Sourcing With Your Superpowers: AI and Automation

Recruiters do amazing work. From connecting people with great opportunities and shepherding candidates through the hiring maze, to persuading talented professionals to accept a job offer and so much more. Recruiters “bring it” every day. And they do so while under the weight of tremendous organizational pressure to fill roles fast—and fill them fast in the most challenging hiring market many of us have ever seen.

Industry surveys reveal that recruiters can spend up to 55% of their time sourcing candidates. A considerable amount of that time is focused on identifying people who are a potential match against immediate openings. That’s more than half of a typical recruiter’s day sifting, sorting, and selecting! So, in all honesty, how can they realistically source, qualify and engage large numbers of passive candidates in an ultra-competitive environment? Especially when the experience candidates now demand is drastically different. The answer is sourcing with these superpowers: AI and automation.

AI and automation are already firmly entrenched throughout all aspects of human capital management, from payroll and benefits to performance and development. Talent acquisition has also witnessed an explosion of new tools and solutions that claim AI can dramatically improve efficiency and performance in recent years. The result is an incredible amount of buzz and, let’s face it, a bit of smoke and mirrors along with rising anxiety about robots replacing recruiters.

Amid the clamor, the rapid pace of technological development and change has spurred detailed analyses of the ways AI and automation will affect both how we work (tasks) and what we do (the job itself). Considering the complex TA environment and the belief that the best AI-driven solutions on the market today are those that enhance recruiter performance, it’s clear that the solutions built to offload low-value, time-consuming tasks (as opposed to replacing the irreplaceable recruiter!) with AI and automation make sense. Let’s consider the ways:

External and Internal Sourcing

While many organizations default to external candidate searches as soon as a job opens, often, a more effective sourcing strategy is to look in two readily available places first: valuable candidate databases and at the talent that already exists within the organization. Triggered immediately when a recruiter opens a new job, advanced solutions let AI and automation do the heavy lifting to pull search criteria from the requisition and match, rank and score internal and external candidates for immediate recruiter and hiring manager consideration.

Personalized Communications

Once that lead is identified, creating and sending personalized candidate communications can be a daunting task for a busy recruiter to manage, but they are an essential part of effective talent pipelining and candidate engagement. Job seekers today also have even higher expectations for engagement, communication and logistics during their job search process. Influenced by their consumer experiences, and the knowledge that they are in the driver’s seat in this hiring climate, they expect their future employer to deliver a tailored candidate experience and instantaneous, relevant communications.

Once again, impactful AI-driven solutions solve for this by triggering a range of automated and personalized communications—think text and email—across key points of the candidate journey, including the immediate outreach as soon as a job match is realized. The right message, at the right time and to the right candidate can truly happen “automagically” and over time until that job match is made—it all depends on the sophistication of the AI solution’s sourcing and automated candidate engagement capabilities.

Search Parameters and Candidate Assessment

Combining human intelligence with artificial intelligence can be a huge differentiator to achieve the highest levels of relevancy and immediacy when sourcing top talent. What do we mean by that? When it comes to search parameters, recruiters, not machines, fully understand the nuances that can influence search strategy. For example:

• When searches are likely to yield more matches (e.g., sales executive), recruiters can increase the match score percentage to ensure that high-ranking candidates have the desired industry or product experience.
• When searches are likely to yield fewer matches (e.g., data scientist), recruiters can lower the match score percentage to cast a wider net and capture candidates with relevant skills, but less traditional backgrounds.
• The blend of humanity and technology can even help mitigate bias.

Clearly, AI and automation can significantly impact an organization’s talent acquisition and retention success, not to mention give recruiters much more control over how they spend their day. Leveraging AI and automation this way also improves the candidate experience by combatting “the black hole”—that mysterious place where resumes, candidate profiles and employees land in an ATS or a Talent CRM, never to be retrieved again. It’s a win-win.