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The Engage Advantage: Three Key Takeaways from Bullhorn Engage for Staffing and Recruiting Professionals

Continuous improvement is one of our core values here at PARQA, which is why we make it a priority every year to send a team of our dedicated employees to sponsor and attend the annual Bullhorn Engage conference. This premier global staffing and recruiting conference series is renowned for providing unparalleled industry insights, technology innovation, and best practices to help staffing businesses grow and thrive. (And maybe even take the opportunity to ride a mechanical bull, if you’re up for the challenge. But that’s a story for another day).  

Engage brings together recruitment leaders, practitioners, Bullhorn Marketplace partners, and industry experts for a one-of-a-kind event. With highly personalized experiences, one-to-one interactions, a heavy focus on client and candidate engagement and the future of staffing, Engage offers a unique opportunity for staffing professionals to gain valuable knowledge and make meaningful connections.   

As, dare we say, the only full-spectrum digital transformation firm specializing in the staffing and recruiting space, PARQA is committed to staying at the forefront of industry trends, technology innovation, and best practices. Attending Engage is just one of the many ways we fulfill this commitment—not just for our own growth and benefit, but for our clients as well. 

Didn’t get the chance to attend this year? Bummer! But don’t sweat it. This quick read can get you up to speed on this year’s event—and hopefully spark the excitement for attending Engage next year.  

Bullhorn Engage 2023 Stage

Three Takeaways from Bullhorn Engage Every Staffing and Recruiting Professional Needs to Know

Takeaway #1 – “Clean data” is the foundation of success. 

Accurate and reliable data is the cornerstone of success for staffing and recruiting professionals. However, many firms struggle to maintain what we call “clean data.” And let’s be honest, data cleansing—the process of preparing data for analysis by removing or modifying data that is incorrect, incomplete, irrelevant, duplicated, or improperly formatted—is no easy task. Staffing firms have to deal with myriad challenges, from human errors and outdated information to inconsistent data entry. But here’s the important thing to remember: You’re not alone in this struggle. 

Clean Data = Smoother Operations  

One thing we often hear from our clients and peers is that they feel embarrassed about the state of their databases. They have self-imposed data shame in that they think they should be “further along” and have more contacts, more insights, and more up-to-date information at their disposal. While all that is beneficial, the truth is that the mix of human behavior and constantly evolving systems can make data management a challenge for even the most capable firms.  

For one, staffing pros and recruiters aren’t paid to do data entry—they’re paid to match open roles with stellar candidates and vice versa. Not to mention the fact that data entry and maintenance isn’t exactly the most thrilling part of the job. Yet it should be a constant priority, and the payoff is well worth the effort.  

By investing time and resources into cleaning up your database, ensuring accuracy, and establishing data management protocols, you can pave the way for more efficient and effective staffing and recruiting processes. Clean data allows you to streamline your operations, make informed decisions, and drive better outcomes for your clients and candidates.

Have trust issues with your data?  

Another hesitation we hear when it comes to implementing automation is: “I don’t trust my data.” But this common concern is often a symptom of the larger problem at hand (again): databases filled with stale or incorrect information. That’s why prioritizing data cleanliness is truly essential—not a luxury. This lets your organization unlock the true potential of automation and leverage it to pursue your business goals efficiently, consistently and scalably.   

When your data is reliable, automation can truly work wonders—saving time, reducing errors, and enabling informed decisions with confidence. More on that next. 

Takeaway #2 – Automation is key—but it can’t solve your problems without humans.   

Surprise, surprise! PARQA’s on about automation again. To be fair (to us), it’s a hot topic across in our Knowledge Bank, a constant conversation with our clients, and baked right into our core solutions for good reason.  

Like we mentioned in this nifty article, automation plays a vital role in driving success for staffing and recruiting professionals. However, it’s important to note that automation is not a magic solution that can single-handedly solve all your challenges. It’s a powerful tool but requires the human touch to fully harness its capabilities and make a significant impact within your organization. 

At Engage, we were reminded in Art Papas’ keynote that only 19% of the staffing industry currently utilizes automation, while other industries, such as retail, have embraced it fully. Take this into consideration: 

  • Those customer feedback surveys that land in your inbox almost instantly after you receive a service? Automation. 
  • The “Don’t forget these items in your cart!” message? Automation.  
  • The text with exclusive deals to your favorite store? Once again, automation. 
  • The “We miss you!” emails you get from restaurants you haven’t visited in the last few months? You guessed it. Automation. 

