AI Pre-Screening: The SVP With “Too Many Candidates”

| Ameya Deshmukh
Staffing Blog
AI pre-screening too many candidates

When this SVP of Operations heard her recruiting teams say “we’ve got too many candidates” she was shocked, to say the least. Last week, I got a chance to sit down with an SVP of Operations at one of the largest global staffing firms in the world. We talked about what they were doing to improve their recruiting strategy and I want to share their incredible story with you here today. AI pre-screening is how this SVP is getting incredible boosts to their recruiting productivity. Their staffing firm was able to increase recruiter productivity by 123%!

This SVP of Operations Has Too Many Candidates

Look, I wish I could share the names of this individual and company publicly, but they won’t let me do that. You see, the staffing and recruiting world is highly competitive and this agency doesn’t want other agencies to know they are using AI pre-screening.

In any case, I got the chance to join a customer success call last week with this mystery SVP of Operations, I’ll refer to her as Charlie for fun. Charlie noticed a serious problem, but one that often goes unnoticed at recruiting teams.

Why? Well, it’s unnoticed because getting more candidates has been the focus of the staffing industry for years.

But now, with the high unemployment rate, it means recruiters are getting buried by applicants. “We get so many applicants, that it’s impossible for our recruiting teams to get through them all! Even with resume parsers and other types of resume screening tools.”

It’s ironic that Charlie’s agency had more inbound applicants than ever, but was taking longer to hire. You’d think that with more applicants, you’d get a faster time to hire. But without the right process, it’ll actually just slow you down.

Her Technology was Inadequate and Processes Were Failing

Her recruiters were managing thousands of applications a day. This meant they spent about 3-7 seconds per resume. It’s impossible to create an efficient hiring process with this many applicants. Resume parsers didn’t help because they still had so many resumes to look through.

Then when it came time to contact candidates, Charlie’s team struggled with low response rates. When they tried text messaging their recruiters had to spend all day texting like a gang of teenagers! It was impossible to keep up with the communication volume. If recruiters took too long to reply to candidates, they were ghosted.

Clearly, something needed to change, and that’s when Charlie started to look into using AI pre-screening.

“Charlie” Looks Into AI Pre-Screening

Again, I so wish I could get them to talk publicly about this, but it works too well and they just won’t allow it. She started by looking into types of recruiting AI available. The number of options that exist is confusing. Should you build your own? Should you go with a bot, chatbot, or enhanced chatbot? What’s conversational AI and how is it different from the best recruiting chatbots?

The number of options and new AI jargon to learn about like NLP is enough to make anyone’s head spin. That’s why I’ve created a guide teaching you all you need to know to understand recruiting AI. Give it a read, and it’ll help you find the best type of recruiting AI software for you.

Now, Charlie had actually seen an advertisement for my AI recruiting guide. She downloaded it and found out that conversational AI was the best type for her. Conversational AI is a good solution for Charlie because she values candidate experience, recruiter experience, and wanted a solution that’s integrated with her ATS. (In this case, Bullhorn.)

Her Recruiting Team Was Shocked (At First)

Charlie got her team together to announce that they were rolling out a recruiting AI to help with pre-screening. Emotions in the room were all over the place. It was a mixed bag of fear about AI replacing recruiters and excitement about using a new technology.

But after a few weeks of using the recruiting AI, every recruiter was really excited about it. Recruiting managers were seeing improvements in their hiring speed and recruiters were better able to manage communication volumes.

So while there was some initial fear about AI, recruiters were quick to warm up to the solution. (In case, you haven’t guessed already, Charlie chose to go with Mya our conversational AI for recruiting.) In fact, Charlie shared with me that, “From the recruiter’s viewpoint, Mya was allowing them to see more candidates per day, give more relationship and candidate care, with more follow-ups, more conversations, and more outreach.”

It’s a great quote, but a bit hard to unpack. In simpler words, when her team used Mya they spent all of their time talking to engaged, pre-screened, auto-scheduled candidates.  AI pre-screening is how Charlie’s recruiting teams increased the time spent with qualified candidates by 123%!

How this SVP used AI Pre-Screening for Lightning Fast Recruiting

To give you a sense of how many applications her team was dealing with, I’ve gotten permission to share some statistics with you. They’ve used AI pre-screening to engage over 1.8 million applicants. (Yeah that’s a lot!) What’s crazier to think about is that this candidate pool comes from over 300 locations all over the world.

Normally, Charlie would have been forced to build call centers in dozens of locations. Training these call center reps would have taken a long time and they’d have provided a poor candidate experience. No one likes doing this kind of early-stage high volume communication (and eventually it always shows.)

In any case, using AI pre-screening meant Charlie scaled support for her recruiting teams all over the world with a single solution. She placed the AI in the application path, and it engaged candidates seconds after they applied.

The reason Charlie chose conversational AI is that it creates a natural human conversation. In our data, we’ve seen that natural conversations lead to better engagement. So for Charlie’s company, Mya created 87% screening completion rates. Mya then went and scheduled 390,000 interviews with recruiters.

Instead of relying entirely on an ATS resume parser, and then using a spray and pray approach to engage candidates long enough to schedule them, hoping you’re texting them at the right time (they could be anywhere in the world!), her recruiters just took pre-scheduled calls with candidates.

That’s where the 123% increase in recruiter productivity came. Charlie’s recruiters became so productive in fact, that they now average a time to interview of 3 days or less. Each time someone applies, if they are qualified her team is able to get them connected to a recruiter – in 79% less time than before.

How You Can Get Started with Conversational AI

This SVP of Operations totally transformed the global operations of her staffing company’s recruiting teams with a single solution. She used Mya’s conversational AI platform for recruiting to create speed, efficiency, and a stellar candidate/recruiter experience. Now, you can do the same and get started in as little time as 2 weeks.

We’re offering a Mya Surge Hiring Solution that’ll help your staffing firm adapt to changing market conditions and scale your recruiting with conversational AI.  Next, you can learn more about Surge Hiring, or the other use cases for AI, or book a demo.

Make sure to also visit our Youtube Channel and check our Recruiting Podcasts for more helpful talent acquisition tips and strategies.

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