Will recruitment be automated? The latest trends from Australia and other major economies would suggest so. From resume screening to task automation and much more, the AI impact on recruitment is becoming widespread.
It’s hard to know which came first: are we more inclined to automate our recruitment processes because of the impact of AI? Or is the rising popularity of AI tools boosting the underlying acceleration of recruitment’s automation?
AI has transformed much of our daily lives – think chatbots, e-commerce, online ads, streaming services, and the smart speaker in your home. Its application in our working lives is just as dominant: for example, online customer responses, spam filters, voice-to-text, content curation, customer segmentation, plus many more. So, its application in the recruitment process is unsurprising. By automating critical tasks and hiring functions, HR and hiring professionals can focus on more strategic, and more important workforce issues.
It’s the often time-consuming, repetitive, manual tasks that recruitment automation can cover. Which will be seen as a huge win for HR and recruitment teams.
And as hiring volumes are on the rise thanks to record low unemployment levels and our slow acclimatisation to a world with COVID, the recruitment function in any business, will be ramping up.
So, the question – Will Recruitment be Automated? – becomes almost obsolete. Because the answer seems apparent.
Will Recruitment be Automated? Some Considerations
Smart organisations will secure the best-fit talent for their business, by intelligently and systematically automating their hiring processes and workflows. And by virtue of this, recruitment success benchmarks will be available in hard data – not ‘soft’ measures or ‘feel’ – a common negative when measuring HR’s success.
According to LinkedIn, the most important recruiting KPIs are:
- Quality of hire: the key priority for 60% of talent acquisition leaders
- Time to fill: the key priority for 28% of talent acquisition leaders
- Time to productivity: another major priority for talent acquisition leaders
Look at other departments in your organisation: sales, marketing, finance, and procurement – all enjoy transformed operations due to technological advances and process automation. The very ability of a business to remain competitive relies on these efficiencies.
And likewise, advancements in recruiting technology and recruitment automation are on the rise. As key functions of the recruitment workflow become automated, the capabilities of the hiring team and hiring managers will be greatly improved.
But what do these recruitment automation trends look like? Let’s review…
1. Recruitment Automation for Resume Screening
A massive AI application, screening resumes will be fast-tracked, offering potentially better, more objective candidate shortlists. Human bias will be removed. And the speed of shortlisting vastly improved.
Some outcomes of automated resume screening include:
- Significant time-saving. Manual resume screening can be the most time-consuming stage of the hiring process
- The resumes of unqualified applicants will no longer have visibility. The AI/automation process means the recruiter or hiring manager won’t even see these resumes any longer
- Arriving at a better shortlist, faster, will be a game-changer for recruiters
The key components of this recent development in recruitment automation include:
- ATS integration allows the functionality to learn about the job requirements, and what suitable candidates look like, based on past hiring decisions
- Machine learning provides data insights for automatically evaluating prospective hires
- With the input of employee data regarding performance, tenure, cost, leave accrual and utilisation, the software can predict which candidates are likely to succeed in the business, and those that won’t
- Public data sources are used to enrich the screening process: from previous employers to social media profiles
- The knowledge gained about the candidate’s professional history, skills, and qualification then grade candidates on suitability for the role
- Low-value, repetitive recruitment tasks are eliminated
- High-value priorities of the HR and hiring team can be reprioritised. This provides the team with the opportunity to get to know the candidates and focus on culture, team, and personality fit
2. Automated Sourcing
Given the demand for talent across so many industries today, candidate sourcing and building talent pipelines is more important than ever.
Finding the market’s top talent is time-consuming. And the cost of a bad hiring decision can be as high as 31% of the candidate’s first-year salary.
The sourcing automation with notable uptake this year includes:
- Candidate rediscovery software: the software integrates into the ATS to facilitate a more intelligent search functionality.
- Sourcing chatbots: saves enormous amounts of time as they can handle up to 80% of recruitment’s routine questions, in minutes (see more on this point, below).
- Social media sourcing tools: engaging in channels that match candidate personas, such as advertising, organic activity, and company insights.
3. Recruitment Automation: Chatbots
Will recruitment be automated? The uptake of pre-qualification sourcing chatbots would indicate that automation is well underway. And chatbots, a key automation opportunity, are a boon for the overwhelmed recruiting team. And, they offer a better hiring experience for prospective hires.
CareerBuilder’s data found 67% of job seekers have a positive impression of a company if they receive consistent updates throughout the application process.
Automation via chatbots allows recruitment teams to ask job-related, pre-qualifying questions to candidates. The real-time feedback allows for faster, more accurate decision-making on the candidate’s suitability.
Chatbots allow the employer to ask technical questions about the open role. They improve the efficiency and output of recruiters, without adding pressure or more tasks to their job.
4. Recruitment Automation for Interviews
Looking at the implication of AI on interviews, the question we originally posed – Will Recruitment be Automated? – takes current evidence to the next level.
AI coupled with digital interview technology offers an incredible opportunity for the recruitment team:
- Interviews can be conducted anywhere, anytime.
- Post-interview review (of the recorded interview) can enable hiring professionals to analyse the candidate’s word choices, speech patterns, facial expressions and more.
- The predictive technology provides additional data points on candidate fit to the company and the role
5. Elimination of Unconscious Bias
The way recruitment teams and hiring managers interview and assess talent can be unconsciously affected by ingrained bias. These biases come from life experiences, exposure to cultural norms, and systemic beliefs. Most often, the biases are unconscious. Which makes them particularly dangerous.
Unconscious bias in hiring can present in relation to multiple categorisations. Typically, gender, age, religion, sexuality, and ethnicity are the main issues. The problem is, unconscious bias can lead to generic hiring habits, a loss of creativity in hiring decisions, poor levels of innovative new talent, and often, reduced quality of hire.
However, the various facets of automation we’ve discussed today can help to combat unconscious bias. Using AI and data-driven processes and decision-making, fair and inclusive hiring can be realised.
From a recent Hubspot report, it was uncovered that 61% of hiring professionals believed automation can help to reduce unconscious bias. Automation tools for resume parsing, and text analysis, can contribute to more objective decision-making based on skills and personal traits. The result? A greater opportunity to develop diverse teams.
The industry belief today is that automation and digitisation of parts of the recruitment process adds significant value and are already enhancing the lives of HR professionals; not replacing them.
As recruitment automation continues to become increasingly widespread, the recruiter’s role will inevitably change. The irony here is this: the recruitment team will have more time for the human side of hiring – think candidate engagement, analysis, understanding and persuasion – as the time-consuming tasks of recruitment are automated. This is a great thing. Especially in Australia’s current talent-short market.
As one of the world’s leading contingent worker management solutions providers, CXC is well positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy. With operations in more than 50 countries across five continents and decades of experience, we can assist with every aspect of your program.