The work from home phenomenon divides opinion. Nowhere is that more keenly felt than in recruitment. Some employers and employees see it as a performance enhancing perk, whilst others view it as a barrier to productivity and career progression. So how can recruiters use it to their best advantage?

Dave Nerz - President of NPAworldwide
Dave Nerz – President of NPAworldwide

NPAworldwide is a global recruitment network of 550 members operating in 42 countries. It spans multiple sectors, and includes specialist and generalist recruiters.

For this blog post, PCRecruiter spoke to the President of NPAworldwide, Dave Nerz, to get his inside perspective on the work from home (WFH) trend.

WFH Wednesday

WFH provides two different working environments. Places to get different kinds of work done. It makes the day go faster – and it’s really helpful for me.

Dave Nerz, President, NPAworldwide

WFH was around long before the pandemic, but lockdowns and social distancing meant more people experienced it than ever before. At that time, WFH became a necessity rather than a ‘nice to have’ option. But like many forward-thinking organizations, NPAworldwide was already testing the water with WFH. They employed remote staff, and Dave Nerz had introduced WFH Wednesday. So when the pandemic hit, they were ready. 

Employees were already set up at home. They had a space to work, and the right tools to get their work done, like a telephone, Internet services, office stationery, and computers. In fact, as a leader, Dave had been doing his own version of WFH for years. Every Wednesday afternoon, he’d set up in the local library to get things done without interruption. He’d switch off his phone and create a situation where he could focus on longer tasks like writing reports. 

Right now, Dave splits his working day between the office in the morning and home in the afternoon. He gets the best of both worlds. Face-to-face meetings and in-person work happens in the office. At home, he can schedule longer video calls, and focus on more complicated time-consuming tasks. His team also benefits. For example, parents can work around their childcare duties, and still get the job done to the benefit of the organization.  

Hybrid Working Arrangements 

As an industry, we’re going to have to figure out how to make more people available to us that would otherwise not be able to fill the roles.

Dave Nerz, President, NPAworldwide

It’s fair to say that certain jobs don’t currently work in a hybrid or remote model. For example, there are roles in manufacturing and engineering which have to be done on site — although with new technology, even that is slowly changing. When roles can be done remotely or hybrid, it opens up a much broader talent pool. That’s important on a global scale. Why? Many sectors are facing a demographic drought. In terms of age, their demographic looks like an inverted pyramid: many people are retiring and there’s not enough young talent coming through. 

An image of a man working at his laptop from home. Photo by Yasmina H.

Specifying a geographic location for roles which could be done remotely immediately shrinks the talent pool. Conversely, widening the search to a particular state — or even the entire country — adds depth and breadth. Hiring on home soil makes things like onboarding and communication easier. But there’s no doubt that in certain industries, such as software development, offshore is sometimes the only answer.

Timezones are also playing an increasingly important role. In the future, we’re likely to see a trend for employers searching for people who work on a certain slice of time, as opposed to being based in a particular city. In that respect, remote and hybrid working will help to close the skills gap.

Training For Success

WFH and remote working is going to help the industry solve some problems in the short term, while we figure out the long term.

Dave Nerz, President, NPAworldwide

As the boomer generation continues to retire, the skills gap widens. In the past, corporations had training programs which would give graduates the right skill sets to go out into an industry and launch their careers. 

Today, a lot of that has gone. Post 9/11 and financial crises, many companies cut costs by axing their training programs, instead searching for ready-made talent. The problem is there’s often not enough of it to go around. 

Bringing in talent from overseas can help. For recruiters and employers, geographic borders make relocating people — physical immigration — a complicated and time-consuming process. Virtual immigration opens up new possibilities. You can have trained talent from abroad work remotely in no time at all.  

The key challenge for employers taking on remote talent is how to ensure new recruits can be successfully onboarded and work effectively without stepping into an office. In the physical environment, you have managers and peers to support their training and development. With WFH, those opportunities don’t arise naturally. They have to be scheduled in. This might make it more challenging for those people who are purely remote. 

It also impacts career development. When someone’s remote-only, managers can see the end results, but they don’t necessarily have visibility over the process including the wins and the mistakes. Without seeing it, managers have to take a leap of faith based on results, which could affect an employee’s promotability. Remote working can also limit opportunities to discuss career advancement because there aren’t those live, face-to-face moments that you get from working in an office. 

