Revolutionising Recruitment: The Power of HR Automation

Published by:
Joe Caccavale
February 8, 2023
min read

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Hiring is not what it used to be. Technology has given humans a (sometimes insatiable) desire for speed, and this is apparent even in the recruitment sector. 

Companies looking to hire new employees can now do so more efficiently and effectively than ever, thanks to HR automation. It streamlines and automates a number of tasks involved in the recruitment process,  reducing the workload for human resources professionals and ensuring better hires are made. But how does it work?

In this post, we’ll delve into the key benefits of HR automation in recruitment, and how your business could not only see increased efficiency, but also improved diversity and inclusivity by implementing a more bias-conscious solution.

What is HR automation in recruitment?

Before we go into the nitty gritty, let’s cover what HR automation means with regards to recruitment processes. 

In short, HR automation refers to the use of technology to automate various tasks related to recruiting and hiring new employees. Traditionally, things like posting job listings, screening resumes, scheduling interviews and tracking candidates have all been tedious, time-consuming tasks - but new systems mean this is no longer the case.

HR automation software allows recruiters to do all this and more in far less time, meaning they can focus on more strategic and value-adding tasks such as talent management and employee development. Alternatively, they can look into other areas of the hiring process that may need a more human touch, like candidate experience. 

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Next-generation hiring: Benefits of HR automation in recruitment

Of course, the use of automation in recruitment doesn’t just save time. It can also help companies reach a wider pool of potential candidates and make more data-driven decisions, rather than potentially biassed ones. 

Take a look at the key benefits to HR automation in recruitment as defined by our experts here at Applied. 

  • Increased efficiency: As mentioned, HR automation in recruitment increases efficiency by automating the most repetitive tasks. Using this, HR professionals can then focus on ensuring they are taking the time to properly evaluate candidates with tools like integrated aptitude tests and other workplace-specific assessments
  • Increase diversity: Today’s recruitment tools are often built to reach and attract a more diverse set of applicants. At Applied, we’re dedicated to eliminating bias in the process, which is why our recruitment software includes features like anonymous applications and our gender de-coder job description tool
  • With applicant information such as name, location and education potentially (unconsciously) swaying the hiring decision, HR automation platforms like ours take away all of this risk to increase overall diversity. We’ll discuss this feature in more detail later in the article.
Applied diversity features
  • Reduced costs: Looking at the bigger picture - by streamlining the recruitment process and eliminating the need for manual labour, there are a number of ways that companies can save on their hiring costs. Plus, with some tools offering integrated candidate assessments, companies can ensure more accurate hires, meaning better performance and no costly, short-term recruits.
  • Improve compliance: With HR automation, organisations can easily view and monitor the entire recruitment process, including individual - anonymous - candidates, making it easier to demonstrate equal opportunities and data protection.

What can HR automation do?

What specific features can HR automation offer, and how are they relevant to businesses across multiple industries? Let’s take a look.

What can HR automation do? (chart)
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Improving diversity and inclusivity with HR automation

One of the primary benefits of HR automation is its ability to improve diversity and inclusivity in the recruitment process. In many ways, automated systems remove human biases and increase fairness in the selection process. 

  • Using an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen resumes can eliminate the possibility of unconscious bias in the initial review of candidates. 
  • Automating certain tasks can ensure all candidates are treated equally and given the same opportunities. 
  • Anonymous psychometric tests, aptitude tests and personality tests are designed with inclusivity and fairness in mind. 
  • Using natural language processing to anonymise resumes eliminates the risk of unconsciously swaying hiring decisions. 
  • Reaching a wider pool of applicants from the offset plays its part in increasing diversity. 
Applied interview scheduling

HR automation in practice: Real examples of recruitment transformation

Employers all over the world have relied on recruitment automation processes for several years, and there are a number of examples we can refer to when it comes to testing the effectiveness of HR automation. Below, we explore some of our favourites in more detail:

