Candidate process automation involves the automation of certain elements of the recruitment process. It can help at various stages from the top of the candidate funnel through to the selection and scheduling of interviews and testing. You’ll find it beneficial by streamlining processes and enhancing efficiency while also supporting cost savings.
Organizations in markets with a high candidate volume tend to benefit the most from candidate process automation as they have enough applications to generate results. While automation has been associated more frequently with high volume hiring, there is most certainly advantages to implementing automation across other hiring categories.
The most important consideration when thinking about leveraging candidate process automation is candidate experience. Leveraging it at the expense of a positive candidate experience not only negatively impacts an applicant’s perception of the hiring process but also their perception of an organization as a potential employer.
Candidate process automation can be considered among other best talent acquisition strategies if used appropriately. Here are three ways you can leverage it:
Manually screening every application can add a lot of time to the recruitment process. It also leaves room for error with the potential to overlook candidates who may have otherwise been suitable. Automating the initial application stage helps to take the subjectivity from the process and grades the candidate based on their responses.
The structure is typically a questionnaire where the responses are weighted and the candidates are given a grade or score. The score dictates the next action. Should a candidate’s score fall below a certain level, it would trigger a decline. Above a certain level, the candidates would be recommended for progression and the application responses and resume would be reviewed in more detail. Score benchmarks may change if the number of “pass” candidates falls short of requirements.
Most applicant tracking systems are capable of including a weighted questionnaire as part of the application process, and ATS providers can help to set this up.
It’s worth remembering that standardized screening processes only work well if there are enough resumes to screen.
Interview scheduling sounds pretty simple, but don’t be fooled - it takes a lot of time aligning multiple calendars, with back and forth emails, only for someone’s schedule to change, then it has to be done all over again. It can easily take up to 45 minutes to schedule a single interview. Multiply that by the number of interviews scheduled per hire and again by the number of hires; you can see how the time quickly adds up.
From an administration point of view, scheduling carries one of the highest resource burdens. The benefits of automated screening include speed, quality, and reduction of workload. If a recruiter has 150 applications to screen, reducing the screening volume to the top 30% of applications saves a significant amount of time. Candidates will receive responses sooner too, which has a positive impact on the candidate experience.
Automated scheduling usually comes in the form of “self” scheduling. The interviewer selects a location and a number of possible dates and times for the interview to take place. These options are shared with the interviewee who selects the most suitable date and time. The interview is then scheduled and both parties are sent an invite email confirming location, date, and time. Many systems will allow both parties to reschedule in advance of the interview if required.
When it comes to class hiring or group assessment centers for high volume or events for graduate hiring, automated scheduling can be used to open multiple options for attendance allowing candidates to plan ahead for the dates that most suit them.
Candidate process automation is also great for managing talent pipelines. Contact management software lets recruiters create databases of qualified applicants that weren’t successful for one position but would perhaps be suitable down the line. Recruiters can send announcements to the database, letting candidates know when suitable opportunities arise and keep in touch with them regularly.
There are still aspects of the hiring process that can’t be automated but organizations that leverage candidate process automation are reaping the rewards.
As Vice President of Client Solutions, Libby Herrmann partners with our clients to drive optimal human capital solutions and offer insight into best practices for building effective and engaged teams. Libby has built her career with the intent to learn from and partner at all levels of the organization, both with clients internally and externally, to best employ that knowledge to drive results for her own clients, teammates and colleagues.