The Staffing Edge Blog

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Is Your Application Process Costing You Top Talent?

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Feb 4, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Is_Your_Application_Process_Costing_You_Top_TalentToday’s job market is firmly in the candidates’ favour. Low unemployment has been the story across both Canada and the United States. In Canada, some industries are even facing talent shortages that have been growing for years.

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In this environment, it’s tough for staffing agencies like you to find top talent. Competition for the best of the best is fierce, so you’ve been working on better compensation packages and job offers to help you attract the right talent.

If you’re still not finding the people you need, it could be time to take a look at the application process itself.

Make It Easy to Apply

Many employers use outdated or complex application systems that make it harder for candidates to apply. If you ask job candidates to upload their resumes and then add all their information to a form anyway, there’s a good chance they’ll stop part of the way through.

Some systems are also difficult to use because they’re not up to date or compatible with certain browsers.

You might think having candidates email their resumes or even mail them to you is an easier solution.

The easiest solutions are actually one- or two-step web applications. LinkedIn offers inApply, which allows candidates to send their profiles to you with a single click. Other applications might allow candidates to upload their resumes and have fields auto-filled by artificial intelligence that reads the application.

In either case, you can likely make the application process easier.

Making Job Posts More Visible

Another problem you may be experiencing is getting the word out to candidates in the first place. If the only place you post about your open positions is your company website, you may not be reaching your target audience.

Be sure to take advantage of other services, including social media. You’ll probably find more top talent if you use a wider network to get the word out to job seekers.

Your advertisements should all direct back to your application process.

Making the Most of Mobile

Another thing you should be doing is using mobile to your advantage. Mobile has surpassed desktop as the most common way to access the internet. The share of people accessing the internet via mobile keeps growing.

People of all ages use mobile to search for jobs. They may use a specific app, or they may be accessing your application site on their phones or tablets. Whatever the case may be, you need to be prepared.

If you have your own application form or site, it may be time to upgrade it. Mobile-friendly sites are easier to navigate, and they rank better on Google.

How Many Questions Do You Ask?

Another thing you should keep in mind is the length of your application. If you require more than an upload of a resume, you should make sure you’re getting the information you really need.

It’s important to conduct some screening, but if your application process includes pages and pages of questions, you could be turning away top talent without knowing it. To simplify your application process, be sure you ask only those questions you truly need to ask on the application.

Be Sure to Communicate

One more way you can make applying for a job with you easier is by improving your communication. Consider adopting an AI chatbot to help candidates apply if they’re having trouble.

You can also use AI or automated responses to thank applicants for taking the time to apply. This can help improve the candidate experience.

Adjustments like these can improve your application process. When it’s easy to apply, more of the right candidates will take the time to submit applications.

A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Recruiting

How Successful Staffing Agencies Improve the Candidate Experience

Posted by Chelsea Henry


Sep 3, 2018 9:00:00 AM

How-Successful-Staffing-Agencies-Improve-the-Candidate-Experience-compressorRunning a staffing agency takes expertise, innovation, dedication, and hard work. One of the most common challenges of running an employment agency is attracting and retaining the right candidates. As the most successful staffing agencies know, the secret lies in the candidate experience you create.

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What is the candidate experience?

The candidate experience encompasses the entire application and hiring process. From the time a job seeker applies to your staffing firm to the time you place them with one of your clients, they are undergoing the candidate experience.

Most successful staffing agencies recognize the importance of providing a good candidate experience. The question is how you can improve on what you’re doing to create an even better experience for your candidates.

Staffing Agencies Face Challenges

It’s no secret the staffing industry is hyper-competitive, and competition is only increasing. Low unemployment and talent shortages have created more demand for talented workers, which means job seekers have more choices in today’s market.

This makes providing a positive candidate experience even more important for staffing agencies. While you may understand the importance of the experience, you also know it’s not as easy as it seems to ensure everyone has a good experience. 

What can you do to overcome this challenge? The most successful agencies use some of these tips to provide better candidate experiences and win over more job seekers.

Communicate More

Both the quality and quantity of communication are important to today’s job seekers. If you send an automated email thanking them for their application and never follow up further, you’re probably not providing the best candidate experience you could.

Think about how often you communicate with job seekers. When do you begin corresponding with them, and how often do you talk to them? You should consider how often you contact people when you have few open positions to fill as well. Keeping people well-informed about their applications and open positions will help them feel more at ease. In turn, they’ll think more positively about your brand.

Think about the Application Process

How easy is it for candidates to apply to your staffing agency? The most successful staffing firms provide a great candidate experience by making it easy to apply.

