Make Room For Your Recruiting Operations To Scale With 4 Automation Efficiencies
Why responsible automation is essential for your candidate-first mindset
BY SALEEM KHAJA
Ever lost out on the perfect candidate because of timing? Maybe your process ran long or your team couldn’t deliver updates quick enough. Unfortunately, the future of recruiting waits for no one. But learning how responsible automation and AI can help your business scale may prevent that losing-out from happening again. At least to you.
Candidate experience has been topping must-do lists across staffing and recruiting since the job market turned out of the recession and put candidates into the driver’s seat. But investments in understanding, first, what candidates need to have a great experience aren’t simply survival tactics.
We see candidate-first mindset as a strategic shift evident across the larger business landscape toward design thinking and a sharp focus on the people a business serves.
Yet, while today’s market demands candidate-first mindset, delivering a bolder, better experience takes time. Here’s where the math looks tricky.
A recent LinkedIn survey reported more than half of talent acquisition leaders expected hiring volume to grow over the following year. Meanwhile, 66% said the size of their recruiting teams would either shrink or stay put.
Recruiting bosses aren’t simply expecting their teams to produce more with less. They’re expecting their business models to scale. That’s where AI and automation come in.
Growth vs. Scaling
Before we dive into how AI and automation help staffing firms and recruiting teams scale, it’s important to understand some ground rules.
There’s a difference between growth and scaling. Growth is increasing resources at the same rate you’re increasing your revenue. Your company gets bigger and so does the money you bring in. But the distance between the two doesn’t necessarily increase.
Scaling, however, means growing your revenue without adding costs that outweigh your gains. Efficiency and productivity are key here. Business models that scale build revenue at exponential rates and only add resource costs at an incremental rate. In other words, scaling revenue growth outpaces the operational costs to make it happen.
The reason more businesses today focus on scaling over growth is sustainability. As business coach Mihir Thaker puts it: “No longer is the business concerned with growth for growth’s sake, but only growth that can be managed.”
That’s why, when we see the imbalance between projected volume growth in recruiting vs. team contraction, we don’t see things grinding to a halt. We see recruiting teams harnessing the power of automation and AI.
Time for one more ground rule. Automation isn’t delegation. The future of recruiting shouldn’t be mistaken for delegating candidate relationships to a robot. But you can think of automation (i.e., that robot) as your “assistant” – one that follows your directions, but never takes the lead. That’s where responsible automation begins.
When you design your hiring process with a candidate-first mindset, you’re taking the time to understand what candidates need to know, when and where it needs to be delivered.
Even after you set up workflows with your robot assistant (i.e., candidate engagement platform), you’ll need to check your stats, collect feedback, experiment and iterate on delivering better experiences each time.
Automating elements of candidate engagement, which we’ll get into below, helps you create the time and space needed to iterate on the experience you’re delivering and be able to scale that experience to every candidate in your talent pool.
Harnessing that particular power is how to stay on the responsible side of automation.
Four Automation Efficiencies to Scale Your Recruiting Operations
1. Application Process Updates
Ever copy-pasted the same application process update from one candidate email to the next? You’re not alone. Ever copy-pasted the wrong update to the wrong candidate? You’re not alone there, either.
Repetitive tasks, like communicating the same basic status update from one person to the next, can feel tedious – but can make or break a candidate’s impression of you and the entire experience. Monumental significance aside, these updates don’t need to take up so much of your time (at least not as much as they are now).
Using a candidate engagement platform that integrates with your ATS or HCM can automate email or text updates to candidates across the hiring process.
Afraid of losing control? Consider this: if copy-pasting updates normally takes 2 hours a day, automated workflows could get you to your perfect candidate 10 hours earlier this week than the recruiter who’s still typing out emails. That’s the very essence of scaling.
2. Interview Scheduling
Landing an interview can be a thrilling prospect for candidates. But the back-and-forth of finding a time that works can slow the process and suck the enthusiasm right out of a hiring process that’s moving at an inspiring clip.
If you’ve ever spent half a day scheduling interview slots (right after a morning of copy-pasting those status updates!), automating this process is for you. Talent moves at the speed of light, and the recruiter who’s still manually comparing calendars won’t keep up in the long run.
Candidate engagement platforms help here, too. Using a tool that pairs with your existing ATS or HCM, you can wrap interview scheduling and calendar coordinating into your process. Calculate the time you’ll save nixing that back-and-forth from your day-to-day, and add up how many more minutes you’ll spend getting to know candidates and measuring for right fit.
3. Referral Management
Strong referral management is a powerful scaling strategy in itself. And making your referral sources feel appreciated and engaged is pivotal to your referral strategy’s success.
That success rises and falls with the effectiveness of your communication.
While referred candidates might be swept into your candidate engagement workflow, overlooking your referral sources is like shooting yourself in the foot.
According to ERE, neglecting to update referrers for more than 1-2 days can make them question their referral and get nervous about what’s going to happen with their friend. Even worse: it may stop them from ever referring candidates to you again.
Consider referral source engagement as powerful an opportunity as candidate engagement. Investing in referral management technology can automate these touchpoints and make referral status updates accessible on-demand.
4. Advanced Techniques: Resume Screening
Undercover Recruiter reports that manually screening resumes continues to be recruiters’ biggest time-suck. What’s worse: up to 88% of those resumes aren’t even qualified for the job.
Imagine how much faster you could reach your top candidates if you only had to review the 12% of resumes that actually fit the bill.
Landing top talent relies on the recruiter’s ability to automate their workflow and maximize their efficiencies in serving candidates. While resume-screening can be a heavy lift if it’s your first foray into AI and automation, it’s a function that will be essential to success in the future of recruiting.
By future, we mean the next 1-2 years, at the latest.
Creating the Time and Space To Scale
Automation efficiencies and AI aren’t fulfilling their potential in your business if they’re plainly replacing human interactions. And they won’t help your business scale.
But if you use them responsibly – with an understanding of how, when and where you can automate to deliver a better experience – you’ll create something your business can grow on.
Developing efficiencies in your recruiting operation gives your recruiting team time and space to provide more powerful human experiences to candidates, have deeper conversations and get candidates into the right-fit jobs, faster.