So, with so many use cases showcasing its obvious value, what’s the deal with the automation gaps we see in the staffing industry?

Percent of companies using automation graphic

It pays to automate 

Staffing firms that have implemented automation are significantly outperforming their peers. According to Bullhorn’s Recruiting Automation Buyer’s Guide, firms who leverage automation experience: 

  • 76% successful placements from existing candidates: Automation helps turn your inactive applicant tracking software (ATS) candidates into an engaged talent community through consistent and relevant communication. 
  • 27% increase in redeployment rate: Recruiting automation allows you to capture more value from vetted and hardworking candidates by automatically engaging throughout the entire assignment and beyond. 
  • 29% improvement in their Net Promoter Score (NPS): With automation, you can keep a finger on the pulse of your business by automating frequent NPS surveys to contractors and clients and uncover issues before they spiral. 

If only the numbers were enough to earn trust and buy-in within your organization though, right? From our many conversations with clients and peers at Engage, we heard that staffing professionals have a few concerns when it comes to automation: 

  1. Data issues—no surprise there 
  2. “Is AI going to replace people?”
  3. Not knowing who should lead the charge with automation. Who’s responsible for implementation? Is it marketing? Another department?   

All valid questions. So, let’s address them head-on. 

It’s time for the “AI” talk 

Obviously, the whole AI conversation has been a hot topic for all of 2023 so far—especially since tools like ChatGPT seemingly came out of nowhere.  

According to OpenAI, just five days after its November 2022 launch, ChatGPT acquired a whopping 100 million users. To put that into perspective, it took Instagram approximately almost three months to reach that many downloads, and Netflix had to wait almost four years to get there. 

And now, AI is coming to Bullhorn.  

At Engage, we learned about Copilot, Bullhorn’s exciting new tool that utilizes large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT and Bard via API for internal messaging creation. This means that when you go to create a candidate or client-facing message, you can automatically create the subject matter and tailor it to length, generational demographics, and more—drastically reducing recruiter time and effort.  

Another careful consideration for staffing pros: As Copilot comes online in Bullhorn, the personalization it leverages relies heavily on data. So, if you’re going to take advantage of that AI integration, the time is now to improve your data quality and infrastructure.   

Now, let’s circle back to the original question: “Is AI going to replace people?” 

We’re of the mind that AI cannot and will not take your job. But someone who can utilize AI better than you? Now that’s something to consider.  

Being an early adopter of technology provides immense value, but it’s equally important to have the right support system in place with a partner who understands your industry, unique business challenges, and can prescribe solutions (like AI) that alleviate your pain points. By staying ahead of the market and leveraging automation effectively, you can gain a competitive edge and drive your staffing and recruiting efforts to new heights. 

If you’re curious about where your organization falls in regard to automation or AI maturity or adoption, take a look at our Maturity Model here. It’s an excellent tool to diagnose where you’re at, and where you might go in the foreseeable future.  

Takeaway #3 – You don’t have to go it alone. 

Our time at Engage reminded us of the profound truth that success is not solely dependent on technology, automation, or solo ventures. While these tools are crucial, they alone cannot solve your problems. The key lies in the people, expertise, and strategic collaborations that surround your operations. 

We might be partial, but it would make a whole lot of sense to tap in Team PARQA for that.  

No one understands the unique challenges and opportunities of the staffing and recruiting space quite like PARQA. We combine our expertise in marketing, technology and automation to help you effectively leverage these tools. As your all-in-one solution, we bridge the gaps between various departments within your organization, ensuring a seamless operational integration of these critical functions.  

Above all, we’re committed to providing comprehensive solutions that go beyond technology. By joining forces with trusted partners like PARQA—and connecting with other likeminded professionals at events like Engage—you can tap into a collective wealth of knowledge, leverage shared experiences, and learn from each other’s successes and challenges. 

Bullhorn Engage 2023 Crowd

Engage Your Digital Transformation With PARQA 

Bullhorn Engage provided us with invaluable insights and key takeaways that go well beyond the future of the staffing and recruiting industry. Above all, it proved to us how much we all need each other. Business wasn’t meant to be done in a silo.  

When we decide to come together and lean on each other’s strengths, our capabilities soar. Some pretty neat stuff comes from strategic partnerships—and frankly, we can’t think of anything that would light our fire more than joining forces with you. 

If you’re ready to simplify your automations, leverage technology effectively, and drive your business forward, give us a shout. We’re ready to continue on the digital transformation journey by your side. 

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