Making the most of automation: Top tips from Bullhorn customers

Making the most of automation: Top tips from Bullhorn customers

The fastest-growing, most profitable staffing firms around the world are embracing automation. In last year’s GRID Industry Trends Report of over 2,000 staffing professionals, Bullhorn found that firms that reported revenue growth were twice as likely to report heavily leveraging automation.

When it comes to adoption strategies and use cases for automation, the possibilities seem endless. To leverage the insights of the community of Bullhorn Automation users, Bullhorn hosted a Bullhorn Automation focus group led by Bullhorn’s Gary Cordery, Regional Sales Director, UK&I, and Billy Davis, Enterprise Customer Success, Automation & AI, where pros using the same tech stack could swap ideas, advice, and how-to’s. 

Below, here are the top tips from the focus group’s panel of experts – Holly Langley, Founder and Optimizer, RE:STACK, Richard Caldicott, CEO and Founder, Caldicott Consulting, and Tony Hayes, Staffing Technology Consultant, Minima Maxima – on how to encourage adoption, where to get started, and how to make the most of automation.

1. Create an approval process

Using automation can be daunting. In just a few clicks, automation can help update thousands of records or contact thousands of people. To help take away the nerves, Langley recommends building an approval process. Before she used automation, she would run it by a marketing manager or her head of sales. “I no longer worried about pushing the button and doing it all wrong,” Langley said. We had a process in place that was double-checked by other people.”

2. Rebrand automation

Caldicott recommends taking a similarly cautious approach when presenting automation to your organization. The language he uses to get teams excited about automation was about “getting time rich” – that is, using that extra time to get more money in your pocket. Using rhetoric to speak to the “why” of automation might just help teams jump on board more quickly. “All of this admin, this more mediocre work that you’re doing on the side, you can convert that into business development time,” Caldicott said. “Recruiters and sales teams want to hear how it’s going to benefit them.”

3. Start with quick wins

When it comes to automation, it’s best to start small. Instead of diving into the deep end, gain familiarity with automation by building an automation to accomplish something simple, like following up with leads, sending your leads a recent blog post, or any other mundane tasks that take up valuable time from your team. “You could spend weeks building an epic, 50-step automation that can accomplish 101 things, but that’s not going to give you the ROI that you want,” Langley said. With quick wins, you’ll build up the confidence to expand your automations and get into the habit of leveraging them in your day-to-day operations.

4. Use automation blueprints

Instead of building automations from scratch, try starting with blueprints. Bullhorn Automation contains several blueprints purpose-built for a range of different business goals, from contacting leads to redeploying candidates. Blueprints can also be a powerful tool from an adoption perspective, said Hayes. “Right from the get-go, you’re able to demonstrate exactly what an automation is, what what it looks like, and what it does,” he said. “Experience is a great enabler to get people to enter the mindset of automation.”

5. Identify automation champions

“The contradiction of automation is that it’s a background process, but it can’t sit in the background,” said Hayes. In order to further drive adoption throughout your entire organization, Davis recommends identifying automation champions. These champions can be groups within your recruiters and sales teams that may be more inclined to leverage automation to use as a pilot program and demonstrate the value of automation. Working with those who are less tech-inclined and getting their buy-in can go also a long way. “It doesn’t happen overnight, but it can certainly be done,” Davis said. “Keep chipping away at it.”

6. Emphasize your database

Automation only works if you have a clean database – one that’s full of accurate, up-to-date data about your candidates and clients. Thankfully, automation can also help you update records, archive old records, and ask for updated information. Transition your teams from using a stale database, one that’s updated once and can be forgotten about, to something that Langley calls a “dynamic database,” one that needs constant updating from your team, clients, and candidates. Those databases, in theory, will be accurate – or close to it – because they’re undergoing constant maintenance. Davis even recommended inputting data quality into your commission structure. After all, he said, when it comes to data, “It’s not just about volume, but the quality of the volume.”

7. Leverage self-service

Clients and candidates want speed and simplicity in their recruitment experience. With automation, candidates and clients can input information and even schedule meetings on their own, either through a chatbot or through direct automation. This level of self-service ensures that your team doesn’t have to spend valuable time chasing down contact information, resumes, or compliance information. “If you’ve got something that’s running in the background also is double, triple, checking everything you’ve got, and gives candidates the opportunity to self-serve, that’s going to be a win for you,” said Caldicott.

8. Get feedback

“Candidate and client experience is everything,” Langley said. To better understand your talent pool and client base, she recommends using automation to gather feedback, especially through NPS scores. This feedback can be extremely valuable for your business so you can understand what you’re doing well and what may need improvement: “That’s the way that you can measure the success of your business and automation.”

Looking for more Bullhorn tips and tricks? Check out our Bullhorn Basics webinar series, intended for Bullhorn users looking to get the most out of their tech stack.

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