Recruitment automation: 5 ways to get started

Last updated:
July 22, 2021
November 17, 2021
min read
Adrie Smith
Table of contents

As any recruiter knows, talent competition is fierce these days. Recruiters are expected to continuously find and hire the best possible candidates, while also hitting their KPIs and adding net benefit to the company’s strategic direction. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the information and task overload recruiters face today. To help combat this, more and more companies are turning to recruitment automation for some relief.

Automation often gets a bad rap as a “job stealer.” But in reality, recruitment automation can be used to dramatically improve a recruitment team’s overall performance and showcase how strategic hiring is a mission-critical activity in any business. Think of recruitment automation as a tool that recruiters can use to make their jobs easier, and their results better.

Some of the main reasons that recruitment teams adopt automation include:

  • It can provide a competitive edge.
  • It helps manage information overload.
  • Cutting edge technology is finally available to recruiters.
  • Hiring volumes and demands continue to increase, but recruitment team sizes generally are stagnant.
  • Increasing pressures to deliver on KPIs.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what recruitment automation is, what its benefits are, and some ways that you can use it in your organization.

What is recruitment automation?

Recruitment automation can be thought of as both a set of tools and strategic activities that allow companies to automate recruiting tasks and workflows. Through a series of automated actions and processes, recruitment automation is designed to increase recruiter productivity, and improve upon core hiring KPIs, including:

  • Accelerating time-to-fill
  • Reducing cost-per-hire
  • Improving candidate experience
  • Enhancing the quality of hire

Recruitment automation tools generally leverage modern technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics, and natural language processing in order to consistently and reliably complete simple hiring tasks. Automation can be found at all stages of the hiring process and is best suited to simple, but repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

The benefits of recruitment automation

As you have probably guessed, recruitment automation makes it easier for recruiters to do their jobs, and to achieve the desired results. More specifically, recruitment automation can benefit hiring teams in the following ways:

  • It saves time. Lengthy, repetitive tasks can be automated and removed from the recruiter’s plate. This frees the team up for more strategic initiatives like filling talent pipelines, networking, or auditing the recruitment funnel.
  • It ensures fast communication. One common frustration that job seekers share is related to delays in communication, or radio silence altogether. Automation can ensure that you don’t miss key milestones and follow ups, keeping the lines of communication flowing.
  • It improves the quality of hires. High-potential candidates can be flagged and nurtured early in the process using automated actions, helping recruiters focus their attention on the applicants who will lead to the best hires.
  • It helps to build a solid employer brand. Ensuring an efficient, fast, and transparent candidate experience for all applicants will gradually help you build a reputation as a fair and desirable employer. Automating tasks that can cause delays and missed communication contributes directly to the gradual improvement of your employer brand.
  • It Increases your competitive advantage in hiring. Recruitment automation makes your hiring leaner, faster, and smarter, ensuring that you get the jump on the top talent before your competitors.

Now that we’ve talked about what recruitment automation is, and how it can benefit your organization, let’s look at some ways you can start automating your hiring process.

5 ways to get started with recruitment automation

There are literally hundreds (or thousands) or individual actions and tasks that can be automated at any phase in the recruitment funnel. To help wrap your brain around where to start, we’re going to break automation down into five core areas of hiring:

  • Automated actions
  • Candidate sourcing
  • Screening applications
  • Automating communication
  • Automated scheduling

Let’s jump in!

1. Automated actions

For the sake of this article, we’re going to consider “automated actions” to be simple, one-off actions that are automated at some stage during the hiring process. These are simple, usually administrative tasks, that are repeated regularly for every new applicant that comes into the funnel.

Examples of automated actions might be:

  • Updating an applicant status from “passive” to “active” if they take a certain action, or if a recruiter moves them to a new place in the funnel.
  • Sending documentation or communications internally or to the applicant at set stages during the recruitment process.
  • Notifying recruiters when top talent makes certain actions.
  • Notifying recruiters when a candidate changes stages.

Before automation, each of these minor actions had to be completed manually. As you can imagine, this hogs a lot of time that could be spent on strategic tasks.

Recruiters should spend time to audit their recruitment funnels and workflows to identify where these small but tedious actions occur, and look into implementing automated actions instead.

2. Candidate Sourcing

Recruiters can automate candidate sourcing using a variety of advanced tools to identify passive but qualified contacts, create profiles based on known information, and engage them.

An example of automated candidate sourcing might be as follows:

  • Creating a target candidate persona based on a series of job requirements, skills, and personality traits.
  • Using automated platforms like Recruitee to scrape profiles and information from various platforms (i.e. social media, online CVs, and so on).
  • Creating a centralized profile from all available sources.
  • Automatically matching those profiles to current job opportunities.
  • Engaging them using automated outreach messages.

Done consistently, automated candidate sourcing is a powerful way to identify new contacts for your recruitment funnel.

3. Screening applicants

Automated applicant screening is perhaps the most popular form of recruitment automation, thanks to the powerful tool available in modern Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

Using predetermined job requirements appended to recruitment ads and customized funnels, recruiters are able to accomplish the following:

  • Adding pre-screening questions to recruitment ads, and analyzing answers at the point of application.
  • Excluding unsuitable candidates immediately by automatically analyzing resume information.
  • Rating appropriate candidates in order of suitability to guide priorities.
  • Analyze current employee trends to determine which applicants closely match your high performers.
  • Continuously learn and adapt your pre-screening as more job openings are posted.
  • Gather and analyze verbal and non-verbal cues during interview sessions.

Speed and efficiency is the name of the game when screening candidates. As most recruiters know, manually screening resumes is the most time-consuming part of the job. Automating this time-consuming phase can be a game-changer in achieving speed and efficiency.

4. Automating communication

As mentioned earlier in this article, speedy and consistent communication can mean the difference between solid employer branding and landing top talent and, well, the alternative. Automated communication helps achieve this by ensuring consistency around the most common points of contact.

Chatbots, for example, ensure that there is always “someone” on the other end of the line to answers questions for candidates.

Automated actions that send responses when an application is received, reminders when an interview is coming up, or status updates all contribute to an overall feeling that the company takes transparency and communication seriously.

Automation allows recruiters to provide consistent updates to all candidates, without the time-consuming reality of what doing that manually would entail.

5. Automated scheduling

Last, but absolutely not least, comes the ability to automate the process of scheduling meetings and interview times.

Think about a situation where you would have a shortlist of 20 or so candidates to interview. That’s 20 calendars that you need to sync with and 20 individual invitations that you have to send out to each candidate. And that doesn’t even take into account aligning your calendars with other team members who may need to be in those interviews.

Many ATS platforms today offer automated scheduling features that manage the outreach and coordination with shortlisted candidates. These automated features find mutually acceptable times in all calendars involved, and automatically sync those interview times with the candidate profiles.

This not only makes the tedious task of scheduling interviews easier, but it also includes an automated action that appends that information to the candidate’s record.

As mentioned throughout this article, the core tools that you should consider when implementing recruitment automation are an ATS, chatbots, and a Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) platform. Together, these tools can help you create a series of automated actions that will streamline all of the most time consuming and mission-critical stages of your hiring process.

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