Automation is helping people break free of mundane, repetitive tasks and focus on meaningful work. Every industry and nearly every profession is benefiting from automation in some way, and recruitment is no different.
Recruiting automation makes it easier for recruiters, employers, and hiring managers to be more productive, improve candidate experiences, cut down hiring costs, and rethink their approach to hiring. It also helps to assess applicants more fairly, reduce bias, and make sure the most qualified people are hired.
Let’s take a closer look at how automation helps employers achieve these goals—and how it can help you, too.
What is recruitment automation?
Recruiting automation is the process of automating different stages of the recruitment process, including sourcing talent, assessing candidates, managing schedules and outreach, tracking applicants, and monitoring results.
Recruiting automation is achieved through various software, including apps that address and integrate each of the steps above.
Why is recruitment automation important? 5 benefits
Recruitment automation software lets organizations rethink their hiring process and make improvements that benefit both recruiters and applicants. Automation also helps companies reduce inefficiencies and hire at scale, cutting down hiring times and costs.
Here are five compelling reasons to consider recruiting automation.
1. Help HR teams be more productive
A survey by CareerBuilder highlighted the consequences of not automating recruitment. The study found that HR managers who don’t fully automate:
- Lose an average of 14 hours/week on manually finishing tasks that could be automated
- 28% of these managers lose 20 hours/week or more on automatable tasks
- 11% spend 30 hours/week or more on automatable tasks
The takeaway? Manual tasks take up an exorbitant amount of time and recruiting automation is invaluable. The same survey also revealed the consequences of not automating, including lower productivity, more errors and higher costs, and more.
2. Reduce time to hire and cost per hire
Hiring costs time and money, and recruiters are expected to save on both. A longer time to hire may increase hiring costs (as more work-hours are involved) and reduce the chances of applicants accepting your offer. And a high cost per hire isn’t good for HR budgets.
Fortunately, automation helps organizations reduce both the time and cost per hire. By automating tasks like scheduling interviews, proctoring, evaluating applicants, and following up, recruiters can win back their time.
3. Minimize bias and ensure fair play
A recent study sent 83,000 fictitious applications to 108 of the largest US employers to assess hiring bias, both unconscious and conscious, and the results were quite troubling. The study revealed both racial and gender bias in the recruitment process.
Unconscious biases, like affinity bias, are difficult to measure but still creep their way into the recruitment process. Fortunately, recruiting automation helps organizations reduce these biases by minimizing human intervention.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), for example, screen resumes to narrow the pool of applicants, without bias. And HR teams can use skills assessment tests with automated scoring to evaluate candidates, which also eliminates bias.
HR recruitment platforms have evolved to make sure applicants are fairly evaluated, too. Some platforms boast cheat-proofing features like AI video proctoring and plagiarism detection.
4. Hire at scale
When companies scale their hiring, it can be difficult for recruiters to keep up. If thousands of applicants apply for one job, recruiters must narrow the talent pool by screening resumes and then move towards assessments and interviews.
Recruiting automation helps significantly here. ATSes take over the brunt of CV screening, and testing platforms let recruiters assess and evaluate applicants at scale.
However, while automation can help to narrow the pool of applicants, it can’t independently make the best hiring decision for you. So, after narrowing the talent pool, recruiters and hiring managers still need to interview applicants and make the final call.
5. Improve the candidate experience
Recruitment automation helps improve the candidate experience by moving applicants along the pipeline quicker, and making it easy to follow up and update each candidate.
Applicants won’t need to wait long to hear back, because automated follow-ups make it easy to let them know if they’ve qualified. Similarly, automating testing and evaluation processes helps hiring committees make decisions faster, so candidates aren’t left hanging.
Using automation sensibly benefits companies and applicants.
How to automate the recruitment process at each stage
Let’s take a closer look at how to implement automation at each stage of the recruitment process.
1. Sourcing and attracting the right talent
Sourcing the right talent directly affects the quality of your hires. If you’re not reaching out to—and attracting—the best talent, then you’re missing out.
