Skip to main content

While a lot of recruitment involves being creative and connecting with candidates on a personal level, there is a substantial amount of admin or repetitive tasks. 

You should aim to automate these as much as possible to allow you to focus on the things that should not be automated.

Recruitment automation can reduce the time-to-hire and improve the candidate experience. According to the Work Automation Index 2022 report, recruitment automation was up 316% compared to the preceding year.

But automation can’t take the human element out of human resources. You’ll still need to invest time in activities such as sourcing candidates and interviewing them.

In this article, we’ll explain 10 ways to automate parts of your hiring process so you can save time and resources and recruit top talent.

10 Ways To Automate Your Recruitment Process

Let’s talk about the various parts of the recruitment process that you can automate.

Job Postings

You need a well-written job posting because it’s a reflection of the employer's brand and directly impacts the quality of hire and the volume of applications you receive.

Sourcing in-house can take up to 30% of your recruiters’ time, but here automation can help you save some.

Tools such as an ATS (applicant tracking system) allow you to create a library of job postings that work as templates that you can reuse over and over.

Most modern ATSs allow you to create, review, and store a library of job adverts ready to be used and perhaps only slightly modified for the next time so you don’t have to start from scratch.

Using these templates, the software can create job postings on multiple job boards or social media posts.

If you have a job board that is not integrated with your ATS, then you should look out for the option to generate a trackable link so that way you can all candidates from all the sources in the same pipeline and you only have to check one platform.

Bonus: You get to keep track of candidate quality from each source.

This saves recruiters time that would otherwise be spent manually creating job posts, editing them, and publishing them on job boards.

Resume Screening

You’ve created a great job description for the open position and added the job post on multiple platforms.

Next up is one of the most time-consuming parts of talent acquisition: screening resumes.

Reading through hundreds of resumes in search of qualified candidates can be a time suck and some recruiting software can help you sift through the queue quicker. If the system you're using doesn't include a resume parsing function, consider using a standalone resume screening software system instead.

The trick is to make sure that, as much as possible, candidates come through the same queue in the ATS and all the CVs flow through the same pipeline (again, generate trackable links for each job board that is not integrated into the ATS).

The best recruitment software solutions help create a candidate database (basically a CRM for candidates). When you have job openings, the software can parse the details in the job description against the data to create a talent pool of the best candidates. 

Some more ATS also give candidates the option to connect for future roles and they get to choose what roles they wish to be notified about.

Stay up-to-date on all things HR & leadership.

Stay up-to-date on all things HR & leadership.

Ask Pre-Screening Questions

Asking pre-screening questions to every applicant individually can take days when added up. It’s a repetitive task that you can easily automate using recruitment automation software.

There are a couple of ways of doing this. You might want to upload a shortlist of questions like right to work, notice period, where they heard about your company, or confirming if the candidate is OK with a certain work schedule into your ATS as part of the application process.

For longer questions, you can configure a dedicated system like HireVue to send out dedicated questions that candidates can record themselves answering.

Shortlist the best candidates to schedule an interview and the system will automatically notify the candidates who didn’t reach the next stage.

Interview Scheduling

Many ATSs help streamline the interview scheduling process by sending out auto-invites allowing candidates to pick an interview time based on slots available in your schedule.

This takes an extra step off your plate and helps ensure no candidates slip through the cracks.

Video Screening

Just like pre-screening, one-way videos are a great way to interview candidates.

Remember the last time you had to interview dozens of candidates over the phone via video call? The close-up eye contact and high cognitive load can cause Zoom fatigue, leaving you burned out.

One way you can automate this process is through template creation. 

Write the interview questions once and let the candidates answer them on their own time and it gives candidates the chance to formulate their answers.

Because of this, you have to be mindful of what kind of questions you ask. For example, avoid any questions designed to test knowledge if the software you’re using isn’t sophisticated enough to know if someone has navigated away from the page to look up the answers.

There are video interviewing tools like HireVue—or even a simpler tool like Loom—that can help with these kinds of screens.

Some of these tools have started integrating AI with NLP (natural language processing) capabilities to transcribe and later summarise conversations. Make sure that the AI’s recommender or summarizer algorithm is queriable - i.e., you can verify why it summarised a candidate’s answer in a specific way.

Communication

Communication is time-consuming when assessing candidates at scale.

Hiring managers might have used multiple sources, like LinkedIn and job boards.

