APNA Conference: How to Use Technology to Save Time and Simultaneously Improve Your User Experience

From our experience working with hundreds of staffing agencies, we’ve seen that agencies usually lose the most time on four activities:

  • Creating Candidate Profiles
  • Chasing Temp Clients and Sitters
  • Your Data Needs to Be Searchable
  • Reference Checking

1. Creating Candidate Profiles

Get Candidates To Give You What You Need the First Time.

You should not be chasing applicants for imperfect resumes or spending your valuable time creating portfolios for them in Canva.
The reality is that most candidates are not great at Microsoft Word – or evening understanding what makes them a candidate catch. So, even when they have a resume it’s often not something you can use both in terms of design and content. Providing candidates with a template or a digital resume builder makes it easy for them to create beautiful portfolios themselves, which saves them time, saves you time, and gives your clients a consistent and professional experience. Go above and beyond by adding extra standout elements, separating you from your competition, to digital portfolios like badges and introductory videos!

2. Chasing Temp Clients and Sitters

Spending Time Chasing People is a Waste of Time. Get that Information Up Front. 
How much do you make per booking and how much time do you spend on it? 

Is it worth it? The reality of temp and on-call clients is you won’t make that much money per booking, so in order for it to be profitable it needs to be efficient. 

Design your intake and booking request forms to capture everything you need up front, quick and painless, so you don’t need to chase your clients for clairty and you don’t have to spend time connecting with your candidates, explaining to them what the position entails. 

This generally includes 5 things: 

1) The parents’ information (contact information, location, etc.),

2) Children’s information (name, gender, age, special needs, medical conditions), 

3) Bookings (dates, times, notes), 

4) Payment information (payment on file)

5) Legal information (signed contract/terms and conditions). 

If you have these 5 pieces of information up front, you have everything you need to immediately match them with your caregivers!

Now, how much time do you spend asking sitters if they are available for and interested in a job? 

Create systems that automatically figure out…

  1. which sitters are a match based on their schedule, 
  2. location, preferences and skills and then communicate available bookings to them (ideally via SMS),  
  3. then also enables them to communicate their interest back to you, or even directly to the family. 

If you do this right, the entire process, booking to matching to payments, can pretty much run itself! Really, there are agencies that do this. Think through the bottlenecks and create the information and automation to push these people through.

3. Your Data Needs to Be Searchable

Filters Help You Connect With Qualified Candidates.

What if your client asks for someone with more than 10 years of experience who speaks Spanish, is comfortable with dogs and doesn’t mind cooking? Can you pull up a list of everyone who fits that criteria from everyone who has ever applied to your agency? If you can’t, you’re wasting the time you spent processing applicants 8 months ago because you no longer remember they exist or what they’re looking for. 

You need to have a way to search and filter your data; even better it needs to combine with an email or SMS broadcasting system so you can notify highly targeted lists of people about new opportunities. 

This is also much more effective than notifying everyone about every opportunity, they will find it spammy and start ignoring or blocking you. 

The key is to be able to target the right audience. 

4. Reference Checking

Spending Time Calling Someone Just to Leave a Voicemail is a Waste of Your Time.

How much time do you spend calling references and leaving voicemails? 

Don’t stop calling! But add automation to back you up. 

If you are able to get a reference on the phone, that’s fantastic. If you’ve tried calling a couple of times and are not getting a response, however, a great plan B is to have a digital copy of your reference check questions, which can be sent to the reference via email, or even better, SMS. Just let the reference know that you’ll be sending it when you’re leaving a message. 

We’ve seen automated references returned at 10 pm or 11pm. People are busy, they want to help, but they are busy.

People don’t always have time for a phone call, some people just don’t like picking up the phone for people they don’t know.

If you can combine this form with a system that sends auto follow ups and do some security checking like IP tracking, even better. And you can always schedule a 2 minute follow up call if you just want to authenticate the reference, but this process can save you so much time chasing references and also make their life easier to provide the reference when it’s convenient for them. 

Bottomline… using technology to complement your work in these 4 areas can save you hours of mundane work, while also improving, not detracting from, the experience of everyone you work with!

Author Bio: Aakash Goel is the founder of Enginehire, a software platform designed specifically to help childcare agencies save time, and give their applicants and clients a truly phenomenal experience. He and his team are honored to be working with over 250 agencies all across the country. Aakash is an engineer by training and an inventor at heart, he loves working on hard problems and creating things that help people. When he's not working he loves playing sports and discovering new restaurants with his wife.

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