Don’t Leave Money On The Table:
Understanding WOTC for Staffing Agencies
If you’ve been in the staffing industry for any length of time, you’ve probably heard the term WOTC (pronounced WATT SEE).
The staffing industry has changed over the last five to ten years, with a larger focus on providing a positive and seamless candidate experience. This is a different environment than in the past when staffing agencies had a lobby full of people waiting to get hired. Now, the pool of available talent is shrinking, leaving us with very few candidates, each one a precious opportunity for hiring and placement. This adds to the challenge of including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit survey in the hiring process, potentially creating a roadblock at a critical stage: hiring. However, staffing agencies miss out on a powerful financial opportunity by completely ignoring this tax credit. Therefore, it’s important for agencies to learn how to incorporate a WOTC survey into their hiring process that offsets hiring costs without affecting the candidate experience.
There are three main components of a WOTC survey that can cause friction and increase the opt-out rate of candidates choosing not to participate: integration, information required, and time. This overview will explore how these three components affect user experience, negatively impacting the likelihood that a candidate will complete the survey. The higher the opt-out rate, the less likely an employer can maximize the financial opportunity available through the tax credit.
The first component involves how the WOTC survey is integrated into the hiring process. Specifically in this industry, it seems that every WOTC integration with most staffing industry software is a redirect integration. This means the candidates transition from an internal application or onboarding system to an external website, creating a clunky experience that requires candidates to adapt to a new user interface. Sometimes a candidate may think it’s a scam. They assume this redirect, such as a pop-up, is something they shouldn’t be using. This can increase the drop-out rate. For this reason, it’s essential to partner with a vendor who can provide a WOTC experience that does not redirect candidates to an external platform.
Another aspect of the WOTC process that frequently causes friction is the information requested in the survey. Once redirected to an external site, candidates are asked to submit their social security number, date of birth, email address, and phone number. This additional request for information adds further friction and may lead candidates to perceive it as a scam, another serious potential for abandoning the application. A streamlined survey should avoid asking for any unnecessary personal information. Removing these two friction points can increase candidate participation, leading to a better WOTC result.
The third component relates to time. Employers and staffing agencies familiar with WOTC may be accustomed to vendors offering a three-to-five-minute WOTC survey. This is time spent only on the WOTC step, not including the time it takes for the entire candidate process. For a better candidate experience and a more efficient WOTC survey, participants should only need 30 seconds or less to complete the form. A dramatically faster and more streamlined survey simplifies the experience and reduces opt-out rates.
A more streamlined WOTC Survey process, that is devoid of redirects and personal info requests, offers several key benefits. First, there are higher completion rates, ensuring that more individuals finish the survey without dropping out due to lengthy processes. Second, there’s an increase in eligibility. After all, in the face of complex, time-consuming surveys, candidates often rush through and choose “no” without fully engaging with the questions.
Using a simplified WOTC approach is critical to encouraging candidates to provide accurate eligibility information, and in turn, can lead to a 20-30% boost in eligibility rates. Consequently, this results in a higher total tax credit for our clients.
Thus, it’s critical for staffing agencies to select a WOTC vendor that offers a simpler and more streamlined approach to WOTC that is well-integrated into your overall hiring process, providing a better candidate experience that also delivers more tax savings. After all, a convoluted WOTC process can result in leaving money on the table!
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