A streamlined, user-friendly website is a foundational aspect of this. The online application process should be easy. If there’s an app for applying, it should be designed with ease of use in mind.

Think about how many questions you ask, and how many tasks there are to perform. Redundancies should be eliminated to make applying even quicker and easier.

Offer Something More

Staffing agencies are in competition with each other, and you’re competing for candidates. What can your firm offer that sets you apart from all your competitors?

Think about what you offer to job seekers. Why would they want to work with you? Maybe you specialize in placing people with particular companies or in certain kinds of jobs. Maybe you offer more placements or a more personalized service. Whatever the case, think about what advantage you can offer to job seekers.

Ask for Feedback

Perhaps the easiest way to begin improving your candidate experience is to ask your candidates what they liked and what they didn’t like. Did they find it difficult to apply, or was it the easiest process they went through? Is there anything you could do to make it even simpler?

By asking for feedback, you can gain insight into what job seekers want and how people view your process. From there, you can look at ways to improve on your shortcomings and provide an even better candidate experience.

A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Recruiting

5 Reasons Candidates Aren’t Returning Your Calls

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Jul 23, 2018 9:00:00 AM

5-Reasons-Candidates-Aren’t-Returning-Your-Calls--compressorFinding qualified candidates to fill positions with your clients is a challenge, especially in this environment. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in 40 years, and industries across the country are facing talent shortages.

Download "How TSE’s Back Office Support Helped a Staffing Agency Expand  Nationally" Case Study

Staffing firms are also feeling the squeeze. Not only are you competing with your competition to find the best candidates, you’re also competing with other employers who are trying to hire the best and brightest. It can be frustrating when candidates stop returning your calls.

There are numerous reasons candidates may not be calling you back about job opportunities. One of the most common reasons is they’ve found full-time employment and haven’t let you know yet. Other reasons may not be as benign. Here are a few of them.

1. They’re Working with Your Competition

The staffing firm industry is competitive at the best of times. Low unemployment and a high work scarcity situation only make it more competitive. Many smaller staffing firms struggle to keep up with their larger competitors.

It’s quite possible some candidates aren’t returning your calls because they’re working with one of your competitors. Take a moment to evaluate what you offer to candidates that your competitors can’t or don’t offer. Think about how you can better serve candidates to keep them coming back.

2. They’re Not Interested in the Opportunity

Some candidates can be rather passive when it comes to turning down job opportunities. Rather than returning the call and saying, “I’m not interested,” they’ll express their disinterest by not returning the call.

If the candidate doesn’t return your calls on a regular basis, it could be time to check in and see if they still want to work with you. Ask them about the types of job opportunities they’d be interested in. If you still can’t get a hold of the candidate, it’s time to stop calling.

3. You Have the Wrong Number

It’s quite possible a candidate isn’t returning your calls because you have the wrong number. If this is the case, hopefully you get an early indication, such as the wrong name on the voicemail or something similar.

Candidates sometimes change their numbers, especially if they happen to be using a mobile phone. A sudden move or change of address can also result in a change in phone number. If you can, try contacting the candidate another way. An email or LinkedIn message may have a better chance of getting through, and you can then confirm the candidate’s contact information.

4. They’re Not Sure Who’s Calling

With so many scam calls going on, you can’t blame people for being a little suspicious. In the age of call display, many people let unrecognized numbers go to voicemail. If you need to leave a message, be sure to clearly identify who you are and why you’re calling. Keep the message as short as possible.

If you can, ask candidates to program your number into their phones. That way, it will never come up as an unknown number. They’ll know who’s calling and they’ll know to pick up.

5. Your Message Isn’t Compelling

“Give me a call back” isn’t always the best way to get candidates to call you back in this day and age. Many of them want a good reason to call you back. If you can, mention what kind of opportunity you have for them or which client is looking. Candidates are more likely to call back about job opportunities they’re interested in or companies they want to work for.

A compelling message is almost guaranteed to get most candidates to return the call.

If you can’t get a candidate on the line and they’re not returning your calls, it could be time to try another contact method as well. All in all, keep trying until a candidate tells you not to bother, especially if you’ve got the perfect opportunity.

A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Recruiting

6 Tips to More Strategically Source Candidates

Posted by Karen McMullen


Jul 18, 2018 9:00:00 AM

6-Tips-to-More-Strategically-Source-Candidates-compressorBuilding a staffing agency is a challenge. Competition is stiffer than ever before. Canadian unemployment has hit a 40-year low, and many industries are experiencing talent shortages, which means qualified people are harder to find.

