What does successful online recruitment look like?
Learn how Jessica led her team through a rapid change and what they learned along the way:
- How we set ourselves, and candidates, up for success
- The challenges we faced, and benefits that surprised our teams
- How to measure success in online recruitment
- TSA’s next steps in leveraging recruitment data
Vervoe helps employers make hiring decisions based on how well candidates can actually do the job instead of how good they look on paper. Vervoe gives every candidate an opportunity to showcase their talent by doing job-related tasks. Then, machine learning models automatically rank candidates based on how well they perform.
Meet the speakers
Senior Account Executive
Chloe is passionate about the entire employee experience. Her career has connected her with passionate HR leaders through the entire employee lifecycle, from recruitment, to wellbeing and employee experience and learning and development.
At Vervoe, Chloe is privileged to meet with organisations of all industries to learn about their unique talent acquisition needs and priorities. She helps them grow their businesses through software that channels AI to screen candidates in and eliminate bias in the hiring process.
Group People & Talent Manager
Jess is Group People & Talent Manager at TSA Group, Australia’s leading specialists in CX consultancy and services. Leading a team of HR and TA specialists, Jess is responsible for delivering innovative strategies and initiatives to enhance the employee experience and accelerate business growth.
While being result-driven and excited to leverage data and new technologies to drive performance, Jess’s passion lies in creating employee experiences that enable people to be their best selves and do their best work.
Chloe: You’ve joined the webinar today with myself, Chloe from Vervoe, and we’re focused on, “what does success look like in virtual recruitment?”
I think this topic is not entirely new. We’ve all been doing virtual recruitment for a few months now. But the reason this is so timely, one of the trends that we’re seeing at the moment is – when March hit, when the world changed, we saw that clients were really fitting into a couple of different categories. One of those was for businesses who weren’t hiring. They just put a bit of a pause on everything and could ride out the storm a little bit.
We had people in a second category who said, “I can’t do my interviews face-to-face anymore. I’m just going to go do some video. Zoom or Teams interviews with people.”
And then we’ve got the third category, which I think is what we’re all here to learn from today. What we’re going to be talking about is how businesses really adapted very quickly back in March. Businesses, who really said, “okay, we’re just going to do things really differently. We’re going to build it now on strong foundations to be able to scale with us, when, and if things go back to normal”, if we can say that.
So just before I introduce Jess, I’m going to let you know, there is a chat function within this app today when you’ve dialed in. So if you’ve got any questions that come up throughout our discussion, please just type them in that chat and we’ll address questions towards the end.
Jess, I would love to just introduce you or maybe have you introduce yourself.
Jess: Thank you, Chloe. I just wanted to say thank you so much for inviting me to join you today for this discussion. I’m Jess, I am the Group Manager for People & Talent at TSA group. I oversee our Australian people operations and talent acquisition team.
In my role, I work really closely with all levels of the business to really understand what our goals are and to see how we can get the best out of our people and really create an experience and environment where they can do their best work every day.
Chloe: There’s so many things I already want to ask you about that, but I’m going to try and keep on a flow for us, so let’s start at the beginning.
The first thing I love is just that mention of the word talent and getting the best out of talent. So I might come back to that. But where I’d love to start as well, for people who have dialed in today or even watching this back, is just to understand, TSA Group. Can you introduce us a little bit to TSA Group as well?
Jess: Yeah, absolutely. So TSA group, we are a customer experience, technology and services business. We are Australian-based company and have been around for about 23 years now.
Internally we like to think of ourselves as a bit of the brand behind the brand, and the reason we say this is because we work in partnership with a lot of Australian businesses to help them create really authentic and genuinely enjoyable customer experiences. Now, this has traditionally been done through our contact center, outsourcing and support. But more recently we’ve expanded our customer experience design and technology consultancy of the business, which has been very exciting in terms of size and scale of organization.
We have about 2,500 team members spread across Australia and the Philippines. When it comes to our recruiting and hiring needs, a large proportion of roles that we hire for are within our frontline contact to operations.
That tends to be high volume recruitment that we’re dealing with. We’re starting to recruit more heavily within the tech space, as well as our consultancy, continues to grow.
Chloe: I think that’s so relevant to a lot of businesses today. There’s a lot on, in every business’s front line, dealing with customers or dealing with their key stakeholders. But then also there’s all these other critical functions throughout the business.
So you’ve got quite a spectrum there, even though there’s a volume at the front, and there’s also other roles that you’re doing recruitment for.
You mentioned there a little bit about those roles. I’d love to hear about what did recruitment look like for you? If we were talking this time last year, or even the beginning of the year, what did recruitment and your process look like back then?
Jess: Prior to this year, when the world kind of shifted, our recruitment process for our volume roles was very manual and if I’m honest quite cumbersome.
Our process would involve four core screening stages. The first would be our resume and phone screening. We would then move candidates through to a one way video interview, and finish off with site-based assessment centers and background checks.
