In today's business world, speed and efficiency are key. This is especially true in hiring, where finding new employees can be time-consuming and challenging. According to Entelo’s 2018 Recruitment Trends Report, nearly 1/3 of talent acquisition professionals' workweek is spent on sourcing candidates for a single role. Additionally, a survey conducted by Goldman Sachs found that 90% of businesses struggle to find qualified candidates for available positions. Given these realities, the "status quo" way of hiring is no longer an option.
Recruitment leaders must employ new and innovative strategies to meet the challenges of the modern recruiting landscape. This is where automation can play an important role in the process. Automation has been hailed as a silver bullet by business leaders looking to improve efficiency and productivity within their organization. But what does this mean in the context of your hiring process? In this article, we will take a closer look at how you can use automation to optimize your hiring process without sacrificing the quality of the candidates that are hired.
What is Automation?
Recruitment automation is a type of technology that supports HR operations. It involves using software or a pre-programmed algorithm to carry out repetitive tasks with minimal human input. However, it's not meant to replace the role of humans completely. Instead, it aims to augment existing human resources practices by replacing manual processes that require a high level of human interaction with a more streamlined digital alternative.
Companies that need to scale their recruitment efforts quickly can greatly benefit from an automated solution. This is especially true for organizations that do not have a dedicated team of recruiters or a centralized recruitment function. By integrating automation into the hiring process, organizations can increase their efficiency and free up time and resources that can be invested in more strategic initiatives.
Why Should You Automate Your Hiring Process?
There's no doubt that automation can make recruiters' lives easier. But beyond that, there are a number of tangible benefits it can bring to your hiring process. Below are some of the key advantages that automation has to offer.
1. Reduced time to hire
Time to hire is a key success metric for hiring teams. According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average time it takes to fill a position is 36 days. This lengthy process does not only increase the cost per hire, but it also comes with the risk of losing quality candidates. In fact, a study found that 57% of job applicants lose interest in an opportunity due to a long hiring process. Automation helps streamline time-consuming tasks, like posting job openings, screening applicants, and scheduling interviews. This allows recruiters to focus more on bringing qualified candidates and ultimately reduce the time it takes to fill a position.
2. Bias-free hiring
Eliminating biases is one of the biggest challenges in the hiring process, as it is often shrouded in subjectivity. This is where automation can help. Unlike traditional recruiting methods that rely on subjective decision-making, automated solutions use data-driven algorithms to identify the most qualified candidates. When programmed correctly, automation enables recruiters to remove bias from the hiring process by eliminating judgment based on irrelevant characteristics, such as sex, race, and religion. In turn, it helps ensure that recruiters are making objective decisions based on pertinent skills and qualifications rather than personal preferences. In fact, a report found that 61% of talent acquisition leaders consider automation a valuable tool for reducing unconscious bias within their hiring process.3. Improved Quality of Hire
A quality hire is vital to a company's long-term success. When companies hire candidates with the right skills and cultural fit, they are more likely to retain top talents and improve their bottom line. Automation uses algorithms and data to identify the most qualified candidates based on skills, experience, and qualifications. This eliminates variables that are not predictive of a hire's future job performance, leading to consistent hiring decisions and quality hires. For instance, you may choose to automate some of your resume filtering processes to look for certain skills or keywords that indicate a strong job match and cultural fit. As a result, you can quickly determine the best prospects for the open position without having to sift through hundreds of resumes manually.
4. Enhanced candidate experience
Research shared by IBM revealed that candidates with a positive recruitment experience are 38% more likely to accept a job offer. This indicates the importance of providing a seamless experience for candidates throughout the hiring process, as it can impact their decision to join the organisation. By automating certain aspects of the recruitment process, recruiters can focus on interacting and building relationships with candidates, rather than spending their time on administrative tasks. This way, they can create a more personal and engaging experience for potential candidates, increasing the organisation's hiring success rates.
How is Automation Used in the Hiring Process?
In an industry heavily influenced by human interactions, automation might seem like a strange concept with no place in the recruiting space. However, there are several ways that automation can be used to streamline and enhance the hiring process without disrupting the human touch. Below, we'll take a look at some of the different ways automation can be utilized throughout the different stages of the hiring process.
