Automated solutions have become one of the biggest innovations in recruiting over the past decade, and they’re making it easier than ever for recruiters to streamline the hiring process. In fact, 63% of talent acquisition professionals say that artificial intelligence has changed recruiting at their organization by shortening hiring times and improving candidate pipelines. What’s more, AI is currently powering a host of automated recruiting solutions including scheduling tools and candidate engagement platforms.
But relying too much on automation could keep you from using these tools as effectively as possible. The key to making them work for you is knowing when to integrate your recruiters’ experience into the process.
Don’t underestimate the importance of connection
When it comes to recruiting, the benefits of automation are undeniable, and they include improved efficiency and easier candidate sourcing. According to our 2020 Recruiting Automation Trends Report, 73% of TA teams find better candidates with passive sourcing and 78% of recruiters believe data intelligence would make them more successful at their jobs. But as candidates increasingly look to connect with employers who share their values, the human element of recruiting can make or break the candidate experience.
So what’s the best way to connect with candidates? Make outreach a part of your ongoing recruiting efforts and keep the lines of communication open. In addition to keeping candidates in the loop about where things stand during the recruitment process, this is also a great way to keep them engaged and informed about the benefits of working for your company.
In a candidate-driven market, personal contact can make a big difference. “The challenge now isn’t finding people, it’s convincing people to make a change,” says Jim D’Amico, director of Global Talent Acquisition at Celanese. In a recent episode of our Hiring on All Cylinders podcast, Jim explained that the human connection can be a key differentiator for companies looking to stand out from the competition, and it can have significant benefits in every area of recruitment.
Focus on authenticity in your interactions
Authenticity is important when it comes to relationship-building and this is certainly the case when connecting with job seekers. Aim to be as transparent as possible in your interactions and don’t be afraid to be candid about your own experience at the company. For Jim and his team, this type of storytelling has been a big part of their recruiting success over the past year, allowing them to build strong relationships with candidates from the get-go while highlighting their company culture.
“We’ve received direct feedback from candidates who say they feel very connected before they even come in,” says Jim. “By the time they come on-site, they may feel like, ‘This is a family I want to be a part of.’” By making authenticity and personal connection a priority, you can boost your candidate conversion rates and get great hires in the door.
Combine automation with expertise
One of the keys to making automation work for your team is knowing which tasks to automate and which ones to delegate to your recruiters. This is where the power of the ‘human touch’ comes in.
A good rule of thumb is to focus on finding solutions that can cut down on the amount of administrative work your team does. This will allow them more time to reach out to candidates already in their pipelines and to spend more time getting feedback on the candidate experience. Candidate sourcing tools, automated scheduling and candidate engagement platforms can be a powerful way to address these issues, offering solutions to the most common recruiting problems.
As you work on creating the right balance between automation and personal connection, you’ll likely start to see increased success in all areas of talent acquisition — from passive candidate sourcing to reduced time-to-hire and even increased referrals. “We’ve seen increased velocity which is really important to us,” says Jim, explaining the benefits of striking the right balance in his team’s recruiting efforts. But the biggest surprise has been an improved candidate conversion rate: “We’ve also seen better candidate conversion, and what really surprised us is that we predicted a lot more offer turndowns… and we haven’t seen that.”
While optimizing recruiting can sometimes seem challenging, knowing how (and when) to rely on automation can make a big difference to your overall success. Combining a strategic mix of AI-powered tools with authentic communication and storytelling can boost your talent acquisition efforts and set you up for success.
Want to improve your talent acquisition strategies even further? Learn how to avoid one of the biggest recruiting mistakes and how to measure employer brand success.