Download "Unlock a Lucrative Revenue  Stream With Contract Staffing" Whitepaper 

How can you source more candidates for your agency to build the talent pipeline? You’ll want to be strategic about the methods you choose. Here are a few tried and true methods you can incorporate into your candidate sourcing strategy.

1. Focus on Diversity

Some industries draw on particular talent pools, and it’s easy for a staffing agency to fall into a similar pattern. If your clients demand the same kind of person to fill a role each and every time, you’ll likely look for candidate pools that meet the criteria. 

Begin to think outside the box and look to other candidate pools. There are likely communities of workers you haven’t been reaching yet. Are these workers and areas underserved? Chances are they could be. By focusing on diversity, you could open up a new source of qualified candidates for a number of different jobs. 

Diversity should be looked at as a strength. Some employers don’t see it that way, which may be why you’ve been hesitating to diversify your candidate pool. You’ll find more people and help your clients find more of the right people too when you diversify.

2. Be Active on Social Media

If your clients are looking for summer students, part-time workers, or recent university graduates, you’ll want to make sure you are where these workers are. Younger people make up the largest share of social media users. If you’re not using social media yet, you’re basically invisible to these job candidates. 

Social media also helps you promote your brand and increase awareness of the business. The next time someone is looking for a job, they may think of your agency over a competitor.

3. Think about Passive Candidates

Passive candidates are often more difficult to reach than those actively searching for a job. They don’t look at job sites and they don’t attend job fairs. How can you find them?

You can usually find them on social media networks or by calling or emailing them. Practice reaching out to potential candidates, especially those who are professional-level talent. If you offer the right job opportunity, they might surprise you.

4. Use the Right Tools

Technology has changed the way people look for jobs. It should also change the way you find candidates. Different tools can help you locate and source more qualified candidates faster. Tools such as email and browser extensions can help you gather additional contact information for potential candidates.

Other tools can also help you assess potential candidates with more ease. An applicant tracking system (ATS) is invaluable. Look for staffing agency software that combined multiple tools to offer a better solution for your firm.

5. Utilize Your Existing Candidates’ Networks

Did you know you might be able to expand your candidate pool simply by asking your existing candidates for referrals?

If your candidates are satisfied with their experience, they’re more likely to tell their family and friends. If you’re looking for more qualified candidates, a quick and easy way to recruit is to ask your current workers.

6. Focus on Reducing Turnover

One of the reasons you may feel pressure to source more candidates is because people keep leaving. Although there are many reasons someone may not return for another job with you, there are steps you can take to reduce this turnover. Like any other employer, you want to keep turnover to a minimum.

Reduce turnover by providing a better candidate experience. In turn, your candidates will be more likely to return. They may even tell a friend about you.

Using these tips, you can successfully source your candidates more strategically for better results.

A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Recruiting

4 Reasons Your Candidates Aren’t Coming Back for More Jobs

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Jul 2, 2018 9:00:00 AM

4-Reasons-Your-Candidates-Arent-Coming-Back-for-More-Jobs-compressorStaffing agencies are somewhat like any other employer. They look to find the best and most talented people, and then retain them. The difference is you send your candidates out to other clients to complete jobs. In the end, the candidate has the opportunity to keep working with you and take on more assignments.

Download "How a Complete Back-End Solution Helped a Staffing Agency Get  Started" Case Study

There are many reasons candidates may not be coming back to your staffing agency after one or two jobs with you. Some of those reasons are quite understandable. Some people may take temporary employment to help them fill in a gap after graduation or between semesters at school. When they find permanent work or return to school, they won’t be back for more jobs with your agency.

There are some other reasons you may want to pay close attention to. Here are a few of them.

1. You Didn’t Provide a Good Candidate Experience

There has been a lot of recent talk about the candidate experience. Canadian unemployment is at its lowest point in 40 years, and many industries are experiencing talent shortages. As a result, competition for job candidates has increased. In turn, business owners, including staffing agency owners, need to pay more attention to the candidate experience they provide. 

If a candidate found it frustrating to work with you, for almost any reason, chances are they won’t come back. If they found communication was slow, thought it took too long to get a job, or didn’t like the job they did receive, they’ll opt to look elsewhere. 

There are steps you can take to improve the candidate experience. By focusing on a better candidate experience, you can ensure more of your top candidates return for more jobs.

2. Your Competitors Offered Better

There’s no denying the staffing agency market is crowded right now. This naturally fosters competitiveness between agencies, which is only compounded by low unemployment rates and talent shortages. 

Think about what you offer your candidates. Your competitors may be offering them a sweeter deal. While staffing agencies must follow the rules set out in provincial and territorial legislation, the laws most often establish minimum standards. Are you doing anything to go above and beyond? If not, your candidates could be turning to your competitors.