Now, while the process itself was effective at the time and did get the job done for us, there were some opportunities when it came to delivering scale, hiring speed and the level of collaboration that could be achieved.
And this was largely driven by the fact that our recruitment process was really heavily reliant on our recruiters investing a considerable amount of time upfront in the recruitment process to try and surface high potential talent, which would then often lead to longer hiring timeframes due to the volume of applications and then the volume of roles that we were recruiting for.
So, that was our process prior to COVID. How did the pandemic kind of impact our business in the later half of the year? To give some context, it’d probably be helpful for me to share with you what our business experienced and how COVID it impacted us.
Chloe: I think that- I’m sure there’s a few people who’ve dialed in today who could relate to some of what you were saying about the process being quite manual and the time. This is the bit that I just wanted to dive in on: the time that your recruiters invested the most of their energy,their time, is it at the beginning?
So before you even work out who are your high-performing candidates or your candidates who you really want to invest the time in. All of it’s spent at the top of funnel and that, that was just kind of something interesting.
I think a lot of people will relate to that, and I think that just relays a bit of context to the next, the following parts that you were about to mention.
So yeah. How did it impact you, and what happened after that?
Jess: Yeah, absolutely. So, when the pandemic started, many of our clients’ offshore operations were required to temporarily close due to local government restrictions that were in place in those countries. So, they were required to quickly respond to that by repatriating some of that work back into Australia and they did that in partnership with TSA.
So what that meant was that very quickly we now had a requirement to onboard a significant volume of frontline roles in Australia within a very short period of time. And so what did that mean for us in the recruitment space in understanding that some of our challenges were with scale and hiring speed?
What it meant for us was that we needed to very quickly pivot and reassess our current recruitment process and reconfigure it and build it so that it could firstly be delivered completely remotely, due to our inability to now have face to face interaction with candidates or in person interaction.
And secondly, be able to, identify quality candidates, and meet our hiring timelines. Those hiring timelines were non negotiable, and it was imperative that we were able to meet them. So I guess going back to that point around our previous process, requiring us to recruit within a 20 to 30 day period, we needed to be able to drastically compress that so that we could deliver our recruiting needs within a five to seven day turnaround.
Chloe: This is giving me anxiety, just thinking about it Jess. What did it feel like at the time? You can’t do any of the traditional things, it’s going to take too long if you do the traditional process, that sounds really scary. The way that you describe it, it’s so cool, calm and collected. But I think that I would have been freaking out if I were you.
Jess: I would be lying to say I didn’t think I was ready to hit the red panic button.
Chloe: What’s so concerning from that point, this whole change was thrust upon you and there was probably a little bit of a moment of freak out, but then as I know of you now, and you’ve just got this can-do attitude and things get done.
So what did that process look like? Did you have to plan everything out? I mean, you couldn’t obviously go through a traditional process of assessing options and piloting them and trying things out. Like you just had to go. So talk us through a little bit of that.
Jess: So in total, from the time that we found out that we would need to onboard and pretty much commence our ramp-up period, we had about two and a half weeks to rebuild our process, source new vendors, implement, and train and deploy our brand new solution.
What we did… I think what was really important in order to kind of get everything done within that time frame was to really scope out the requirements from a business sense to understand what was required, why and establish that strong, “what are our measures of success? What are we looking at here so that I could identify what those non-negotiables would look like?”
And then, like you mentioned, we weren’t able to go through a traditional vendor selection process because we were racing against the clock. So, what we did instead was we utilized that information from understanding what our business context was and what we needed, and then reached out to our network to speak to other professionals that are working in the industry, within the contact centre industry, to understand the types of tools that they may have been using, and to help us steer us towards, tools and platforms that we think would be fit for purpose. One of those tools being Vervoe.
I think we were really fortunate as well because when we were looking for tools, we were specifically looking for tools that could be implemented straight away, that had that flexibility in implementation, and the ability for us to actually trial the product prior to purchasing a subscription and having a lengthy onboarding process.
So that was really helpful for us to be able to kind of have the conversation while at the same time, experience it from both the candidate and a recruiter and hiring manager perspective all at the same time.
Chloe: So I guess the purpose of this webinar is to share what was learned through a process like this, if it’s what you did in a more direct one to one process, it was like, okay, well, somebody must’ve done something like this before, right? What have they done? And how can I fast track some of those longer lessons they learned and just go straight to the win right now.
I love that sort of looking to other peers in your space and what advice can they offer. That’s a lovely way of looking at things, avoid some of the pitfalls.
You mentioned you had a process before that had used certain types of testing and process, and that this time around you want it to really look at why are we bringing on new hires and the way we do it.
What stakeholders were important? What stakeholders were really important in the journey to help you refine exactly what you needed?
Jess: I think because we were running on such a short timeframe to implement this change it was important that it was clear who our key influencers and decision makers were going to be.
This was a completely brand new process for our business. We completely revolutionized the way that we recruit by bringing on and introducing new technology, removing certain steps within our process and introducing automation as well.
