Candidates in 8 seconds: How two recruiters joined forces to better the applicant process
Director of SMAART Recruitment agency, Maarten Roosenburg, dreamed of one day becoming a pilot, but little did he know it wouldn’t be planes he’d be operating, but large blue-chip businesses that needed elevating to new heights.
The Melbourne based businessman has worked the coastline across his career with SMAART now being headquartered in Melbourne and expanding into Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide, and delivering specialist services in placing temporary and permanent staff across contact centre, sales, marketing and office support roles.
“After leaving university, I really struggled to land an interview and realised how oversaturated my chosen fields were with graduates trying to find work. After taking some hits, I ended up working for one of the big recruitment firms and that’s when everything started to come together.
“SMAART was born to address the issue of speed-to-market placement of quality temporary candidates. Often, I received the call-out to source candidates for businesses who needed people immediately - and we’re talking about having minutes to find them, not hours or days.
“During tough times, human resource or talent teams are often decimated, and with the loss of their expertise, businesses struggle to find the capability to identify and hire the right people. It can also be costly to a business to attempt to place staff under these circumstances as the hiring decision is usually ‘intuitive’, and if you choose someone who isn’t the right fit and they fall off during the first couple of months, it can hurt your bottom line,” Maarten said.
Maarten said his SMAART candidate database was soon brimming over with exceptional talent, and that he was inspired to find new ways to more actively engage them in finding them work and while reducing time wastage within his own business.
“Talent screening is a big and costly process. Some weeks we could interview more than a hundred candidates. Of those, we would usually place around 10-15 per cent immediately and knew that the other 85-90 per cent needed to be nurtured and reminded that just because they weren’t successful for that particular role, it didn’t mean they wouldn’t be right for another in a week or two.
“We saw cases where we would fill a role on a Monday and two weeks later, the same applicant pool would apply for the same position with another company. We would go through their CV and interview them all over again. At the end of the day, they had been sitting idly on that database and that was a bug bear for me. That’s why we began looking for tools to integrate with our ATS.”
Maarten said that SMAART has always been a company that works in partnership with others, whether it’s giving back to employers or candidates through training and resources or working with other recruitment professionals to find solutions to industry issues.
“I met Tony Wu of Weploy at a lunch in 2019, and the conversation naturally moved around ways we could collaborate. His business had a more technically enabled model that interested me and we talked openly about pain points we both experienced across the industry.”
Soon, Tony created TalentTap – a software solution that could integrate with a recruiter’s ATS.
“I saw the potential in the software immediately and was keen to support the idea through its beta stages. For some months I was involved in the testing side and saw the model develop through different iterations to becoming commercially available.
“Since implementing TalentTap, we have been able to effectively manage our database, and it’s fair to say that aside from helping us to place more roles, it has reduced time wastage by approximately 50 per cent from the day the ad is placed, through to referral.
“Recently we loaded a job onto the platform and had close to a hundred responses from people being interested – all of those people had previously been interviewed and approved by our team. Data also showed that some people responded to the notification hitting, ‘yes I’m interested’, within 8 seconds of receiving the alert.
“Within the hour, we had 20 complete applications and were able to place 5 candidates; and being able to go straight back to the client and say that this is an example of the team we can build for you, was very satisfying.” Maarten said.
TalentTap was developed by Co-founder of Weploy, Tony Wu, and is a temporary and casual software service tool that allow agencies to utilise their existing databases to fill jobs faster, resulting in higher candidate retention and reduced job board spend.
The product utilises award-winning technology that Weploy built and used within its own business during the last four years.
“The technology worked well for Weploy and we knew it could go further to help others. I wanted to make sure that the new design was purpose-built, so I continuously thought back to my recruiter days to make sure I was tailoring the product to meet the needs of the wider agency industry.
“I started out working on a temp desk and progressed to managing a team, and so I have always appreciated how much admin can be involved in the daily operations of an agency. I wanted to create a tool that could automate and simplify some of the temporary recruitment process and enable recruiters to do higher ROI work such as candidate management and client consulting.
“SMAART was actually a competitor for Weploy – that’s how we started speaking, and soon we realised we could help each other to shape a solution for the industry. They were our very first customer and validated the thinking behind TalentTap and proved the methodology could work!
“Maarten and the team have been great industry pioneers and they really helped us to shape what the product now looks and feels like,” Tony said.
While TalentTap has only been available for a short time, the wins already recorded by the team have demonstrated a strong return on investment for all.
“Recently we heard that a recruiter was able to source a successful placement within 14 minutes; their normal process would have taken a few days along with the extra advertising costs.”
“We’ve heard other examples from recruiters that since adopting TalentTap, they’ve not only been able to reduce their job board spend dramatically, but they’ve actually been able to start picking up short term work - something that they wouldn’t have done in the past due to the costs vs. ROI,” Tony said.