Pro R.E.A. Staffing, a staffing agency focused on the real estate sector, was looking for ways to help clients hire with confidence. Specifically, the team at Pro R.E.A. wanted to present candidates with proven skills. That way, hiring managers can make decisions with full confidence that candidates have the required skills to do the job, and do it well.
Additionally, reviewing thousand of résumés is not an efficient use of anyone’s time, and it slows down the entire hiring process. So Pro R.E.A. Staffing also wanted to significantly reduce the time it takes to get candidates from application to the point when they can be recommended to clients.
Confidence and speed!
The old process
The hiring process looked something like this:
- Review résumés
- Conduct phone interviews
- Conduct video interviews
- Ask candidates to do a DISC assessment
- Reference checks
- Recommend candidates to the client
The team couldn’t get through the volume of candidates quickly enough, so candidates would often be forced to wait days before being allocated a time.
Video interview responses and DISC assessments were shared with clients along with a few paragraphs about each candidate. However, recruiters didn’t have a way to show what skills candidates actually had. They only relied on what candidates claimed they could do, and it was obvious that some candidates were slightly liberal with the truth.
There were times when clients were hesitant to meet a candidate face-to-face and instead preferred to set up a phone interview. Other times recruiters were asked to find a typing test for candidates to complete. This resulted in delays and made the process inefficient and fractured.
It took Pro R.E.A. up to 15 days to put a candidate forward.
A new way of hiring
Vervoe was selected to help Pro R.E.A Staffing identify, and present, candidates with the right skills for each role. The fact that Vervoe allows an unlimited number of candidates to be evaluated on all its plans was appealing to Pro R.E.A Staffing because it allowed recruiters to stop screening candidates manually based on their résumés.
As a first step immediately after application candidates are asked to complete a very short, “knockout” questionnaire that is automatically-graded and covers all of the non-negotiable job requirements. This step now replaces phone screens.
Successful candidates are then automatically invited to complete a skill-based Talent Trial consisting of eight to ten questions that evaluate job-specific skills. Candidates are typically asked to respond to behavioral questions, perform tasks in Excel and complete writing exercises.
The final stage of the process is a short Talent Trial focused on communication and presentation skills.
Résumés are stored for record keeping but not used to make selection decisions. Every single applicant is invited to complete the first Talent Trial on Vervoe.
An immediate benefit of shifting to Vervoe was the ability to identify candidates who have poor attention to detail straight away. That was something that recruiters previously weren’t able to detect until the second interview stage, which was too late.
Attention to detail is a very important skill to have in real estate.
“The reason it’s so important to us and our clients is that a lot of our candidates are working on real estate contracts, so if they misinterpret numbers on a 15 million dollar house contract it could be hundreds of thousands of dollars that they could cost someone if they’re making those little tiny mistakes. So it’s really important that we catch those things.”– Vanessa Rosenblum-Inglese, President @ Pro R.E.A Staffing
Another benefit is that recruiters can now put candidates forward within a week, which is approximately half the time it took previously.
In some cases it’s as quick as four days!
Importantly, skill testing has helped the team determine who is really serious about the job. Some candidates committed to completing a Talent Trial within a certain timeframe but never did. This is a warning sign because they don’t want their clients to hire someone who would impose a deadline on themselves and not complete the work.
Recruiters also noticed big differences between candidates’ claims of their skills and their actual skills. If a candidate scored very poorly on their Talent Trial, the recruiter would go back and look at their résumé and, in some cases, they would have an amazing résumé. It was obvious that some candidate were using professional résumé writing services rather than writing their own résumés.
“We’ve noticed a crazy discrepancy between a candidate’s résumé and then their Talent Trials. I think that you can no longer judge a candidate based on their résumé”.– Lauren Moore, Recruiter @ Pro R.E.A. Staffing
Pro R.E.A. Staffing is now testing skills they have never considered testing, and saving themselves and their clients time by not progressing candidates who clearly won’t perform well. Now when they present candidates to clients they can show that a candidate can do all the tasks they’ll need to do on the job.
As a result, clients are now more excited and some are even ready to make hiring decisions right away based on what the recruiters present. Hiring managers are more willing to meet candidates face-to-face rather than requiring additional phone calls. They can hire with confidence.
One client reported back that their new hire was doing a fantastic job, which was really nice to hear. In the past there were situations where new hires were asked to do basic tasks and turned in terrible work, which was really disappointing.
“Now we can feel more confident in our candidates that are hired. We know we have tested them for the things that are necessary for the position, and our clients feel good and let us know that yes in fact they are doing great.”– Lauren Moore, Recruiter @ Pro R.E.A. Staffing