Recruitment In A Remote-First World

We’re going to have to select people on the basis of how they demand to work. In some cases, as opposed to an option, WFH becomes a demand.

Dave Nerz, President, NPAworldwide

There’s no question that some work is better done in-person. Remote-first isn’t suitable to every sector. Take automotive engineers, for example. They need to be inside the company to see what’s being done, how it’s done, and what their impact is likely to be.

Even with roles that can potentially be done remotely — such as marketing or recruitment — in-person meetings are still important. People need to get together. Whether that’s casual interaction, or scheduled crossover with other workers and teams, companies need to figure out new ways of working. And recruiters have to be on board with that in order to sell it to prospective candidates. 

A woman working at home. Photo by Kelly Sikkema

At the same time, remote and hybrid working is a matter of taste. Different people work best in different ways. We all have different styles. This is something that employers and recruiters can tap into. The question is: what can they do to attract and retain the right talent as well as optimize their performance? The answer is to offer flexibility that benefits both parties. 

Different demographics will have different demands. Couples with young children will have different needs than people approaching retirement. What it comes down to can be any number of factors, whether that’s style, convenience, or economics. 

Being Effective From Anywhere

I don’t see work in the office as going away. For many businesses and industries, it’s not feasible. It doesn’t make sense.

Dave Nerz, President, NPAworldwide

The bottom line is simple. Employers need the best talent to fill their open roles. Where and how the work gets done most effectively comes down to personal choice. Whether working from home or in the office, it’s personal situations which determine effectiveness. This means managers have to think much more creatively about how things get done.

Recruiters also need to go beyond simply listing WFH, remote, or hybrid as part of a job posting, and consider the wider implications for their target audience. Being able to offer more flexible working arrangements which work in both company and the candidate’s interest can be a win-win — if you get it right. 

Whether you’re a WFH, hybrid, or office-based recruiter, and no matter what type of recruitment you work in, the right ATS and CRM can streamline your day to day and help you make the right hires. Learn more about PCRecruiter

In any industry, bringing on new starters is never a straightforward process – and recruitment is no different. You’ve sourced potential candidates. You’ve gone through the recruitment process. And you’ve made the hire. Now it’s time to onboard, train, and integrate your new recruiter.

Whether they’re new to recruiting or they’ve been doing it for years, your newly hired recruiters need to get up to speed with your firm’s ways of doing things. That includes workflows and software. Most specifically, they need ‘new recruiter’ training on your applicant tracking and candidate relationship management tools.

In this blog post, PCRecruiter’s Drew Rothman looks at key strategies for successful new recruiter training, whether they’re learning the software, the job, or even both things at the same time.  

Give Them A Process

Each recruiter and every recruitment firm has their own unique way of doing things. Sure, they might use similar methods, but as part of your organization, new recruiters need to do things your way, at least in the beginning. If, further down the line, someone wants to adapt or improve on the processes, that should be welcomed.

When tackling new recruiter training you need to ensure they understand your business goals, the key performance indicators (KPIs), and the expectations for getting the job done. Standardized workflows allow you to easily track both candidate and recruiter progress. So when it comes to using a central repository of client and candidate data, you’ve got to ensure that everyone’s doing it the same way. 

A sequencing tool can help new hires to learn both the software and the job of recruiting. Giving new recruiters a process to follow, combined with automations such as follow-up emails and text messages, makes it so much easier to get up and running in no time at all. Without a process, recruiters essentially have an open box of tools, but no guidance on how to use them properly.

Provide A Mentor

In some respects, recruitment has a lot in common with sales. The key difference is that instead of pushing a product, you’re selling candidates to companies with open roles, and open roles at companies to prospective candidates. 

Mentoring a New Recruiter
Assigning a mentor to a new recruiter can help them get up to speed on both the market and the technology.

Knowing the niche is vital in establishing a recruiter’s credibility with both candidates and clients. It’s also essential when handling common pushbacks and comments from candidates in a specific area. Mentoring can help a new recruiter to learn the market they’ll be working in.

When it comes to mentoring, there are different schools of thought. It’s common to assign a buddy to provide support, help them in the right direction, and answer any questions. That said, some firms prefer to throw new recruiters in at the deep end and get them straight on the phone.

Teach them the Tools 

There was a time when the two most valuable items in a recruiters tool kit were a phone and a list of telephone numbers. Today, there are still some sectors where this rings true. However, with the rise of online social media platforms, and messaging in all its forms, recruiters have to go where the candidates are. This might mean communicating across a variety of channels, like email or Twitter.

