Recruitment automation, the new tools in hiring

The old system of vetting paper résumés and meeting candidates in person is still largely adopted by recruiters. (Rawpixel pic)

For too many years, recruiting and hiring have followed the same tedious process: source candidates, review résumés, screen candidates on the phone, conduct in-person interviews and then,— hopefully, hire the best person.

Hiring has not seen huge shifts in the process as with other industries despite an overwhelming number of new technologies becoming available.

But change is here. More people are working remotely, collaborating with multiple companies simultaneously in the gig economy and starting companies themselves. Fewer people work for one company under one roof for decades as they used to.

Expectations for hiring have also changed. Candidates do not want to submit résumés and cover letters, wait for weeks to hear back and then go through a series of face-to-face interviews.

In the race for talent, hiring teams must be nimble, responsive and put the candidate experience front and centre.

Automated recruiting tools now make it possible for employers and candidates to interact in a way that is much smoother and faster, while still maintaining a human touch.

What recruiting automation is

  • It’s a category of technology, tools, and platforms that allow companies to automate recruiting tasks and workflows.
  • It increases recruiter productivity, improves KPIs such as time-to-fill and cost-per-hire, and leads to better hires.
  • It’s sometimes called automated hiring and helps save time, cutting out the error-prone process of screening candidates and more effectively assessing on-the-job skills. In some cases, recruiters need not even meet applicants in person to interview and hire them.

Recruiting automation uses the same recruiting process: a hiring team posts an opening, looks for referrals and attracts a pool of top candidates.

Different automated recruiting tools can then be used at different stages of the process to:

  • Source and engage with candidates.
  • Screen candidates.
  • Host skill assessments.
  • Schedule interviews and record one-way video interviews.
  • Perform background checks.
  • Continually communicate with each candidate throughout the process.

Instead of going through the painstaking process of screening individual résumés, emailing a pool of candidates and manually processing each individual through the hiring process, automated tools offer a faster way to provide a great candidate experience.

There are many advantages to automated recruiting, the most important being getting the right candidate. (Rawpixel pic)

How AI is used in recruiting automation

“Recruiting is now the biggest artificial intelligence market in human resources, with AI-based sourcing, assessment, screening, interviewing and candidate experience management now available,” said Josh Bersin in “HR Technology 2020: Disruption ahead”.

There is a common misconception that AI and recruiting automation are the same things. In fact, there are some key differences with implications for how recruiters use and understand each of these tools.

Using AI in the hiring process

“Automation is basically making a hardware or software that is capable of doing things automatically, without human intervention. AI, however, is a science, and engineering of making intelligent machines,” writes one expert.

“AI is all about trying to make machines or software mimic and, eventually, supersede human behaviour and intelligence.”

When a recruiter uses an automated tool, they set up the platform to follow certain “rules”.

For instance, an applicant tracking system (ATS) may send a candidate a reminder 24 hours in advance of their video interview.

A job posting automation may take down the listing after a certain number of days or a certain number of applications have been received.

These automated tools decrease the amount of manual labour involved with hiring the best candidates.

AI technology, on the other hand, can overcome the intrinsic bias found in human behaviour.

For instance, when recruiters use AI to screen candidates in rather than out, hiring becomes more democratic and merit-based, instead of about who an applicant knows.

Companies that switched to one AI tool saw a 62% increase in women candidates. Nepotism and selective hiring practices get eliminated when an AI tool is correctly utilised.

This article first appeared in Vervoe. At Vervoe, their mission is to fundamentally transform the hiring process from mediocracy to meritocracy.