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15 Feb 2023

Recruitment Agency staff want smarter data to help them hit target

Recruitment Agencies build relationships with candidates and clients, but their staff also have targets to hit. We asked recruiters how IT could help improve their performance so they could place more candidates and also spend time building deeper customer connections.

Over 130 recruitment agency professionals responded to our survey and answered the question, “How can your IT Department help you to hit targets and improve your performance?”. Surprisingly, the top answer was access to smarter data (see chart).

How can IT help you hit target & improve your performance?

This request could take the form of smarter client data or smarter candidate data. Either way, they are clearly looking for accurate, fresh, intelligent information. Smart data can provide insight into a client’s need, helping the agent to provide the ideal candidate (and maybe a candidate they didn’t know they needed).

For example, learning that an organisation recently won a major new account that will increase their revenue by 50% could trigger an email asking if they needed more account managers, production staff or customer service managers.

Smarter data could also include automatically sending an email to candidates whose CV is over 2 years old (LinkedIn isn’t always up to date). You would need to ensure the email was GDPR compliant, but having accurate candidate data is definitely smart.

Supervisors and managers need smart data to monitor staff performance figures. This information is often held in several places, but bringing it all together in a single dashboard using Microsoft Power BI can help clearly identify areas for improvement and praise.

Automation and AI

Interestingly, one of the comments added to our research was a call for greater automation. Mundane and repetitive tasks can easily eat into a recruiter’s time, taking them away from connecting with customers. Microsoft Power Automate is one option for the automation of recurring tasks.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will undoubtedly play an increasing role in recruitment. Developments in Natural Language Processors (NLPs) such as ChatGPT can help improve the speed, grammar and response to recruitment advertisements.

Recruitment agencies that embrace this technology could gain a competitive advantage over their rivals. Imagine telling potential clients that your job adverts are written using AI. Sounds impressive.

Using the right technology

Looking at the other results, recruitment agents are happy they have the right tech tools. “Suggesting new technology” scored low on our survey. The staffing sector is awash with CRM, applicant tracking and operations software. The most popular, according to Software Advice, are listed below* – see if yours is in the top 8:

  • Vincere scored 4.8 based on 333 reviews
  • CEIPAL ATS scored 4.6 based on 944 reviews
  • Lever scored 4.6 based on 568 reviews
  • Zoho Recruit scored 4.4 based on 860 reviews
  • JobDiva scored 4.4 based on 1,047 reviews
  • PCRecruiter scored 4.3 based on 387 reviews
  • ZipRecruiter scored 4.2 based on 10,770 reviews
  • Bullhorn scored 4.1 based on 1,030 reviews

Training and IT support

Although recruiters are happy with their tech, it’s clear they would also like better IT training. It’s an area that is often overlooked. Just because a staff member has used a platform or software in the past doesn’t necessarily mean they are using it efficiently.

In second place was faster IT support. The options here are to either have an in-house support desk or outsource it. In the high-pressure environment of a recruitment agency, if the systems are down for even a few minutes, it can affect the ability to hit a target.

Interestingly, one comment on our survey was, “What’s an IT Department?”. This suggests that some recruitment agencies now use Managed Service Providers. It’s certainly widely accepted that outsourcing anything that is not your core business has merit.

Hopefully, our survey results have given you a view of how recruiters view IT and triggered some ideas on improving recruitment agency performance.

*, scores correct as at February 2023

Graham Smith

By Graham Smith