1. Build a branded talent pipeline
The job search process has changed significantly in recent years. Today, most job seekers conduct their research online and use social media to connect with employers. Statistics show that 52% of candidates first seek out the company's sites and social media to learn more about the employer before applying for a job. As such, recruiters need to shift their approach toward building a strong talent pipeline that focuses on attracting high-quality candidates through strategic outreach on social media and other online platforms. With an effective talent pipeline in place, recruiters can easily identify the most promising candidates and bring them into the company's recruitment funnel for closer evaluation.
Automation plays a key role in building this pipeline. By automating value-adding recruitment content posts and campaigns, you can target a larger audience base and increase brand awareness with minimal effort. Likewise, automation tools can also help you optimize your recruiting efforts by identifying the most effective channels to reach your target audience and design effective campaigns accordingly. Some examples of the tools you can use to automate your content publishing processes include Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social, among others.
2. Pre-screening candidates
An effective application process involves careful screening of candidate profiles to determine their eligibility for the job. However, this proves to be tedious and time-consuming if you have a large number of applicants who need to be reviewed on a regular basis. On average, screening applicants can take 7 days or more to complete, depending on the number of applicants that need to be evaluated. This equates to hours of employee time that could be spent more productively on other aspects of the recruitment process.
Fortunately, automation can help you streamline your screening process by automatically sorting and ranking the candidate profiles based on predefined criteria. This allows you to eliminate applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the role and focus on those with the highest potential. Furthermore, automation tools like resume parsing and keyword extraction software can help you identify the most relevant applications with a single click, speeding up the screening process significantly.
Built-in chatbots or virtual recruitment assistants are also becoming popular for pre-qualifying applicants based on preset questions. The chatbots collect basic candidate information to narrow down the applicant pool and identify the most qualified candidates for further consideration. Furthermore, these bots can also provide prompt responses to common questions candidates might have, leaving the hiring team more time to respond to more complex queries.
3. Pre-assessment tests
The pre-employment assessment test is another area where automation can make a significant contribution. Automated pre-employment tests can provide an objective assessment of a candidate's qualifications based on predetermined criteria and generate a detailed report on their suitability for the role. This information can then be used to streamline the selection process and help you identify the candidates with the highest potential for success.
There are various types of pre-employment assessments that can help you assess a candidate's fit for the job. Some examples include personality tests and logical reasoning tests. Most pre-employment assessment platforms combine different assessments into one online experience to create a robust, personalised evaluation that caters to the organisation's specific needs.
4. Candidate communication
It's no secret that a lack of feedback from an application is one of the most common complaints from candidates. According to a report, 63% of candidates said they are dissatisfied with the lack of communication after applying for a job. This can create a serious impact on the candidate experience and make it difficult to maintain a positive brand image for the company. With the increased competition for top talent, traditional communication methods are no longer enough. This is where automated messaging tools can help.
An automated messaging tool has the ability to send customized messages in response to various actions candidates take within the job application process. These messages can be in the form of welcome emails, reminders about the next stage of the interview process, or general notifications about the application's progress. By incorporating a robust Applicant Tracking System (ATS) into your hiring process, all applicants get the information they need without requiring significant time and effort from the hiring team.
An effective onboarding process is crucial for the success of the organization. Employees who go through a smooth onboarding process are more likely to feel welcomed and valued by the company, which in turn increases engagement and productivity. This proved to be true in a US HCM research and analyst firm study, which found that organizations with an effective onboarding process enhance new employee retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Despite this, only 12% of employees agree that their organization does an excellent job onboarding. This could be attributed to the fact that many companies still rely on manual and document-heavy processes to manage onboarding.
Adopting an automated onboarding solution can simplify the process and make it more efficient for both managers and new hires. The technology fosters self-serve support by making manuals, guides, and documentation readily available on the employee portal. It can also automate routine tasks, such as sending welcome emails and setting up meetings with managers, saving both time and human resources.
Hiring the right people is one of the most important aspects of any business. However, this process can often be time-consuming as it involves a lot of legwork and careful decision-making. Automation can make the process of finding the right talent for your organization a lot simpler and more efficient. It's not meant to replace human involvement entirely, but rather to supplement existing hiring efforts and empower recruiters with better tools to do their jobs more effectively.
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