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Across many industries, automation is freeing people up from laborious, repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on high-value, meaningful work. And the HR industry is no different. Recruiting automation is helping HR teams save hours of work every week, helping them do more with less.
As it is, the cost of not leveraging automation is too high. HR teams need to actively explore recruitment automation and leverage it to improve the way they work. And we’ve put this guide together to help you out.
In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits of recruitment automation – to help you get buy-ins from internal stakeholders. We’ll also provide practical advice for how to automate your recruiting process, and how to measure the success of the automation initiatives.
Recruiting automation refers to using technology to automate various tasks and processes in the recruiting process, starting with the initial sourcing stage and extending to onboarding new employees. The scope for recruitment automation is quite broad – it can include everything from initially posting jobs to tracking applications, scheduling interviews, and even assessing and coring candidates.
Ultimately, automation helps reduce costs, eliminate inefficiencies, and improve the quality of hires. Since automation reduces hiring bias (we’ll discuss this in detail later in the article), and prioritizes merit-based hiring, you’ll have better odds of acquiring the best-fit talent.
In general, automation exists at both the task and process level. This holds true for recruiting automation, too. For example, using interview scheduling software is task automation, but leveraging an applicant tracking system (ATS) to automate applicant tracking and engagement is process automation.
It’s important to understand this distinction from an implementation perspective; since task automation can be employed at the individual level, it’s substantially easier to adopt. However, process automation will likely require buy-ins and adoption from multiple team members.
Is recruiting automation worth the investment? Let’s closely examine its potential for transformation.
Cost per hire (CPH) is one of the most dreaded recruitment metrics, but it’s a strong indicator of the effectiveness of your recruitment process. If your CPH is abnormally high (i.e., substantially above the industry standard), automation can help reduce your costs by making your process more efficient.
Automation reduces CPH by minimizing various costs in the recruiting process. For example, a skills assessment platform with automated scoring lets you conduct virtual tests at scale, eliminating the costs associated with on-site assessments. Moreover, you’ll be able to assess a wider pool of applicants, increasing your odds of finding your ideal talent.
The recruitment process is plagued with mundane, repetitive tasks – making it a perfect candidate for automation. HR teams and recruiters can use software to automate tasks like:
Automating these tasks help recruiters save time and move candidates along the recruitment funnel more quickly. Thus, recruitment automation is a powerful tool for filling open roles faster by reducing the time to hire.
It’s important for HR teams to prioritize improving the candidate experience, because the quality of this experience influences your interview to offer acceptance rate. In other words, top talent is evaluating your company just as much as you’re assessing them.
But where does recruiting automation fit in?
Well, automation can potentially improve the candidate experience in several ways, by streamlining processes and removing friction from the recruitment process. Consider these uses of automation:
Moreover, automating the recruitment process collectively speeds it up and streamlines it, meaning you can qualify applicants faster. This saves them from the frustration of having to wait on an offer.
There are two primary cases where you’ll need to scale your recruiting, namely:
In both cases, there’s a lot more involved. More assessments, interviews, communication, tracking, etc. And you’ll struggle to keep up without automation. We’ve already discussed recruitment automation’s “direct” impact on streamlining the hiring process – like how it facilitates evaluating multiple applicants simultaneously and deters scheduling conflicts. But there’s another vital consideration – process standardization.
Before you can automate the recruiting process, you need to standardize it to an extent – i.e., there must be clearly defined stages. For example, what platforms will your job listings be published on? How will applicants be evaluated, and what’s the scoring methodology? What are the hiring criteria, and how will candidates be onboarded?
When you conduct this initial standardization in preparation for implementing automation, you’ll naturally set up an infrastructure that’s built to scale. This helps reduce inefficiencies, scale operations, and keep costs minimal.
Hiring bias can plague the recruitment process and compromise it. And, unfortunately, bias in the recruitment process is difficult to tackle because unconscious prejudice is rampant. That makes it difficult to identify and address.
In other words, if humans are involved in a process, there is a risk of unconscious bias seeping in.
Fortunately, automation and recruitment technology help minimize unconscious hiring bias by standardizing processes and prioritizing merit. For example, by using:
A merit-based recruiting process doesn’t entirely exclude human involvement – it just minimizes the opportunity for bias. So, rather than having people score applicants, skills assessment platforms empower HR teams to make decisions based on unbiased results. This improves the quality of decision-making and helps secure top talent.
We hope that you’re sold on the potential of recruiting automation. Now, we’ll explore how to start automating the process itself.
In the planning stage, you’ll want to define your ideal talent persona. The persona will cover essential skills for the role, preferred experience, and qualities like their work ethic and ambitions. A large part of building your persona will involve talking to internal teams about their requirements, but there’s also a strong research element.
For example, you might want to search LinkedIn to conduct research on people in similar roles, or prospective applicants. You might also want to look at job posts on different platforms to get an idea of general expectations for the same role at other companies.
Here, again, automation can help you out. For example, tools like LinkedIn Recruiter can help you perform targeted searches for your ideal talent. Similarly, when defining an evaluation criteria, skills assessment platforms can help you understand and refine the nature of the assessment process.
In what ways should you assess the applicant for a given role? What types of problems should they know how to solve? Testing platforms can help you answer these questions, and more, to build a more comprehensive profile of your ideal talent’s competencies.
