Augmenting Pontoon workforce's skills with technology

Augmenting Pontoon workforce’s skills with technology

In this video, Christoph Niebel, Pontoon’s President, and Michael McCarthy, Director of Talent Sourcing, discuss how deploying a sourcing bot improved the hiring experience for our clients, candidates, and recruiters.

The bot can source more candidates and engage with them 24/7, speeding up the process, increasing efficiency, and boosting demand. Deploying the tech hasn’t reduced our headcount – on the contrary, it increased the number of our sourcing experts 10x. Watch the video or read below for more details. 

How we automated our recruitment processes for the win of everyone involved

Christoph Niebel, Pontoon President

Christoph Niebel, Pontoon President

Christoph Niebel: We talked a lot about how digital can make a difference, specifically in the sourcing space. At the same time, it’s clear that we need to keep the experience of our candidates, but also of our recruiters at the heart of things.

You had a really interesting perspective on how automation and digitalisation are actually improving the hiring experience and providing more jobs versus taking them away. Do you want to share that with us?

Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy, Director, Talent Sourcing

Michael McCarthy: We’ve been on the RPA journey for several years now, and there’s been a lot of trust involved in terms of taking our team on this journey. One of the things I’ve been proud of is that we are considered early adopters in this space, and the data really speaks to it. 

This is our inaugural journey into the world of automated data mining. What you see on screen is a running total of every candidate who says – “yes, I’m interested in one of your jobs” – and represented by the blue bars are sourcers and recruiters who are taking that message directly to candidates.

In March, we began automating these efforts through a bot. Once we had validated the inputs and knew we had the right message – with people responding to the stories we were telling them – we could reach candidates at a scale that we wouldn’t have been able to achieve on our own.

The robot is working 24/7, so the way we think about this race is that the winner is actually the candidate and the client. For example, a candidate who might be a single mother getting off a second or third-shift job responds to a message, is instantly inputted into the CRM, and then begins receiving messages to self-serve her way through an application.

Whenever anyone has a novel response to the bot, and it can’t answer the question, we do have people there to pick up those threads. So interestingly enough, our team at the start numbered only 16, and nowadays, we’ve grown to over 100, which we attribute to the Jevons Paradox that says technological progress increases the efficiency with which resources are used and then ultimately increases the demand.

Christoph: Exactly. I love that because the winner here is the candidate, the client, and the recruiter. There’s a lot of talk right now about AI and all these other forms of automation replacing humans, and I don’t think the threat is there as much as it provides more opportunity. And it’s awesome to see that you and your team are bringing that to all the stakeholders involved.

Michael: I’m excited about AI. Every generation was told that they would be replaced by technology. This is nothing new. But each time the threat is issued, I think humanity, creativity, and empathy rise to the occasion, and we will again. 

Christoph: It’s not going to be the AI that replaces anyone’s job; it’s going to be the person or the company that knows how to use it better.

Pontoon is an early adopter in the field of automating recruitment processes. We have more stories to share about how we used AI to hire hundreds of tech roles in nine days or how automation lent speed and transparency to our customer’s onboarding process.

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