Why every team should build an automated recruitment system

Last updated:
July 29, 2021
December 18, 2021
min read
Brendan McConnell
Table of contents

As a recruiter, have you ever found yourself frustrated with the amount of time you spend on repetitive and time consuming tasks that don’t lead to better hiring results? If you raised your hand (or mumbled knowingly to yourself) then consider yourself among friends in the recruitment world. If you didn’t, then it’s likely because you’ve adopted some form of automated recruitment system.

Automated recruitment is what could be considered the “next big thing” in our industry. Its aim is to reduce the amount of time that recruiters spend on repetitive and simple tasks, freeing them up to do more strategic work.

The ultimate goal, of course, is better and more efficient hiring that drives significant business results for your organization.

If you haven’t adopted an automated recruitment system yet, then you may be curious about what you can automate, and what the benefits are likely to be. You’re in luck! This article will answer both of these questions.

What recruitments tasks can be automated?

Modern recruitment tools like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), Candidate Relationship Management (CRMs) platforms, and Chatbots (to name a few) all contain an abundance of features that help you automate individual tasks or entire workflows within your recruitment funnel.

These automated actions can be small, repetitive tasks that are required numerous times per day, or part of a system of automated hand offs that make up a larger workflow. An automated recruitment system will usually be comprised of both types of automated actions, working alongside the recruitment teams’ daily activities.

So, the answer to “what recruitment tasks can be automated?” really comes down to how your team works, what your requirements are, and how much you want to automate.

Generally speaking, an automated recruitment system contains actions that span the following core areas of the hiring process:

  • Sourcing. For example, programmatic recruitment ads that are automatically uploaded to targeted websites based on specified job requirements. Or, automated social media posts that target niche groups and topics and work alongside a wider outreach and engagement strategy.
  • Pre-screening. For example, automatically assigning, collecting, and analyzing the results of pre-screening assessments the moment a candidate applies for a job. Or, automatically shortlisting qualified candidates (and removing unqualified ones) using automated resume scrapers and keyword analyzers.
  • Screening. For example, automating reference and background checks, or changing candidate profiles and statuses based on new information and skill tests results. Or, automatically analyzing video interview results for hidden cues such as word choice and body language.
  • Communication. For example, automatically sending emails or messages to candidates when they apply, qualify for the next round of screening, or are eliminated from consideration. Or, automatically scheduling interviews, and sending reminders to team members and candidates. Chatbots can also be used to automatically respond to questions, or send basic information and updates after hours or on weekends.
  • Onboarding. For example, the hand off of new hire orientation or financial documents can be automated so that nothing falls through the cracks. Or, when a candidate becomes a new hire, orientation material can automatically be sent to them.
  • Talent pipelining. For example, your ATS or CRM can routinely re-analyze inactive candidates in your database to determine if anybody now fits the profile for current or future job openings. You can then automatically send nurture messages to those candidates to re-establish them within your talent pipeline.

Of course, these are just a few of the many possible automated actions that you can adopt into your overall recruitment system. When considering an automated recruitment system, it’s always important to understand where your pain points are, and to identify which tasks and systems are prime candidates for automation.

Now that we’ve established what hiring tasks you can automate, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of an automated recruitment system.

Benefits of an automated recruitment system

As you can probably picture, automating your most repetitive and time-consuming tasks brings with it a slew of benefits for your overall recruitment system. Here are just some of the primary benefits from implementing an automated recruitment system.

1. Avoid bottlenecks in the recruitment pipeline

By automating your most common tasks, you can ensure that you never have a backlog of work sitting on a team members’ desk, holding up the entire hiring process. This is especially important if you work as a recruiter for a high-turnover industry such as call centers. One of the primary factors that contribute to inefficient recruitment funnels, and lost opportunities to hire top talent, is lengthy delays in moving candidates through the pipeline.

Automation can help prevent these situations by ensuring that all of the most important, but simple, tasks aren’t piling up somewhere. Instead, candidates are able to move smoothly through the pipeline, and recruiters are able to easily meet deadlines and make decisions on who to hire.

Some of the ways that an automated recruitment system can help you avoid bottlenecks include:

  • Filtering applicants quickly
  • Avoiding overloading a part of your process
  • Notifying team immediately when actions need to be taken
  • Automatically flagging at-risk deadlines

Together, these automated actions can help to ensure that your recruitment funnel is always running smoothly. Which brings us to the second benefit.

