One of the greatest barriers to opting for recruiting automation is fear that recruiters will end up being replaced. Not to mention that automation could cost an arm and a leg.
But nothing could be further from the truth! Recruiting software is one aspect of HR tech that is tried and tested, and continuously improving. Recruiting automation systems are user-friendly, and recruiters can easily be upskilled. Plus, it’s accessed from a SaaS platform. So, you don’t have upfront expenses for technology, software or licensing agreements. You pay a service provider a monthly subscription; that’s it!
If you’re still having doubts, consider this: research suggests that 75% of large corporations use recruitment automation software. That means that they have a distinct advantage over any other company- large or small- that’s adopting a wait and see attitude to automation.
Can your business afford to be battling the race for talent on a bicycle when your competitors are on a bullet train?
What is recruiting automation?
There are many aspects to recruiting automation, but at the core of improving the hiring process is applicant tracking software (ATS). ATS tracking is essential because it centralizes your recruitment function, no matter how many divisions or branches you have, or diverse their locations.
However, centralization doesn’t mean that far-flung hiring managers must be left out of your hiring team. Because an ATS is cloud-based, the software is delivered to you from a cloud environment, so any authorized user can access the system at any time from any location.
Communication and updates are available in real time, so there are no time delays, and the calendar and dashboard functions mean you get regular prompts and get a flash-picture of all progress. All hiring information is kept on the ATS platform, including:
- Job posts
- Job descriptions
- Applicant details
- Candidate details
- Interview details
- Assessment details
- Reference details
- Job offer details
- Talent pool details
- Communication between recruiters and applicants and candidates
- Communication between members of individual hiring teams
Everything that goes into each hire is permanently stored on your ATS, not only during the recruitment process, but it’s retained as a permanent record. That means that you can retrieve information at any time if you need to. But this isn’t all there is to recruiting automation, there’s much more to it.
Applicant tracking software can be customized
Every business is different and has unique needs. An ATS can be customized to meet your company’s needs and also accommodate industry requirements. You can add and remove functions so that the system adds optimum value to your hiring processes as well as your reporting needs. Also, the service providers regularly update and upgrade the systems, so you’re assured that the ATS will always keep you on the right side of legislation like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.
Another invaluable aspect of an ATS is that it gives you metrics and analytics that ultimately lead to predictive analysis. Metrics are a collection of different types of data that can provide you with insight into your hiring process. Metrics feed into analytics which, accumulated over time, can identify patterns of activity, and these patterns lead to predictive data.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Briefly, metrics and analytics can identify flaws in your recruitment process, what advertising platforms yield the best ROI, or time to hire and time to fill insights. The permutations of data reporting are endless. You can customize your ATS to give you the information you most need.
4 steps to using recruiting automation to improve your hiring
The benefits of utilizing recruitment automation are vast, but listed below are the most prominent and immediate benefits:
1. Time-saving with AI
The recruitment process has many lengthy and repetitive tasks involved in finding the best candidates. Recruitment automation immediately frees you of that burden. There are so many tasks that you can automate.
The most time consuming of these is probably screening applications to identify suitable candidates. Depending on the type of vacancy, you can attract hundreds of applications, of which over 80% could be totally unsuitable. A recruiter won’t know that though unless they open every CV and scan through it. The screening process alone can take days!
An ATS screens CV’s for you based on keywords you include when a job is posted. You can also include pre-screening questions to your job post. AI in the system will automatically exclude unsuitable applications and rate appropriate candidates in order of suitability.
AI takes that a step further too. Automatic responses are sent out immediately a CV is scanned, so no applicant is left waiting for days for a reply. Not getting back to people damages your employer brand and dents the candidate experience, even if you do get back to them days later.
Another automation time-saver is chatbots. Used properly, they’re like a handy virtual assistant that never goes home. Chatbots can be basic or more advanced. Some are straightforward, while others function with advanced machine learning. Some even have natural language processing capabilities, so they can recognize human language and give basic responses.
Chatbots simplify tedious tasks and can give automated responses. They can be integrated with different systems and can help you with:
- Email messaging
- Text messaging
- Social media posts
- Answer FAQ about your company or jobs
- Responses on apps like Skype and WhatsApp
- Asking questions about an applicant’s skills and experience
Chatbots can handle high volume tasks with ease. They not only help recruiters out, they boost the employer brand and enhance the candidate experience.
3. Improving the quality of hires
Another area where recruiting automation positively impacts hiring is improving the quality of hires as well as shrinking the time to fill and time to hire. All of this comes with massive cost-saving implications.
Improving the quality of hires also comes with other benefits like:
- Limited risk of fall-outs after appointment
- Decreased employee attrition
- Increase employee performance
- Improved employee engagement
These benefits happen spontaneously because when someone is a good cultural fit for the company and the job, they are happy and comfortable. Content employees are more open, innovative, and keen to succeed. Employees who are focused on their own success are also focused on the company’s success.
Improved quality of hires is a result of using unbiased, data-driven screening to match candidates to vacancies. Reduced turnaround times in getting back to candidates keeps them involved in the process and reduces the risk of them losing interest. Using analytics in recruitment rather than reactive recruitment also results in a better quality of hire.
4. Building an employer brand of choice
The growing global skills and talent shortages are no secret and are only set to get worse. Add to that the low rates of unemployment. The tables have turned on employers, and they can no longer take their time getting back to candidates or have no employer brand. Branding is a marketing function that has now landed in the lap of recruiters as well, but recruitment automation brings many solutions.
An ATS lets you attract the best talent with your careers site and employer brand to ensure that you stand out from your competitors. Top talent can pick and choose where they want to work, and most people research companies even before they apply. Today, for top candidates, job hunting is much like browsing through a mall. There are so many options available that they can select from the best and ignore the rest.
When your employer brand aligns with the overall organization’s brand and projects the company culture and values, you will attract a better quality of applicants. Through recruitment automation, you can quickly convert these applicants to candidates.
But recruiting and building an employer brand sounds like so much work! No, not if you know how to use tech to get it done. Recruitment automation includes many different aspects that can be integrated with marketing tools, so you update and add to your online brand presence while recruiting.
Chatbots once again can come to the rescue as can programmatic marketing software that you can integrate with your recruitment automation software. Programmatic marketing is a powerful tool that uses analytics to select the best options to place your employer brand marketing content and bids automatically. You don’t have to try and figure out what digital platforms will reach the best talent for your company. Also, you don’t have to buy advertising space upfront. It’s all done for you automatically.
This type of recruitment automation uses data and analytics to guide your online employer brand presence. It helps to attract the best talent, encourage employee retention and cuts advertising costs.
There’s still so much more available
We’ve really just covered the tip of the recruiting automation iceberg in this article. There are still so many more options available and even more that are still in the development stage. The recent trends that altered the recruitment industry forever aren’t going away, but they’re no threat to recruiters. What recruitment automation does is take away the time consuming manual tasks, and allow recruiters to do what they’re best at – communicating with other people.
Communication on a real level can never be replaced by chatbots or any other type of AI or machine learning. Recruitment is a person to person job function that requires perception, empathy, humor and caring. It also needs a creative, innovative and enquiring mind to drive the hiring process. Recruiting automation can never fill those shoes.