So, it was important for us to gain the buy-in from our operations team. So those would be the teams that we are essentially recruiting for. And the leaders in that space to really buy into the fact that we can still deliver a high quality candidate within a shorter period of time through using technology, and that we can trust the technology that we are utilizing to deliver that experience.
We needed to gain the buy-in of our executive team as well, who were signing off on the purchase all of the tools that we had, and importantly as well, the buy-in from our recruitment team. Understanding and recognizing that this was a big learning curve for them as well, being experts in the old process, and knowing it inside out, to now having to quickly pivot, take on a challenge a sizable challenge, that they’ve never experienced in the past, and having to learn from scratch. So I think those were the core groups of stakeholders that we needed to really gain the buy-in and influence over.
I think that we’re really fortunate as well, because as an organization, we are really open and there’s a genuine interest in new ways of working and to change and to continuously improve what we do.
Chloe: Yeah, that’s amazing. I love that for a few reasons again, I mean that, that the business is already adaptive to change and supportive of exploring new things. But I think that can sometimes be a result of creating and nurturing those relationships in advance. Making sure that you’re having those really great relationships with hiring managers and stakeholders.
Considering yours seems to be very supportive and on board, is there any advice that you have for anybody who might not always have that journey? What are the things that you think are critical to help stakeholders? If they are hiring managers, if they’re budget decision-makers, what are some key things that you think could be critical to help them, get that ease of use and get that buy in from stakeholders like yours?
Jess: I think, What was really important was taking that step back and, even though we had a tight timeframe to work with, not just throwing ourselves into the “doing” aspect of it, but actually allowing ourselves to step back, look at the bigger picture, speak to the operations leaders, understand the context, understand the measures of success and what it means to their business for us to hire high quality candidates and on time, so that we could kind of understand the language.
I guess you could say that they’re speaking, what’s going to get there, you know, pick their interests, what’s going to grab their attention. And then from there, utilizing that information to help you in your solution design.
I would also say to engage your stakeholders early on in the piece and get them accustomed to and familiar with your thinking and your approach that you’re planning to take. I think as well, identifying advocates within your business. Do you have really great relationships already in other departments who are possibly a little bit more aligned with your thinking and what you’d like to do, who could help soundboard your ideas and challenge your thinking?
I think that’s another really big thing is to invite that feedback. You don’t have to have a finished product, and only present that. I think at that point in time, perhaps your solution might not be as well-balanced, rounded with different perspectives. So as you, while designing, consult with your team, consult with other areas of the business, and you know, in doing so they’re also going to feel a little bit of ownership in that as well, because they’ve contributed to the idea and in turn, they’re going back out to their team and then having those small conversations with, with their other teammates.
So even within allegiance to say how they’ve spent that time and, you know, without actually doing much they’re already advocating for your proposal.
Chloe: You could probably see me there, Jess. I was nodding away emphatically. I’m writing notes as well.
I think that that’s such great advice. I think looking at stakeholders differently as well, where it’s not always like, Hey, I’ve got to win over the top person. Who’s got the budget, but who are your people around that? Who can just be a voice of support or like you said, almost like that diversity piece where you get other voices in to help you strengthen the business case and strengthen them position of your I’m going to say argument, but that’s not a very good, description, but, you know, help you position what you’re trying to get across the line.
Something else that just jumped out at me when you mentioned it as well. The first one obviously was bringing people along the journey. I think that that’s brilliant for change management. We’ll touch on in a moment, but also the mention of understanding what the measures of success are.
Do you have some advice on how people can really identify, you know, cause some businesses like yours at the beginning, aas how can we get down out time to hire quicker because that’s paramount to hit our targets, but then maybe the goals changed how you refine those really important metrics.
Jess: I think it’s the communication and the engagement piece.
You know, in order for this to be successful, I really needed to seed myself into the operations team and work really close with our group executive of operations to understand the types of conversations that he’s having with his direct teams and understand what they’re looking at.
And it’s getting comfortable with the data, with the kinds of discussion that they’re having and having that openness and transparency that really helps to inform the types of metrics and being able to marry them up with what we need to do from a recruitment and hiring standpoint.
I found that that was really critical because when you’re working at speed, if you’re relying on information to be cascaded from team to team from level to level, sometimes it can be too late. Once it’s, once you receive that information, it’s too late because you need to adapt and, and move, I guess quite fluidly.
So from that point of view, it’s to not be afraid to kind of position yourself to be an extension of your stakeholders team and to build that relationship with them. So that they’re really, you’ve got that free access towards information and you can kind of preempt what your clients are requesting so that you can kind of reposition what you’re doing and, reprioritize, you know, the, the design of your recruitment process and what you’re looking for.
Chloe: Yeah. I even noticed the use of the word, of the language that you use there in terms of “clients”. Obviously it can mean a couple of things in this context and TSA group acting on behalf of clients. So you know what that client wants, but also your hiring managers within the business are your clients.
