Understanding Process Automation in Recruitment

Published by:
Joe Caccavale
May 4, 2022
min read

Automation offers exciting opportunities to streamline and expedite processes and the hiring process is no exception. Many companies still use outdated methods such as manually sifting through CVs.

This is not only tedious and time-consuming but also may not even result in the best candidate being identified.

Automation could offer an answer for organizations looking for a quicker, systematic and cost-effective way to source the best candidates from a wider talent pool. Here’s key insight into the benefits of these technologies for recruitment, where automation can be used in these processes, and the challenges of this tech.

What exact processes can be automated? 

Job postings

This technology allows you to post across multiple job boards and channels simultaneously, saving time. You can get suggestions on how to improve the language of your job posting to make it more engaging, attract a more diverse pool of talent, or make it more specific to the role required. One very important function of this software is using it to remove gendered language that excludes candidates from non-gendered roles, thereby attracting a wider pool of talent to apply for your post.

Our gender decoder tool can not only be used to automatically detect examples of biased or gendered language, but it also offers alternative wording so you can be sure that your job descriptions appeal to the widest possible audience.

Candidate sourcing

The right platform is invaluable in making that first initial contact with job seekers, offering a space to build your own branded careers page, ensuring that the process is mobile-friendly for optimal accessibility, and allowing candidates to schedule their interviews through an interactive calendar that sends automated invites and organizes your interview slots.

Candidate assessments

The best hiring automation software also allows you to test the skills of each candidate prior to interviews.

Candidates are sent appropriate skills assessment programs and you receive the results after they are analyzed by the software.

Using predictive analytics, the software then ranks candidates according to their likelihood of success for your organization and role, helping to push high-quality candidates to the top and prioritizing interview scheduling.

Interested in finding out how Applied shortlists candidates? Learn about how to embrace a predictive, data-driven and skills-based methodology for ethical and efficient hiring decisions.

Interview scheduling and candidate nurturing

Smart automation tools take the hassle out of scheduling interviews by managing this task for you, sending out interview communications automatically, and even sending bespoke, in-depth communications to applicants regardless of whether they were successful or not.

In addition, you can automate nurturing emails and communications for promising candidates, personalizing them to create that relationship and engagement with candidates, and keeping them interested and in the loop during the recruitment process.

What are the benefits of process automation in recruitment?

When you apply a high-quality automation solution in your organisation to manage hiring and recruitment, what kind of benefits can you expect to see? Let’s take a look.

Reduced time to fill and hiring costs

Every minute that passes before you have a candidate to fill a role costs money. In the UK, the average cost of hiring a graduate is £5,325, while the cost of hiring a manager is around 20% of their annual salary, and the cost of hiring an executive is around 213% of their salary. Automation can be applied in the early, labour-intensive stages of recruitment including pre-screening, nurturing and interviews. 

Using advanced processing technology capable of crunching enormous volumes of data in just minutes, you can screen applicants at lightning speed, sort quality candidates from the rest, automatically request interview slots, and move into the interview stage much faster, shortening time to fill and lost productivity costs.

Increased HR productivity

Automation works by reducing labour-intensive administrative tasks and allowing your recruitment and HR team to dive into critical decision-making processes more quickly and with more information in their hands. In fact, 67% of HR professionals chose saving time as the most important benefit of using AI and automation for recruitment and hiring. 

By gathering and analysing huge volumes of data quickly and reliably, HR teams aren’t bogged down in data-heavy tasks and can move on to more meaningful activities faster, increasing their productivity.

Better candidate experiences

Using automation can also improve the experience for the candidates you want to hire. This is achieved by automating response emails, supplying candidates with a means of tracking the status of their application, allowing applicants to set their interview schedule, and sending automatic feedback on their application even if they are unsuccessful - all without any of your team members lifting a finger. 

With potentially thousands of people applying to your position, this would be an impossible task for an HR team – but with sophisticated automation, it’s easy. What’s more, candidates prefer it too, with 80% of job seekers saying they won’t consider a job at a company that failed to keep them notified about their application status.

Did you know that the Applied platform has an outstanding reputation amongst candidates? In fact, over 350,000 candidates rate Applied 9/10. Learn how our recruitment software can help you enhance both the candidate experience and your employer brand.

Improved diversity hiring 

Sometimes, removing the human element improves the quality of output – and 43% of HR professionals agree that this is a significant benefit of automating hiring processes.

Bias is inherently natural to human beings, but it negatively impacts hiring and, ultimately, organizational performance. For forward-thinking businesses that want to do what’s right and align their culture with values of diversity and inclusion, mitigating bias in recruitment is a challenge. But it’s a challenge that can be overcome, for instance, by using automated, anonymous hiring software

Anonymous hiring software and platforms specialise in taking this challenge out of the recruitment and hiring process by focussing on skills-based matches, eliminating bias around gender, socio-economic status, culture, or other factors. This is done automatically based on algorithms and processes developed and rigorously tested for fairness and objectivity - and therefore free of any human subjectivity. 

Improved applicant quality 

In situations where you need to rely on people sifting through thousands of applications to find the right candidate, it’s easy to see how a promising person may be missed. Automation solves this by quickly filtering applicants according to their skills, using algorithms and predictive analytics to rank candidates according to how well their characteristics align with your role, making recruiting more consistent and successful. 

This is achieved using a combination of keyword filtering (for example, looking for the phrase “website developer” or “JAVA” to match against your list of skills requirements) and backed up with question-based testing to see how their skills align with the issues that will crop up in the posted role.

The human eye might miss an important phrase or word, but automated processes won’t - and they’ll sort and filter candidates reliably in seconds. This works so well that 31% of HR professionals prefer automation to deliver the best applicant match.

What are some of the challenges posed by recruitment process automation?

Recruitment automation is clearly a useful technology with considerable practical and cost-saving benefits.

However, it is still not perfect and we must also consider the uncomfortable fact that some technology is only as good as the people behind it. So that you know what to expect, here are some potential challenges to anticipate if you are to start automating hiring processes.

Platform quality

There are a lot of software solutions out there for recruitment organizations and HR teams to use, but they should be carefully evaluated first to ensure they provide the features, processing power, and quality results you require.

Poor quality platforms are likely to have very basic and limited features, be unable to process the volume of applicant data or analyse it as effectively, and cannot give the same level of quality insight that a better platform would, so it wouldn’t be as beneficial to your hiring process as it should be.

Built-in bias 

While we have touched upon the potential for automation to remove bias, we must bear in mind that the people who design and develop the technology are still fallible.

This means that there is sometimes a small chance for implicit bias to be reproduced in the process. A lot of costly, extensive platform interrogation and testing has to take place for the process to be as free from bias as possible.

Therefore, it is essential to use a platform that you can be sure has undergone a high level of intensive testing so you can be confident in the fairness of your hiring process.

Candidate keyword hacking 

Many automation platforms rely on keyword recognition to select and rank applicants, which can lead to candidates who understand how these systems work taking advantage of the process by deliberately overusing the phrases the algorithms look for in their applications.

To overcome this challenge, it’s best to use an advanced platform that uses a sophisticated algorithm that evaluates candidates on a much more in-depth level.

This includes automated skills assessments, question-based assessments, and analysis of candidate performance before interviews are scheduled.

Applied is one of the leading providers of anonymous hiring technology. Our recruitment platform is specifically designed to streamline the entire hiring process with a predictive, skills-based approach. Feature-rich and user-friendly, you can source candidates, create bespoke work sample tests, use predictive analytics and manage all applicants from a single dashboard. Want to try us out? Book your demo today.