How NexRep improved recruiter efficiency by 585% through digital transformation

About

NexRep is a leader in virtual contact center solutions, with more than 100 years of combined contact center leadership. By utilizing an innovative work model, and leveraging the fastest growing workforce in America – home-based agents – they are changing the face of the $300+ billion industry.

Employees

1001 – 5000

Location

US-based, virtual workforce

Landscape

BPO contact center

Phone Interview Time

-66.7%

Time to Activation

-83%

More Effective

+585%

Summary

NexRep is an innovative, US-based business process outsourcing provider. Since its inception in 2009, the company has been providing services for hundreds of clients including Teladoc, Priceline and Sweetgreen. What sets NexRep apart is their fully virtual workforce of thousands of independent contractors, that operate from 41 states throughout the US. These remote, independent contractors enjoy the flexibility to schedule their own working hours and balance their professional and personal lives the way they see fit. This flexibility gives NexRep a considerable competitive advantage when it comes to recruiting new talent.
 
Although NexRep’s flexible model works as a pull factor in bringing in new talent, it does present its marketplace coordinators (who are tasked with recruiting) with a number of challenges. When leveraging a remote workforce, sourcing (hiring) decisions have to be made without ever meeting in person. Combine that with NexRep’s high candidate volumes (2000+ on a weekly basis in 2019), double digit YoY-growth and emphasis on candidate experience, and it becomes clear that sourcing at NexRep is no easy feat. In 2019, the team was looking for ways to continue growing their contractor network sustainably. 
 
NexRep began to look for a way to transform their labor-intensive, manual process into a digital one that could overcome these challenges and set them up for future success.
 
The team set out to find a partner that could team up with them to build a fully digital, remote, and scalable recruitment process to manage their high volumes of candidates and help select the right candidates. After carefully evaluating multiple vendors in 
the pre-employment software domain, the team decided to partner with Harver.
 
Together with Harver, NexRep has built a fast and scalable digital recruitment process. Candidates now go from applying to self-scheduling an interview within 35 minutes, and are ready to start providing service within as few as 3.5 days. Harver’s matching technology enables NexRep’s talent team to make data-driven decisions while reducing unconscious bias, and ensures that every qualified candidate is placed into the opportunity that they are best suited for.
“With Harver, we’ve transformed our agent sourcing process from a manual, to an end-to-end digital and automated experience. This greatly improved our turnaround time and enabled us to service our clients better, faster and more efficiently.”
Teddy Liaw
CEO, NexRep

The Challenges

NexRep is a fast growing business process outsourcing provider with a fully remote contractor network. And although remote-work and flexibility is extremely attractive for candidates, it presented NexRep’s recruiters with a number of challenges: 
 
Remote Sourcing
The team was tasked with making contract decisions without ever meeting candidates face to face. This was a challenge, especially since past experience listed on a resume isn’t a proven indication of future success. NexRep’s candidates originate from a wide variety of backgrounds, so assessing based on a resume and phone interview is not enough to make validated decisions. 
 
Fluctuating client demand
Client demand for agents is constantly fluctuating at NexRep, which makes agility and flexibility a necessary component to succeed. As NexRep CEO Teddy Liaw states:

"We have clients in, for instance, the travel sector. If there’s a hurricane, or just recently, extensive holiday cancellations caused by COVID-19, then all of a sudden the call volume is going to spike very, very quickly. Therefore we need to be able to find, assess, contract, and activate new agents fast."

A lengthy process

The incumbent manual process resulted in a 21 day long time to source. Marketplace coordinators would need to review applications, send emails to qualified candidates and schedule phone interviews that would last 30 minutes each. In this phone interview, a coordinator would assess if an applicant had what it takes to become a NexRep independent contractor, and which of the 4 possible roles they would be best suited for.

High candidate volumes

Because of its high growth rate, NexRep was experiencing high volumes of candidates, averaging around 2000 weekly. With the consistent Y-o-Y growth at NexRep, the team understood that this volume would undoubtedly grow larger in the near future.  

These challenges combined made it clear to the team that a lasting solution was needed. At this point in time, the structure of the selection process was inhibiting company growth. It became a top priority for NexRep to optimize the process and cement their position as a leading contact center services provider.

The Objectives

With a firm grasp on their challenges, the team started working on the main objectives to tackle. NexRep decided that digitization of the manual recruiting process was 
the way forward and to make sure the company was set-up for the future, their new sourcing process needed to meet a number of requirements:
 
1. Digital and remote-first
The new process needed to be a digital one, fully built to optimize remote sourcing – NexRep’s core business. This meant it needed to be accessible from anywhere 
and any device, and assess for job related skills instead of past experience. 
 
2. Scalable
NexRep has clients across many different industries with 
demand ebbing and flowing over time. The new process 
had to scalable and flexible.
 
3. Improved efficiency and speed
With a 21 day time to source, the team recognized that
improving efficiency and speed would be extremely
valuable to save expensive work hours and allow their 
talent team to focus on high-impact priorities.
 
4. High volume ready
This new sourcing process needed to be capable of 
handling, not only the high volumes they currently dealt
 with, but also those from unforeseen client demand as 
well as future growth.

The Solution

Together with Harver, NexRep digitally transformed their sourcing process. The focus on volume recruiting and the possibility to customize the platform and configure it to tackle the exact challenges NexRep was struggling with was the deciding factor to choose Harver.  
 
An end-to-end digital process
With Harver implemented, candidates can now apply from anywhere and are able to get a clear understanding of the opportunity they’re applying for upfront through videos and Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs). The marketplace coordinators tasked with selecting candidates now get a clear view of the candidates’ skills through Harver’s assessments. All selection is fully digital, from ‘apply’ to ‘contract’. 
 
Situational Judgement Tests provide candidates with an understanding of the contracting opportunity.
Scalable at will
This new process enables the NexRep team to identify candidates as great fits within minutes based on their assessment scores, and allows them to seamlessly 
self-schedule interviews right away. This in turn lets NexRep easily scale up or down depending on candidate volume.
 
Speed and efficiency through automation
Top prospective contractors are now able to set themselves up for an interview within 35 minutes from starting the application. Previously, this took up to one week.
 
 
The sourcing process then continues with screening phone calls conducted by NexRep coordinators. The length of these calls has been reduced to 10-12 minutes instead 
of the 30 minutes that each call took previously. 

"We became at least twice as efficient with the phone assessment. It also allowed us to process many more candidates."

- Teddy Liaw, CEO at NexRep

High volume ready

Harver’s matching component laid the foundation for a data-driven approach to candidate selection for NexRep. All candidates are assessed based on the same criteria, which reduces the sourcing bias and ensures that fair sourcing practices are maintained.

What’s more, NexRep uses the contractor performance data to optimize the process and tailor selection models further to continue making sure that they’re matching agents to the best opportunities for them.

Results

Looking at the results, the overall time from application to activation in NexRep’s independent contractor marketplace decreased from 21 to 3.5 days on average. An 83% reduction!
 
The team is now able to do more with less and process more applicants faster than ever before. 
 
“If we wanted to be just as productive without Harver, we would need 205 people to handle the selection process. Now we’re working with a team of 35.” 
 
In short, every marketplace coordinator is 585% more effective in his/her work.


Standardizing the candidate selection process also allowed NexRep to reduce bias in their sourcing practices and base their decisions on relevant data on applicants’ skills and abilities. 
 
“Having an effective solution in place and eliminating those biases is just so incredibly valuable for our success. It helps us drive consistent sourcing decisions.”
 
NexRep is now able to source more contractors faster which gives them a competitive advantage in the contact center services market and ultimately, win new clients and grow.

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