So what are they asking for? And sometimes, you know, why are they asking for it? And sort of interrogating what they’re asking for. So that, to your point earlier, you can adapt to their language. I mean, that’s really amazing. So.
How did that journey look like then? I mean, you had two and a half weeks to go, okay, I’m going to go to market, find out who is using what vendors, what’s working, and then, I guess it sounds like you were engaging your stakeholders along the way, but was there some change management as well that you needed to manage with the onboarding of new processes and things like that?
Jess: Yeah, I think that, in addition to managing our stakeholders, one thing that we really needed to get clarity over is what we’re actually doing today.
And I’m really looking at each section of our recruitment process, identifying what are our existing pain points at the moment, what’s actually causing the bottlenecks, what’s causing the delay in speed, because that was our goal. Our objective was pretty clear. We had three in mind.
The first one was that we needed to be able to hire quickly. We needed to still maintain a candidate-first experience, knowing that the current state of the economy and where our candidates’ minds would be at, they’ve been going through quite a lot. So our new process really did need to be compassionate towards their needs.
And then lastly, being able to ensure that we are able to identify the right competencies and potential for the role so that we’re not going to just get bums on seats. We’re actually gonna make some quality hires.
So those were our three core objectives. And from that, you know, really scrutinizing what we’re doing today, what do we need to start doing, stop doing, continue doing. And then, looking at the why behind some of the decisions that we’ve previously made and looking at our team structure as well. I think that was a really big change management piece that came through this as well.
Traditionally, our recruitment team were state-based and they had specific programs and client groups that they were accountable for. And we had separate Australia and Philippines recruitment team as well. Due to the size of this particular project, we needed to review the structure of the team and we made the decision to actually consolidate all Australian and Philippines teams and create and form a new national recruitment team. And that was the first time that we had ever done something like that. and we were able to do that because of the technology that we we could introduce, and kind of eliminate those silos and those borders.
Chloe: So your project has got even more complex then. I mean, it wasn’t just, oh, my gosh, we need some technology to help make things quicker into weeks, but, you know, reviewing the team structure, bringing everybody on board with that, putting some measures in place. You had clear goals. This is just such an awesome case study to review on how this went down.
One of the other things that I’d love to know about what you were mentioning there as well. I can’t believe it took us this long to get into it, but almost 22 minutes in, 24 minutes in… mentioning the candidate. I’d love to understand, you know, you mentioned that not a lot of people think about that aspect for the candidates that they were going through a really challenging time too. Our data shows that candidate volumes are phenomenal in Australia at the moment, much higher than we would normally have seen this time last year.
Talk to me a little bit about the candidate journey for TSA group candidates now.
Jess: I think one of the biggest things that has changed between when I compare previous processes to where we are today is, how are we actually screening candidates?
So previously, as I mentioned before, we would do- we took a more traditional approach where we looked at the resume, would do the phone screen and that’s how we would short list our candidates.
But what we found is that as we, you know, during COVID, there were a lot of people that were out of work. And as a result of that, we had a huge influx of applications come through. I think we had about 13,000 applications, which is more than we’ve ever experienced, for any other roles that we’ve had.
So it was a high volume of people expressing interest in working with us. So, you know, when we were thinking about this, we’re thinking, okay, we cannot, surely we can- it would take too long for us to look at 13,000 resumes all at one time. And that’s when a tool like Vervoe comes into play. Anticipating that we were going to deal with high volumes, what we decided to do was let’s actually not look at the resume. Let’s actually put them through some skills based testing and put them through some simulations, which would help us actually identify if they had the suitable skills and competencies to be successful in this position.
That was a real game changer for us because, you know, when it came to the candidate experience, our candidates were now having a fair go, we leveled the playing field, I guess, so to speak.
We didn’t look at your previous experience, what you have done, what you haven’t done. We’ve purely looked at it from the point of view of can they do this job, do you have a baseline competency to be successful and more importantly, will align with our culture and enjoy the environment that you perhaps are entering into.
And that was really, really effective for us because what that actually helped us do was, of that 13,000 applications, it helped us eliminate those that perhaps were not as interested in the opportunity. And it helped us shortlist and I guess distinguish the top tier candidates, far more easily for us soour recruiters could go straight there and spend the time with them.
But at the same time, if you weren’t successful, we were able to manage that volume of the communication, quite effectively as well, so that every candidate knew exactly where they stood in our process.
Does that summarize things for you?
Chloe: Absolutely. I’m just processing all of that wonderful information because, you know, there was a shift to do things based on skills and competencies, which is quite a shift for a lot of businesses. So, you did that really successfully.
I’m curious about a little bit more about the candidates and then I want to jump back to your recruiters as well, but, how have you found that journey for the candidates?
Have you found that it’s impacting? I know it’s kind of early days, cause it’s only been a couple of months on the job, but have you found that’s impacted sort of ramp time or employee engagement or any of those aspects as well for your candidates at an early stage?
