How Salo Leverages Automation to Put People First

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Digital transformation is having a moment in the industry. Four-thousand global staffing professionals cite it as their number two priority for 2022—behind talent acquisition— and the number of firms embracing a digital transformation strategy has tripled since 2019.

Still, there’s a long way to go. Less than half of firms automate any process. How can you advance your digital transformation journey to provide an incredible talent and client experience? We spoke to Adam Sprecher, Vice President of Strategy and Development at Salo, to learn about his firm’s successes with digital transformation.

“How do we equip ourselves with the right technology to allow for automation, and how do we get more out of our tech stack and leverage that instead of having it be a constraint?” 

Adam Sprecher, Vice President of Strategy and Development at Salo

Salo, a talent firm headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, connects vetted experts in accounting, finance, and human resources with organizations in need of their expertise. Salo puts people first in everything they do and emphasizes the importance of meaningful work for both professionals and the organizations they help. Salo has a strong tenured pool of talent from across the country that they’re continuously deploying to companies of all sizes. 

For Adam Sprecher, Vice President of Strategy and Development at Salo, his goals mirror his company’s, emphasizing digital transformation and using technology to expand Salo into new markets outside of their key markets in Chicago and Minneapolis. “I’m focused on what different strategies, technologies, and developments are needed to help Salo become a national brand, expand into new markets, and grow the organization,” Sprecher explains. 

With Salo’s expansion goal, Sprecher knew the team needed to implement technology to help them reach the next level while ensuring their business development teams, consultants, and clients were still well taken care of. 

At the start of their digital transformation journey, Salo had a few key business processes that were very manual and required a person to take action for the process to move forward. Sprecher explains, “For the pace and speed of both where the industry was at and how the market expects the business to perform, that was a huge challenge for us.”

Sprecher continues, “We need to be able to use technology effectively, so we have the data and information readily available to make critical business decisions.

New Opportunities, Immediate Benefits

At the core of their tech stack, Salo utilizes Bullhorn’s ATS/CRM as their single source of truth. The team has also created a tech stack to power their business, incorporating Bullhorn Marketplace partners such as SourceBreaker, Skill Survey, and Sense to capture as much information as possible. “Previously, it was hard for us to get information out of Bullhorn to report on campaigns, KPIs, etc. We have so much information, but it’s sometimes hard to use it. We knew if we implemented the technology and used it as intended, we’d get more from Bullhorn.”

Salo didn’t have to wait long before they started seeing benefits from their digital transformation journey. Within the first week of launching SourceBreaker, Salo placed a consultant found using SourceBreaker. “If we did not have SourceBreaker, it’s very likely, we would not have found that person, and we would have lost that business with our client,” Sprecher recalls. 

“If we aren’t able to introduce technology in a way that complements what we’re already doing, we’re going to look obsolete very fast. There are certain key things that we’ve evaluated to see if we can leverage automation or capture information in a better way, such as reference checks and client feedback.”

Adam Sprecher, Vice President of Strategy and Development at Salo

Salo’s tech stack brought their teams together, providing consultants with more opportunities for new roles and Salo’s internal teams more chances to grow their talent pool. “There has been an organic coming together of how our teams are looking at our entire talent pool, not just a segment of the talent pool. And they’re using technology to do that,” Sprecher recalls. “Not only just Bullhorn but also all the different tools we’ve given them to make sure that they can find that talent. That has been the biggest evolution and biggest step we’ve taken because now we can build on that as we do other things.”

Taking Your Digital Transformation Initiative to the Next Level: Advice from Salo

Focus on Internal Communication

How can you ensure a technology implementation goes smoothly? Sprecher advises anyone navigating change management to focus on upfront communication and ensuring your team is involved in the journey. “Focus on communication so that when the change hits, it’s not as shocking, and your teams feel ready to go.” It doesn’t stop there; Sprecher continues, “We’re also focused on continued adoption and instilling and improving confidence in the use of the technology.”

Align Your Journey with Your Mission

While automation eliminates and simplifies manual processes, automation strategies require forethought and careful consideration. What are your goals as a business and how will your various automation options enable you to accomplish that mission? 

Before implementing any new technology, your team must identify essential tasks that do or do not fit into your automation plan. As Sprecher put it, “You can’t automate everything, and you shouldn’t automate everything, so what is the most critical thing that your teams are still doing themselves?” 

Salo Chief Marketing Officer Janeen Vogelaar adds: “We practice a lot of intentionality in our decisions around automation to ensure we hold true to our brand.  We look closely at the best fit for our business AND our mission.”

Prioritize that discussion to determine how to implement technology into your processes while maintaining critical responsibilities.

The Journey Never Ends

Although Salo has experienced some tremendous dividends from their journey already, they know there is still plenty of space to grow and improve. Firms that focus on a destination may miss out on the exciting opportunities ahead.

Sprecher advises always keeping an ear to the ground: “We embraced looking at where the industry is going, not what is happening right now, because, by the time we see what everyone is doing, the next thing is already here.” Sprecher sums it up with the help of a hockey saying: “Skate to where the puck is going, not to where the puck currently is.”

As the team continues its expansion and digital transformation journey, Salo continues to provide consultants with the opportunity to find meaningful work while improving the experience of their internal teams and their clients. 

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