Technology has changed the world so much over the last few decades and there are no signs of it slowing down any time soon. With advances coming in too quickly for most of us to process, it may feel like keeping things old fashioned is for the best. However, automation in the recruitment process may be the revolution that your company needs.

What is Automation?

When people hear the word “automation” many think of manufacturing assembly lines and, one day, robots waiters. However, automation is already a massive part of what makes our everyday lives a lot easier (most of the time); from ATMs, out-of-office replies, spell check, and automatic cars, we have come to love automation and the efficiency it brings. As technology advances, automation becomes increasingly useful and can now do a huge amount of manual tasks in a fraction of the time that it takes humans to do the same. Supercomputers are allowing us to go to edges of space, while Instagram’s algorithm is allowing us to see countless dog pictures. Though the balance between automation and human involvement is still something up for debate, there is no reason not to embrace it in the recruitment process. By utilising the right automation tools for your needs, the hiring process can be faster, cheaper, and more satisfying for both recruiters and job seekers.

It’s a Digital World

Simply put, the world has gone digital. Using the internet is the best way to reach an unprecedented amount of applicants in just a few seconds and iCIMS has shown that posting a job on social media can increase applications by 30-50%. As the technology-immersed-Millennials and Gen-Z enter the workforce, making use of the communication pathways that they are using, such as social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, is the best way to target these candidates. Reports have found that nearly 70% of time spent on the internet is done through a mobile device and social media sites are by far the most popular. Using software that allows for mobile applications through these sites means that anyone can apply from anywhere, it makes job seeking accessible and easy in our fast-paced lives.

Another tough issue faced by recruiters is that a growing number of job seekers are only passively looking for a new job. So the ability to target the right people through tools such as programmatic job advertising can help recruiters decode the massive amounts of data available to them and put it to good use. By using software that has access to the entire web, recruiters can input their parameters such as budget and demographic, and computer finds and buys advertising space in the best places all across the net. It means you can quickly and effectively target your audience, even if they aren’t actively looking on job advertising sites, they may come across your opportunity elsewhere.

Better Candidates

Just because more people can apply for your job, doesn’t mean that you’ll have an increase in qualified candidates. There are a few ways that automation can help ease recruiters’ difficulties when dealing with the huge number of applications, which don’t replace people in the process, but help them make better decisions. Now that application numbers have skyrocketed because of technology, without using automation, the hiring process will become inefficient: either by the length of time taken or the inability to properly screen every application. Reducing the time that the recruitment process takes can be crucial when trying to retain the top applicants, especially as we become accustomed to a faster world. Pre-screening tools like Test Candidates can choose who to reject and who is worth sending to HR and then contact those people far quicker. This even helps improve the ‘human’ aspect of the hiring process: not leaving applicants waiting for weeks for a rejection email that may never come if someone in HR doesn’t have the time to send one out. It leaves a better impression of the company and opens up a line of communication that can lead to fewer frustrations and future applications.

Automation is also a fantastic way to help in the struggle against human bias. It is well supported that a diverse workplace can have huge benefits and greatly increase the success of a business, so using tools to minimise the impact of internal prejudices is the best way to bring your company into the 21st century. Pre-screening software comes into play here too: picking out the most suitable candidates based on key terms and phrases, while automated responses can create a line communication that is neutral with all those it interacts with. Psychometric testing can also be done online and marked automatically, providing objective data that supports the best candidates, regardless of background, further helping recruiters make smarter decisions.

Creating a Brand

The digital world has put personal brand and reputation at the forefront of everyone’s mind. While most job seekers know that companies can judge them based on their social media, a lot of companies still don’t realise the same thing is happening back to them. Studies have found that a company’s reputation will not only affect a candidate’s decision on whether to apply/accept a position there, one also found that job seekers were willing to take a pay cut if it meant working for a firm with a more positive reputation. This means that automation isn’t just about cutting costs in the hiring process itself, it can save money in the long-term too: improving employee satisfaction, reducing turn-over, and making a company look more attractive, even with a lower salary.

Globalisation has led to a bigger pool of highly qualified candidates and companies across the world can find themselves battling for the same people. Positive representation and online transparency can make a real difference when it comes to your hiring power as a company, so using automation to schedule social media posts and communicate through automated replies or chatbots are tools to be embraced sooner rather than later. It may not seem important, but in the hypercompetitive job market of today, companies are competing with each other, just as much as the candidates.

Final Thoughts

Automation can make a real difference to the recruitment process by making it cheaper, faster, and more effective, without putting people’s jobs at risk. The human aspect of the hiring process is one that will most likely survive the technological revolution, but that doesn’t mean that the process wouldn’t be improved by technology. Innovative tools such as programmatic advertising, candidate pre-screening, and social media scheduling can make recruitment a much more rewarding job to perform with much better outcomes for the company. As people’s lives become digital, automation is built to make our lives better and by embracing these tools, you can become part of developing the future.

By Francis Dimaano

Francis is a freelance writer and an Info-Tech graduate student. He works at the Practice Aptitude Test in the comfort of his home. When he’s not writing, Francis spends time reading books, travel around his country, volunteering and feeding street children.