Jess: Yeah, I think that, when it comes to this, the candidate experience, one of the big things that we found was that people really enjoyed new process and they felt as though we were being really open and transparent with them, they felt like they had a greater sense of confidence and understanding of the work and the environment that they would potentially be joining.
By the time they had completed their assessments and kind of moved further down the process, the engagement levels were just building. They were really invested in the opportunity, which I thought was absolutely fantastic. The other things as well from a candidate point of view, what we found was the fact that everything was now on demand, they were in control of their own time.
And when they were completing tasks, as part of that recruitment process, that was very helpful because, it meant that, you know, they weren’t restricted and they could actually complete tasks much faster because they were able to control and make it work according to their lifestyle.
So that’s a pretty significant impact on our hiring timeframes. By being able to go through that process, we shaved off days in our process. And I think I’d, like I mentioned earlier, we went from abruptly around on average about 20 days down to a five to seven day turnaround.
Chloe: Yeah. I mean, that’s an amazing return. I mean, now we’re talking about, you know, how you made decisions at the beginning, but now we’re also talking about what were the validating data points throughout the day that helped you really make sure that this was a good choice. And I guess one of the things I’d love to touch on there is you mentioned at the beginning that your process.
To start with, you know, pre March, was, you know, you’d had some, I guess more psychometric type testing in your process as well. and now with Vervoe, you’ve got very customised, skill based assessments that are job specific and relevant to your business. How do you think outcomes differ from- that off the shelf testing can be brilliant in the right place.
I’m just curious about how it’s worked for TSA? How have you found the difference between off the shelf psychometric testing and testing? That’s more almost your team can design it yourself.
Jess: Yeah. So prior to March, we didn’t purchase any off the shelf psychometric assessments.
However, we created our own, but albeit it was a very generic, assessment that would be rolled out across different programs of work. So it wasn’t as tailored as what we would have liked. I think the comparison there is that those assessments would have to be basically been deployed in the assessment center stage.
But because we’ve been able to digitize that and essentially remove the requirement for the assessment center, then the benefit is that we see increased levels of collaboration that can be achieved. So, you know, quite often when it comes to assessment centers, you need to have people, your hiring managers and your trainers and recruit physically present in the same room.
And I think that we can all agree that sometimes getting that timing right, can be a bit of a challenge. But once you know that that’s the one fixed time and opportunity for them to get that real insight into candidates behaviors and their abilities.
But by having the assessments online, and I think one of the really great benefits of Vervoe is the ability to ask questions in different formats and receive responses from candidates in different formats. That’s been a really powerful tool for us, because now we’re able to assess candidates, not just on their verbal communication skills, but also their written and numerical reasoning ability as well, which is actually quite important for the work that they’re going to be doing for us in their roles.
So, that’s, that’s been a really key benefit for us and also it’s an on demand experience for our hiring managers as well. They might not necessarily be available at the same time as a recruiter, but because the assessment is captured and can be shared with them and they can rate and score, again, it can be done at a time that suits them.
And what we found was that we were getting feedback in real time and it was much higher quality feedback. Because they were providing feedback on direct questions and responses that we were seeing. And that really helped us refine our candidate profiles much more efficiently than we have ever previously.
Chloe: It seems like there’s a few unexpected benefits then from this new process for you, would you say that what you’ve just mentioned all of them or there’s some other others? Sort of side effects or outcomes that you didn’t quite expect from this whole process?
Jess: I think, one thing that I didn’t quite expect was just how much our candidates enjoyed being able to participate in the assessment, where they had more freedom or more choice with regards to how they responded and the actual design of the two and how you can craft it, for, you know, for your business purposes.
I think a lot of feedback that we received from candidates was very much that, you know, they enjoyed the fact that they kind of got eased into the video questions, for example. And that was a real benefit. And because of that, they’ve walked away and they’ve gained a really good impression about TSA as a business and, and how we do things and how we interact with our people.
I think that was actually quite an, an additional unexpected benefit that came through, you know, utilizing Vervoe in particular.
Chloe: Wonderful. Has it changed then the way that you’re able to, or the way that you do communicate with candidates- has that approach for you throughout this time?
Jess: I think that with the introduction of technology now we are definitely equipped to handle communication at scale. Previously it was very manual and very much, you know, one-on-one from recruiter to the candidate. Whereas now with the tools that we have available, we’re able to communicate much faster and quicker, during this ramp period as well, because we were anticipating quite a high volume of applications in our design.
We also took time to really think about the major touch points for a candidate. What’s going to be important for them? And if it’s just in even simple things like checking to let them know, hey, thanks for completing your assessment. What’s the timeframe that you need to look for.
Small things like that. We tried our best to use our tools to automate those communication touch points so that all times the candidate would be aware of where they’re sitting, and how or when to expect contact from us.
