Who is IDR?

Founded in 1998, IDR is an employee-owned staffing firm serving businesses and professionals across several industries, including IT, government, and professional services. In 2020, the team created IDR Healthcare, a sister company that focuses on travel nursing and allied healthcare. IDR has four field offices in Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas, and Denver.

Will Hayes has spent his entire career at IDR. Now, as Chief Operating Officer of IDR, Hayes oversees IDR’s sales and recruiting functions, as well as its IT infrastructure and digital footprint. We had a chance to sit down with Hayes and discuss IDR’s newest technology journey with Bullhorn Copilot.

Adopting Bullhorn Copilot

IDR has been a Bullhorn customer since 2010. In the fall of 2023, the team became interested in implementing artificial intelligence (AI) into their current workflows and decided to be part of the Bullhorn Copilot early access program. Copilot is a suite of AI capabilities that embed the power of AI directly into recruiter workflows across the recruitment process.

What drew Hayes to Copilot was that it was developed specifically for staffing. “Bullhorn designed Copilot from a recruiter’s perspective, who may or may not be familiar with technology,” said Hayes. “I think some technology companies don’t design their products with the user experience in mind. Bullhorn did a really good job of that.”

What was appealing to IDR about getting early access to Bullhorn Copilot? According to Hayes, the team knew that AI was going to be an essential part of their tech stack. They wanted to be able to provide feedback to Bullhorn’s product team, influence the development of Copilot capabilities, and get their recruiters practicing with it early. “I believe AI is here to stay in the staffing business,” said Hayes. “I think those investments will continue to happen, and getting my team comfortable using it in their everyday workflow is really key.”

I think Copilot has a simple implementation, especially compared to a lot of technologies that I’ve put in place. It just sits right in the system for you, and it’s pretty easy to get buy-in because you can see the positive impact really quickly.
Will Hayes
Will Hayes Chief Operations Officer, IDR

Benefits

Centralized tech stack – When considering using AI, the IDR team wanted to make sure it would integrate with their current tech stack. Hayes has been working towards a centralized tech stack since 2015. Back then, Hayes recognized that IDR used several disparate systems that weren’t talking to each other, and he was determined to create a single source of information. Since then, his team has adopted Bullhorn One and the Bullhorn Talent Platform. When the IDR team decided to implement AI, they knew that Bullhorn Copilot would be the right choice, embedded right within their recruiters’ current interface.

“Our team was already in Bullhorn. So, Copilot is something that we can turn on, put a card on the dashboard, and start using with honestly very little training from day one,” said Hayes. “Having a product that sits right into our current system was an immediate benefit that I saw with Copilot.

Faster time to productivity – IDR invests in hiring a lot of entry-level employees. According to Hayes, these new recruiters are hired because they are great at relationship building and are naturals at running quality conversations with candidates and clients. However, when they start their new role, there is a learning curve jumping into IDR’s tech stack and workflows, such as creating candidate summaries and matching candidates to the right positions. “AI has done a good job of giving us more access to better training and taking away some of those areas that are tougher for newer recruiters to conceptualize, like Boolean strings or putting together candidate summaries,” said Hayes.

The faster new hires are trained, the faster they can start placing candidates and winning jobs over competitors. “Speed is everything, especially if customers are working with multiple staffing partners,” said Hayes. While tasks like searching for quality candidates and writing summaries for a candidate have historically been considered more of an “art form,” Hayes believes that Copilot presents an opportunity to disrupt the industry and speed up these critical but previously time-consuming tasks.

With Copilot, IDR can accelerate their training process and shorten the time it takes for a new recruiter to become productive. “I can definitely tell a noticeable change in the amount of time my trainers are investing in some of these functions early on, and the amount of time it takes a new recruiter to adapt some of these skills,” said Hayes.

Increased efficiency – In addition to faster time to productivity, Copilot has given IDR’s recruiters the opportunity to focus on their most impactful tasks, increasing their overall efficiency. “Unlike other technologies, Copilot doesn’t drastically change your workflow,” said Hayes. “If anything, it speeds up your workflow so your recruiters can spend their time on the areas you want them to focus on, which is spending more quality time with their candidates and clients.”

With features like Copilot’s candidate summary capability, the team doesn’t need to spend as much time on the front end of candidate research. “The summary feature wraps candidate information into a bulleted format for our recruiters, so they can easily use the information when marketing candidates to clients,” said Hayes. It saves them time from having to research a bunch of stuff to create summarizations of these 20-page resumes in five bullets. So, there’s been a big benefit to that as well.”

Ultimately, IDR is not looking for AI to replace the job of their recruiters. Instead, the organization wants to use AI to make their recruiters’ lives easier. “With Copilot, they have their own assistant sitting at their desk with them every day,” said Hayes. “Normally, when staffing firms need to format a candidate’s resume, the recruiter either needs to do it themselves or source it to someone else. Now, with Copilot, our recruiters can do it with the click of a button, while still having control over it and making edits as needed.”

With Copilot, our recruiters have their own assistant sitting at their desk with them every day.
Will Hayes
Will Hayes Chief Operating Officer, IDR

Change Management

For any piece of staffing technology to be implemented successfully and reach widespread adoption, there needs to be buy-in across the team. According to Hayes, getting his team engaged on the front end of an implementation isn’t the issue. Instead, he wanted to prevent his team from making too-quick assumptions about the technology’s functionality during the implementation process. “Some staffing organizations that hire experienced recruiters have a harder time with engagement at the front end. Having a younger audience of staff is easy for me because they want to try new things and are fairly savvy with technology. The problem with the younger staff is if it’s not working, they’re very quick to just move away from it,” said Hayes.

The solution? At IDR, they focus on training and feedback loops to ensure team members have a voice in the implementation and that their needs are being met at every step of the process. “Keeping an open line of communication with the people using the software is really important,” said Hayes. “Creating true early adopters is all about preventing folks from moving away from new systems due to inadequate training or lack of incentives.” Hayes believes that it is important to get employees involved with Copilot at the earliest stages of implementation in order to get them excited about the technology and the benefits it will bring to their workflow.

Forward Together

According to Hayes, another key to successful change management is making sure you’re leveraging the partnerships with your vendors to both receive training tools and provide helpful feedback. A technology provider who believes in partnerships is key. When it comes to Bullhorn and the Copilot early access program, IDR leans into the strong relationship they have built with their account owner, Kayla Clayton.

The team trusts that Kayla will actively listen to their feedback and get answers to all of their questions. “You can speak to industry peers about how to change a workflow or put a new process in place, but having experts to do that is very valuable,” said Hayes. “And I know that a lot of that starts with Kayla taking the time with us on a consistent basis to get that feedback and then actually know where to go within the organization to drive that feedback and take action.” IDR’s relationship with Kayla and the Bullhorn team has helped them navigate their implementation of Copilot, and they will continue to partner throughout their journey with AI.

Kayla [National Account Manager] does a really phenomenal job of listening, and she does a really good job at the follow up and driving teams around her to get the information needed.
Will Hayes
Will Hayes Chief Operating Officer, IDR

Ready to Get Started?

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