  • Waterwise: Waterwise, a non-profit organisation focused on reducing water consumption in the UK, was working with recruiters Eastside Primetimers to fill four senior Board member roles. They were looking for candidates with a diverse range of skills and expertise, as well as a diverse background. To achieve this goal, they decided to use Applied's software to help with their recruitment process and support their inclusive approach, such as sharing interview questions in advance. As a result, Waterwise reduced their time reviewing applications by 50%, saw a 30% increase in applications and saw a more diverse range of candidates to choose from. Read the full Waterwise case study
  • England & Wales Cricket Board: For this client, there was a need to build stronger relationships with the South Asian community in England and Wales. To take the first step, the ECB (cricket’s governing body) implemented a plan to create a team of city program managers, and it was important that these roles were filled with passionate, community-oriented individuals. The ECB used Applied's platform to recruit for these roles, replacing the traditional CV/cover letter process with candidates answering four job preview questions relevant to the role.
  • The client saw 80% of their roles filled by women and 60% of their roles filled by ethnically diverse candidates using Applied’s recruitment automation platform. Read the full England & Wales Cricket Board case study
  • Comic Relief: The client needed to meet diverse staffing and short-term project requirements, as well as the company's diversity and inclusion goals. They began using Applied for all job openings, managing recruitment for both full-time staff and temporary staff during campaign peaks such as Red Nose Day and Sport Relief. Applied's use of behavioural science revolutionised their hiring processes and prompted a major step forward for the organisation. Results included more focussed and strategic hiring as well as higher conversion rates from candidate to hire. Read the full Comic Relief case study

Implementing HR automation

If you’re keen to implement HR automation into your recruitment process, we recommend following these steps:

  1. Identify the specific recruitment tasks that can be automated: There are various types of tasks that can be automated - but which will be most beneficial for your business specifically? Whether you’re looking to introduce more diversity into your resume screening, speed up the interview scheduling interview process or improve candidate experience by automating communications, you might benefit from identifying a key focus first.
  1. Select appropriate technology: HR automation tools are amazingly accessible, but not all of them will be suitable for you. Some may be limited in functionality or have a central dashboard you find confusing. Others may simply be too costly. Choose the technology that best fits your company's specific needs by booking a demo.
  1. Integrate the technology: It’s likely that your company will have existing systems in place, so the easiest way to introduce something new will be to integrate. Whether it’s an applicant database, calendar, or email software you’re using, try to choose a technology that offers simple set-up and integration so that nothing gets lost.
  1. Train employees: Employees need to be trained on how to use the new technology to ensure that it’s used effectively. Some platforms, like Applied, are designed for ultimate accessibility and user-friendliness, so training won’t require too much valuable time.
  1. Measure results and continuously improve: How successful is HR automation proving for your company? Knowing the answer to this is an important part of keeping your costs low and your efficiency levels high. You might find, for example, that more human methods of communication suit your candidate pool. Where possible, you should always track progress and make adjustments as needed to ensure continuous improvement.

It's important to note that implementing HR automation in recruitment doesn't mean replacing human involvement altogether. Recruitment process is a complex and time-consuming task at its core, and there’s no question that it requires real human judgement, critical thinking and decision making. 

Artificial intelligence may be becoming more powerful, but in reality, it’s the human employer that needs to decide whether to hire a specific human employee. 

With this in mind, the automation tool you choose should be supporting and enhancing the roles of the recruiters and hiring managers. Technology’s ability to debias elements of the process and adopt faster and more data-driven methods to complete certain tasks will surely be useful across multiple industries, but as a recruiter, you remain the driver when it comes to optimising your process.

Final thoughts

HR automation can dramatically improve the overall effectiveness of the hiring process by boosting efficiency, reducing costs, increasing the diversity of the candidate pool, and ensuring compliance. Offering a fair and inclusive recruitment process is key to ensuring candidate satisfaction, and so companies that invest in HR automation will be well positioned to stay competitive in today's job market. 

So, if you’re looking to quickly fill open positions with highly relevant and qualified candidates, Applied is the solution for you.

Applied is the all-in-one platform for fairer recruitment automation - purpose-built to reduce bias and reliably predict the best talent.

Start transforming your hiring now: book in a demo.