I think the other thing that really helped is that, because of the introduction of our tools and in particular Vervoe as an assessment tool, when we, when it came time for us to have that one on one engagement with the candidate, it changed the dynamic of that conversation quite significantly- one from being a behavioral, situational judgment based interview, to more of an engagement call to really get to know this person, to really congratulate thank them for taking the time to go through our process, and, and being able to get to know them and understand, you know, what, what’s your goals? What are you looking for? How can, how can we help you, achieve those goals in, in your, in your next career?
Chloe: That’s a really beautiful side effect as well. In terms of, you know, we talked at the beginning of the call that the investment of time from your team was all at the beginning.
So then it almost implies that you can’t really always spend as much valuable time at the end with your candidates. So it sounds like this tool and this new process has really enabled your team to not be burdened as much with the broad screening, but actually have more data and insights to be able to go deeper at the end of the process where it kind of matters a bit more and I really love that feedback.
I’ve got plenty of questions. Just bear with me actually, before I jumped into another, the question, is there any, things that you wanted to dive into that we have, or haven’t talked about as well that you wanted to mention?
Jess: Look, I think that, you know, we’ve covered quite, quite a lot of, already. I think we’ve covered quite a lot off so if you’ve got more questions, I’d be happy to go through them with you.
Chloe: Yeah, absolutely. So again, at the beginning of the call, I mentioned that, a lot of organizations when they came into this period, went well, look, let’s just replace in person interviews with some live video interviews or let’s replace so many phone screens with a one way video interview type thing.
But now we’re realizing that this would be the case, this might be our business as usual for quite a while. So I’m curious about, the processes that you have put in place and the measures that you’ve put in place. Do you feel as though they will be carrying through with you for business as usual? Is this now your business as usual? You know, has your change been permanent? Or what does that look like?
Jess: Yeah, I think, you know, for us, this is a really good question. For us, we view this as a permanent change, because of the impact that we have seen on our business, both in terms of experience from our candidates, our recruiters, our hiring managers, Our ability to speak to and our ability to sell to high quality candidates.
So because of those results, I think that we’ve got a really compelling argument that, you know, there is no need for us to revert back to our old or previous ways of recruiting.
And in fact, I think that where we are now is at a point where we are looking to further enhance and refine how we recruit and to really think about, think carefully about the experience and how we can supercharge that experience for all parties involved in our recruitment process, the ability to cross collaborate.
And, you know, have our teams working anywhere in the world and what, you know, at that level of collaboration, I think that is really impressive. And that’s here to stay, for a long time. I think.
Chloe: I love that I’ve been talking to a few people at the moment. You know, while we’ve, I guess, focused on the call center environment of a lot of your recruitment, I feel as though this conversation is really relevant to a lot of other businesses ramping up at the moment with recruitment, such as you just going to Christmas surges for a lot of businesses, health care surges for a lot.
I wonder, you know, the things that some of those businesses are becoming aware of is that their old methods, with assessment centers, they can’t use them anymore. Do you think they are still going to have a place after all of this?
I mean, you just mentioned new likely wouldn’t revert back to assessment centers again, and what’s your view on them in general?
Jess: It really depends on the depth. So what are you actually trying to uncover and end get out of that assessment center. You know, for us, what we found is that the things that we wanted to, I guess assess and get a view on from our candidates could actually be done remotely.
And I suppose, you know, right now with the current situation, whilst in some states and areas of the world, you know, COVID is- we’re all at different stages when it comes to the pandemic, there is a, I guess, a sense of responsibility I feel as well from an organization standpoint that if we have the capacity to deliver a remote experience, that is going to be comfortable, and still deliver what we need then, yeah, you know, is that assessment center really necessary?
Are we, you know, is that the most effective use of our time? The candidate’s time as well? I do find that the on-demand nature of giving your candidates that control in the recruitment process, but particularly in a time when they’re perhaps lacking a bit of control over their work circumstances, it’s quite a good thing.
And it’s something that I would definitely like to see continue and stay on in the future.
Chloe: I love that, Jess. So I always enjoy our conversations. Cause you have this, data and commercial focus on what you’re doing, but also this sensitive side, that’s also just conscious of candidates and people, which is so lovely.
Now I’ve got one or two more questions still to go, but I just want to pause here for a moment to just remind anyone who is watching at the moment live. If you do have any questions or comments and it can be comments, I like feedback. We love to hear what you’ve maybe taken away from this session or some things that you might like us to dive deeper in or questions that you might specifically have that we haven’t even gone to today.
So please make sure you put those in the chat so that we can address them before we wrap up, because we were wrapping up shortly.
Now my second last question is I guess a little bit about, you know- I guess the whole intention of this, the webinar was, you know, what does success look like?
So I’m curious about, you know, we’ve talked a bit about metrics that you wanted to measure, for replacing the process to make it virtual. But also I guess how we measure success for any process in recruitment. I’d love to hear a little bit about your approach to data moving forward.
Jess: Yeah. So, you know, since introducing tools like Vervoe to our recruitment process, we’ve been able to utilize that data really successfully, in the initial selection and shortlisting stages of recruitment.