Instead of following up or communicating hiring decisions manually across multiple platforms, use your applicant tracking system to automate talent communication.

Recruitment firms that automate talent communication see 20% higher click rates and 30% higher open rates than the industry average.

Create templates for communicating interview appointments, reference requests, and hiring decisions.

A little personalization goes a long way, so, if you’re rejecting an applicant because they don’t meet certain criteria, you can ask the system to send them an email notifying them why.

You can pre-set some common rejection reasons such as the location of the role or the candidate being too senior or too junior and it should be as simple as a few clicks to more personally reject candidates.

Some tools also have a chatbot that reminds the recruiting team members and job seekers about the interview 24 hours and 15 minutes before the interview.

Background Checks

Background checks are vital to ensure you don’t end up hiring someone who’s not allowed to work in your industry. When you recruit at scale, background checks can slow the process down.

The best background checkers, like Checkr, generally have integrations for popular recruitment software solutions.

Once integrated, the background checker can automatically check a candidate’s background and populate the results into your recruitment software solution or ATS.

Onboarding

The recruitment team has their hands full with candidate engagement and looking for potential candidates.

Once a candidate signs a contract, they want to hand things over to the HR/onboarding team quickly. On the other hand, HR is busy managing current employees.

This often makes the transition from applicant to employee slow—30% of new hires never start a new role because of poor or no follow-up.

You can improve the onboarding experience by digitizing contracts and automating reminders and other self-service tasks. 

This is where there is some overlap between the ATS and HRIS, so it’s important to make sure the systems are properly integrated.

Imagine the flow: you mark the candidate as hired in an ATS and that automatically creates their profile, paperwork, and details for payroll inside of the HRIS with all the other tasks on an onboarding flow ready to go.

You save hours you’d otherwise spend on repetitive onboarding tasks, while the new hire gets to quickly start working on what you hired them for.

Feedback

Candidates can provide insights on how you can improve your recruitment process.

Asking candidates what they think about the interview questions, communication throughout the recruitment process, and feedback after each round helps you identify areas for improvement.

To automate this process, create a workflow that sends candidates a survey via email after you mark them as accepted or rejected in your applicant tracking system.

Reporting

Recruitment reporting doesn’t have to be a hassle putting together all the necessary data and reports.

Automation tools like Pinpoint can auto-generate reports regularly to provide you with valuable insights on improving your process.

You can have access to real-time metrics and identify parts of the process that require tweaks.

Why make reporting just another recruitment task when you can use the data in your system to make the process more efficient?

Caution with AI

AI can be incredible and a great companion to automate some aspects of your recruitment process.

Here are a couple of areas where AI is recommended and where it’s advisable to wait for improvements in the technology.

The good:

  • Writing Job descriptions - sometimes you have a role and you have no idea how to start writing a JD for it, or you have written something and you want to see a different version to help your writing. This is where tools like ChatGPT and the like can help.
  • Writing outreach messages - same as the above, AI tools can help refine or give novel ideas on your writing.
  • Wiring boolean strings for your search - more on this in my candidate sourcing article.

The “wait for it”:

  • AI resume screeners—A lot of ATSs still face issues with parsing basic candidate information from a CV. From there we can extrapolate that “AI resume rating” is even further away
  • AI video interview analysers—There are still issues with NLP and facial recognition in most of the tools on the market. This makes them unreliable to base a hiring decision on the tool alone. Some issues include not being able to track darker complexions, the inability to understand accents, and not being able to understand the nuances of human communication to summarise the conversation accurately.

There are already a lot of discussions on the legality with some legislation introduced in some countries saying that candidates have the right to have their CVs not auto-rejected by automated hiring so keep an eye out for that! 

Simplify Recruitment With Automation

As with many professions, automation can make life a lot easier for recruitment teams but remember to use with caution.

As I’m keen to stress with my hiring teams, you don’t want to develop the reputation that your company treats candidates like numbers in a Lotto drawing machine, so make sure to pay attention to areas such as providing good candidate feedback and talking to candidates to get their feedback.

For regular content to improve your recruitment process, subscribe to the People Managing People newsletter or join the People Managing People Community, a supportive community of HR and leaders passionate about building organizations of the future.

Further resources:

By Finn Bartram

Finn is an editor at People Managing People. He's passionate about growing organizations where people are empowered to continuously improve and genuinely enjoy coming to work. If not at his desk, you can find him playing sports or enjoying the great outdoors.