system and then we implement it and we’re going live. And then they’re like, this makes no sense to our process at all. So I think it is huge to have the right people on the calls, the right people in the process.
Mel Spraw [00:28:56]:
But also, I don’t think we need to include, hey everybody, come on a call and let’s go through and everybody give their opinion on what that could be bad.
Kortney Harmon [00:29:03]:
Yes, I understand. Again, everybody has a different lens of focus, but being able to appease the people that are your change makers, that they’re really adapt to a your process, how they’re currently using their system. And I think that’s something to look at, too. And you could probably correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s like, are they using the current system the way they should or the way they need to? Because if they’re using that, then they’re more likely to use the next one. Sometimes we get people involved because they were maybe the squeaky wheel and it’s like, well, does this appease you? Well, in reality, if they had problems with one, they might have problems with the next one, too. So just being aware of your audience is crucial.
Mel Spraw [00:29:39]:
Absolutely. I would totally agree with that.
Kortney Harmon [00:29:41]:
And maybe more than one person, too. Not just one person, right?
Mel Spraw [00:29:44]:
Exactly. But we don’t need 50 people.
Kortney Harmon [00:29:46]:
No, 50 people. I love that. Okay. How can firms provide ongoing training and support post implementation?
Mel Spraw [00:29:55]:
Yeah, I think, again, just having those regular check ins to see how things are going, schedule meetings with your team, send out surveys of hey, what’s working, what’s not working. I think also Lunch and Learns are great. I know again, we’re all busy. I totally understand that. But even just taking like a half hour, let’s all get either in a conference room, let’s all get on a call if we’re remote and go through, again, maybe some issues, been having some blockers, because again, I think the biggest piece is leveraging your team. Right? You may have somebody that totally understands the system. They get it, they can help you. But maybe we didn’t know that because we’re all in a different office or we’re all just too busy.
Mel Spraw [00:30:28]:
It can save you a lot of time. So I think even Lunch and Learns are a big thing that can really help post implementation and really just keeping again, that I have a customer that actually sends out weekly tips. So every week they have an automated email that goes out with weekly tips that they set up of, hey, did you know you could do this? Did you know you could do this? And they pull it from help articles, from their ATS or from the software that they’re using. So I really loved that. And again, that’s not taking time out of my day. I can flag it, go through it later. And it’s amazing to see people’s faces light up and they’re like, oh my gosh, I didn’t even know I could do that. That’s so cool.
Mel Spraw [00:31:00]:
So I think those are just a few things that really shine when it comes to ongoing training and support post implementation. And I think they go a long way because a lot of times I do see where people after the implementation, that’s it, we’re done. We’re not really talking about it from here, which again, is not the best route because then we have people doing things totally different and then they’re coming back to me a year later and they’re saying, hey, I don’t understand the system at all. It’s not working for us. We want to change an ATS and it’s like, wait a second, but you’re just not using it the right way. Let’s talk through best practices and let’s tweak your system and kind of break that process that you created of bad habits, so to speak.
Kortney Harmon [00:31:35]:
How much reliance can you put on the system itself? Like with Crelate, how much can you we look at this and you say, oh, I can just hear people a lunch and learn, oh my gosh, I don’t have time to do that. But I know softwares like ours, we have the ability. Like, there are ongoing support items, there are ongoing trainings that you can join. And sometimes, even if you’ve listened to it, maybe relistening to it later, listening to different monthly webinars that are maybe beyond customer service, how much reliance can you put on your software to give you more information? Again, you’re going to have rollouts, you’re going to have updates. So it’s not just you, right?
Mel Spraw [00:32:10]:
Of course. I would say it definitely goes on the software as well to making sure that they are communicating any updates or feature changes because there’s nothing worse than you were like, hey, when did this happen? I didn’t even know this was a thing when it could have been easily communicated. So through an email or through just little button there as far as, hey, check this out. So I think it definitely goes on the software as well in running those weekly trainings or monthly trainings, whatever it may be, even if they’re just recorded afterwards and I can go through them when I’m sitting down and eating lunch. So I think you pull out a great point there that it can be on the software side as well of really helping set up their customers for.
Kortney Harmon [00:32:44]:
Success, just like raising children. It takes a village. It takes a village for recruiting firms as well, right?
Mel Spraw [00:32:50]:
Kortney Harmon [00:32:51]:
I love it. Is there any other things that you can think of that, you know, that successful firms did well with their adoptions or any other red flags that you can think of that we haven’t discussed?
Mel Spraw [00:33:00]:
No, I think we’ve touched on it. Again, I will just keep hitting the nail on the head here and beating a dead horse of do not rush an implementation, pull in the right people when you need to, and make sure again, we have those ongoing support conversations. We have the way of setting expectations to make sure again, hey, you don’t have to use this tomorrow, but this is coming down the pipeline and making sure you’re just setting your team up for success, I think those are the biggest things and continued support will really go a long way.
Kortney Harmon [00:33:28]:
Absolutely. Mel, thank you for sharing your wisdom and your expertise on these common obstacles firms face when rolling out new tools. Because honestly, it’s not just, again, not just an ATS, but it’s anything that we’re doing because we truly need a clear vision of what our business is doing to make informed decisions. So thank you so much for joining us.
Mel Spraw [00:33:45]:
Absolutely, thank you so much for having me.
Kortney Harmon [00:33:47]:
I love it. You gave us some practical strategies for getting recruiters and staff bought into tech through communication, training, incentives, piloting, ongoing support and more, I hope our listeners were able to take away some valuable lessons on change management, setting clear adoption goals involving end users in our processes. With really the right approach, firms can maximize your tech investments. So thank you for tuning in today. We’ll be back next week with another exciting topic. If you have suggestions for future episodes, don’t hesitate to reach out on social media or email us at [email protected]. We’re always looking to discuss relevant issues facing you, our recruiters and our industry leaders today. So for now, I’m your host, Courtney Harmon, signing off.
Kortney Harmon [00:34:36]:
Thanks for joining us. If you enjoyed our show, be sure to subscribe and rate our podcast wherever you listen. We’ll catch you next time on the Full Desk Experience. I’m Courtney Harmon with Crelate. Thanks for joining the full Desk Experience. Please feel free to submit any questions for next session to [email protected] 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.