Automation and Staffing: Is the Investment Worth It?

We’re not going to lie: Adding automation to your staffing team and process is an investment. Between the time spent and budget used, many teams question whether automation is worth the effort it takes. Maybe you’re concerned about whether you can continue running your business while augmenting your processes. Perhaps you’re worried that your team doesn’t have good trust in automation. 

To determine whether automation is right for your business, you need to look at three things: what challenges you’re facing, what the investment is, and your expected returns and successes.

Staffing Challenges of the Future

While we can’t confirm exactly what the world will be facing as time goes on (Did anyone really have a worldwide pandemic on their five-year plan?), we can look at the current world and make an educated guess about what may be coming. We looked at some of the current staffing challenges on our blog What AI Recruiting Software Can Do For Staffing, but let’s review.

The Effect of COVID

We cannot underestimate the effect of COVID. COVID challenged our understanding of work, interpersonal relationships, and what we wanted our lives to be. In the grander scheme of the economy, COVID presented hiring freezes, layoffs, and the immediate need to “do more with less.”

The Great Resignation

COVID didn’t simply affect the economy; it affected how people look at the role of work in their lives. Many people are feeling the need to resign from their current positions and look for one that better suits their desires. For staffing teams, that means ensuring that roles are appealing and facing a time crunch as companies need to meet the staff shortage.

New Job Seeker Needs

The Great Resignation is spurred in part by job seekers who are now even more focused on flexibility, pay, benefits, and taking on a role that brings value to their lives. As a staffing recruiter, there’s not much you can do to change a client’s culture. But you can take on a role as an advisor to your client and build the relationship on trust that you know what you’re talking about.

Keeping Clients Happy

Staffing teams are successful when their clients are successful. You need to be able to work fast and effectively. As many companies face a staffing shortage, decreasing time to submit and the quality of your candidate slate is more crucial than ever.

The Investment of Implementing Automation

Implementing automation will take time, budget, and buy-in from stakeholders and users. While it’s not an investment to take lightly, it’s entirely within your control to make it as seamless of an implementation as possible.

Stakeholder Buy-In and Support

As with any project, it’s critical to understand the goal and reasons for the project to get buy-in towards the value of automation and staffing. 

  • Why does your team need automation?
  • What problems will it solve?
  • Who should be involved in the discovery process?
  • Who is responsible for deciding the budget availability?

By getting buy-in from your stakeholders at the start of the process, you can feel more confident entering into the discovery and implementation phases, knowing that you are getting input from everyone you need it from. Stakeholders will vary from company to company, but you’ll likely have at least one C-level executive (like a CIO or CTO), one or two high-level team managers, as well as a core group of staffing recruiters to test the tool. Everyone should be aligned on the goals and have some core objectives for the process.

Now we know that spending time organizing people and resources when you just want to dive in can feel like a waste of time, but remember that you’re setting up your tomorrow for success if you take time to plan today.

Your Budget In Dollars and Hours

Now that you know who is involved in the process, it’s time to make sure that you know how much time you need and the budget you have to focus on this project.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the planning fallacy as well. It would be best to have a realistic expectation of what it will take to find a tool, implement it, train on it, and use it. If you have a project manager on your team, now is a great time to get them involved to help create appropriate time and effort estimations. 

While quality and intelligent automation can take as little as four weeks to implement, it’s important to remember that there are bound to be delays or roadblocks.

Roadblocks To Be Ready For

No project goes off without a hitch. But being ready for those risks and roadblocks is possible. Consider roadblocks like:

  • Disagreement among team members
  • Budget changes
  • Changes in needs for the tool
  • User adoption and acceptance
  • Delays in documentation approval

While you don’t need to think out an entire contingency plan for any conceivable roadblock, you can define the critical path you need to take to get the implementation done.

The ROI You Can Expect

We’ve gone over what it takes to get automation into your team, but is it worth it?

We’re biased, but yes. It is.

While the investment in time, dollars, and effort is apparent, the return on that investment will make it all worthwhile. Every staffing team will experience different ROI depending on what their goals are and what sort of challenges they’re facing, but just like the roadblocks, there are certain results you can expect.

Shorter Time to Slate/Fill

Staffing teams need to move fast. You need to get find candidates and bring them into the open roles as quickly as possible. Automation and talent intelligence applied to your existing data allow you to search more efficiently. That means getting slates to clients faster than ever before.

Automated matching can ensure that your team uncovers the best candidates in seconds rather than hours. With a shorter time to fill, you’ll see an increase in sales volume. After all, the faster you can do work, the more work you can do.

Decreased Costs

Job advertising, operational costs from manual workarounds, duplicate data – staffing costs add up quickly. But automation can serve all of them. After implementing automation and talent intelligence, we’ve seen staffing teams save over $200,000 in operational costs alone. It may not always be easy to quantify those savings, but there’s no doubt that the right automation will decrease costs.

More Confident Recruiters

Staffing teams need to hold onto the recruiting team they need to get the job done. Giving them the right tools to be successful is a valuable way to invest in your team. You can build up their skills, confidence, and abilities to get the job done. It can take time to help staffing recruiters build trust with automation, but automation can provide the time recruiters need to develop the relationships that businesses thrive on. Beyond that, it can help more junior recruiters get up to speed faster. In no time, you’ll see a significant improvement in their recruiting performance!

When it comes to deciding whether the investment in automation is worth it, you need to look at the whole picture. Is four weeks of implementation time worth $200K in cost savings, increased sales volume, and more confident recruiters? 

With the right project plan and the right partner in place, investing in automation and staffing is well worth it.

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