When it comes to finding the best talent for vacant positions, HR departments look to employ the most efficient methods to do this. Being a time when technology reduced complex tasks to a few taps of a screen, Automation in recruitment is benefitting HR professionals and is massively popular in talent acquisition.
The process is almost as straight forward as its name suggests: information on potential candidates and former applicants is gathered, stored and searched through via an automatic recruitment program. The application of technology is not completely new, with Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) in use for a few years as of now, and its value enthusiastically hailed within the recruitment industry. In fact, 75% of recruiters and talent managers use some form of software and 94% of them say it has improved the hiring processes.
Recruitment Automation uses the information stored within ‘Big Data’, drawing from publically available data on previous employers and social media profiles to compile a more detailed picture of each candidate through their experience, skills, and qualifications. Armed with this information, the system itself can automatically figure out who is most likely to perform best in the available role.
How Automation Works in Favor of Recruitment
As businesses grow, their talent demand increases and they aren’t always able to grow their HR and talent acquisition teams at the same rate. This means that there are often more positions to fill, but the same number of recruiters to fill them. Automation takes on a number of different forms in recruitment, but at the end of the day, it’s really all about efficiency. Couple that with the complicated process of online recruitment today, and there’s quite a lot of work to tackle.
Recruiters need to be able to write thoughtful and engaging descriptions for their job ads and then post those ads across job boards, aggregators, to their company’s career page and across social media. Most job boards and aggregators require employers, staffing firms and marketplaces pay to place these job ads on their sites. This means recruiters must also monitor the performance of spend against results across multiple sites and reallocate funds where appropriate to get the most bang for their buck. Failure to do so could mean a lack of qualified candidates to consider for the position–a true waste of budget.
All of these responsibilities only really cover the top end of the recruitment funnel, or in other words, getting people to apply for jobs. Once a recruiter has received enough applicants to make a hire, they must filter through resumes to find qualified talent and then move them through the interview process, and so forth. And as we know, the ATS industry exists in order to make this second half of the funnel (moving applicants through to hire) easier to navigate. Automation in recruitment aims to make all of these processes and responsibilities easier to manage. For instance, two critical ways that automation should be used for recruitment are as follows:
- Centralized Job Distribution helps recruiters automate the process of sending their job ads out to multiple sites at once and tracking their performance at both the job and source level. This gives recruiters the ability to post and monitor all of their jobs from a single platform, saving significant time.
- Programmatic Job Advertising allows recruiters to create logic-based automation rules to manage budgets. Recruiters can set rules to start and stop spending on specific jobs or job groups, they can set parameters for reallocating funds from over-performing jobs to challenged jobs and they can ensure job slots are always filled with priority roles, among other things. This type of automation doesn’t just save time, it also saves money–allowing recruiters to spend every budget dollar in the most effective way possible–lower recruiting costs and increasing ROI.
As mentioned earlier, there are other ways automation has made its way into recruitment. Some companies provide automation software that can read and filter resumes based on specifications made by the recruiter. Others focus on automating communication between recruiters and candidates through the use of chatbots. There are even services available to automate the preliminary interview process.
It’s worth noting that, with the proper resources and a large enough budget, a company could technically automate recruitment from start to finish–but most recruitment thought-leaders and talent acquisition professionals see the concept of a fully-automated recruitment system, with no human engagement, as a recipe for disaster.
Benefits Offered By Recruitment Automation
But how exactly can Recruitment Automation make talent acquisition easier? And what other benefits does it bring with it when the search for proven talent begins? Following are the ways in which it can make a difference.
Faster Resume Screening
All HR personnel will point to resume screening as the worst part of any recruitment strategy. The number of resumes can range from dozens to hundreds, but whatever the number might be, the exercise is always hugely time-consuming.
Recruitment Automation takes the procedure out of the hands of the HR department, freeing them of the chore, and drastically reducing the time spent sifting through applicants’ resumes. Research has revealed that as much as 88% of resumes received show the applicant to be unqualified, while 98% of applicants never get an interview. And given that an average of 23 hours is spent on resume screening per hire, that translates to a lot of otherwise wasted time saved.
Reduces Overall Recruiting Costs
It is estimated that, in the US, the cost per hire is $4,129. That is pretty expensive, especially for a company experiencing high turnovers in personnel. But studies suggest that Recruitment Automation can reduce the cost of talent acquisition by as much as 50%, thanks mainly to the fact that, by establishing a simple-to-access database of suitable candidates, the time taken to find, process and consider each candidate is significantly cut.
Promotes Pre-Qualification Strategies
It is universally agreed that the jobs market is candidate-driven these days. This means that, often, HR departments need to be willing to woo the most talented people. A key part of this is moving fast to find the right people, and then building a relationship with them. Recruitment automation allows recruiters to reach out to potential candidates, and thus start that building process.
But via chatbots, it also allows recruiters to ask pre-qualifying questions that can identify individuals, establish their suitability and, therefore, make the process of talent acquisition all that more efficient. And by automating repetitive tasks (like job query answering), attention can be paid to candidates without creating additional strain on HR departments.
Enhances Candidate Experience
As mentioned above, recruitment is a candidate-driven market so making them feel wanted and appreciated is important. While chatbots can help in pre-qualification strategies, these bots are also essential in enhancing the candidate experience to improve talent acquisition campaigns. How? Well, today’s candidates expect to receive notification and feedback almost immediately, with 58% admitting they had a negative impression of a company that didn’t, and 67% stating they would be impressed by a company that did. Chatbots allow recruiters to stay in touch.
Candidate Interviews Anytime, Anywhere
It stands to reason that an effective talent acquisition campaign needs to spread the net far and wide. But this, in turn, creates a logistical problem when it comes to the interview stage. Recruitment automation can be used to solve that problem by negating the need for candidates to travel and, instead, allowing the interview to take place where and when it suits them.
Digitized interview technology also helps recruiters in separating the best from the rest. This is because the most advanced technology not only records interviews in full, but can also assess key indicators like the choice of words, speech patterns, and facial expressions to identify the leading candidates
How Automation Is Being Used Today
Automation is far from just a buzzword in HR circles everything from chatbots to intelligent assistants to predictive analytics is either actively being used in the talent acquisition space today or will be for the foreseeable future.
More than one third (36 percent) of HR managers say that one of the biggest time wasters in their day is seeing candidate search results that don’t match the context of what they are looking for. Semantic search capabilities can interpret a recruiter’s simple keyword searches and apply our custom ontology and taxonomy structure to better understand the intent of a user. That means the product not only understands what you say, but what you mean. The result is more accurate search results as well as better handling of acronyms, synonyms, and related concepts.
Behind the scenes, automation can also predict the likelihood of a candidate to respond to a particular offer, and this type of information is used to fine-tune automated email outreach, search result rankings and job recommendation algorithms. These are just a few of the ways automated technologies are helping to power our industry into a modern era and if what we have seen so far is any indication, the future is ripe with possibilities.