As an experienced HR technology professional and a passion for creating value in all HR disciplines, I want to share how intelligent automation can transform hiring processes and help attract your ideal candidates.
In this article:
Automated hiring encompasses the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to streamline resume review, outreach, vetting, following, hiring, and onboarding candidates. Automated processes can quickly sift through an avalanche of resumes and applications, putting forth the right candidates.
Whether you know it or not, your company is in a heated competition for top talent. Unemployment is at historic lows with many claiming there are more open job requisitions than qualified people to fill them. However, hiring the right people remains one of the most critical functions within any organization. New norms in the workplace, such as shorter tenure pose challenges. Employees are leaving organizations for better opportunities, pay, or lifestyle, rather than staying put until retirement.
The face of the human resources department is changing. Human capital management (HCM) initiatives call for programs to foster career advancement, train for continuous improvement, and measure performance. Current employees and new hires create value for an organization. The costs of bad hires, biased hiring practices, wrong skill sets, or a lack of fit or diversity can hurt growth and profitability.
AI automation is unlike software applications with hard-coded algorithm rules. In the case of hiring, AI data allows the algorithm to infer what the rules might be for finding the right fit for a specific job. Intelligent automation continuously “learns” from available information.
Automation does not replace human interaction or decision making. Automation merely provides high-quality enhancements that improve accuracy, increase productivity and minimize low-value manual tasks. Along with streamlining workflow, an organization that automates experience costs savings, faster hiring, as well as high-level predictive analysis reports gleaned from performance data.
Unfortunately, even in this fast-paced world, the process for hiring takes careful consideration and time. The reality is that HR doesn’t fill a single position at a time. They actively search for multiple candidates to fill various roles, all with their own set of requirements, skills, and expectations. Automation can take away much of the burden by applying AI and machine learning to routine activities that span from outreach through to an offer.
Areas ready for automation in hiring include:
According to AllyO, without automation, these activities take up 80 percent of a recruiter’s time. Automation enhances the candidate’s experience by providing shorter applications, automated responses, and follow-up. Since many candidates believe their submitted resumes enter a black hole, they will respond more positively to your company, brand, and offer when kept in the loop throughout the process. Also, automation speeds up the time between application and hiring and can reduce gender and race bias.
Allyo has also discovered that automated recruitment saves an average of two days per week of recruiter time. Automation provides significant reduction in manual administrative tasks and analytics that can help predict new hire success. Once deployed, recruiters can engage in the more human-touch, creative, and strategic functions of talent management. Additional benefits of automating the hiring process include:
A day in the life of an HR recruiter consists of competing tasks that vie for limited time, with starts and stops and changes in direction. Recruiters often wade through applications for open requisitions that span from part-time to upper management. They communicate with multiple applicants, interviewers, and other stakeholders throughout the process. Automated solutions can collect applications, qualify applicants, schedule interviews, and engage with candidates.
An example of automation meeting the challenges of high growth is when Black Angus Steak House needed to expedite their hiring process. With today’s highly mobile society, the company was able to take advantage of accepting employment applications via text. Black Angus Steak House now receives 88 percent of their applications as text messages. Also, with end-to-end programmatic recruiting automation, they cut their average interview wait time to just two days.
The HR department often must scramble to meet company growth goals. Increased hiring is always a good sign. However, as other departments take on new roles, new projects, and new employees, the HR department usually makes do with existing staff. The department is responsible for the entire employee lifecycle from initial outreach to retirement. They handle benefits management, regulatory and tax issues, training, engagement, career guidance, and many other functions within the discipline of HCM.
Additional challenges that drive hiring automation include:
Automation solves many of the challenges by reducing days to hire with screening, analytics, and reports that simplify final choices. The process also provides time-savings by discovering existing candidates and streamlining outreach.
Deciding on the processes ripe for automation comes down to understanding your most significant challenges. Identify your problems and evaluate tools that fit your needs and vision. When looking for the best HR automation solution, consider those that make data easy to enter, retrieve, and use, reduce manual errors, and improve cross-functional workflows and information sharing.
Speedy hiring may require text applications. Hiring for highly skilled positions may benefit from automated interviewing. Elaine Orler, CEO and Founder of Talent Function, says that the quickest way to implement automation is to “Identify the biggest pain point and bring in a tool to solve that. Implement a little bit at a time.” Orler’s advice is also useful for gaining “buy-in” from stakeholders. Short bursts of success can lead to faster and more stress-free use of automated hiring processes.