But, as a business, we’re looking to take that data beyond recruitment and actually use that data to follow our employees through their onboarding, and across the entire life cycle. So I guess major data points that we’d like to look at, merging our data, our Vervoe data with is, you know, their training experience and then, their experience in our production teams and then, lastly, matching it with our attrition data as well.
The benefits that we see in, in kind of doing it, this is that it really allows us to stress test the validity and accuracy of our candidate profiles. Are we getting that right? In terms of the type of candidate that he’s going to be successful in our business, the type of environment that we’re providing and offering, to allow them to do their best work with us.
Are we getting that right. And if we’re not, how can we use this information to help us, to fuel new decisions, to help us bring forward new initiatives? Whether that’s, you know, within the recruitment sourcing and engage talent engagement space or in our retention initiatives as well. So it’s still early days for us, but we’re in the process. Process at the moment of structuring it up, I’m working closely with our reporting and analytics team so that we can actually see the selection information side by side with their actual performance in the role and continue to engage with these candidates to understand what their experience is actually like.
Chloe: Yeah, I think that that is something that people can forget in the process. You go recruitment, we’re recruitment focussed, but then actually looking at, you know, how much time did it take someone to ramp in the job, and how long did it take them to hit their metrics? And what were those metrics? Are those metrics impacted by, you know, what we assess them for, that’s a really interesting exercise to sort of travel with the candidate through their employee journey.
Not just at recruitment, it takes a lot of foresight to do that. So I think it’s awesome. You’ve already set that up in the process.
Now my final question is actually not so much a question, I’ve asked a lot of questions. Hopefully it’s been able to answer some hot topics and areas of, you know, curiosity for some of our viewers today and viewers who are watching back the recording.
If there’s anything else you’d like to leave people with, I guess that’s my final point. I’m opening a forum a little bit wider for you on, anything that you think would be a lesson you’d love to impart or some things that you’d love to share a little bit further about for anyone today.
Jess: Yeah. I think, you know, when we first became aware of the task at hand, like I said earlier, there were, my initial reaction was to reach for the red panic button.
I think that, you know, I was actually really excited by this opportunity because transforming our recruitment function had been a topic of discussion that we had started quite a few months back prior to March this year. But the situation, you know, helped us do was accelerate our plans and really force us to, really examine very closely what we did, how we did things and put forward new ideas.
And I think that embracing a situation and the cicumstances that you’re in and being able to put forward and have the safety of being able to put forward a new idea that that’s actually a really great place to be familiar with this point of view.
And you know, if you had asked me at the time, did I know a hundred percent that this was going to work and that we would reach, you know, all of our goals, it was going to be absolutely no, I didn’t.
There is a collective support of our team and not being afraid to ask for help and to ask for feedback beyond the four walls of your organization. That was really, really helpful and important.
I think as well, when you are looking to select your vendors, one thing that really assisted me, particularly because we didn’t go through a conventional process, was to actually make sure that you have a good relationship with the client services team, and your account manager, and that you are asking questions that go beyond, you know, what the system looks like or the tools it has today, and actually unpack and understand what’s on their roadmap. Not just what’s on the roadmap, but what have they actually executed on in the past couple of months?
Because that would give you a really good indication of how much investment both in terms of time and development they put into their product and how influential the user, the community will be. Yeah. I can safely say that all of the vendors that we have selected as part of our recruitment process are extremely responsive and have been very, very open and transparent with us in terms of, you know, what their tool is capable of doing, what the current limitations are and you know, what the future outlook is like.
And I think having that degree of transparency, particularly in a time where it is a bit of a crisis situation and you are needing to really foster and make some big decisions and calls like, that is a very important thing to consider.
Chloe: That’s such valuable feedback, even myself on the vendor side, wouldn’t always think about, in terms of what helps you make decisions and, Vervoe we take for granted that we rapidly change what we do with that software. And we’re always implementing additional advantages and features, et cetera.
But I guess, because I’m in that lens, I forget that you’re exactly right. You don’t always- what’s fit for purpose today might not be fit for purpose in three or six months. We’re already seeing that happen. So looking at what sort of vendors, and this is outside assessment, it could be applicant tracking systems could be reference checking technology, what sort of, you know, technology or provider suits my needs and suits my style.
Are we rapidly changing well, then we need a rapidly changing technology. Do we need, you know, local support or things like that, that are really important. It’s a really great opportunity at the beginning to interrogate all of that at the beginning.
So I have had a couple of questions just come through. Cause I love hearing you talk, Jess, you’ve got such positive feedback to share with us. One of the ones actually is related to, I think, very relevant to people dialed in today, which would be, the training for your team. So obviously you implemented a bunch of new things at once, Vervoe was just one of them. You had an applicant tracking system and reference checking, I think you mentioned as well.
So what did the training process look like to rapidly onboard your team for this type of change?
