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Quick Take: The pandemic ended in-person job fairs for veteran recruitment org RecruitMilitary, but low-code and automation tools are helping streamline job placements in the new all-digital world
Imagine the burden of manually managing more than 1.5 million resumes, tracked via Excel spreadsheets. Now, imagine knowing that one error could impact the career and life of a veteran or their family. This was the scenario that RecruitMilitary found itself in before turning to Salesforce.
RecruitMilitary empowers veterans and their spouses to find career opportunities as they transition into civilian life by providing access to career fairs, community groups and other programs at a massive, nationwide scale. Fulfilling this obligation to such an important community is a daunting logistical challenge — especially during a global pandemic, when the traditional means of searching for jobs transitioned overnight from in-person to digital.
RecruitMilitary turned to AI to more quickly and accurately connect applicants to potential employers. With Einstein, Salesforce’s AI technology, the organization activated AI-powered job recommendations, and tapped low-code workflows that made it easier for its resource-strapped team to implement AI and automation that seamlessly managed the process.
We sat down with Josh Dayment, Salesforce Platform Manager at RecruitMilitary and a Trailblazer of the Salesforce Military program, to learn how these new tools evolved the ways his organization supports the veteran community.
Tell us more about RecruitMilitary and why it’s so important.
We’ve been in the business of connecting veterans with employers for over 50 years. In fact, the majority of our workforce is a military veteran or has a direct connection to the military. I’m a veteran, and spent over 15 years in the United States Army. I transitioned into my current role directly following my career as an Infantryman.
What’s important to understand is that it’s not easy to identify career opportunities coming out of the military. RecruitMilitary helps bridge the gap between the civilian employer and the veteran or military spouse. Today, we’re using AI and automation to close that gap faster with greater accuracy and efficiency.
How was your business impacted by the pandemic, and how did automation help you recover and grow?
Like most companies, the pandemic hit us hard and forced us to move from in-person events to virtual experiences. Low-code and automation technology enabled us to quickly deploy these new systems that saved us thousands of hours of tedious work.
First, we quickly built a fully customized and mobile-friendly site using External Apps and Experience Builder, which allows us to showcase jobs and internships that candidates can apply for. This was key in allowing us to continue our annual conference for our MBA Veterans Program where we connect student veterans from the top 100 MBA programs around the world with Fortune 100 companies.
Secondly, we streamlined event registrations using Salesforce Flow, a low-code visual workflow tool that helped us automate the process — cutting the entire process down from 30 minutes per attendee to only 30 seconds. We normally host 135 in-person events each year with 60 to 100 registrants, so automating this process saved us roughly 4,050 hours in just one year.
And all of this was accomplished without any heavy development work — just a couple of clicks, and it was done.
How will you expand automation to other areas of the business?
We recently started to roll out Einstein Recommendation Builder, an AI feature that delivers personalized recommendations to each and every RecruitMilitary customer. Our first use case was to recommend specific job fairs to specific businesses based on important variables and data points like company size, industry and geolocation.
This helped us better connect veterans with the right businesses, and vice versa. It’s just as important for our business clients to find the right candidates as it is for our veterans to find the right career paths. Einstein Recommendation Builder enabled us to seamlessly connect the dots.
Salesforce Flow helped us work much faster and be more efficient, but adding Einstein makes it just that much more powerful, because it gives us insights we can act on in context.
How does technology factor into RecruitMilitary’s plans for the future?
This year, we plan to use Einstein Recommendation Builder to remove any ‘guesswork’ for our clients’ hiring managers and job candidates by quickly matching them with the right opportunities.
This will work by looking at a candidate’s profile, the job details, and relevant data to recommend candidates for specific roles. When our clients’ recruiters log in, they’ll automatically see recommended candidates for each job posting based on their backgrounds. And because it’s AI-powered, the recommendations will improve as it learns from additional data, which will save our clients time and place veterans in meaningful roles faster.
It’s inspiring to see how RecruitMilitary has leveraged technology to transform how it serves its communities. What advice do you have for companies that have yet to implement automation and AI?
People are intimidated by taking that initial dive into low-code or automation tools. Don’t be! The very first low-code flow I built was in response to an error I made where I accidentally merged 150,000 contacts. This might sound like an easy fix, but it also disassociated even more opportunities and tasks, relating them to the wrong contact.
After restoring all of the merged contacts, I needed a way to quickly re-relate opportunities or tasks back to the original contacts when an error had been identified. To expedite the process, our SVP of Enterprise Systems, Talmadge Zipperer, showed me how to leverage Salesforce Flow to re-relate information on the fly without time-consuming vlookups, Excel sheets and data loader. I keep that specific Flow in my utility bar to this day since it saved me countless hour of work. Since mastering Flow, it’s been like night and day.
There are a million reasons not to get started, but I’m confident that investing a small amount of time now will save you a lot of time later and create entirely new opportunities with your customers.