Recruiters who’ve been in the industry a long time, are more likely to be comfortable making calls and sending emails. On the other hand, younger generations who’ve grown up with text messaging and social media are likely to be less comfortable picking up the phone and talking to someone. In fact, recent graduates might never have cold-called anyone, ever. 

That’s why training should be personalized to fill the skills gap, and support new recruiters in adapting to your ways of working. Scripting calls and shadowing experienced recruiters is one approach for phone-based recruiters. Meanwhile, video tutorials or face-to-face training on how to use other communication tools can help level-up skills.

The tools you use depend on the industry you’re recruiting in, and the type of candidates you’re hiring. These days, a phone call can feel intrusive to some, whereas a brief message, whether sent by text or on social media, can be read and responded to at the recipient’s leisure. A phone call demands a response right away. Video calls need scheduling and have become the norm in the wake of the global pandemic. 

Whichever communication channel your recruiters are using, it’s fair to say that getting hold of candidates can be a challenge.

How Sequencing Helps with New Recruiter Training

With a sequencing tool, you can create a customizable workflow which prompts recruiters to take specific actions in a specific order. For example, say a candidate doesn’t respond to a phone call. After a certain amount of time, they might be prompted to send a text message notifying the candidate of the call. Sequencing can also include automations – like sending an acknowledgement email after a specific task is completed. 

Sequencing helps new and existing recruiters follow a pre-defined process with little or no training. They can essentially work out of one screen with a clear, task-based workflow. This puts everything recruiters need to do to make a placement in one convenient spot.

With PCRecruiter’s sequencing tool, you can create a clear task-based workflow that your recruiters can step through effortlessly.

An easy task-based interface makes recruiting automation simple.
Using a tool like PCRecruiter’s Sequencing can make it easier for a new recruiter to get started by providing them with a clear, step-by-step approach to the day’s tasks.

You want people, not software, to run your recruiting business. Finding the right software can be a challenge. You’re going to have questions, but are you asking the right ones?

Whether your chosen vendor requires a one-off transaction or a subscription service, recruiting CRM software is a significant outlay for your firm. It’s also the beating heart of your business. Your chosen software needs to perform well every day, and allow recruiters to get on with what they do best. 

Balancing the cost of your investment with the business value it brings is no easy task. There are multiple variables to consider, including your firm’s preferred workflows and unique approach to making hiring decisions. After all, you want people, not your software, to run your recruiting.

PCRecruiter’s Jim Lombardo and Chris Cyrus have over 30 years of recruitment solution sales and consulting experience between them. In this post, they’ll share their tips for what to ask your staffing or recruiting CRM software vendor to ensure you get the right solution for your business. 

For those new to the business, let’s start with what recruitment software has to offer. 

What Is a Recruiting CRM / ATS?

Recruitment software is used by placement firms and executive search pros to handle the administrative side of the recruiting process. It helps them to source, track, and manage talent from prospect to placement. 

An end-to-end solution typically combines aspects of an applicant tracking system (ATS) with candidate and client relationship management (CRM) tools to support the entire recruitment lifecycle. 

Recruiting software also provides related functionality that can help to speed up the process, such as:

  • Job postings
  • Workflow automation
  • Reusable forms 
  • Boolean CV / resume search
  • Multi-function lists
  • Configurable reports
  • Recruitment analytics 
  • Email and voice integrations

The Benefits of a Recruitment CRM / ATS

The right software can unlock significant business benefits. If you’re not already using an ATS/CRM at your recruiting agency, here are five ways it can add value:

  1. Automation: Automate routine and repeatable administrative tasks, like sending notifications and communications. 
  2. Information Retention: Build a pool of current and past roles, candidates, and clients for instant access and faster future searches.
  3. Communication: A single repository for logging all email, voice, and text activity makes it easier to track history and communicate more effectively.
  4. Error Reduction: Ensure candidate and client information is correct and up to date with a single source of truth, reducing duplication and related mistakes.
  5. Analytics: Use the available data to gain competitive insights into both candidate and recruiter performance. Easily identify areas for improvement. 
Questions to ask your potential recruitment CRM vendor

Whether you’re just starting up your recruiting firm or considering a change of recruitment CRM, it’s important to ask the right questions to get the right solution and the best deal from your vendor. 

Here are some key questions that Jim and Chris recommend:

What’s the pricing model, and how much will it cost?

