Over the years automation at work has taken many forms. Do you remember Clippy? The annoying little popup icon at the bottom of your Microsoft Word document? That was Microsoft trying to be clever with an automated help desk tool that had a disastrous rollout for its new operating system. It was upgrading something that didn’t really need upgrading. Although the feature was eventually sent into the sunset, it did, in a way, open a door to a newer reality that we see now. Let me explain.
Today, companies are facing an ever-crowded market of hiring tools. With an ample amount of recruiting and sourcing platforms openly vying for their attention, the process of installing and adopting these tools is sometimes painful and arduous at best within many organizations. But the recruiting automation evolution is well under way.
The ATS Market
Some of the best new tools available now, especially within the applicant tracking system (ATS) market, are using a number of useful automated features in order to be compliant while still making the application process convenient for the job seeker. But there are still older systems in place that are causing candidates to just give up. Even in the climate we are facing right now in 2020.
Companies, especially younger firms that are well funded, are adopting digital automation faster than their older brothers, particularly tech related startups. And it doesn’t stop there. Search tools, although they have been around for years, are starting to use algorithms to predict reasons why a candidate might be looking to leave their job or why a company may be looking at possible layoffs or additions for that matter.
These ‘business intelligence’ tools (Engage Talent, Poach, etc) offer unique insights — sending you updates at the very moment that the information comes in from hundreds of data points. I think this is the new revolution in sourcing and recruiting as information like this has become so vital towards the success and health of a growing company.
If you don’t believe me look up the company Atlas, or former company. They were the go-to for maps for decades but they never conformed and grew. Another example is Kodak. The digital age crushed the film industry and since they did not look forward with an eye on technology and automation, they are basically in the grave as well. The examples go on and on with the brick and mortar companies that just couldn’t see the future.
Where Automation Fits
Automation in the hiring process is ready to move beyond its roots from automated triggers in your ATS to further upstream in the candidate experience. It can now pre-screen, interview and qualify you in a short process that speeds the flow of hires.
Amazon is a company that famously hires people for their warehouse, sight unseen, by putting them through a short online screening process that ends with new workers instructed to show up for an orientation. How’s that for automation? No human needed!
While an entirely automated process may be great for manual labor jobs like those at a warehouse, it won’t fly for many other types of roles. But even high caliber candidates expect some form of automation to make things like applying and scheduling more convenient. Remember these are the same people who live on their phones and expect a one click experience. So automation in the form of recruiting chatbots, text reminders and asynchronous video interviews are welcome features to this particular cohort.
Automation should never take away from humanization however. It should be used to augment a human to make the candidate experience more delightful without completely removing the personal element.
That doesn’t mean you can’t still use the automated, mass rejection email template. It just means you need to send that rejection email in a timely manner. Too quick and you risk being seen as a robot. Too late, and you risk becoming another part of the resume black hole.
Those companies who learn to master recruiting automation and make it work for them, will become the employer of choice to the next generation of candidates. Bet on it.