The heightened challenges of the coronavirus era have forced significant changes that may otherwise have taken years or even decades. Technologies that were once a desirable goal for tech-forward businesses have become all but mandatory to help staffing firms navigate major experiential shifts.
As recruiters face stiff competition from online staffing platforms and increasing demand from clients looking for flexibility and scalability to recover from the lockdown, they must turn to automation. It will play a pivotal role in ensuring that staffing professionals continue to deliver candidate satisfaction at the scale required, yet too many firms still hold misapprehensions about the technology. Automation doesn’t alienate the candidate from the recruiter but instead enables a more efficient, human-centric candidate experience.
Exceeding candidate expectations
Searching for a job is a repetitive and often frustrating task. Candidates are likely to abandon processes that are too lengthy, slow, or complex. In other words, candidates always want simplicity and responsiveness and only need a human touch when it counts. By streamlining stages of the recruitment process, firms can increase the number of suitable candidates and ensure recruiter interactions are helpful.
Fundamentally, candidates are looking to find work, and online platforms threaten to eat into recruiters’ work in this respect. To remain competitive, recruitment firms must offer a comparable experience to these sites in terms of efficiency, differentiate themselves, and provide a superior experience using human recruiters. Firms that can effectively leverage automation and combine it with a bespoke human touch will be able to leapfrog online job boards and offer the best possible recruiting experience.
Automating the everyday
On the recruitment side, automation can create more hours in the day by taking on administrative tasks. Imagine that automation could save one hour per day per recruiter – that adds up to 260 hours per year per employee. Just imagine how many placements your team could earn with 32 extra days in their year. Necessary but low-touch and low-value tasks such as pre-screening, interview coordination, and candidate database development are, by their nature, ripe for automation.
Take pre-screening, for instance. A cost-effective automated system can look for the vitals and then reject, advance, or send out pre-assessment tests to candidates nearly instantaneously. Recruiters can configure the system to prioritise different elements and receive regular updates on its evaluation process, ensuring that the system behaves as intended.
Meanwhile, the recruiter gains additional time to elevate the human relationships that staffing professionals are uniquely capable of profitably cultivating. With the extra hours, recruiters can also treat all stakeholders to white-glove service, further reinforcing the additional value that firms offer over job boards.
Boosting candidate engagement at every touchpoint
Automation, when effectively combined with machine learning, can also revolutionise the way recruiters use their applicant tracking system (ATS). Modern solutions can intelligently match candidates with current job openings, contact them, and guide them along the way, generating an engaged talent pool directly in their ATS. The extent to which automation can transform an ATS is already revolutionary, and the technology promises even more capability in the future.
For instance, an automated ATS can respond instantly to new candidates to make a strong first impression and even make the first move if it detects candidate interest. It can automate follow-up to ensure that nobody slips through the cracks, create a hands-free onboarding process, and even schedule interviews with human recruiters. These processes extend beyond new hires, helping firms keep contractors engaged and ready for their next gig by providing ongoing follow-up and valuable content after their initial placement.
Similarly, automated systems can re-engage with candidates who have fallen off the path, breathing new life into candidates who were previously sitting idle in the ATS. Staffing agencies that do not do this are leaving good candidates on the table and incurring unnecessary expenditure bringing in new candidates, categorising them, and evaluating them, only to risk leaving them idle too.
Using data to boost candidate experience
While the benefits of automating repetitive processes are evident, firms considering automation often forget about the additional benefits it yields in terms of data. Whereas manual processes generate little data and store it in silos, automated solutions make it easy to get a more in-depth view of your candidate, client, and contractor activity throughout the recruiting cycle.
Automated systems can identify gaps in a firm’s CRM and ATS and attempt to fill them with data it can access, creating a unified and easily accessible source of truth. Even the most diligent recruiters only update the data in these systems when necessary. Yet, automation can do it instantly, ensuring that the data is there when they need it.
Automation for the future
Automating these mundane, daily activities throughout the entire recruiting and sales process not only cuts out busy work for your whole company, but it can also be the difference between sinking or swimming in a challenging year. Recruiters must focus on value-adding and rapport-building interactions instead of monotonous tasks that a computer could easily do. Automation is undoubtedly the future of recruitment, but that doesn’t mean human staffing professionals are out of the job – quite the contrary: it means more time spent with clients and candidates and less stress.