Digitalisation back story: Even before the pandemic the recruitment sector was going through a digital transformation, helping employers attract well-suited candidates faster and more efficiently. Lockdown measures supercharged the trend. And at HR GO our software development team - HR GO Labs - is using technology to simplify hiring processes, leading to more engaged candidates and happier employers.
Smart recruiting in the age of digital starts with registering new candidates quickly for work.
Most registrations used to happen in one of our nationwide branches - whether that’s for a temporary or permanent job. But when those branches had to close in March 2020 we urgently needed a COVID-secure solution. This challenge was even greater given that we were recruiting for employers across the UK that demanded a large volume of key workers to keep essential services running.
The solution? We developed and scaled up what we already had. Our ‘Candidate account’ area was a place on the HR GO website where people could register for work, upload their CV and tell us the type of work they were looking for. But we made it as simple as possible for new candidates to complete all the details necessary through their phone, tablet or computer without leaving home (and also knowing that their data was securely processed and stored).
This digitalisation change has been transformational. Candidate Account went from registering a few hundred people a week before the pandemic, to over a thousand a week during most months of 2020. In January 2021, it handled 2,500 registrations in a single week - and now 95% of registrations come through this way.
Before the pandemic, in order to check an individual’s right to work in the UK an employer had to see that person and their original documents in person. Fortunately this guidance temporarily changed, allowing right to work compliance checks to be carried out over video instead.
Although this new virtual process was COVID-secure, there were downsides. It was admin-heavy for our recruitment consultants, but also clunky and disjointed for candidates. The different stages involved risked creating a bad candidate experience - perhaps even losing some good people along the way and impacting negatively on employer brand. It was clear that any delay getting new candidates out to work would not be good for clients. So we turned to digitalisation and implemented new video technology to make the journey as seamless as possible for workers.
Candidates were able to upload their right to work documentation into their ‘Candidate account’ area on the HR GO website. Next they were automatically prompted to join a video call during which one of our three dedicated consultants checked the documentation live with them on the call. It was all done in one short session, and within the same browser window.
From the end of June 2021, the guidance will change back and recruitment agencies will need to check documentation in person where they can. But there’s no doubt our new system kept more candidates engaged and work-ready right from the start - getting them out to clients as quickly as possible.
Employers need a high-level overview of real-time data in order to make good staffing decisions, and ‘Client Portal’ is the bespoke dashboard we’ve designed for this. Whether it’s staff expenditure over a certain period of time, a credit summary report, or a snapshot of workers who’ve been on payroll, this information is drawn into one place from our central database and internal payroll and invoicing systems.
One development in particular has removed a time-old hassle: timesheets. Digital technology has negated the need to manually process paper timesheets - with the cha sing, admin and of course paper waste involved. At HR GO, everything’s now done at the click of a button via an online timesheet portal, which allows candidates to enter their hours worked via Candidate Account, then clients to reject or approve these hours via their Client Portal.
Traditionally, the recruitment industry has had a reputation for being slow-moving and admin-heavy. Wherever we can remove roadblocks and increase efficiency with technology, the result will be a better experience for clients and candidates.
At HR GO we were able to work smarter during the peak of the pandemic to provide better recruitment to our clients. And there’s no doubt that digital transformation of recruitment can bring even more positive impacts to businesses in the future.