Could automation be the future of recruitment? Source: Shutterstock.com

Can recruitment automation help your business find the perfect candidate?

PLATFORMS such as LinkedIn and other career-driven websites are providing recruiters with a diverse pool of talent at their fingertips. But with a mountain of resumes to sift through, how can recruiters separate the good candidates from the bad?

Automation and machine learning may be the crucial element that streamlines and simplifies recruitment processes. Fear not recruiters, your jobs are still safe; automation seeks only to enhance a human recruiter’s capabilities.

Recruitment automation for resume screening

Research has shown that each recruiter spends an average of 23 hours screening resumes for a single position. Source: Shutterstock.com

Perhaps one of the most promising applications of recruitment automation is the ability to screen resumes. According to Hayley Dugdale, a UK-based recruitment manager, the process of sifting through resumes is the most time-consuming part of recruitment. Research has shown that each recruiter spends an average of 23 hours screening resumes for a single position.

AI software seeks to address this time-consuming issue. The intelligent screening software is designed to learn the job requirements of a certain role, and then learn what qualified candidates look like based on previous hiring decisions.

This software uses employee data on factors such as performance and tenure to examine which candidates went on to become successful (or unsuccessful) in their job role.

Automation software uses the knowledge it has learned about employees’ past experience, skills and qualifications to screen, rank and grade a new candidate. This can drastically reduce recruitment time and therefore allow recruiters to have more time to focus on perhaps more valuable tasks such as talking with candidates to see whether their personalities would fit into the work culture.

“Automation in resume screening would also be helpful to filter out applicants who don’t qualify to work in the UK or have the relevant visas required for a job role,” says Dugdale.

“For instance, I’m currently interviewing for a role which requires specific experience in an area, and I am frequently receiving resumes that nowhere near fit the job criteria. Therefore, in this case, automation would be useful in order to present me with only the relevant resumes.”

However, automation in resume screening may not always be the answer to finding the perfect candidate as it may leave little room for human judgement.

“Even though a job role I post may have strict eligibility criteria, sometimes I may invite someone who doesn’t necessarily fit every criteria in for an interview in order to better get to know them,” says Dugdale.

Automation to reduce unconscious bias

The automation of resume screening can also address the issue of the unconscious bias when recruiters are making decisions. It is arguably impossible to stop unconscious biases from affecting decisions, but this can lead to discrimination in employment and business practices.

Automated recruiting can be programmed to ignore demographic information about candidates such as gender, race and age that have been shown to bias human decision making.

The use of chatbots

Recruitment companies are increasingly using chatbots to update applicants. Source: Shutterstock.com

The experience a candidate receives during the application process can very often determine whether they accept a job offer. Recruitment automation in the form of chatbots has the potential to vastly improve the candidate experience.

Research from CareerBuilder has shown that 67 percent of job seekers have a good overall impression of a company if they receive regular, consistent updates throughout the application process. However, when candidates were asked how long it took for a perspective employer to get back to them, 43 percent of respondents of a Workopolis poll said “never”.

The use of chatbots during the recruitment process enables recruiters to stay in regular contact with the candidates, provide consistent updates regarding the hiring process, and keep candidate interest flowing throughout – all while saving time and money.

As well as keeping the candidate updated and interested, a chatbot has the potential to answer questions from candidates concerning the application process. The process of job applications can often be a begrudging task, with research finding that 60 percent of job seekers quit while completing an online job application due to their length or complexity. Using a chatbot for Q&A enables candidates to have somewhere to turn in the case of feeling confused about certain aspects of an application.

“Chatbots would be good for interview processes which are a longer process, as a quick way of getting information across and keeping applicants in the loop on the process. They would also be good for companies which require long application completion processes – for instance Government, public sector, graduate schemes – as a way of supporting the applicants with questions they aren’t sure how to answer or what is expected of them,” says Dugdale.

“For me personally, recruiting within sales, it’s a quick process which only requires interviews, so it’s easy to keep them updated on process. But it would be good when recruiting editors, which is slightly longer because I require additional information to support their application.”

Automation in the interview

Automated video interviews remove the everyday headaches of scheduling interviews, time zone restrictions, no-shows and unsuitable candidates. Source: Shutterstock.com

Recruitment automation for interviews allow recruiters to conduct interviews anywhere at any given time.

Automated video interviews remove the everyday headaches of scheduling interviews, time zone restrictions, no-shows and unsuitable candidates.

With digitalized interview technology such as Sonru, the interviewer sets the questions reflecting the job role, competency and cultural fit criteria. With each question, the recruiter also sets the maximum read and answer times, ensuring a fair and efficient strategy.

Candidates are able to log in to read and record their answers, but as with a traditional interview, the candidates are not able to see the questions in advance.

Interview technology can also assess varying factors such as a candidate’s choice of words, speech patterns, and facial expressions in order to predict how adequate they may be for the job role in question.

Automating the interviewing process allows recruiters to immediately screen out candidates who fail to meet interview criteria, selecting only the most suitable candidates for a face-to-face interview.

The problem with automated interviews, according to Dugdale, is the loss of human authenticity and conversation.

Source: Shutterstock.com

“Online automated interviews may work better for large businesses who have a high staff turnover and so need a quicker recruitment process,” adds Dugdale.

When used efficiently, automation in recruitment can help businesses find the right candidates for their job roles. It can save a significant amount of time and money, remove human error and bias, and improve consistency and efficiency. Though the level of automation will vary depending on industry type, size and job volume, automation is set to become an essential tool for the most forward-thinking companies.






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