HR teams can make sure they’re attracting the right talent by being present where job seekers are searching: on social media, for example, or job boards, and in recruitment drives. And when you’re actively searching for talent, automation helps identify the best talent and correspond with them.
- LinkedIn Sale Navigator lets recruiters use filters to find talent with the right experience and skill set.
- ATSes make it easy to keep track of applicants and make sure no one is lost in the mix.
- Magical makes it easy to update your ATS (by teleporting data from LinkedIn Sales Navigator to your ATS, for example) and reach out to applicants with templated messages.
2. Managing and nurturing your talent pool
The ideal hiring scenario for HR teams is this:
- A new role just opened up—it needs to be filled.
- The recruiter sorts through their talent pool to identify best-fit talent.
- The recruitment process starts and they hire top talent.
Having top talent on-demand isn’t easy, but recruiters can improve their odds by building and nurturing a talent pool. A talent pool is exactly what it sounds like: a group of potential applicants in your network.
They could be previous applicants in your ATS, or potential candidates from your social media network or email list. Managing relationships with so many applicants is difficult, but a candidate relationship management (CRM) tool helps recruiters automate the process. A CRM lets you:
- Store candidate information.
- Engage with applicants and send them useful information and opportunities to help them develop professionally.
- Automate job posting across platforms and speed up other repetitive tasks.
3. Assessing applicants
As we discussed earlier, skills assessments and recruitment platforms let recruiters automate the evaluation stage. The result? Recruiters have more time to focus on meaningful work, applicants have a better experience, and bias is minimal.
HR technology has evolved substantially and hiring teams can take their pick from skills assessment platforms, personality quizzes, and tests that are evaluated by AI.
Automating the assessment phase also makes hiring at scale possible. An individual might not be able to evaluate 100,000 applicants easily, but a system that uses AI-powered scoring sure can.
4. Scheduling interviews
Scheduling is another process that’s unnecessarily time-consuming. When peoples’ timetables don’t match up, there can be a lot of back and forth involved in finding a good time slot. And if you’re corresponding with lots of applicants, scheduling becomes an even bigger nightmare.
So it’s no surprise that automated scheduling has become popular among recruiters, salespeople, and professionals in general. Tools like Calendly let parties see each other’s availability and identify a time that works for both. And CRMs, ATSes, and skills assessment platforms typically offer built-in automated scheduling.
5. Onboarding and feedback collection
Remember how we stressed the importance of a good candidate experience? Well, that doesn’t end with improving their experience during the application process. It’s important to welcome them with a great onboarding experience, too. Automation is also helpful at this stage.
For example, automation lets you:
- Send an automated “welcome to the team” message, and maybe an invitation to lunch (with everyone’s schedules factored in!).
- Give new hires access to your knowledge base (consider using a chatbot that answers FAQs).
- Automatically send requests to get them access to everything they need, including details on who to report to, any documentation to help them in their work, and access to your tech stack or the like.
Automation also makes it easy to collect feedback from applicants, so you can act on it and keep improving the candidate experience. Consider slipping in some NPS surveys or feedback forms at different stages in the recruitment process, like after they take a test, or after their first month of working with you.
Recruiting automation: will recruiting become automated fully?
Recruitment automation has the potential to transform recruitment processes in a way that benefits both organizations and applicants. But to get the most out of automation, HR teams need to think about:
- Where automation fits in the bigger picture. Automation can’t lead your recruitment process, but it can improve and work with existing systems. So, HR teams need to figure out which processes to automate and how to work together with automation.
- When humans should intervene. Some stages need human-to-human interaction—there’s no substitute for it! Work out when human contact is needed and make sure recruiters and interviewers know when to step in.
As for whether recruiting will ever become fully automated, that remains to be seen. The goal of the recruiting process is to hire the best applicants, given a company’s available resources. Automation can go a long way in helping organizations achieve this goal, but it’s not mature enough to take the wheel.
Some day, it’s possible that all the “mechanical” parts of the recruiting process might be fully automated. Recruiters will then have more time to prioritize building relationships with their talent pools and working to attract top talent. But until that day arrives, we need to find where automation fits into our existing systems.