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Recruiting Automation: What’s New, What’s Next and What’s Needed in 2021

Recruiting Automation: What’s New, What’s Next and What’s Needed in 2021

The economy analysts at Goldman Sachs are forecasting an unemployment rate of 4.1% by the end of 2021. Their forecast is driven by a strong uptick in the overall economy along with significant hiring in sectors that shed jobs at the start of the pandemic.

Many talent acquisition teams are running leaner and will be even busier as demand for talent surges. Whether the added workload comes in the form of high-volume hiring initiatives or hard-to-fill roles, the strategic application of recruiting automation to an organization’s process is essential to move forward. From delivering a timely and engaging candidate experience, to capturing insightful data and minimizing—instead of creating—manual work, the smart use of recruiting automation across the hiring lifecycle presents tremendous advantages and much needed assistance to talent acquisition teams.

RELATED RESOURCE: Recruiting Automation Basics E-Book

What’s New: Saying Goodbye to Cluttered Talent Communities

The next generation of Talent CRMs are moving away from cluttered talent communities that require daily management to talent pools that leverage intelligent automation to deliver the right message at the right time to engaged leads. Pre-defined, rules-based journeys (whether the candidate is new to the organization, previously considered or even a silver medalist) mean that recruiters no longer have to worry about continually creating outreach campaigns on an ad hoc basis when they actually have a few minutes to spare. Instead, the Talent CRM works for them through automation that manages ongoing candidate engagement paired with pre-defined rules for the corresponding lead journey. Built-in questionnaires can also assess each lead’s qualifications, interest, and engagement along the way. The result is an actionable list of people recruiters can tap into immediately vs. starting from scratch to fill openings fast and with high-quality candidates who have already expressed an interest in the organization.

What’s Next: A More Intelligent Way to Use AI to Connect with Talent

We can all likely agree that leveraging automation to some extent is essential for any organization that wants to improve its hiring process. As teams prepare for the rebound, AI-driven sourcing applications can successfully automate the time-intensive task of searching for talent across internal and external databases and matching results against specific job criteria. Relevant matches are often produced within minutes of a job being opened. It’s exactly the speedy assistance that recruiters need to ensure they have top talent to consider and more time to be effective at what they do best—develop relationships and secure hires that move the business forward.

What’s Needed: Practical Applications of Recruiting Automation that Deliver ROI

While recruiting needs may differ significantly by industry, there’s one automation outcome that remains consistent across all: the ability to dramatically improve hiring process efficiency while reducing unnecessary administrative burdens on recruiters. Take some inspiration from a few industries that are harnessing the power of recruiting automation to tackle the talent acquisition challenges of today and tomorrow with success:

• Retail responds with agility to reimagine hiring events. When onsite job fairs and hiring events, once a primary source of seasonal retail workers, were no longer viable due to COVID-19, many retail recruiters rushed to bring their events online. Those that invested in an end-to-end virtual recruiting event solution with built-in recruiting automations found not only the agility they needed to adapt immediately to the new recruiting landscape—they also realized greater efficiency and effectiveness.

More specifically, the integration of pre-screening questionnaires allows talent acquisition teams to make sure that only qualified candidates can secure a slot during the event while self-scheduling functionality gets rid of tedious back-and-forth delays associated with confirming candidate and recruiter availability manually. As Laura Velasquez, a recruitment specialist for store hiring at Talbots, notes, “With our traditional open houses, we would begin promoting them two weeks out and hope that at least 15 people show up. With our first virtual event, we started advertising on a Friday and by Monday morning we had 48 out of 50 event interview slots filled (after the July 4th weekend, no less!). The use of pre-screening knockout questions, including shift availability, improved candidate quality while self-scheduling functionality ensured the registration process was seamless and efficient.”

• Healthcare extends its reach among clinical professionals. Similar to retail, hospitals and health systems have found that the automation available through virtual recruiting technology makes it possible to overcome their talent challenges, too. However, in this instance it’s an improvement in the ability to connect and engage with busy clinical workers, such as nurses. In the past, few RNs had the time required to attend in-person hiring events at other facilities. But with virtual recruiting options, especially when automated self-scheduling functionality is offered, facilities are finding that hosting events virtually results in higher attendance numbers. Plus, automated registration reminders keep events and interviews top of mind among candidates, which translates into far fewer no-shows.

• Tech companies speed up their processes to secure in-demand talent. One of the most common candidate frustrations is a lengthy hiring process, and this is particularly true for in-demand workers. And it’s why Sara West, a business technology analyst at Teradata, made hiring process efficiency a major objective for her team. “We do a lot of tech hiring, so it’s essential that we keep candidates moving through the hiring funnel as quickly as we can. In order to streamline the hiring process, we turned to automated notifications and reminders for both hiring managers and candidates.”

In Teradata’s case, talent acquisition leveraged every opportunity within its applicant tracking system to set reminders and apply automation at the workflow level so that hiring manager notifications are triggered as soon as established feedback deadlines pass. Additional automated reminders are sent based on the number of days that have elapsed since the initial reminder, although recruiters have found that most hiring managers respond quickly to the first prompt they receive. Teradata also uses automated communications for candidates to eliminate the ATS black hole by ensuring that all candidates are aware of their status at each phase of the process. The result is that the company’s average time to fill has been reduced by 25%.

Looking for additional ways to streamline your recruiting operations? Check out our text recruiting Q&A with GR8 People Product Manager Diane Tarbell who shares best practices for integrating text messaging into your candidate communications strategy.


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