Jenn ThomasFebruary 23, 2023
Topics: Recruiter Experience

Working Smarter: SASR's Top Recruitment Strategies

SASR Workforce Solutions has been scaling its staffing business quickly — but with rapid growth comes new needs and challenges. To help recruiters become more efficient and engage quality candidates faster, they turned to AI technology for help. 

Explore how they implemented successful tech-based recruiting strategies, improved processes for recruiters, and created a stellar candidate experience with Bradley Cooper, Director of IT at SASR, during this episode of Talent Experience Live.

Watch the full episode below or keep reading for key takeaways. Want the full story? Download SASR’s case study

What does SASR do? Why do you love working there?

SASR Workforce Solutions specializes in helping clients with high-volume hiring needs across several sectors of the retail industry. Their clients include grocery stores, convenience stores, major pharmacy chains, and home improvement stores. 

While Cooper’s career has spanned the grocery industry, the medical field, and the military, he sees a common thread with recruiting: it’s about serving people — which also happens to be one of SASR’s core values.

Cooper loves connecting individuals with work, and the ripple effect it has on entire communities is what really drives him. SASR placements performed nearly 1.4 million hours of work last year in the U.S., and the way Cooper sees it, “that is all payroll that goes back into a local community. [New hires] are investing in their communities by spending that hard-earned wage in their community…when you can see the positive impact of what you do on the people that you work with, it’s just easy to get up and do it every day.”

How does SASR drive recruiter efficiency?

With recruiters typically responsible for about 30 hires per month, SASR doesn’t have time to waste during the talent acquisition process, Cooper said. The company dabbled in outside point solutions and some internal builds but knew they needed a robust intelligent platform to streamline and accelerate their efforts.

“One of the things that we realized…was that we didn’t have a great way to really effectively manage candidates coming through the pipeline. There was a lot of automation built, but no personal touch to it.” 

When they found Phenom, SASR found that the Intelligent Talent Experience platform would bridge existing gaps by: 

  • Offering an in-platform talent community to stay in touch with leads

  • Automating segmented campaigns to foster engagement

  • Delivering a dynamic career site that communicates SASR’s employer brand 

What cemented your decision to choose Phenom?

From Cooper’s perspective, Phenom stood out because of its focus on front-end TA functions like candidate engagement and interviewing solutions. “So many people are trying to do it all now,” he observed, referring to TA tech vendors that try to do “a little bit of everything,” including functions like payroll, which can compromise effectiveness.  

Cooper also cited Phenom’s flexibility and collaborative nature. “The Phenom team really came to the table with the vision we wanted,” he said. “Phenom was going to continue to bring value and work with us as we grew.”

How does the scheduling tool benefit recruiters?

Because Phenom AI Scheduling is part of a holistic solution and integrates with SASR’s email and calendar platform, recruiters have full visibility into everyone’s schedule with automatic, real-time updates. 

Previously, SASR used an outside booking tool, which meant recruiters had to track and update multiple calendars. With locations nationwide, time zones caused a lot of confusion and missed appointments, Cooper said. 

Now, everyone gets accurate meeting times. “Leveraging that really improved both the recruiter and the applicant experience.”

Discover what you can achieve with AI Scheduling by booking a personalized demo.

What’s most important in the candidate experience: speed or personalization?

The short answer: both are vital when you’re staffing high-volume positions. 

In Cooper’s experience with SASR, balancing an efficient front-end experience followed by personal outreach via phone is the gold standard. “Speed is paramount for both the candidate and for SASR,” Cooper said, noting that the longer it takes to get to that personal conversation, the less interested the candidate becomes.

Because many high-volume roles require skills that can be taught on the job, SASR focuses on a first touch that gathers just the essentials: name, email, phone number, location. It’s short, painless, and mobile-friendly.

Then a recruiter reaches out by phone for a conversation to introduce SASR’s values and get a feel for candidate fit. Basically, he said, candidates can spend two minutes applying and get 30 minutes of one-on-one time with a recruiter.  

How are targeted campaigns boosting candidate engagement? 

Capturing the attention of job candidates really hinges on sending relevant information — a critical truth the SASR recruitment marketing team has realized after launching several successful drip campaigns to segmented lists through their Phenom CRM

Campaigning to former employees really highlights the approach’s effectiveness, Cooper said. “We’ve been able to re-engage former employees in a way that maybe is a lot more meaningful to them.”

Before, campaigns to alumni placements consisted mostly of a weekly job digest. Now, SASR’s recruitment marketing team can create eye-catching email campaigns that share more individually curated information.

Here are some examples of segmented campaigns that are netting great results among SASR alumni:

  • Segment by zip code and highlight a competitive base rate in that region

  • Highlight popular store locations that are ramping up hiring for seasonal work

  • Promote upcoming travel assignments to candidates with that preference

Any final words of advice on improving the candidate experience?

Technology is integral to an efficient recruitment approach — but it’s the people that matter, Cooper said. “The time that I’ve spent in this digital transformation process wasn’t just about the technology.”

In fact, this dedication to putting people at the center of TA processes helped propel SASR toward winning a Talent Board Candidate Experience Award this year. 

Some of the most important steps in creating an award-winning candidate experience? Know what’s important to job seekers, and aim for an efficient yet personalized experience.

“You need to know what your candidates are going through, so you need to ask,” Cooper emphasized. “Make sure you’re removing barriers that your recruiters or your candidates are going to face.” 

Join us for more TXL every Thursday at noon ET. Get notified for all upcoming TXL episodes here

Take a closer look at what SASR has accomplished with Phenom by downloading the full case study

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