Jess: Yeah, that’s a really good question, actually. In terms of the training, we actually deliberately, part of that vendor selection process was to understand the implementation and training timeframes.
So we deliberately chose tools that were going to be simple to use and very intuitive. Because we didn’t have a lot of time to spend upskilling our team. And I knew that if it was going to be clunky, we wouldn’t get the buy in and it would just raise anxiety levels of the team. Not necessarily allay their concerns and make life easier for you.
So with our training about tools, it was really quite simple and straightforward. I think a lot of my team members are quite tech savvy to begin with and they love it, trying new things. So the best way for them to help to learn, was actually get their hands into the system and have a play around.
And in many ways, try to break it. I said, try to break it, go in, play around, see what they need to do. Test it out from both you know, both the candidate and the hiring manager and recruiting standpoint. And experience that. I think that experiential learning definitely accelerated their ability to pick up the systems.
And also, importantly, help me identify where the gaps were, where some potential pitfalls were, so that we could catch them before actually deploying it out to, thousands of live candidates. So I think that kind of test and learn approach works really well for us.
And we had a few webinars as well, with Stacy, from Vervoe, and she really took us through, we recorded all of those sessions as well.
And, what we did was we had daily stand ups where we would go through, okay, how are we using specifically? How are we using the system? What are we liking? What are we not liking? That same day we’d go through, rebuild, and then, you know, test it out again and then kind of keep going through a very iterative approach.
Chloe: That’s really cool. Another question that’s come through. How do you measure or understand whether someone will enjoy a role based on an assessment beyond that, having the competency for the role? Because it’s a tricky one.
Jess: Yeah, look, that’s a really interesting question and a really good one, I think, because I think that that’s really relevant when you’re talking about, a person potentially coming to join a really high, high pressure and fast paced environment.
I think it comes down to the design of some of the questions that you’re asking and the types formats that you’re seeking a response from your candidates. So, adaptability was a really big thing for us because we knew that we were kind of going into a situation where there were quite a few, it was quite ambiguous and unknown.
And so the types of questions that we ask, we actually selected, video-based responses for our candidates to go through. And I think that’s when you know, your recruiters need to get in there as well and, and have a look and you can visibly see whether or not a candidate is responding well to the situation or a scenario that you’ve presented and they’re responding to, or if it’s perhaps a little bit draining for them, I think that’s a good indicator for us.
And then utilizing that second or that final engagement interview that I was talking about earlier to do that final check in with them and I think the best way to do that is to, to lay it out clearly for them. I think the worst thing that you can do is sell them a dream that’s completely different to what the reality will be.
I think our candidates really appreciated that insight into the true work environment and some of the struggles that they may actually face. What are some initial learning curves or difficulties they may encounter, in the role within the first month?
Chloe: Yeah, that’s sort of got me thinking about as well. You know, I guess the first thing is if a candidate sees the warts-and-all version or, you know, a little bit of the challenges that they’ll face, and then they’re still engaging in doing the assessment and they really are opting into it, and are investing in it. So I think that that’s a really good sign as well.
Final question, which I think is well timed, because, we’re almost at the top of the hour so we can let everyone go back to their lunch or their mornings. So understanding that the primary goal was to reduce the time to hire. So initially when you needed to ramp this project, can you shed any light on other metrics that have mattered or been surfaced from other stakeholders?
Jess: Yeah, I think, you know, for that particular project, it was definitely time to hire. But what we both have identified from stakeholders is the actual composition of the intake. So because we’re both recruiting and training intakes at one time, looking at the proportion of green and, the candidates within that, with that the green and amber ratio in that training intake.
Because that’s what’s been used to determine the quality of candidates. So that’s definitely been something that they are, very interested in. Previously we, you know, we’ve always had kind of like a traffic light system when it comes to identifying candidate quality, however, with Vervoe, It’s now given us actual data, a starting point to help us differentiate those candidates.
And that’s been something that our hiring managers have been extremely I’m interested in looking at.
Chloe: Yeah, absolutely. I think it is important for many reasons as well. And I think that that helps with the hiring manager education piece as well, when they can start to see, oh, okay, actually that skill or that competency is really important and impacting my new recruit, the speed they’re ramping, et cetera. And how can I help with that assessment piece as well?
It’s just, it’s been such a delightful chat with you. I always enjoy our discussions because you take such an awesome approach to this whole world of recruitment. You were open to rapid change, you’re open to taking on some new technology and being brave and having faith in what we promised this is gonna work, just it’s gonna work.
And so thank you so much for all of your investment in Vervoe, through time and commitment and feedback. And also for your time today, it’s been such a great discussion. For anybody else, Jess is really open to connecting on LinkedIn if anything that she’s been talking about today has made you curious, I would also love to chat to you honestly- put my sales cap back on.
But yeah, if there’s anything else that you’d like to know, just drop us a line.
Jess: Thank you so much, Chloe. I’ve really enjoyed today.
Chloe: Yeah, me too. Bye Jess. Bye everyone.
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