After nearly two years of the pandemic, the U.S. job market has embarked on a long road to recovery. According to Bloomberg, unemployment rates have been falling rapidly; however, the labor force participation rate has barely budged.
This trend has left HR professionals and talent acquisition teams struggling to find qualified professionals — with stacks of job applications but none relevant to the positions at hand. This is hugely taxing on recruiting teams and systems, making it hard to winnow out the quality talent from a sea of resumes.
Recruitment automation tools such as chatbots and AI integrations are a great solution to this problem. While these systems have historically been used by companies hiring at scale, now organizations of all sizes can benefit from automatically sifting through high volumes of applications to find the gems worth focusing on.
However, providing a human experience for job candidates remains as important as ever. A personalized, transparent, and communicative approach is paramount if your company is looking to attract top talent.
Contrary to what many might think, technology can help your team provide this. Just as automated dialer software allows outbound callers more time to focus on the individuals at the end of the line, recruitment automation gives HR teams the time and space to get to know applicants.
These tools will not only support your company during the “War for Talent”, but they will also future-proof your recruitment operations — by streamlining tasks and workflows, your HR team will be able to improve on metrics from time-to-fill to cost-per-hire.
As all the best project management books will confirm, automation is the future of productivity. But which recruitment automation tools will help your company find the right talent for your open roles?
Programmatic job advertising
Many companies are struggling to budget for targeted job advertisements to reach the right candidates.
However, programmatic advertising closes this gap by automatically distributing job postings on the most effective channels, from search engines to social channels, based on your target audience.
Your company has likely created a target consumer profile for other marketing campaigns, and job ads should be treated no differently. A clearly thought-out vision of the ideal candidate should guide your messaging and distribution. Programmatic advertising can use your candidate profile to reach the right prospects, cutting out time-consuming decision making.
These tools can also optimize the cost-per-hire and track performance across channels, offering thorough reporting on how users are engaging with your adverts and at what cost. This allows you to easily cut out channels that aren’t proving fruitful, and focus your budget on those reaching the right audience.
As competition for talent increases, companies with international aspirations often turn to Global recruiting, which can be challenging if you’re not familiar with the most popular job boards and search engines used in your industry or target country. Programmatic advertising tackles this issue, algorithmically selecting the best channels for your message across the globe.
Application flow automation
Once your adverts are on the right channels, the applications will start to flow. Your HR team is likely to spend countless hours reading through resumes that aren’t the right fit. This can lead to demotivation and productivity loss, which is why automation is vital.
The first place to look is the application flow itself: Are you losing quality candidates due to difficult forms and unnecessary steps? Are you asking the most important and time-saving questions in your application form?
Application flow technology streamlines the process for both candidates and recruiters, filtering out unqualified candidates and freeing up time for recruiters to evaluate the remaining quality leads.
Work with your HR team to choose specific disqualifying questions to clarify what you’re searching for and screen out candidates who aren’t a good fit. Let’s say you’re running a phone service business, it might be a good idea to ask candidates if they have experience working for a telecommunications company. A poorly calibrated system could leave your team with a severely limited number of leads to choose from.
It may be helpful to run your disqualifying questions by your legal department before setting the system in motion, as they will need to comply with your local and national employment and labor laws.
Talent pipeline automation
Now that you have a stream of high-quality leads to sort through, the difficult work begins. Coming up with a shortlist of applicants to advance to the interview stage is a time-consuming process, often prolonged by communication silos within the HR department.
Save time and break down feedback loops by engaging talent pipeline tools and progressive profiling to organize candidates into different segments. This technology can prioritize applicants that are the best match, ensuring that your interviewees are productive and effective.
If none of your shortlisted candidates shine during the interview process, you can always reevaluate second-level applicants instead of starting the process from scratch.
Likewise, you can automate communications with those who aren’t a good fit, ensuring that an empathetic and respectful message is sent to each applicant without spending time writing these out personally.
While automation is undeniably the future of HR, critics suggest that it could be too black-and-white in its categorizing of candidates. An applicant who appears unqualified at first glance could have crucial skills or experience that don’t appear in their initial application form. If they’re categorized as unsuitable based on a single answer, your company could miss out on their talent.
Some employers are countering this with AI-based talent intelligence platforms. These identify talent beyond a simple resume, factoring in aspects such as potential rather than job experience.
This technology, along with a good cloud contact center solution, can be used at all HR levels, algorithmically reviewing the abilities of new applicants, past applicants, and current employees to determine who in your network has the potential to quickly fill an open position or new role. This can be extremely useful when hiring internally or helping current employees further their careers within the company.
This blind focus on skill and potential reduces human bias, generating a more diverse database of potential hires. Automation fosters inclusion and solidifies your company’s commitment to equality and diversity.
There’s a significant amount of information that needs to be communicated to candidates during the recruitment process, from corporate policies, role descriptions, and benefits to an outline of the company’s hiring process itself.
While this information can be succinctly conveyed in job advertisements, or emailed to hopeful candidates, questions are still likely to arise. How you answer these questions will be indicative of the employee experience candidates can expect if they decide to join your company.
AI-powered chatbots are a popular tool for communication with customers, and the same functionality can revolutionize the hiring process too. With real-time machine learning, chatbots can communicate important information about the hiring process and answer candidate questions.
Some employers are also using AI-based automation to screen employees and schedule interviews, allowing HR teams to focus their time and attention on building genuine relationships with qualified candidates.
In fact, 63 percent of talent acquisition professionals reported that AI has changed their recruiting procedures. With chatbots’ ability to respond to requests in real-time and the rich data that they elicit, it’s no wonder they’re becoming the new standard.
A chatbot-based screening process might look like an interactive application form where the bot generates personalized questions based on an applicant’s answers. The data from these conversations can feed into a talent pipelining tool, prioritizing candidates who are a good match, while automating messages to those who are unqualified.
The ultimate goal of recruiting automation is to allocate time efficiently during the hiring process. By ensuring a positive candidate experience while eliminating time-consuming work, you can promote genuine relationships between teams and potential hires from the very start.
Automation has financial benefits as well — less resources are spent on advertising to the wrong audiences, which translates into faster hires of quality candidates. In a competitive job market, automation gives you an edge, enabling your company to catch top talent before competitors.
These technologies can scale with your company, building toward a streamlined high-volume global recruitment process. Rather than replacing recruiters, these tools free their attention to focus on important aspects like understanding candidates’ unique journeys.
Of course, as with all automation technologies, these tools are at their best when finely tuned to each company’s needs. Testing in production and tweaking for each recruitment campaign will lead to a highly personalized experience that aligns with your goals.
With 75 percent of recruiters stating that technology will play a larger role in their hiring processes moving forward, automation is set to become a cross-industry standard. Get ahead of the game and learn more about how Globalization Partners can help your company find the perfect talent through our market-leading global employment platform. Our AI-driven, automated platform enables companies to quickly identify and hire new team members anywhere in the world. Learn more about our platform here.
About the author:
John Allen – Director, SEO, 8×8
John Allen is the Director of SEO at 8×8, a leading communication platform with an integrated contact center, interactive voice response, video, and chat functionality. Allen is a marketing professional with over 14 years of experience in the field, and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs across SEM, SEO, and a myriad of services.