Sourcing talent requires a lot of repetitive work. You’ll need to post job listings to different platforms, track applications, identify and reach out to certain applicants directly, and more. So perhaps it’s unsurprising that there are several tools to help you automate talent sourcing.
For example, applicant tracking systems let you post jobs to multiple platforms in a single click. They’ll also track applications that come from each platform, let you schedule and conduct interviews, and more.
Moreover, LinkedIn Recruiter can help you identify and reach out to applicants that meet your needs. So, rather than waiting for them to apply, you can go to them. LinkedIn recruiter lets you find your ideal talent with multiple features, keyword and boolean search, and by prioritizing candidates that are “open to work” – i.e., job seekers that are actively looking to hear from you.
We’ve already alluded to the potential of skills assessment platforms, but now we’ll formally address how they facilitate recruitment automation – and exactly why they’re valuable.
Mature skills assessment platforms offer various features to encourage merit-based hiring while simultaneously leveraging automation. Reducing the time to hire and cost per hire, and increasing interview-to-offer conversion, is baked into this software’s DNA.
If you use a skills assessment software like WeCP, the process looks like this:
This extensive scope of automation has saved enterprises like MindTree up to 90% in manual interviewing time. Automating the recruiting process is imperative.
We’ve already stressed the importance of automated interview scheduling, but we’re mentioning it again to drive the point home. Consider an extreme example, where you need to schedule dozens of interviews with different applicants. These applicants all have their own schedules, and if you’re hiring remote, their time zones may differ too.
In other words, it’s a scheduling nightmare.
But automated interviewing software solves this problem in one of two ways (or both):
Automating this process is definitely something you don’t want to miss out on.
We’ve already discussed the importance of the candidate experience, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t end with making the offer. It’s also crucial to provide applicants with a frictionless onboarding process to make them feel welcome.
Here, automation can help prevent bottlenecks – you can use software to immediately onboard new hires to your HR systems, and you can use email automation to send them onboarding documentation.
Moreover, whether an applicant is hired or not, their feedback is valuable for improving the recruiting process. You can use automation to email feedback forms to applicants, asking them about their experience.
Implementing recruiting automation is a big undertaking, and you may need to justify the ROI and prove its effectiveness. So, here’s a high-level overview of how to evaluate the effectiveness of recruitment automation.
The most important ones to track are generally the time to hire (TTH) or time to fill (TTF), and the cost per hire (CPH). Because when recruiting automation is successful, time and cost savings tend to follow.
So, one of the best ways to grasp the effectiveness of your automation initiative is to compare the TTH and CPH before and after implementing automation. If the CPH and TTH are lower, you’ll have a strong case for the initiative’s effectiveness.
But you can go beyond these metrics, too. For example, some of WeCP’s customers track and value the reduction in manual interviewing time. There are also less quantitative metrics, like the quality of hire, that can testify to your initiative’s effectiveness. Learn more about data-driven recruiting and important metrics.
As valuable as metrics are, don’t overlook the importance of collecting feedback directly from team members. And yes, that means asking recruiters if they’re saving time, filling roles quicker and more effectively, and are benefiting from automation overall.
But it also means asking teams about the quality of hires they’re receiving. For example, if you’re hiring software engineers, ask the existing team of software engineers how they’re finding the new hires. Has the quality of hire improved, stayed the same, or declined since automation was implemented?
Collecting feedback across the board will help you gauge the effectiveness of the recruiting automation initiative and discover opportunities to further improve the recruitment process.
As you might expect, the quality of hire metric is difficult to compute. That’s because, at best, you’ll find indicators of quality – there isn’t a clearly defined methodology for determining how good a hire is. Only time will tell that, really.
But since our goal is to benchmark and establish a general picture of effectiveness, indicators should suffice. These indicators might be:
You can then use the following formula with weighted percentages to estimate the quality of hire:
QoH = (Indicator A% + Indicator B% + Indicator C%…) ÷ Number of Indicators
There’s also another interesting way to estimate the quality of hire, and it’s by using the Net Hiring Score. This score uses a 0-10 scale – where 0 is poor and 10 is excellent. Employees rate if the job is a good fit, and manager rate employees on their performance.
Then, the percentage of good fits (scaled 9 or 10) is subtracted from the percentage of poor fits (0-6), and the result is multiplied by 100. If the final result is <0, you have an overall low quality of hire. But if the result is >0, it indicates that more great fits are being hired. A score of 0 means neutral; i.e., no change.
Remember that it’s not a band-aid for a poorly designed recruitment process. Automation can help you save time, reduce costs, and improve the quality of hires, but not in silo. You’ll also need to refine your recruitment strategy, standardize processes, and lead with value.
If you have all these fronts covered, then recruitment automation is a powerful tool for achieving your goals. Good luck!
Technical screening tools are the new way of conducting technical hiring. It has the ability to decrease human errors and scale your technical hiring. They are here to make talent acquisition effortless and efficient. The benefits listed above are the reasons why it is forecasted to grow from USD 319.4 million to USD 482.5 million by 2027.
Take your technical hiring to the next level. We not only have a vast question library that caters to all kinds of technical roles for your organization, but we also tackle unconscious bias using AI that can significantly accelerate your technical hiring.
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Your next click should end your search for potential tech candidates.