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Clean and quick: how automation technology can make recruitment more efficient

Clean and quick: how automation technology can make recruitment more efficient

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Looking to save a stack of time when you take on new staff? The Laundry Lady founder Susan Toft shares her tips for using automation software, ActiveCampaign, to streamline the hiring process.

Susan Toft, CEO, The Laundry Lady

Susan Toft has built a thriving business taking care of the washing and ironing for customers who don’t have the time or inclination to do it themselves.

Founded in 2012, The Laundry Lady uses independent contractors to provide an on-demand mobile laundry service, up and down the east coast of Australia.

With the business in rapid growth mode in 2020, Toft found the bulk of her week was being taken up with recruiting, interviewing and onboarding new laundry ladies and lads to her team. Many hours were wasted waiting online, for the nine in 10 candidates who’d book an interview via email and then have second thoughts. So many hours, in fact, that Toft resolved to find a better way.

After investigating a range of specialist recruitment programs and finding the monthly subscription fees prohibitive, Toft elected to craft her own solution using the ActiveCampaign customer experience automation platform.

Candidates who express an interest in becoming laundry ladies or lads are funnelled into a pipeline which sends them emails about the role and links to informational videos that answer all the questions interviewees typically ask.

Toft and her team can track their progress and automate interview offers to candidates who’ve clicked the links, watched the videos and still say they’re keen. A separate onboarding automation takes the hard work out of ensuring they have their paperwork in order before they commence.

Here are Toft’s tips for making recruitment automation work for small and medium-sized enterprises seeking to scale their operations.

Create a roadmap

Whether you’re building a bridge or customising an application, success starts with a plan that outlines what you want to achieve and how you’ll do it. With a detailed map of your recruitment process in hand, you’ll be able to identify opportunities where repetitive human effort can be supplanted by an automated process.

“For me, that map was in my head but it’s probably smarter to clarify your thoughts by getting it down on paper,” said Toft.

Experiment with technology

In the app era, customising a software program is no longer the exclusive province of computer nerds who know their bits and bytes. Getting in and experimenting with a platform or solution can be the fastest and cheapest way to see what’s possible and what might work best for your business. If you get stuck, there are plenty of online tutorials and how-to guides to help you along, as well as vendors’ own trained support teams.

“You can’t break anything, so you might as well give it a go and see what comes out,” added Toft.

Think outside the square

If your hiring process is riddled with pain points, investing in an application designed to address that very activity would seem to be the best solution but it isn’t necessarily so. Other platforms and programs may perform similar functions just as well, or better and far more economically too.

Toft said: “Using the ActiveCampaign automation platform to develop our own application, instead of buying a recruitment package, allowed us to increase our job candidate pool by 80%, with 90% of candidates showing up for their interviews, up from just 10% previously. Indeed, we’re on our way to tripling the number of contractors in the next 12 months. This will enable us to scale up more easily and is saving us several hundred dollars a month in fees.”

Test it out

Checking a new automation works as you intended is always a good idea – before, rather than after, it goes live. Run through it yourself and ask employees or colleagues the same.  You can also iterate what you have in place as your journey continues, remove manual data entry and avoid the possibility of human error with the ultimate aim of providing a unique and great customer experience.

“We should have done this a bit more,” Toft said. “We were desperate to get our solution going and we quickly worked out where there were errors we needed to fix.”

Use the data you capture

If you want to find ways to optimise your recruitment process or reach out to candidates who have previously expressed an interest at a time when no openings were available, delve into the data collected by your automated recruitment solution and you’ll be able to do both.

“Analysing the interactions on our platform has helped us identify a couple of hiring roadblocks. We’ve also been able to get back in touch with old applicants who were interested in working in areas where we weren’t yet ready to launch. It makes sense to use data to improve the way you do things,” added Toft.

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