By Amara Khan and Naqi Haider
AI, Artificial Intelligence, is a rapidly growing technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way staffing companies do business. In today’s competitive business environment, staffing and recruiting companies need to be constantly innovating to stay competitive. One of the most promising tools in the arsenal of modern businesses is artificial intelligence (AI). AI has revolutionized many aspects of the business world, and now it can be leveraged to help us and our clients generate leads and improve the sales process.
Here Are a Few Ways to Use AI to Drive Staffing Sales:
- Chatbots and virtual assistants: A chatbot or virtual assistant powered by AI can provide 24/7 customer support and can be used to handle basic client and candidate inquiries. They can also be used to engage and nurture leads and provide clients and prospects with the information they seek about your organization and how you provide staffing services.
- Analyzing existing lead data: AI can be used to analyze lead data to generate more leads by using predictive analytics to identify patterns in client/user data, such as demographics, and develop strategies for targeting potential leads. AI (in conjunction with marketing automation technology) can also be used to automate lead scoring, which can help prioritize leads and and forward the most “sales-ready” contacts to your sales team.
- AI-generated email campaigns: From writing subject lines and email copy to suggesting topics that will generate the most interest, conversational and augmented writing AI tools like ChatGPT and Copy.ai can help you deliver the right message to the right prospect at the right time. Beyond simply creating content, AI can also be used increase email personalization, optimize email delivery (when to send to each recipient), and automate responses and campaigns.
- Analyzing feedback: Want to improve service to your clients and candidates? Use AI to evaluate your feedback data and look for trends where you are best serving clients and candidates…and where you may need to look to improve.
- Reputation management: Improving your company’s online reputation is essential to attracting both clients and candidates. So how can AI help you generate more positive reviews? AI can monitor social media for posts and conversations about your company. Once the AI identifies positive or not-so-positive comments about your company, you can be alerted, and respond.
Risks of Using AI in Staffing Sales and Recruiting
While AI can be an amazing tool to support your sales and recruiting, there are some potential risks and downsides to consider. These include:
- Cost: While ChatGPT is currently (at the time of this writing) free to use, most AI technology for sales and recruiting is expensive and can be cost-prohibitive for many small to midsize staffing companies.
- Unpredictability: AI systems can make decisions that are not in line with the company’s goals or values. Depending on the AI system implemented, this may or may not be an issue. However, it is important to investigate the hidden cost of misleading or biased data analysis. This is particularly a risk in recruiting.
- Limited Understanding: Depending on the AI system in place, it may not be able to fully understand the context of customer interactions, resulting in sub-optimal outcomes. Not all AI is trained to the same degree. Depending on the context, some models have been trained on data sets that are more relevant. So it is important to do a lot of research depending on the use case.
- Lack of Human Touch: Although AI can automate certain tasks, it can lack the human touch that is often necessary to build relationships with clients and candidates. This can be particularly relevant with chatbot integration, which when not well-designed can have a negative impact on candidate perception.
Beyond these risks, it can also be difficult to convince senior management to invest in AI technology.
So How Can You Get Your Leadership Team Excited for an AI-enhanced Future?
Consider these points:
- AI creates new roles not job losses: A lot of people are hesitant about AI implementation, because they worry it will be a job killer. However, for every repetitive task eliminated by AI, new opportunities for higher value work are created as we integrate AI and human oversight into existing workflows.
- Demonstrate the potential ROI: Want your leaders to buy into AI? Show them the money! Use data or case studies that illustrate the potential return on investment for AI implementations.
- Explain the technology: One of the easiest ways to cost-justify AI investment to senior management is to explain the basics of AI and how it can be used to solve specific sales and recruiting problems.
- Provide a roadmap: Outline a plan for how to implement AI in your business—what will be done, when it will be done, and what each step will cost.
- Showcase successful implementations: Highlight successful AI implementations from other staffing (and non-staffing) companies and explain the results. It can also be beneficial to look at implementations that failed and evaluate the cause of failure and what could have been done differently.
- Get help: Find a vendor that can supply more than technology—someone who can truly be an AI implementation partner to provide the support and training your organization needs to get comfortable using the technology.
- Start small: Before you jump in and invest tens of thousands of dollars in a new AI or automation platform, look for no-cost and low-cost tools to try. Encourage your employees to experiment with AI writing and image creation tools. Look for AI capabilities already in your technology stack and find ways to embrace them more fully. Pick a small task to automate and implement AI for that one purpose.
At Haley Marketing, we’ve been experimenting with AI for a little more than a year. We’re seeing tons of opportunity to bring AI-enabled solutions to the staffing industry to help drive sales, enhance recruiting, and improve the value staffing companies deliver.
As we start to implement these solutions in 2023, we promise to share our best practices (and the lessons we learn from not-so-best practices) with all of our blog readers and Lunch with Haley webinar attendees…so watch your inbox for more from us on this topic. It just might be sent by an AI!
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