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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. 

The good news is that you can automate many of these to allow you to focus on the things that shouldn’t be automated.

In this article, I’ll explain 12 ways to automate your hiring process so you can save time and resources and recruit top talent.

12 Ways To Automate Your Recruitment Process

1. Writing and posting job ads

You need well-written job postings that reflect your employer brand and tools like ChatGPT can help you write them.

But, once written, there’s still the task of publishing them across various job boards and social media platforms. Enter further automation.

ATSs (applicant tracking systems) allow you to create a library of job postings that work as templates that you can reuse and then post them where you want.

Bonus: It’s easy to keep track of candidate quality from each source.

2. Resume screening

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

Next up is potentially 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. 

Automation can extract relevant information from resumes quickly, allowing recruiters to focus on candidates who meet specific criteria.

Automated systems can screen resumes and highlight specific keywords, skills, and experience levels, reducing the time spent on manual review. 

If candidates don’t meet certain requirements, for example visa status or a certain pass rate, the system can automatically send a rejection message.

If your ATS doesn't include a resume parsing function, consider using a standalone resume screening software system instead.

3. Candidate sourcing

Sourcing is another potential time suck for recruiters when there aren’t enough of the right candidates applying.

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

Candidates in the database can also opt-in to receive automated updates when a role goes live they wish to be notified about.

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4. Setting up internal processes

Recruitment is a team sport and automation can help internal teams stay synchronized.

ATSs allow you to build internal workflows with certain triggers at each stage to notify and remind team members to prepare for interviews and leave their feedback.

It can also help assess candidates by collating and analyzing feedback.

5. Interview scheduling

Many ATSs help streamline the interview scheduling process by sending out auto-invites allowing candidates to pick a suitable interview time.

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

6. One-way video interview

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 analyze conversations. 

If you’re taking advantage of this feature, ensure 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.

7. Candidate communication

Communication is time-consuming when interviewing candidates at scale and it’s easy for people to slip through the cracks.

To ease the burden, recruiters can create automated communication such as the aforementioned rejection emails and interview scheduling as well as acknowledgement of submissions, interview reminders, reference requests, and new opportunities. 

Some tools also have a chatbot that candidates can query for information.

8. 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.

9. Onboarding

Once a candidate accepts an opportunity, it’s time for the HR/onboarding team to step in.

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 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.

10. Gathering feedback

Candidates are a rich source of insights to help improve your recruitment process.

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.

11. Reporting and analytics

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

You can use recruitment analytics software to regularly auto-generate reports for you to give you valuable insights on ways to improve 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?

12. Compliance

Automation can help you remain compliant with the myriad of laws and regulations around hiring in the following ways:

  • Automatically ensure candidates meet job-specific qualifications and legal requirements such as eligibility.
  • Ensure no critical documentation is overlooked or misplaced, providing a reliable audit trail.
  • Ensure that personal data is stored securely, access is restricted to authorized personnel, and data retention policies such as GDPR are consistently applied.
  • Schedule and remind employees about mandatory training sessions, track completion, and manage certifications.
  • Analyze recruitment data and generate reports that highlight potential compliance issues such as disparities in hiring practices, compensation, or gaps in documentation.

Example Automation Workflow

  1. Job posting: Create a job description and use your ATS to post it across multiple platforms automatically.
  2. Application screening: Use AI-powered tools to screen applications, filter out unqualified candidates, and send rejection or next steps emails.
  3. Interview scheduling: Allow candidates to choose interview slots through an automated scheduling tool.
  4. Assessment: Conduct automated pre-employment assessments and video interviews.
  5. Offer and onboarding: Use automated tools to generate offer letters and streamline the onboarding process.

Benefits Of Recruiting Automation

As you’ve no doubt surmised, automation can improve your hiring process in a number of ways:

  • Increased efficiency and speed: Automation significantly reduces the time spent on time-consuming tasks such as posting jobs and sending communications. This allows hiring teams to be able to handle larger numbers of applicants.
  • Enhanced candidate experience: Automation can help ensure a smooth and efficient hiring process which helps improve the experience for candidates.
  • Reduced bias: Automated systems can help reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process by standardizing candidate evaluation criteria and removing identifying information from resumes during initial screenings.
  • Consistency and compliance: Automation ensures that all candidates go through the same standardized process, maintaining consistency and fairness. It also helps organizations stay compliant with legal and regulatory requirements by maintaining accurate records, managing data protection, and ensuring that all necessary steps are followed.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Automated recruitment platforms often include features that facilitate collaborative hiring. Shared access to candidate information, automated notifications, and integrated communication tools ensure that everyone involved in the hiring process is aligned and informed.

Beware: Use Automation With Caution

As discussed, automation can significantly improve the hiring experience in numerous ways. But use with caution! People aren’t robots and sometimes a human touch is needed.

Here are a couple of areas where it’s advisable to eschew automation:

  • Rejecting a candidate who’s progressed a certain distance through the automation process, normally after they’ve spoken to someone.
  • Reviewing CVs: While automation can help, many ATSs still have issues parsing basic candidate information from a CV. From there we can extrapolate that “AI resume rating” is even further away. 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!

In general, relying too heavily on automated systems and algorithms can lead to overlooking qualified candidates who may not fit the exact criteria set by the automation tools. Algorithms may also inadvertently reinforce existing biases if not carefully monitored and updated.

Enhance 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 more, check out Mariya Hristova’s excellent article on AI recruiting.

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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.