The current state of the job applicant market is volatile, and the numbers are there to prove it: A recent study on the current recruiting landscape found that 61% of HR professionals are having issues finding experienced, qualified candidates.
So how do current recruiting priorities align with this pervasive issue? JobVite found that recruiters’ top 5 priorities in a post-Covid world are to improve the quality of hires (52%), increase retention of employees (24%), streamline the timeline-to-hire (23%), grow a large talent pipeline (22%), and focus on hiring people from diverse backgrounds (22%).
While organizations are more than likely aware that technology can help remediate almost all of these issues, Gartner shares that only 17% of organizations currently implement A.I. into their HR solutions. Automation is key to the success of an end-to-end recruiting process, and while Gartner predicts that 30% of companies will harness the power of A.I. this year, making it a priority could have a transformative effect on the HR team.
And it’s a transformation that Jack Massion, a Talent Acquisition and HR Manager at SystemsAccountants, has seen firsthand. Massion recently joined the Systematic community as part of its HR Tech Series to share his own technical roadmap for automating the recruiting process and how he decreased time-to-hire by over 50%.
So what’s the first step?
Meet with the talent acquisition team and make an effort to truly understand their current process and pain points. This is where you can learn what you’re solving for—maybe the team finds that they keep losing qualified candidates because they take too long to respond or that their resume screening process isn’t tough enough and results in too many folks coming through to first-round interviews. It doesn’t matter how great the technical solution you can bring to the table is…if it isn’t relieving the team’s current problems, it isn’t the best place to start.
Once you get a feel for the problems the team is facing, you can start from the beginning of the recruiting process: resume screening. According to Massion, “One of the biggest things to automate when it comes to screening is the rejection email. We wanted to screen out more candidates—we were receiving way too many applications that were not relevant to the job description.”
He points out that automating the screening process can help recruiters focus on applicants who have skills that match those needed in the role. The automation can scan the applicant’s profile against the job description to see how the candidate stacks up, making it easier for the hiring manager to make a decision on whether the resume should move forward. Looking to the future, Massion plans to implement A.I. in his HCM system. A.I. will generate a score for candidates based on their qualifications, which will automatically trigger a phone screen invitation to those who meet a certain score.
Next, you should integrate your scheduling system with your ATS. Massion mentions that a shocking 83% of senior executives have turned down a job because the interview process has taken too long. “How do we get the scheduling simplified?” asks Massion. “How do we quickly find a time that works for everyone?” Once your ATS and scheduling system are integrated (either through a native approach or through APIs), you can automate the pain out of finding a mutually agreeable time on the interviewer and interviewee’s calendars. This can save recruiters a ton of tedious manual admin work—no more spending half the day looking for that thirty minute slot where four very busy people can all come together.
When it comes to creating a first-rate interview process, it’s also important to consider the content of the interview itself—automation can even come in handy here. Massion and his team “created a database where there is an automatic trigger to share the link to the applicant’s profile in the ATS system to the interview.” This database allows the interviewer to see all the information they need in one place and access full resumes and notes of previous interviews. According to Massion, “People tend to get asked the same questions repeatedly. If someone has already asked that question, you have access to notes from previous interviews, so you can ask new questions, which can help make a well-informed decision.” This also improves the candidate experience and can increase their likelihood of accepting an offer.
At this point, you’ve made sure only the best candidates make it to the interview process, you’ve automated the scheduling process to save time, and have put guardrails in place to help facilitate meaningful conversations during interviews. The last step is actually hiring the candidate the team has decided will be the best fit for the open role.
Believe it or not, 1 in every 6 candidates who are offered a job reject the offer. Massion emphasizes how important it is to build a thoughtful interview kit that not only helps the team get the information they need but also gives the candidate a lot of context and room to ask questions.
He has also found that the people who go through a more challenging interview are more likely to accept the job. There’s data to back that idea up: Glassdoor conducted a study where they found a strong positive statistical correlation between job interview difficulty and employee satisfaction. In the U.S., for instance, they found that those who had an interview that was 10% more difficult than average were 2.5% happier in their role later on.
Now that you have gotten the candidate to the end of the recruiting process and are ready to offer them the job, automation should take a backseat. Unlike other stages in the recruiting process, the talent acquisition team should personally reach out to the candidate themselves to add a personal touch when they send them an offer.
So what does the timeline look like in terms of the end-to-end process? According to The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), it takes an average of 42 days to fill a position. By automating the recruiting process, however, Massion and his team at SystemsAccountants lowered the average hiring time to 13 days from 30 days, bringing their average to nearly a third of the industry standard.
At the end of the day, Massion advises business systems professionals to “be a hero for your HR counterpart.” Implement solutions that let recruiters play the role of humanizing the recruiting process and focus on getting to know candidates, rather than stressing over the administration work. He believes automation gives recruiters the ability “to do more talking. The better the recruiter knows a person,” says Massion, “the better offer will be on the table.”