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Innovation through curiosity: digitising the recruitment process

18/05/2022 By Jane Liaw Strategy & Solutions Lead
Company Culture Innovation People
By Jane Liaw Strategy & Solutions Lead
Company Culture Innovation People

To keep delivering the best solutions for clients you have to constantly reassess and change. This is how we remodelled our recruitment process and the Talent Acquisition team to deliver in a time of massive change and growth.

Our promise to our clients is that we will always deliver. The challenge however is that to keep delivering you can’t just continue doing what worked before.

This is particularly true if your business is growing and your clients’ businesses are undergoing huge transformation. Which, let’s face it, all businesses have over the last two years.

We had two main challenges to manage. Firstly, we have grown exponentially over the last couple of years. What worked for us when we had 1,000 seats does not work now that we have over 3,000 team members.

Secondly, that growth has meant we’ve had to onboard hundreds of new people during a time when the job market itself has been transforming out of recognition. Not only is there flexible and hybrid working to contend with, there is also a huge candidate shortage in Australia.

Challenge: How do we do volume recruitment in a candidate short market?

It is important for our business to hire the right number of quality candidates, with the right skillsets, at the right time.

The hiring team had to tackle this high demand from the business for hundreds of quality new hires, while at the same time coping with record low unemployment levels, COVID-19 restrictions, and the resurgence of job-hopping amongst candidates.

It is a candidate’s market at the moment, which means jobseekers can effectively dictate their terms. To recruit the best talent your business needs to stand out.

We are an organisation that obsesses with creating amazing customer experience. But what does an amazing candidate journey look like?


Innovation: Redesign the recruitment journey from the user’s perspective

Our team put themselves in candidates’ shoes and thought about how to humanise the recruitment experience. Hiring someone, after all, is the end product of a series of personal interactions between recruiter and candidate.

We knew that improving the quality of those interactions would deliver results. That’s something we do every day with customer interactions on behalf of our clients.

Which interactions were needed? Which ones could be cut out altogether or amalgamated to make for a smoother journey? Where could we effectively use our omnichannel technology to deliver better experiences and maximise productivity?

For example, we allowed candidates to self-schedule interview slots, which set the scene for a two-way interaction right from the get-go. It also provides candidates with some control over the recruitment process and positions us as a considerate employer.

We digitised the entire recruitment process from end-to-end with a new Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that allowed us to accept and screen thousands of applications quickly and respond to each one. During the early days of the pandemic we processed over 30,000 applications.

We harnessed the power of AI with a new candidate assessment tool, Vervoe, which in some cases replaced our telephone screening system. This tool simulates real-life scenarios that agents will face if successful, which also helps set their expectations right from the outset.

Finally, we switched from face-to-face interviews and group assessment centres to video interviews. As these are recorded, it enables the Talent Acquisition team to involve operational teams in candidate assessments and allow candidates to participate from the comfort of their own homes.

Further down the line in the candidate’s journey, we conducted reviews with them after they had spent a couple of months with us to create a feedback loop that continues to enhance our recruitment and on-boarding processes.


Challenge: Is our current team structure optimal for the changing landscape?

We asked ourselves if the structure of our Talent Acquisition team was anchored in the candidate’s journey and reflected the current needs of the business.

It can take 2 to 4 weeks to bring a 360 recruiter (someone who manages all the steps in the hiring process) up to speed. As we were growing at an unprecedented rate, workloads for the hiring team were at an all time high, which can detrimentally impact performance.

It’s also all too easy, when recruiting for external talents in the hundreds, to overlook the opportunity to re-evaluate the skillsets of each talent acquisition team member, reconfigure boundaries, and ensure the team structure is fluid and adaptable to maximise potential performance.


Innovation: Restructure the team to give more defined, compartmentalised roles and encourage self-development

Traditionally our recruiters had managed the entire hiring process from end-to-end, including advertising the job, assessing and interviewing candidates, and then onboarding.

With a very high volume of new hires needed over a short time frame, the sheer breadth of responsibility can overwhelm a recruiter and slow down the whole process.

Instead, we separated the roles into two areas: candidate outreach and administration. This streamlined the process for each team member as they only had to focus on their part of the process.

It also allowed them to work on building the specific skillset required to do their role more effectively, and put them in charge of developing those skills. This re-engineering of the team dramatically improved the speed and efficiency of our hiring process.


Challenge: How do we manage volume recruitment for multiple clients with different needs and ensure we get the best of candidates for each?

Given the nature of our business as a CX outsourcing provider, most of the candidates we hire will be the voice of a unique brand.

Each client requires people not just with different skillsets, but also with different personal interests and personality types.

This particular challenge is probably more relevant to us than most businesses, as we have multi-client demands, however most recruiters will understand the need to recruit the right type of person for different roles.


Innovation: Empower the talent acquisition team to have ongoing dialogue with their operational counterparts and manage their expectations

In our business, the people who most deeply understand the needs of their clients are the operations teams. We encouraged our Talent Acquisition team to work more closely with operations to think about the qualities each client’s team would require. For example, we needed to look for people whose values aligned with both TSA and each client.

Our Talent Acquisition team then needed to think about where to find those people. They also needed to have an agreement with the operations team on candidate screening benchmarks. It’s one thing knowing what to look for, another entirely to understand when you have found it in an individual candidate.

This is a two-way process of communication between the hiring and operations teams. Ultimately, talent managers drive the strategy that underpins the hiring process. It is up to them to advise operations about the job market and set their expectations in terms of the availability of candidates with certain skills, as well as remuneration levels.

Making sure both hiring and operations teams have input into the setting of hiring goals has a direct impact on outcomes. Only by having this ongoing dialogue, and constantly reassessing whether our processes and team structure are fit for purpose, can we ensure a cycle of continuous improvement.

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TSA are Australia’s market leading specialists in CX consultancy and contact centre services. We are passionate about revolutionising the way brands connect with Australians. How? By combining our local expertise with the most sophisticated customer experience technology on earth, and delivering with an expert team of customer service consultants who know exactly how to help brands care for their customers.

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