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Recrewtment is a fast-growing recruitment and employment agency in Belgium. Led by founder Andreas Pfeffer, the team works hard to create the best match between candidate and client, day in and day out. With ‘We Like Change’ as a company core value, the team is at the forefront of innovation in the Belgian recruitment market. Recrewtment is not your average recruitment agency, but one with its own twist; the team’s top priority is their relationships with candidates, clients and colleagues, and with over 50 employees, they help candidates find new opportunities every day.
Belgium has a relatively traditional recruitment landscape, and Recrewtment founder Andreas Pfeffer decided it was time for a change in 2015. Within two years of starting, the organisation decided to work together with Bullhorn to implement a new ATS. While many competitors were still advertising in shop windows and keeping track of their candidates in Excel, Recrewtment was steps ahead. The future of a successful recruitment agency lies in the combination of technology and human touch. By automating as many time-consuming, manual tasks as possible, recruiters have more time to focus on the human aspect: their relationships with clients and candidates. “I have always said it: we are a recruitment agency, not a software company,” Andreas said. “I want to focus on my core business and I know that you have a winning match when you create the right balance between digital progress and a human approach.”
Additionally, there is high staff turnover in Belgium’s recruitment and temporary employment industry. When founding Recrewtment, Andreas knew that involving his employees within the organisation would create long-term competitive advantage. This is clear in the way the organisation implements projects such as Bullhorn ATS & CRM and automation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant consequences worldwide. Despite the difficult times, Recrewtment was able to close 2020 with a growth of almost 10%, despite a market decrease of about 20%. In a struggling industry, this organisation finds itself in an ideal position: the team is so busy, they have to turn down job postings.
What has contributed to this growth? The step towards automation, through Herefish by Bullhorn. During times of crisis, many organisations stop investing, but Andreas chose to invest in technology and turn this challenge into an opportunity with an eye to the future.
At the start of a new technology project, everyone within the organisation is given the opportunity to sign up to participate, whether you have been working at Recrewtment for one month or three years. That is what makes many technological implementations within Recrewtment a success. Decisions are not made solely from the ‘tower of power’ or the IT department, but from within the whole organisation. This was also true when the team took the step towards automation. A project group of various people from across the organisation joined to decide how the system should function, tested it extensively, and eventually chose to implement it for the entire organisation. This approach created immediate support throughout the company.
“We have absolutely no problems with change management within the organisation. On the one hand because people within the organisation participate in the project, but also because one of our core values is ‘We Like Change’. We want to change continuously, and we recruit employees accordingly. Everybody who works for us loves innovation and new developments.” – Andreas Pfeffer
After an extensive testing period, the project team agreed: the results they saw during the testing period exceeded all expectations. The automations helped the organisation grow in many different areas to the point that the question was no longer if they would continue implementation, but rather when they would become available to the rest of the employees.
During the Herefish automation implementation, there were a few ‘nice to haves’ such as personalised birthday emails. But according to Andreas, that is not what you buy the tool for. “At one point, we launched an automation that contacted all candidates in Bullhorn who were ‘unavailable’ and we had not been in contact with for more than six months: passive candidates. In one week, we sent an email to 2,000 candidates asking if they were looking for work. Over 300 candidates responded.” This was an incredible result, Andreas says. “Especially when you consider that recruiters are looking for new candidates from external sources when there are enough qualified candidates already available in their own database. We all know how difficult it is to find good candidates, so the ROI on that was very high.”
There are hundreds of different automations that can be implemented with Herefish. About two months ago, after the impressive result of activating passive candidates, Recrewtment set up another Herefish automation to increase candidate engagement. The day a candidate has an interview with a client, Recrewtment sends a personalised text message wishing them good luck. Bigger companies have been doing this for decades, but in Belgium’s recruitment industry it wasn’t a common practice. The number of responses to these messages was incredible: “We have had many people text us back saying ‘hi, thank you for this encouragement, I’ll let you know how it went’. The response rate was unbelievable,” Andreas says.
And it is the little things that can really enhance a candidate’s experience. This is one of the most important strategic pillars within Recrewtment. Generating vacancies is not difficult at the moment, as there are plenty. But matching a good candidate to the organisation is very difficult. “The way I see it, the better you can match a candidate, the better your competitive advantage. We want candidates to be convinced Recrewtment can help them get further. And these automations help us immensely with that“, Andreas says.
All the Herefish automations Recrewtment implements ensures a better candidate experience. But in addition to that, Andreas wants to make life easier for his colleagues. “We also have internal automations where a task is created for a recruiter when they have not spoken to a candidate for more than seven days, even if there are no new tasks. Before, every recruiter had to remember to do so themselves, or manually create a reminder. This is now automated, which results in huge time savings, and this way we can be sure it happens”, says Andreas.
Last month, Recrewtment founded a specific Bullhorn project group, named the ‘Bullhorn Believers’. Every two months, the project group will come together to look at what new automations can be created. The team’s next step is to implement automations for clients and to create better more insightful reports. Further down the road is the development of a new website with which Bullhorn is fully integrated, and which has even more automations for the ultimate customer and candidate experience.
The ultimate technology fanatic, Andreas shares his predictions for the future of the recruitment industry: “I have seen many great applications of artificial intelligence, especially when it comes to matching candidates. I am convinced there is a future in AI. A solution that will help recruiters even more to make the perfect match. AI will definitely be the future, but not without a personal approach. I believe the personal connection between recruiters and candidates becomes even more important when we implement AI. No computer can take over the human touch we use to match our candidates to a company’s culture or have that personal conversation.”