Improving the Candidate Experience Through Innovation
Last time updated: 26 October, 2023
Last time updated: 26 October, 2023
Certified Source Performance Group is a Oklahoma-based staffing company client focused in the manufacturing and light industrial space. They recently developed an exciting new software tool that has transformed the candidate experience and empowered their recruiters. We sat down with Rocky Wilkerson, President and CEO, to talk about the new tech and what’s next for staffing.
When he was growing Certified Source Performance Group from a two-person outfit to a multi-million dollar operation with 5 locations, Wilkerson started to notice some gaps in the candidate experience and recruiter institutional knowledge that he thought might be solved through software.
“You’ve got candidates submitting applications and resumes, and then not knowing where it goes from there. On the recruiter side, you’ve got 10 recruiters in an office who have differing levels of institutional knowledge, they may or may not to know where to place these candidates. So the question becomes, how do we improve the candidate experience? And how do we increase the knowledge of our recruiters? Those were the problems we were looking to solve, and the software we had at the time wasn’t cutting it.”
That’s when Wilkerson and team started to develop a proprietary solution called Interview Magic.
About a year ago, Certified Source Performance Group started to develop their applicant and instant job match assessment tool called, Interview Magic – to great effect.
“Before, we would have candidates come in, taking 15-20 minutes to fill out an application, and then wait 45 minutes in the lobby for a face-to-face interview. A recruiter would then interview them to see if they were qualified for any open positions or not. If the answer was no, it was not a good experience and they would leave frustrated. And on our side, it’s a waste of a 30-minute interview, a drug test, background check, etc. But Interview Magic has completely transformed that process.”
Now, Wilkerson says, a candidate can take a 3-minute instant job match assessment and the software takes that information and instantly matches them with available jobs. The applicant immediately gets an email detailing how many jobs they qualify for, and the recruiter has the list of jobs available for that candidate.
“It’s been extremely successful in changing attitudes. The candidate is excited because they know they qualify for 34 positions. They can head into the interview armed with that information, and the recruiter has all the information they need for successful placements. On the flip side, we know that 15% of our traffic into our offices are individuals who do not qualify for the jobs. With the instant assessment, they know that right away and don’t waste their time, or ours. It’s a win-win.”
In just a few months, the results of implementing this new technology have been staggering. Wilkerson explains that before Interview Magic, with 10 recruiters an office, they each might get 30 interviews a week and 10 submittals.
“Now, with the same headcount, we have sent out 200 submittals in the last week. Within two weeks of implementing the software, we were placing twice as many candidates than we were before.”
In a typical week, the Certified Source offices are standing room only with candidates. Now, those same candidates are more engaged and willing to wait when they know that they qualify for jobs.
One of the most powerful parts of implementing the technology has been enabling his internal teams with information.
“With this software, a $15/hour receptionist can produce like a 10-year veteran. We used to have our newer people asking the Senior Staffing Manager about specific jobs and how to place people. Not kidding you, Interview Magic has freed up 20 hours of their time. It empowers our staff at every level.”
Sales also gets a boost from the software by being able to show the customer exactly how many candidates are available to fill roles.
“It speeds up the sales cycle quite a bit. For instance, we were recently talking to a potential client about kitchen staff. Their big problem was, they had trouble getting a headcount. So the sale team enter the client in the system beforehand, put the job titles with specifics in and run the query, and you can show up and say, this is exactly the headcount we have available for this job. It’s impressive to them. It’s also a way to re-engage with past clients. Re activating old clients has never been easier with Interview Magic. The data is in front of them and they are desperately needing headcount”.
Wilkerson mentions that a big bonus of the software is helping staffing firms keep ATS data fresh.
“We know that in a typical ATS, 70% of the candidate data is bad within a year. Since it’s a 3-minute job match, it’s extremely easy for a candidate to go back and retake the assessment if their situation changes. It gives power and flexibility to the candidate, and you can set it up to drip them new jobs as they come out. It’s a great way to stay engaged.”
Right now, the software is geared toward manufacturing and light industrial. In the future, Wilkerson has plans to expand to include other verticals like healthcare, office and clerical, IT.
“We’ve seen the results internally, and we have a few other staffing firms using the software right now. It’s going to be big because no other tool out there has a 3-minute instant job match assessment where the candidate knows exactly what they qualify for. All with an open API that can sit on top of your current ATS.”
Other features of the software include a true gross profit calculator that takes into account actual work comp codes, an AI-powered resume and cover letter builder, a job board and geofencing campaign tools, skill tagging for quick aggregation, and a retro soft match feature that will match old candidates with new jobs put in the system.
When asked where he thinks staffing is headed, Wilkerson says that delivering a great candidate and client experience is above all – and that the firms not using cutting edge technology will miss out.
“When it comes to success in staffing, candidate experience is foremost, and then speed to service. If you’re not using AI or advance logic technology to accomplish those things, you’re going to be left in the dust. The ones who grow will be the ones who have automated processes. The key is to get candidates to come back. He who has the people, wins.”
Ever since he started the company, Wilkerson has been focused on strong growth and great customer experience. And since the beginning, growth has been strong.
Wilkerson had been in staffing for a few years and decided to start his own firm after getting his MBA. During his program, he developed a business plan and Certified Source Performance Group was born. It started the way many staffing firms do as two people with two phones and two laptops hustling for clients and placements in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In their first year, they did $2.5M in sales. The next year, $7.5M. The third was $12.5M and then Covid hit and they lost 65% of their business overnight. During that time, they pivoted from filling all kinds of positions, and became laser focused and doubled down manufacturing and industrial clients when it picked back up. In 2022, sales were $27M and Certified has 5 retails locations in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas.
A big part of growth has been figuring out how to repeat successful formulas across different locations, and embracing a new technology has helped with that.
“When you’re continuing to grow, it’s all about having a centralized and uniform way to do business. If you have a recruiter that is great with candidates but bad with paperwork, how can you make their life easier? Before, we had a sheet of questions that varied by location. Interview Magic solved that problem for us. The software gives the recruiters exactly the questions and info they need in an easy, uniform format, that we can then use across all of our locations. You can have all the candidates in the world but if the recruiters don’t know where to put them, the number doesn’t matter.”
Wilkerson attributes his success in part to a great partnership with Advance Partners.
“We’ve been with Advance Partners since day one. It’s been a fantastic relationship,” says Wilkerson. He puts it down to a combination of trusted relationships and great customer service.
“I highly recommend (Advance) to any staffing firm looking to grow. Nobody else in the industry does it like they do. They understand growth and the entrepreneurial mindset. I have the flexibility to talk to David, talk to Jeremy and be heard. Just a great, great partnership.”
Thank you to Rocky Wilkerson and Certified Source Performance Group for taking the time to talk to us! To get an exclusive look at Interview Magic or schedule a demo, contact Rocky at email@example.com. We will also have a webinar on this topic coming up soon so stay tuned!
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