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How Automation Will Supercharge Your Hiring Process

February 17, 2021

Hiring new talent is a time-consuming job, often fraught with repetitive, time-consuming tasks. This is where automation is proving to be a big help: when used correctly, it can save businesses time and money and create a better experience for candidates, all while lowering human error. In fact, according to PwC’s HR Technology Survey 2020, 74% of respondents plan to increase spending on HR tech to address pressing talent needs, namely: 

  • Attracting and retaining top talent
  • Helping recruits reach their potential
  • Improving efficiency by automating tasks

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When asked what the biggest human capital challenge their organization faced, almost half of respondents said talent acquisition tools will be a focus over the coming years. (Image Source)

What is HR Automation?

From recruitment and interviewing to onboarding and beyond, hiring takes time, and for good reason: hire the wrong candidate and it will all be for nothing. No wonder HR teams are under so much pressure. 

Automation is the process of handing manual tasks over to computers and devices. In the world of HR, automation is all about freeing teams from repetitive, time-consuming tasks (e.g., finding profiles with certain skills, time tracking, and sending response emails) by handing them over to a program that does them automatically. This boosts efficiency, improves the quality of the work (no human errors), and leaves teams with more time to focus on more complex tasks like creating shortlists and making recruits feel welcome. 

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HR teams have a multitude of time-consuming tasks on their plate, some of which can be automated. (Image Source

How Automation Can Save You Time and Money

From streamlining workflows to insightful candidate insights, HR automation has undeniable benefits. 

1. Cut HR Team Workflows Down to Size 

It’s no secret that HR teams are busy. A lot of the tasks that take up a big slice of their day are repetitive, high-effort work that can be automated. According to Ideal.com, an average job opening receives 250 resumes88% of which are considered unqualified. This means a recruiter can spend hours screening resumes for a single hire.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and predictive hiring are growing in popularity: screening automation allows you to create a shortlist without spending hours sifting through piles of unsuitable resumes. With more tasks handed over to computers, HR teams have more time to focus on interviews and relationship-building. 

2. Eliminate Personal Biases

Confirmation bias, the attraction effectunconscious or not, we all succumb to personal biases from time to time, and recruiters are no different. An individual may think they’re being impartial, but things like racial, gender, or political biases may influence their choices while they scan through applications. 

Hiring bias can be overcome in two ways: through training and utilizing recruitment software, which can be programmed to ignore demographic details when selecting applicants. This helps ensure applicants are selected for their merit and suitability, while the workforce benefits from being more diversesomething that’s been proven to improve performance. 

3. Improve the Hiring Experience

First impressions count. Making that experience as positive as possible not only ensures candidates stay engaged throughout the application and hiring process, it also sets the tone for the months to come as the recruit settles in. Even if the company doesn’t hire an individual, the experience should be positive. One bad interview experience can travel via word of mouth like wildfire, potentially turning off top talent from applying in the future. 

Ensuring constant communication is one way to help a candidate feel acknowledged and taken care of. After all, they’ve (usually) put in the effort to hone their CV and crafting a message. A lack of communication is likely to leave a sour taste in their mouth. Automated emails acknowledging receipt of application, updates to let them know when they’re likely to hear back, and chatbots to provide assistance to common questions and send updates are all great ways to help candidates feel acknowledged. This is especially important for remote employees, who in the absence of face-to-face contact, may need extra touchpoints with the HR department to feel a part of the process. 

These days, people expect the same level of service from their prospective company as they do from consumer services. This means they want plenty of communication, and an engaging, personalized experience. 

Andrew Saidy, vice president of talent digitization for Schneider Electric believes that "AI-powered career development is now the expectation of candidates as they assess career growth and mobility opportunities at a prospective employer." It pays off: 53% of HR professionals say that an improved onboarding experience increases employee engagement. Technology should be used to improve the experience, rather than simply facilitate it. 

4. Find Better Quality Candidates

Machine learning means that through AI, programs can learn which candidate features are most desirable to the company and root them out in secondsincluding those that were previously rejected. This saves HR teams from having to manually sort through past applications. It also means previously overlooked candidates don’t slip through the cracks.

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From better quality candidates to a fairer and more efficient screening process, many HR teams are seeing the benefits of automation and are planning to invest accordingly (Image Source). 

5. Take Advantage of Advanced Reporting

From marketing to sales, most teams have ways to measure their performance. Up until recently, the HR department had been somewhat left out either due to fragmented technology, or the fact the data just isn’t available. This is all changing.

HR teams have so much valuable data tied in spreadsheets, time tracking software, recruiting systems, and more. Systems like SwoopTalent are making it easier for teams to consolidate and track all that data and report on their findings. Armed with this data, hiring can become a lot less about guesswork, and a lot more about measured, strategic decisions that lay the groundwork for a positive experience. 

Author Bio

Dean Mathews is the founder and CEO of OnTheClock, an employee time tracking app that helps over 10,000 companies all around the world track time. 

Dean has over 20 years of experience designing and developing business apps. He views software development as a form of art. If the artist creates a masterpiece, many people’s lives are touched and changed for the better. 

When he is not perfecting time tracking, Dean enjoys expanding his faith, spending time with family and friends, and finding ways to make the world just a little better.

Header Photo by Keith Luke on Unsplash

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