Do I Hire Another Recruiter for my Agency, or Do I Hire a Robot…?

Steve Ward

Customer Solutions Director, Candidate.ID

Keeping up with the discussion on ‘Robots replacing Recruiters’, I wanted to explore – with recruitment agencies in mind – the ROI opportunity for technology as an augmentation of your existing recruiter team. Not to replace humans, but as I’ve always maintained – to make humans better equipped.

In my recent discussions with agencies (I have a lot of these), it is generally agreed that our recruitment consultants work off about 70% capacity.

So, what do I mean by that?

No analogue recruiter has it all. They can’t. They are limited to the field that they see in front of their eyes. When a new vacancy comes in, they have their ‘live candidates’ on their CRM, they have job boards, they could source LinkedIn, and they have colleague splits. When the seek a new client, they’re back to the CRM – make a few calls, leave a few messages, and hope for a reply. Even with a few digital additions to this, social profiles, marketing material, word-of-mouth, etc – the access to market is defined by the limitations of their typical analogue existence in the agency they work for, and the time pressure to deliver a shortlist.

And many recruiters perform well at this. Which is absolutely acceptable. Then, when the workload gets overwhelming and some improvement in figures happen, then we add to the team and bring in another recruiter, with the same parameters – to work at 70% capability – and likely still meet their targets. (Though as we know, 50% typically do not)

But let’s not look at financials for the moment.

Now let’s look at the robot. Let’s say when the workload increases and there are signs of a growth spurt, instead of a new recruiter, or maybe a marketer, or resourcer… you instead hire a piece of technology. Ideally, a piece of technology with robot-mindset and digital marketing and engagement automation and tracking capability.

I know. Sounds ridiculous when you put it that way. This isn’t Star Wars, we cannot be hiring robots.

But what if the automation technology brings *all* of your CRM data, your LinkedIn connection data, all your website and marketing collateral, and your social media existence; to life? What if it knows who is and who is not warm for a new role, and treats them accordingly in marketing activity? What if it can tell you in real time if that target client or those hot candidates who never reply to your calls and messages – are actually researching your website? What if the technology is programmed to alert your existing recruiters precisely when this happens?

Hmm, so this means all of your addressable market is being tracked for their digital activity. It’s the not-knowing that hurts us the most when we hear nothing from them. Therefore the knowledge of what those contacts and candidates *do* care about, and do read, is not only heart-warming but on many occasions, turns into a new lead. Furthermore, the whole point and value in our website and our CRM resuscitates. It’s alive with knowledge, personalised behaviour tracking and most crucially live lead generation.

So now let’s play this out with numbers.

SCENARIO: A TEAM OF 10 RECRUITERS:

All recruiters billing, say £15,000 per month on average. In simplistic terms, a team of 10, are bringing £150,000 per month in fees on 70% capacity. Profitable comfort.

So, Option A; add another recruiter – another one joins the treadmill – and 3-4 months in, they’re at £15k per month too. All good. We now have £165k average per month and continued profitable comfort at human-limitation 70% capacity.

OK, to Option B, recruit the technology with automation and decision-making machine learning; that provides all the data and knowledge that you didn’t know. You still have the CRM, LinkedIn went nowhere, and job boards – well still a backup option. But now your CRM data is vivid, your LinkedIn and social media contacts are depicted by clear engagement tracking, and your time to shortlist each role is reduced by 50% because you can now be prioritising the warm candidates.

No-one can be at 100%, but this data should surely move the capability level to 90%. This is real-time lead generation of previously unknown factors that lead to fee generation.

Put in simple terms, your existing 10 recruiters’ £15k at 70% capability, now turns into a £19,286 per recruiter, and £42,857 greater income per month for that team of 10. And that’s not even taking into consideration the time-saving element of less cold sourcing and less cold advertising that can be converted into more potent candidate and client communications.

Results just in: a new recruiter, £15k more per month; the robot £43k per month. The robot wins, Manchester City style – assuming a shift to 90% capability – but if we wanted to be more careful then let’s say it got them to 80%. Well, that’s still £21-22k per month more. And the technology won’t call in sick on a hazy Monday morning…

And the technology is way cheaper than the recruiter, more often than not. And now you have more cash in the bank for a Digital Marketing Manager to manage the content, campaigns and optimize the product performance, and more cash in the bank from less advertising spend, and less recruiter time staring at a computer screen, with option paralysis, wondering who to call next.

The product is, of course, Candidate.ID – the choice is therefore this:

Shouldn’t *one* of your next hires, be the clever one on the right?

Written by Steve Ward, Head of Staffing Agency Solutions at Candidate.ID.

If you want to chat to Steve more about this, drop him an email steve.ward@candidateid.com


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Steve Ward

Customer Solutions Director, Candidate.ID