With pressure from online staffing platforms and increasing demand from clients looking for flexibility and scalability to recover from the lockdown, recruiters must turn to automation. Yet, despite the decisive role it will play in ensuring staffing professionals continue to deliver the requisite candidate satisfaction, too many firms still have a misconception about the technology. Far from alienating the candidate from the recruiter, it creates a more efficient, human-centric experience.
Amplifying the recruitment experience. Candidates don’t want slow, complex processes, but rather simplicity and responsiveness, with a human touch only when it’s needed. By simplifying the stages of the recruitment process, firms can multiply the number of suitable candidates and ensure useful interactions.
To compete effectively with online platforms, recruitment firms must differentiate themselves, by offering a comparable (or even better, superior) experience to these sites. Firms that can fuse automation with a bespoke human touch successfully will hold sway over online job boards.
Everyday tasks ripe for automation. Essential but routine tasks such as interview coordination, prescreening and database development are intrinsically ripe for automation. By taking on administration tasks, automation can add more hours to the day. Just saving one hour per day per recruiter adds up to 260 hours per year per employee.
Take candidate prescreening, for instance. An automated tool can send pre-assessment tests to candidates almost straight away, then rank and grade candidates to pre-qualify those who are fit to move forward in the process. Recruiters can also configure the system to ensure that it behaves as intended. The time saved on this process allows the recruiter to cultivate and elevate human relationships, further reinforcing the added value that recruitment firms offer over job boards.
Advanced candidate engagement. When effectively combined with machine learning, automation can also radically transform the way recruiters use their applicant tracking system (ATS). Modern solutions can directly generate an engaged talent pool in the ATS by intelligently matching candidates with current job openings and guiding them along the way. Already revolutionary in the way it can transform an ATS, future automation technology promises even more capability.
For example, an automated ATS can respond immediately to new candidates to make a favorable first impression. It ensures systematic follow-up so that nobody falls through the cracks, creates a hands-free onboarding process, and can even schedule appointments with recruiters. These processes are not only limited to new hires but can also help firms to keep contractors engaged by providing ongoing follow-up and valuable content after initial placement.
In the same way, automated systems can re-engage with inactive candidates in the ATS. Staffing agencies that fail to do this often leave strong candidates on the table, incurring unnecessary expense bringing new candidates on board and leaving them at risk of becoming idle, too.
Data-rich insights. Automation also yields added benefits in terms of data. While manual processes only generate a modicum of siloed data, automated solutions provide a much more detailed view of your candidate, client, or contractor activity throughout the recruitment cycle.
Automated systems can spot gaps in a firm’s ATS and CRM and attempt to populate it with data it can access – creating an easily accessible, single source of truth. Automation can do it instantly, whereas even the most meticulous recruiters normally only update the data in these systems when necessary.
Apart from automation’s time-saving capabilities throughout the recruiting and sales process, it can be the difference between survival or failure in a challenging year. While undoubtedly the future of recruitment, automation isn’t meant to replace recruiters, but rather to free them from manual tasks and let them fully utilize their interpersonal skills instead.