The Recruiting Intelligence Blog

3 Common Challenges Staffing Agencies Face in High-Volume Recruiting

Aida Fazylova - Sep 27, 2018 9:45:36 AM

We’ve been looking at the challenge of high-volume recruiting and discussing the unique ways various recruiting approaches overcome them. Anyone in recruiting can tell you just how tough it can be to maintain a positive employer branding while providing an engaging hiring process that actually works for your talent acquisition team. Now scale that up to include dozens, if not hundreds of candidates, and you have a real recipe for potential disaster.

That’s where staffing agencies come in. These organizations are experts who specialize in high-volume staffing projects. Their teams have the bandwidth and expertise to keep a high-quality, yet efficient process that supports employer branding initiatives. However, that doesn’t mean they’re without struggle.

#Staffing agencies face a ton of unique challenges when working high-volume recruiting projects. Learn all about how to overcome them here: Tweet This!

Unrealistic Goals are Not High Expectations

Staffing agencies work with companies to find talent that’s difficult to source or needed in high quantities. These agencies have and want to uphold the reputation of being the best equipped to find, engage and hire the right talent, even at enormous volumes. Unfortunately, staffing companies can be too good at promising amazing candidates and creating high client expectations. Meanwhile, some clients come in with unrealistic expectations all on their own.

Finding one purple squirrel is hard enough; looking for a high-volume of purple squirrels is impossible.

Overcoming the Challenge: First and foremost, staffing agencies will need to communicate the state of talent and how that affects the reality of hiring for the position. Does the community have access to the training or skill development opportunities? Will there be enough suitable candidates in the industry or field? Managing “necessary” requirements is a huge step for successful hiring strategies, no matter the volume.

Data is a critical tool in leading these conversations. Staffing agencies should take time to research the community, industry and position. Additionally, maintaining a record of relationships with previous clients can both help with pipeline and success metric development.

Staying Staffed

Clients come to staffing companies with the hope they will better understand the talent they are trying to hire. That means that in addition to hiring the best for their clients, the staffing agency needs to find and retain experts for their own team. Top recruiters can be hard to find, and it can be even more challenging when you need those who have specialized knowledge. So staffing agencies are left to balance their own hiring needs with their clients’, which is only further strained in high-volume situations.

Overcoming the Challenge: Networking is crucial for all talent acquisition efforts. Building a strong talent pipeline depends on a recruiter and their agency’s ability to network with professionals. Professional societies or groups can be a great place to meet future hires or to find people who can provide high-quality referrals.

Of course, all of this takes time and can mean less focus on a client’s project. Especially when an agency needs to determine a professional’s working knowledge of particular industries or verticals. Skill assessments are key tools for ensuring their skills and expertise, but also assessing a recruiter’s ability to maintain specific projects.

A 2017 study found 85% of job seekers lie on their resumes. Does your #recruiting process account for embellishments? Read more here: Tweet This!

Candidate Fact & Fiction

A new employment study found that 85% of job applicants lie on their resumes. Though a resume is only a first step in the conversation with a candidate, it is usually the one that helps a recruiter decide if they want to even continue on with an applicant. Job seekers know that, so they embellish the truth to get a foot in the door. From there, it’s about charming the hiring team. Staffing agencies know all about the process and so have to develop techniques to decipher fact from fiction.

Overcoming the Challenge: There are more than a few ways to determine if a candidate has the skills and experience to back up a shining resume. Interviews with behavioral-based questions that dive deep into the candidate’s abilities and previous projects can help add color to bullet points. Reference and background checks get a 360 view of the candidate and can support the elements they listed as fact.

These tactics have been used by recruiters for decades, but they take time. In today’s market where unemployment is low and candidates are in the driver’s seat, top talent is only available for an average of 10 days. If recruiters are wasting time screening candidates who aren’t qualified, they could be losing the chance at those skilled candidates who are in high-demand. To act quick, recruiters need a way to weed out bad fit before they even skim a resume.

The Future of Staffing

Meeting the high expectations their clients deserve while maintaining connectivity and assessing candidates quickly were all challenges staffing agency, Delta Dallas, faced. The boutique staffing firm had more than three decades of successful matching in the industry, but still struggled to find balance in time and money. They wanted to increase their working day from 8 hours to 24 to increase convenience for their candidates and hopefully gain a competitive advantage over competition.

After implementing XOR, an AI recruiting chatbot, Delta Dallas was able to communicate with more candidates, assess those applicants faster and schedule in-person interviews quicker than ever before. Meanwhile, the process was smooth for both the candidate and the recruiting team.

Does your staffing agency need to up the efficiency without sacrificing quality in the recruiting program? Check out the full story in the Delta Dallas case study. Don’t forget to explore XOR’s features to see if they could work for your team too!

Topics: Recruitment

Aida Fazylova

Aida Fazylova

Aida spent over seven years in talent acquisition before she founded XOR. She also studied artificial intelligence and co-founded OpenDataScience, an online community of over 39,000 data scientists, researchers, and engineers. She is passionate about helping recruiters understand technology and build tomorrow's future of work. When Aida is not working she is exploring new hot pot restaurants around San Francisco.

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