As COVID-19 further accelerates the pace of AI and automation innovation, organizations are prioritizing the adoption of automation among employees. In fact, nearly half (48%) of respondents to a recent Willis Towers Watson survey of global employers reported that they had or planned to “automate certain aspects of work to streamline and/or increase productivity” in response to organizational demands as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
For talent acquisition teams continuing to adapt to an entirely new recruiting environment—as well as fewer colleagues to help manage the workload—automation improves productivity because technology takes over the low-value, yet time-intensive, tasks associated with five of the most common recruiting process challenges:
- Too much time is spent sourcing candidates.
- Unqualified applicants take the focus away from top candidates.
- Cumbersome methods are used to schedule phone screens and interviews.
- Gathering essential feedback from hiring managers remains difficult.
- Gaps exist in the candidate experience.
What follows is a closer look at each challenge and and how automation is being applied to resolve these challenges for good.
Challenge #1: Too much time is spent trying to source candidates with limited results.
It’s no secret that recruiters often spend a significant part of their day just trying to identify candidates for available positions. Even more striking, 44% of respondents to a Dice survey say that a lack of sourcing automation has resulted in “missed hiring opportunities.”
While tremendous shifts have occurred within the labor market, the ability to source candidates efficiently and effectively hasn’t changed. More specifically, several industries still face shortages of in-demand talent. At the same time, applicant volumes are rising due to job losses while those already employed are less likely to engage with employers in times of crisis.
How Automation Solves It: Automating your team’s sourcing efforts with AI-driven applications allows you to uncover talent across internal and external databases simply by opening a job. From there, the application immediately begins searching for talent against specific job criteria and requirements. Relevant matches are delivered to a recruiter’s ATS dashboard, often within minutes. This eliminates the time-consuming task work associated with sourcing and drastically reduces time to slate.
Also, don’t forget about using automation to deliver a personalized career website experience that includes matching the right talent to the right jobs. As an initial step, you can embed tag-based criteria into the career website job search functionality, encouraging visitors to provide details regarding their discipline, skills, experience level and current job title. Jobs and content are then customized to the individual, ensuring the best matches are automatically generated.
Challenge #2: Unqualified applicants make it harder to focus on engaging with top candidates.
An influx of applications from unqualified candidates can slow down even the most streamlined hiring processes. In particular, as many organizations shifted their hiring practices to accommodate our virtual world, they turned to virtual recruiting events to fill candidate pipelines and move qualified talent through the hiring process quickly.
Virtual recruiting events have proven incredibly versatile and beneficial in terms of both connecting organizations to in-demand talent and streamlining the hiring process. However, one potential roadblock recruiters have encountered is unqualified candidates registering for their events, which could result in having to spend time engaging with people who aren’t the right fit at the expense of those who are.
How Automation Solves It: Fortunately, an effective Virtual Recruiting Event Solution allows recruiters to set up knockout questions that pre-screen prospective attendees and gather additional candidate information prior to the event. This ensures the ideal candidates are identified in advance for prioritization throughout the process. Adopting this automation also allows recruiters to deliver greater value to hiring managers, since prioritization means their time is now focused exclusively on the most qualified candidates.
Challenge #3: Cumbersome methods for scheduling phone screens and interviews create unnecessary delays.
Busy recruiters shouldn’t be saddled by the tedious back-and-forth that generally occurs when trying to schedule phone screens and interviews via email or phone. What may seem like a few minutes here and there actually adds up to a tremendous amount of time. Conservatively, a recruiter who averages 10 minutes per candidate for scheduling and needs to schedule 30 phone screens for one high-volume position ends up spending five hours of time on task work alone.
How Automation Solves It: The implementation of self-scheduling technology for phone screens and interviews completely eliminates this friction because the screener’s availability is automatically updated as candidates select their preferred time slots. Plus, you’ll find this automation increases the response rate among candidates simply because self-scheduling is more convenient on their end, too.
Challenge #4: Gathering essential feedback from hiring managers is even more difficult today.
Waiting on hiring manager feedback and approvals has always been among the primary reasons the recruiting process takes too long. Unfortunately, the time that TA teams spend tracking down managers compounds quickly and may be further complicated by the recent spike in remote working. From a productivity standpoint, this is a huge drain on an enterprise organization.
How Automation Solves It: Take advantage of every opportunity within your applicant tracking system to set reminders and apply automation at either the workflow or system level so that notifications are triggered as soon as established feedback deadlines pass. Organizations that implement these automated triggers consistently find they elicit faster internal response, which keeps searches moving forward quickly.
Many GR8 People customers that have tracked the effectiveness of their reminders are demonstrating the tremendous impact this automation has on shortening time to hire averages and, thereby, reducing the costs associated with both recruiting and with vacancies that remain open. Consider the results achieved by the talent acquisition team at Informatica, which applied this approach globally and shaved up to 2.5 days off the average time to receive hiring manager feedback.
Challenge #5: There are too many gaps in our ability to engage candidates and move them forward in their journey.
In addition to scheduling and feedback delays, the manner in which companies communicate with candidates leads to inefficiencies that can be addressed by switching to channels and applications that support automated communications.
How Automation Solves It: When managed directly from an organization’s talent acquisition software platform, text recruiting offers major time savings because recruiters can use pre-defined text recruiting templates that let them automate the insertion of commonly used links. An integrated text recruiting solution also makes substitution functionality easy to apply so that templates can be reused quickly in order to facilitate faster candidate communications.
Another option is to invest in a sourcing application that builds on the initial matching capabilities outlined in #1 with the addition of automated email notifications that are immediately delivered to candidates identified as strong matches. Here again, recruiters can implement a template-based approach to creating and managing the email templates used to communicate relevant job openings and encourage candidates to apply. Once all templates and triggers are set up within the application, recruiters are free to focus their time on nurturing relationships with qualified, interested and available talent.
For talent acquisition teams seeking to improve productivity, the initial focus should be prioritizing the automations outlined above based on the organization’s most critical process challenges and hiring needs. Those that can then apply automation consistently across all areas of the hiring process will gain the competitive edge needed to attract talent and provide exceptional candidate experiences while achieving much greater efficiency and effectiveness.
Check out our Recruiting Automation Cheat Sheet, which will walk you through how to identify top challenges and the ideal automations for better outcomes.