For companies focused on recruiting, optics matter. A great employer brand can increase the number of qualified applicants by 50 percent and reduce cost-per-hire, per a LinkedIn study.
And when highly-skilled candidates have to spend hours working on a tedious online application, or don’t hear back after an interview, that brand impression may not be stellar.
So how can recruiters capture qualified candidates in a timely manner?
According to Ty Abernethy, the average business only captures about 20 percent of potentially-interested candidates, a figure that would be looked down upon in the sales world.
“Companies normally post a job and then wait for candidates to come inbound for those jobs,” Abernethy, a former recruiter, tells Hypepotamus.
“We’re trying to flip the way the recruiting is traditionally done, where everything is being optimized around the job application. We want to make it about the candidate experience.”
He founded software startup Grayscale to change the way companies engage with talent and engaged co-founder and CTO Hubert Liu, previously of Pardot and Rigor, to build out the technology.
“The hiring process for big companies is just a bad experience. Instead of applying to multiple jobs, our software makes it really easy for the candidate to see if they’re a good fit and for what kind of jobs they’d be a good match for,” says Abernethy.
Grayscale improves the overall experience by bringing messaging into recruiting.
The platform lets recruiters easily activate a chat widget on a company’s career site. The AI-powered chatbot can pre-screen candidates and match them with available jobs based on their background.
This allows internal recruiters to be more effective when screening candidates, scheduling interviews and completing admin tasks.
“We’re breaking down this big wall that typically exists, where people are just throwing their resumes over and hoping to hear back,” says Abernethy. “We want to create more human-to-human moments.”
The software integrates with SMS, Facebook messenger, Whatsapp and WeChat. For on-site job fairs, they offer a product called Text for Jobs. The interested candidates simply texts a keyword to the assigned phone number and can immediately reach the smart chatbot.
“We want to open up all these different places where someone can start a conversation with your brand and drive more leads inbound for the recruiting team,” says Abernethy.
The platform can also be used as an outbound tool to reach out to high-value candidates and pre-screen them. Abernethy claims that this approach helps drive twice as many pre-qualified leads.
The Atlanta-based Grayscale can be used for both full-time and hourly/contract employees, and works within the healthcare, retail, e-commerce, and media industries with a focus on mid-market and large enterprises.
Since last year, they’ve added Zappos, CBS, The Discover Channel, and more as clients.
The team will be opening up a seed round this fall to build out their team, especially engineering, to meet customer demand.
“In the last few years, the world has shifted from an employer-driven market to a candidate-driven one,” Abernethy says. “Every little thing you can do to differentiate yourself from a company standpoint will help you compete for qualified talent.”