Just as technology is rapidly reshaping the way people work, it’s also changing the way people get into work.
Online talent platforms are increasingly connecting the right people to the right jobs – and that trend is set to have a profound effect on global productivity.
According to McKinsey, online talent platforms could help boost global GDP by more than £2 trillion over the next half-decade – both through improved productivity as a result of better matches, and greater levels of employment through faster matches.
It’s a clear illustration of the increasing importance of technology in the recruitment space, at a time when competition for top talent is at a high. Indeed, with the market so competitive, HR and recruitment teams need all the help they can get to bring the best people on board.
And yet, for many businesses, recruitment is actually one of the few areas of HR that haven’t yet fully embraced automation.
Across other operational areas of HR, automation is more common. Employee onboarding has been streamlined through automated workflows that significantly reduce administration. Timesheet tracking and reviewing has been made faster and more accurate, and leave requests are now processed quickly and efficiently online.
Recruitment, however, remains an area ripe for automated improvement for many HR teams.
In this blog, we’ll look at what recruitment automation looks like, and identify how you can get started with a technology-driven approach to talent acquisition.
What is (and what isn’t) recruitment automation?
Recruitment automation isn’t about letting ‘the robots’ take charge of your talent acquisition process – after all, recruitment is one part of the business that will always rely at least in part on human intuition and interaction.
Instead, it’s about using software to support and augment the administrative, low-value parts of the process – giving your teams more time to focus on talking to people, getting to know them and selling them the company vision.
By providing this support, automation can help speed up your typical time-to-fill and cut your cost-per-hire, while allowing HR to improve the overall talent profile of the business.
In many ways, the job market has flipped – to a point where it’s organisations that must now compete for talent, rather than talent competing for roles. This means those responsible for recruitment are being asked to do more. They must find people from different, more dispersed talent pools and assess candidates more effectively to ensure they turn out to be good hires.
For many recruitment teams, it means running larger and increasingly complex operations. So, to run them efficiently and at scale, automation can be a major benefit, if not a must.
How can recruitment automation be used?
Automated workflows can be implemented to positive effect right across the recruitment spectrum, from lead processing and assignment to recruitment analytics.
It can be used to communicate with candidates, to schedule interviews whilst internal notifications and workflows can also help reduce the back and forth of emails, CVs and other documents between HR and hiring managers.
Much like today’s leading CRM systems allows sales and marketing teams to track customer interactions across multiple touchpoints, recruitment automation can help HR and recruitment teams engage with large talent pools, while still delivering personalised service.
And indeed, when recruitment is so vital to an organisation’s future, why shouldn’t HR be afforded a similar technology stack to that commonly found in sales?
Where to get started with recruitment automation
The starting point for recruitment automation is to clearly define what you’re trying to achieve. ‘Better recruitment’ is an intangible goal, so be clear on what it is you’re aiming for – is it simply more roles filled? A reduction in your average cost per hire?
Once you’re clear on your targets, look at your end-to-end recruitment processes and identify the most heavily manual elements. Is there a reason why they need to be manual, or could automation technology be used to streamline the process?
It may seem counter-intuitive but also look at the areas where you need to spend more time, not less. Where could you deliver extra strategic value, if only you had a little extra resource?
Automation could buy you that extra time – so you need to know how you’re going to use it.
Choose the right software provider
Any time you invest in technology, your choice of provider will be key.
When it comes to automation, you’ll get the best results by working with a single platform that features integrated workflow functionality, rather than a series of separate tools or systems.
Many of today’s HR systems offer this integration, allowing you to seamlessly link recruitment workflows into your onboarding processes, and bring together recruitment and performance data for greater insights on your workforce.
Working with separate systems means multiple data sets – which will only serve to increase administrative effort.
Make a modest first step
While the temptation may be to jump into recruitment automation with both feet, it’s sensible to start small. Pick one manual process to automate, then test, iterate and expand.
Remember that while automation is intended to support and free-up your team members, it could conversely be overwhelming if you try to change too much at once.
Make sure you communicate that message too. HR and recruitment teams should be clear that automation isn’t here to take their jobs – it’s an enabler to help them do more of what’s important.
As HR seeks to reduce its administrative burden and focus on more strategic initiatives, automation technology has more than proven its ability to take up the slack.
Now, as talent acquisition becomes increasingly challenging in a changing employment market, it’s the turn of recruitment to leverage the automation revolution.
Make no mistake, competing for talent is tougher than ever. Automation can give recruiters the extra pair of hands they need to stay successful.
Like this blog? Be sure to read about how you can improve your hiring process using Natural HR Recruitment and Applicant Tracking here.