If your process is not yet automated, now is the time to start exploring options. Orler suggests beginning with the basics and then expand as needs emerge. “Don’t wait for every process to be designed to perfection before you start. Implement a solution with vision and intention and continue to nurture processes. Don’t leave the product or your end goals behind. Know what you want to do and measure yourself to that,” she adds.
Below are additional tips that will help you automate hiring processes:
Employee diversity is a hot topic for a good reason. A Mckinsey study found that “companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.”
Another study by Gartner found that “in a more diverse and inclusive workforce, individual discretionary effort improves by 12 percent and intent to stay improves by 20 percent. Team collaboration and commitment improve by approximately 50 percent.” In short, having a diverse staff benefits the bottom line.
Even the best recruiters have unconscious prejudices that drive hiring decisions. However, it is just as accurate that even well-developed algorithms can inadvertently display bias based on available data. Amazon found this when they discovered a bias in its hiring system. For technical positions, the system screened male candidates higher than women. The reason was simple. The use of current employee resumes, which tilted male, taught the algorithm the qualities and, in some cases, verbiage used by men. The resumes that best matched current employees rose to the top of the stack, downgrading candidates that attended certain women’s colleges, for example. This famous example of systemic bias reflects the unconscious bias of the people, not the technology, involved.
The good news is that Amazon fixed the problem. Today, modern predictive tools have equity promoting features with HR teams routinely auditing for bias. Also, because machine learning is rules driven, it is far easier to discover and remove bias from an algorithm (algorithm fairness) than a person. More details on how we can teach systems to solve the challenge of bias are available in, Building AI to Unlearn Bias in Recruiting.
The best software and automation solutions are always reliant on the drive to use them effectively and continually improve. As Orler stated earlier, “Implement a solution with vision and intention and continue to nurture processes. Don’t leave the product behind.”
HR professionals can begin their search for the most suitable solution by asking questions such as:
Look for features that best suit the HR team and candidates, such as streamlining the primary stages of sourcing (drafting job descriptions), pre-screening (automating screening questions), interviewing, and final selection. For high-volume retail, hospitality, and hourly roles, mobile text applications offer swift discovery and interviewing.
Below you will find a comparison of the most popular HR technology solutions, demonstrating their ability to support automated hiring processes.
Comparison of the Popular HR Technology Solutions
|Vendor||Sourcing & Engagement||Screening||Interview Scheduling||Onboarding / Retention||Live & Automated Engagement||ATS / CRM Integration||Artificial Intelligence||Video Interviewing|
HR automation continues to evolve with continually improving technology. There remains little doubt that fast-paced organizations poised for growth benefit from faster and more accurate automated hiring solutions. You cannot remove “human” from human resouces, but humans will likely play a smaller role in repetitive processes that can benefit from AI and machine learning.
Proven benefits of cost reduction and intelligent analytics create avenues for HR managers to advance and actively participate in profit and expansion plans. Explore this concept more by reading Allyo’s The Next Wave of AI-Led Recruiting ebook. Even more, the areas of inclusion and diversity are where these systems can have a positive impact. When businesses eliminate much of the traditional, institutional, or unconscious bias, they enjoy a competitive advantage and foster good practices for their culture and its bottom line.
Today’s recruiters are operating in a highly competitive landscape, and they must move fast if they want to attract the right talent for their company. Automated hiring processes can help save time, identify ideal candidates, and handle repetitive tasks.
AllyO’s AI automated hiring solution that enables conversational job matching across all talent acquisition channels, intelligently qualifies the candidate specifically for the best-fit role, automates interview scheduling and post-interview interactions, drives retention through post-hire check-ins, and gathers actionable insights to improve overall recruiting performance.
Backed by leading investors such as Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI fund), Randstad Innovation Fund, Sapphire Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Cervin Ventures and Scale Venture Partners, and used by Fortune 500 enterprises. AllyO customers have experienced a 2-6X increase in applicant capture and conversion rate, 91 percent application completion rate, and over 50 percent reduction in cost and time to hire. Discover how to streamline your recruiting process and create a more productive HR team with AllyO.
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