Every recruitment firm has a unique budgets and unique needs. Paying for unused licenses or unnecessary functionality is not cost-effective. Ask how your potential vendor defines ‘users’, how they handle adding or dropping users, and what costs are involved in setup and training. As most software as a service (SaaS) software is offered on a subscription model, it’s important to know whether future updates are part of the package or an additional cost.

If you’re considering self-hosting, there’s also cost of hardware and maintenance to consider.

What kind of support do you offer?

With the implementation of any new software, there is always going to be a learning curve. The flatter this curve, the quicker recruiters can get back to the job of recruiting. With a training and support package from the get-go, it’s much easier to get up and running, and get back to business without a lengthy introduction.

Ask who your point of contact will be. Do you get an experienced trainer to help guide you through using the software and offer advice regarding best practices? It’s also useful to know what post-setup options are available, like a learning management system (LMS), videos, or documentation to help you further down the line. Ongoing personal support can also be invaluable. Don’t forget to ask what the hours for support are, where the support team is based, and whether support comes with additional fees.

How can I post and update jobs?

With all the heavy lifting going on within your software, it’s important that job postings can be easily shared with job boards and other external platforms, without having to copy and paste information from one location to another. This is especially important when you want job postings to be consistent across different locations, or you want to allow candidates to flow in from multiple places. How does the potential vendor put jobs out to the world?

Am I able to extract data to generate reports and analytics?

Forward-thinking recruiters are using data to speed up sourcing and selection, and accelerate the time to fill open roles. Data can also be useful for analyzing candidate and recruiter performance. To get the best value from your dataset, it’s vital that your recruiting software offers reports to reveal useful business insights, and enables you to continuously improve as an organization. Ask what reports and analytics they provide and whether you can generate your own or export to common formats.

How do I get legacy data in or out?

A woman on the phone
When shopping for staffing or recruiting software, have your questions ready and take plenty of notes on the demo.

If you’re moving from one staffing and recruiting software to another, another important consideration is the successful migration of your existing data. This process can take time to get right. Data from a spreadsheet can typically be imported by you as an end-user, but a full data migration of jobs, resumes, and record history can potentially take weeks. How does your prospective vendor ensure a smooth transition without impacting day-to-day business or creating costly downtime? What fees are involved in migrating the data? And if you decide to leave, what’s involved in getting your data out?

Is this going to work with my existing email?

Bringing in new software shouldn’t involve redefining your entire software stack (unless you want it to.) When it comes to email, altering email habits to accommodate a new system is both time-consuming and unnecessary. Whether you use Gmail, Outlook, or any other major email client and provider, make sure the software you choose can easily work with your existing account. Ask about integrations that would help you sync contacts, calendars, attachments, and forms between your email and recruitment CRM.

How does it track voice and SMS communications?

Recruiters spend a lot of time on the phone. Ideally, you want your staffing software to offer a single pane of glass over the entire recruitment process. That includes SMS and voice communications. So it’s a reasonable expectation that the system should allow you to sync with services for dialing out or sending a text messages easily. Find out what systems your vendor works with and to what degree, and ask about tracking of activity in general.

Does it enable me to enhance my existing talent pool?

The right staffing software will elevate your hiring game, and building your own private database of candidates and clients will pay dividends on future searches. To that end, what functionality does it have to enable you to broaden, and deepen, your existing talent pool? These days, there are a wealth of clever services out there to help you uncover best-fit passive talent. Does the software easily integrate with services such as seamless.AI, HireEz, or ZoomInfo’s TalentOS?

Will my data be secure?

It’s imperative to pay attention to the security of your private database. With plenty of high-profile cases of data breaches, there can be lasting reputational and financial damage if something goes wrong. Ask the vendor who can access your data, and what security protocols they have in place. Find out how frequently the data is backed up and how easily it can be retrieved if something goes wrong.

You’ll also want to verify whether the vendor themselves intend to makes use of your data. Will your data be used research, aggregation, or even resale? Is it comingled with data from other users?

PCRecruiter is ready to give you answers.

PCRecruiter has been helping recruiters source, track, and hire since 1998. Over the years, our offering has evolved alongside recruiters’ needs and advances in technology. We understand the wide range of business models and service requirements that recruiting pros need.

We’re proud to have served over tens of thousands of recruiters around the world through our ATS / CRM. We are both happy and qualified to answer the questions above and more.

Let us answer your questions and show you around our recruiting tech. Book a free demo today.