2. Eliminate time and waste

Eliminating bottlenecks and improving the overall efficiency of your pipeline helps to eliminate time and resource waste that can lead to the overall poor performance of your recruitment process. Delays and missed steps due to task overload can cause lost productivity and revenue by failing to fill a skills gap when it’s needed.

Additionally, sourcing and screening candidates takes both monetary and human resources, both of which can be very expensive for the organization. Wasting that money and effort due to a lack of automation, or because of task overload, is simply not a good business move for your company.

Some examples of how automation can help to eliminate time and waste include:

  • Eliminating the need to manually call non-responsive or unqualified candidates
  • Freeing recruiters from repeating the same task over and over again
  • Automatically identifying areas of inefficiency and waste

By automating the most time consuming tasks, and continuously monitoring the efficiency of your recruitment process, you can drastically reduce the amount of costly waste at your company.

3. Focus your time on top talent

Of course, when your recruitment team is freed from their tedious task load, they have much more time to spend on engaging and networking with the top talent available.

A recruiter’s job should mostly focus on finding and engaging with high potential candidates who will make a real difference at the organization. Implementing an automated recruitment system will allow your recruiters to focus on doing just that, rather than tasks that don’t really move the dial for your organization.

4. Reactivate candidates to fill your talent pipeline

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) provide an abundance of valuable candidate information that can and should be mined for hidden gems when new positions arise. Why source new candidates every time a job opens, rather than looking at who you already have in your system.

Automated recruitment systems are able to regularly, at scheduled times, scrape your existing database for qualified candidates who fit the bill for a current or future job opening. Once reactivated, these passive candidates can then be engaged either by automated communications, or directly from a recruiter.

Making a point to schedule regular “reactivation” scrapes of your ATS database is a valuable technique that can help you maintain a full talent pipeline, without the effort of always finding new candidates.

5. Improve candidate experience

An automated recruitment system that eliminates bottlenecks, delays, and missed communications contributes to an overall better candidate experience for your applicants. If there’s one thing that can ruin a candidates’ opinion of your organization it’s poor communication, and not following through on what you say you’re going to do.

By ensuring that all of the crucial touch points are covered, automated actions can ensure that every applicant, no matter what the outcome, receives a solid candidate experience.

For example, you can set up your ATS to automatically send confirmation messages when an applicant applies. Then, you can automatically send them updates on where you are in the screening process, and invitations for follow up calls and interviews. Once those interviews have taken place, you can continue the open lines of communication by automatically sending them a thank you message. Finally, candidates will expect to hear back from you, even if they are not selected for the position. Automated messages can help to ensure that these decisions are communicated as quickly as possible, and that nobody falls through the cracks.

And, of course, maintaining a great candidate experience also contributes to a great employer brand, which is critical to attracting top talent to your team.

6. Improve quality of hire

Naturally, each of the benefits above will ultimately contribute to better hiring results overall. An automated and systematic approach to hiring that’s driven by analytics and continuous improvement means that you and your recruitment team can continuously hone your recruitment process.

As you continue to audit and improve your process, the overall efficiency and quality of your decision making will also continue to elevate to the next level. The end result is, ultimately, hiring better people, more frequently, with less effort than you had to put in before.

7. Increase workforce diversity

Last, but certainly not least, automated systems can help to boost your diversity recruitment initiatives. Recruiters, like everybody, bring with them their own biases and subjectivity to each and every task that they perform. As a result, it’s common that a certain level of bias will creep into decisions around who to move through the recruitment funnel, and who to hire.

Automated recruitment systems help to eliminate much of this inherent human bias. Rather than relying on a subjective reading of a resume to determine if a candidate moves on to the next round, for example, automation can make that decision for you without any inherent bias. This can be extrapolated out to many different critical touch points in the recruitment funnel that may be affected by bias.

In the end, more and more hiring decisions can be made based on objective facts and reasoning, rather than on factors that may not actually contribute to future performance.

As you can see, recruitment automation systems carry with them a wide range of benefits and use cases that should be of interest to most recruitment teams. If you’re considering adopting automation into your recruitment process, the best place to start is by looking at where your team is spending most of their time, and which tasks they’re least excited to do. More often than not, these will be tasks that a machine could happily take off their hands.

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