Rapid digitalisation in recent years has caused some industry commentators to express concerns over the use of automation in recruitment, suggesting that humans alone have the skills and capabilities to ensure individuals are objectively chosen. Others have raised fears that automating recruitment processes could have a negative impact on workforce diversity.
However the reality is that, used properly, recruitment automation technology can improve efficiency, boost candidate engagement, reduce human error, and help to eliminate human bias from the hiring process.
Use cases for automation in recruitment
At the most basic level, technology used throughout the hiring process cuts out repetitive, mundane, and time-consuming manual work, so that recruiters and hiring managers can focus their efforts on the necessary and higher value tasks of relationship building with candidates.
Advanced applicant tracking systems can be utilised during the recruiting process to not only record and monitor the progress of potential recruits, but also – thanks to the power of AI – to complete the initial screening of applicants, manage communications, schedule interviews, and handle background checks – all in real time.
However, aside from leaning on AI and robotics to boost efficiency, automation can also improve the objective steps in the hiring process and free up time for HR to innovate within the subjective, human elements. Deploying robots to take care of administrative tasks also enables organisations to improve engagement to protect employer brand and to increase workforce diversity by removing unconscious bias. When applicants are shortlisted based on hard data alone, there is little room for a candidate’s ethnicity, gender, or name to impact decisions.
Further along the recruitment journey, efficiencies can be made through automating testing and assessment, onboarding processes, and even applicant enquiries through the use of chatbots. Once you start exploring the potential of automation in recruitment, the possibilities are endless.
It is also worth noting that automation in recruitment is particularly valuable for businesses that are hiring at scale, enabling a level of fulfilment which would simply not be possible if each applicant was screened and processed manually.
In addition, thanks to machine learning capabilities, the more you use these technologies the more powerful they become. Data gathered from previous applicants and existing workers can be analysed to determine trends, meaning that recruitment processes are refined as time goes by.
Reducing thousands of applications to a few hundred with recruitment automation
Catalytic is a cloud platform that allows companies to ‘click-and create’ their own automated workflows that are data-powered and AI-enabled. It automates repetitive business processes and analytical tasks, allowing people to spend more time on the strategic parts of their work.
Here at Guidant, we now have 36 certified Catalytic Citizen Developers in our organisation. In one perfect example of its benefits, we used Catalytic to reduce the time we spend on a particular invoicing task from three hours to just five minutes. In the first few months alone, we saved more than 1,100 hours across all use cases. This is time that our people now spend on building more meaningful relationships with candidates, customers and suppliers.
What’s more, we’re now empowering the companies we work with to do the same. When one customer, a UK cultural institution, approached us for help with a high-volume candidate vetting project, we used Catalytic to quickly reduce thousands of applications to a few hundred qualified candidates - giving their people more time to spend on personal-touch interviews.
This means candidates get faster responses and a better recruitment experience, and our customers make better hiring decisions. Tasks that once took days now take hours, which means we can provide a higher level of consulting - whilst remaining at a competitive price point.
Saving time on screening with bespoke chatbots and video interviewing
Elsewhere, we also recently worked with a US government contractor that was expanding its operations into Ireland and needed to build an entire new team locally. Through harnessing the power of technology, we were able to increase candidate engagement remotely through a quick but comprehensive recruitment process, underpinned by chatbot and video interviewing technology. We used bespoke chatbots, powered by Leadoo technology, to remove the need for manual screening, and used video interview software Hinterview to engage with qualified candidates.
This strategy removed an entire round of initial screening, saving up to 75 hours across 100 applicants alone, and halved time-to-hire from 20 days to 10. The increased speed of selection can be attributed to our partnership with Leadoo, while Hinterview added an important human touch when face-to-face meetings were not possible.
People will always be central to recruitment
While the power of automation in recruitment is undisputable, hiring teams should also be mindful of the fact that, for the time being at least, the technology has its limitations. Anything involving ambiguity, context or change requires a level of emotional intelligence that only humans can provide.
Human intervention is still crucial when it comes to identifying and securing top talent. The secret to success is deploying technology to do the heavy lifting, so that humans have the time they need to leverage their interpersonal skills and engage with employees and candidates. When it comes to hiring decisions, people should always make the final call.
When built into a wider managed service programme, automation and artificial intelligence bring the potential to hire in a better way: more accurately, more quickly, and with more empathy. However, automation is still just an enabler. All the technology in the world would be completely useless without access to wide and diverse talent pools, and experienced and skilled talent acquisition professionals to oversee the hiring process.
Automation in recruitment can, however, provide better insights for decision making, improve efficiencies, and reduce tactical work so that those doing the hiring are able to deliver a high-value candidate experience, strategic guidance, and improved relationship building. Importantly too, effective use of technology also has a positive impact on time to hire, cost per hire and quality of hire, ensuring that businesses can quickly access and secure the best qualified candidates ahead of their competitors.
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We were thrilled to win the Best Use of Technology Award at the TIARA Talent Solutions Awards Europe 2021. Announcing our win, the TIARA judging panel said we had demonstrated our:
‘... ability to clearly understand client needs, and to rapidly respond, flexing a range of solutions to address specific issues… clearly demonstrating how technology can be deployed to effect positive culture change.’
If you’d like to find out how we can help you make better use of recruitment technology, contact us to arrange a call with one of our specialists.