3. You Haven’t Vetted Your Clients

Every time you propose to work with a new client, you should be evaluating them. Conduct a client site safety inspection prior to signing any agreement. Be clear about expectations for temporary workers placed with any client business. How will they be treated? What duties will they perform?

All of this contributes to the experience your candidates have when they work with you. If you don’t properly vet your clients, you could be sending your temporary workers to unsafe work sites or allowing the client to change the terms of employment. Your candidates may not say anything to you, but they won’t return for more jobs.

Ensure you conduct a thorough inspection of all your clients before you place workers with them. This is best for everyone, and it helps keep your candidates safe.

4. You Weren’t Compliant with Law

It can be difficult for staffing agencies to keep up with the changing legislation. Ontario and Alberta have just conducted major overhauls of their employment legislation, and Quebec seems poised to follow suit. Most of these new laws have had repercussions for staffing agencies, and you may still be in the process of updating your policies to be compliant.

Many workers are aware of their rights, however, and they may not come back for more jobs if they believe your agency wasn’t complying with new legislation requirements. Double-check your new policies and see how you can streamline implementation.

By taking some simple steps, you can ensure your candidates come back for more jobs with your agency. They may even recommend you to other job seekers.

Competing with the BIG multi-national agencies?

Topics: Recruiting

5 Ways Your Staffing Agency Can Improve the Candidate Experience

Posted by Corinne Camara


Jun 25, 2018 9:00:00 AM

5-Ways-Your-Staffing-Agency-Can-Improve-the-Candidate-Experience-compressorAs a staffing agency owner, you need to think quite a bit about human resources. You may even follow some of the latest trends in HR circles. If so, you’ll know there’s plenty of discussion about the candidate experience right now. While most of the people discussing the subject are HR leaders in large corporations, the candidate experience is something a staffing agency should also be concerned about.

Download "How TSE’s Back Office Support Helped a Staffing Agency Expand  Nationally" Case Study

Why? Essentially, you’re in the business of hiring people. There’s no denying competition is stiff in this industry. There are many different agencies, and with unemployment at its lowest point in four decades, there are fewer job seekers out there. Your agency needs to focus on providing a great candidate experience so job candidates choose you over your competitors.

If you haven’t thought much about the candidate experience yet, now’s the time to do so. Take a look at your process, and then see how you can incorporate these five strategies to improve the candidate experience.

1. Communicate More Frequently

With the rise of artificial intelligence, many more tasks are being given over to automation. Communication is one of these tasks, and for good reason. Imagine if you need to stop to reply to each job applicant personally, just to tell them you had received their application and would be in touch if they were selected for an interview. 

While the automated reply streamlines your process and makes it easier for you to respond to each candidate, it doesn’t eliminate the need for frequent communication with those candidates you do select for interviews and eventual hire. 

Quality of communication is important, but so is the frequency of communication. Staying in touch with selected candidates can improve the candidate experience immensely.

2. Simplify Your Application Process

If a staffing agency application process takes a long time to complete, includes many different web pages or forms to fill out, or asks confusing questions, it isn’t providing the best possible candidate experience. 

While ensuring you get the right information is important, ask yourself if there’s an easier way to ask candidates questions or condense the application. If you use online applications, think about the website you use. Is it easy to navigate? You might consider upgrading your own website to make it easier to use.

3. Be Transparent about the Process

Most job candidates want a staffing agency to tell them what to expect during the hiring process. For that reason, you should be transparent about the process. Doing so can improve the candidate experience.

All you need to do is outline the next steps in the process. Give candidates an approximate timeline for when they can expect each step to take place. Finally, you should tell them what kind of communication to expect from you. If they don’t hear from you in two weeks, should they assume they didn’t get the job?

This can also help you as it will reduce the number of people following up with you.

4. Write Clear Job Descriptions

Clear job descriptions go back to the beginning of the process and let potential candidates know exactly who you’re looking for. A vague or unclear job description will likely attract unqualified candidates, who you’ll need to remove from the process quite quickly. This creates additional work for you. It also disappoints the job seekers who applied to your staffing agency.

5. Ask for Feedback

Give candidates a chance to tell you about their experience. You can use this feedback to improve the candidate experience at your staffing agency even more. Candidates will relish the chance to tell you about what they liked and didn’t like. It really is that simple.

The candidate experience is important because it encourages people to apply with you again and to tell others about your staffing agency. Taking these small steps will help you provide a better candidate experience.

Everything You Need to Know about Starting a Successful Staffing Firm

Topics: Recruiting

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