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You don’t have to sacrifice candidate experience in the busy world of volume recruitment

 

Is there a way to engage a huge volume of candidates and give each of them something that feels like a personalised experience of the process?

These days, almost everyone is a professional consumer and, as such, extremely well versed in the art of the purchase. We get an idea that we want something; we browse online at a variety of options; our attention is quickly drawn away from the things that we were initially looking for – multiple times. Without necessarily realising it, we are actually pretty good at knowing quality when we see it, and we can see through things if they don’t ring true.

 

Whether we like it or not, our consumer mentality permeates job hunting too…

 

When we search online for a product or an experience, we invariably have the opportunity to feel as though we are trying it – either through a taster, or through reviews and testimonials of people who have experienced it. We want to know why 4 stars and not 5; we want to know how easily we can return it if it isn’t right for us; we want to be able to easily ask Sally or Nish if we are having trouble getting the information we’re looking for, without any commitment on our part. If Sally takes too long to answer our question, or Nish can’t give us a convincing answer, we may go off the brand altogether – just like that. And when we get on the train for our commute home, we are annoyed if the same website doesn’t work properly on our phone.

Whether we like it or not, our consumer mentality permeates job hunting too. Applicants are making all sorts of judgements about our brands based on how quickly we respond, how convenient our process is, how reassured we are making them feel, how reasonable our process requirements are and how easy it is to get at real-life information about our business. The candidate experience makes a huge difference to whether that exceptional grad will accept our offer over the other good one she has, or whether that experienced hire is willing to leave the relative security of the known quantity, to join our business.

Adding volume into the recruitment mix takes the challenge of pleasing the candidate in the recruitment process to the next level! Not only are consumer-candidates instinctively expecting the process to be quick, easy, convenient, informative and open, they are also expecting something that’s tailored to them: personal. How can you deliver that when you are dealing with a huge volume of applications? Typically, in volume recruitment, many of your candidates will have shared concerns and questions. Often, your recruitment team is chasing its tail responding to thousands of enquiries at the top of the funnel, and screening thousands of applications, with the constant frustration in the back of their minds that they aren’t able to get to the majority of applicants, let alone give a brilliant candidate experience. Lots of candidates are therefore slipping through the net, and likely leaving with a poor view of your brand.

 

We needed to do two important things; find a way to cope with the sheer volume of applications but also put ourselves in the shoes of our candidates.

 

One such volume recruiter, Yodel, tackle large volumes of hires (over 5,000) across the year and receive 5,500 applications per week over peak times. When Yodel approached Meet & Engage to chat through some of these challenges, Ben Gledhill, Head of Resourcing, was keen to work together to create something that would deliver a win/win: recruiters freed up to use their clever human brains to engage with and assess candidates further down the funnel, and candidates served with a great experience that confirms very quickly (and 24/7) whether they want the job and are eligible. He said, “We needed to do two important things; find a way to cope with the sheer volume of applications but also put ourselves in the shoes of our candidates.

Working with Meet & Engage, Yodel implemented various chatbots at key stages of the recruitment journey to automate parts of the process and save days’ worth of time for the resourcing team, all while maintaining a high-quality candidate experience for every candidate. The Candidate Experience Bots were deployed during the Yodel peak season, at a time when around 5,000 candidates were waiting for their telephone screen. Meet & Engage, Yodel and their ATS partner Lumesse, agreed the frequency of releasing the screening bot to candidates in batches to ensure candidates were responding well to the new process and to act on any feedback.

 

The result is an experience that:

  • is accessible whenever the applicant comes to the careers site with a question or to apply;
  • takes candidates through a series of questions, matching them to relevant careers;
  • integrates seamlessly with the ATS to serve information back to the candidate, such as searching for jobs by postcode;
  • leads the candidate to the most helpful destination, depending on the nature of their enquiry and their eligibility for a role;
  • screens candidates and feeds data back into the ATS to maintain the integrity of the application process.

The data captured shows candidates moving through the screening process outside office hours, at a time that suited them. 5000 candidates were screened in the first month after implementation and 97% of applicants rated the candidate experience as highly positive. There was only a 9% drop out rate and a 38% reduction in time to hire. After such impressive results Ben Gledhill went on to explain, “We’ve now created a more thoughtful, richer candidate experience that we can build on and constantly improve.”. The bots continue to drive results, and have now screened almost 13,000 candidates.

 

To find out more about Meet & Engage and how we can support you with your volume recruitment process get in touch with us at info@meetandengage.com to have a chat with one of our experienced Client Partners.

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