Can You Automate Your Hiring Too Much?

TSP • @myTSPnet


Automation in hiring, especially the use of Artificial Intelligence, has enabled major increases in recruiting efficiency which benefits both employers and candidates. Recruiters have access to a much larger pool of candidates, beyond the scope that any human could review manually. Volume tasks like initial screening of resumes, skills tests and scheduling interviews are clearly accelerated through automation. Candidates appreciate the ability to submit shorter applications and receive fast feedback through tools such as chatbots. Some companies even use automated interviewing through text and chat as well.

Additionally, AI and machine learning bring higher degrees of predictive accuracy, faster, the same way Google can auto complete your search inquiry based on what large numbers of other people are searching. Some form of recruiting automation software is now used by 75% of US companies, a figure that increases to 99% with the Fortune 500.

That said, it’s important to understand where automation is the most appropriate, and where the value of human interaction might outweigh the efficiencies of AI. The right mix depends on the nature of the job and the stage in the recruiting process.

There are some key areas to watch in your recruiting process, to ensure you gain the benefits of automation without missing or turning off great candidates.

  • Be careful about the criteria: It’s easy to get criteria like required experience wrong. The rise of online applications caused a measurable increase in the average number of applications per open position. In response, many employers use automation to control the flood through strict keyword criteria. However, the floor can be set too high for relatively junior positions, for example. Or using a term like “computer programming” when really all that’s needed is a general facility with office applications. You may be screening out a set of good potential candidates just through ill-considered wording.

  • Watch for bias: In many ways, automation makes it easier to run a fair recruiting process without unconscious human bias creeping in, especially in earlier stages. If the screening criteria are set based on your current workforce, however, you may miss opportunities to view strong candidates from an unexpected pool of people. Keep an eye on criteria like geography, education, gaps in resumes (which can be the result of time off to care for children and family), education, and age.

  • More human interaction for “bottom of the funnel” opportunities: “Top of the funnel”, “mid-funnel”, and “bottom of the funnel” are typical marketing terms for client lead scoring development. The same applies to recruiting. As a candidate moves through the process and appears to have a higher potential as a recruit, increase the human quotient in your engagement. Certainly, many types of interviews can be done asynchronously (through video recording to review later) or through text and chat. And for some jobs that may be sufficient to move to a decision and offer.

    For more interactive and skilled roles, however, a live interaction through video (or in-person again, as conditions allow) enables a deeper assessment and gives the candidate a better sense of your engagement and your corporate culture. A more senior role will also generally require more human interaction to assess the candidate’s potential fully and make the right decision. We're in a seller’s market for many roles right now, due to skills shortages, and you want to make sure you can appeal your company’s value to your most qualified candidates.

  • Pilot test your automation mix at each stage: It’s a good practice to run a test set of internal employees, or a few trusted employees from a partner or vendor for example, through your end-to-end recruiting process. Test groups can give valuable feedback on what worked well and what caused roadblocks. You can also see how the test candidates’ qualifications made it through your AI-driven screens.

According to SHRM, 82% of candidates say the ideal recruiter interaction is a mix between innovative technology and personal interaction. There’s a great opportunity for recruiters to get the mix right by staying flexible, changing as conditions change, and adapting automation to the nature of the role and the stage of the process.


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