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Recruitment Automation 101

Here’s a quick start guide on getting started in recruitment process automation

A trend that is becoming pretty exciting right now is recruitment automation. Likely accelerated by the tools that are more readily available like integromat and zapier, and more open APIs between HR apps and Applicant tracking systems, recruitment automation is a brave new world of growing and improving your HR and Recruitment Systems and keeping your human interactions exactly that, more human.

The most important item to stay focused on when considering recruitment automation is the candidate. What is the end-result, and what is the purpose of what you are trying to automate.

Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

Picture of Steven R Covey
Steven R Covey, author of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People

Steven R. Covey, of 7 Habits of Highly Successful People (Amazon) fame is accredited with the famous line “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” #

As you consider what you are trying to automate and why, this is an important piece of the puzzle. Just because something can be automated does not mean it should.

Another way to look at this has become my unofficial axiom for recruitment process automation in general:

Automate the things computers do well, so you can do the things humans do well.

This means rethinking the old standbys like calling candidates personally to book calendar appointments, but then sending blind, generic emails from “noreply” email accounts when they are no longer considered in the process.

Perhaps, automating your calendaring time could help candidates feel in some control of the process as well as allowing you to let candidates know they are not being considered any longer for a role with a personal call, not a heartless “thanks but no thanks” message.

Talk to Your Vendors

Your vendors have a vested interest in keeping you on-board with their platforms. Before inventing the wheel, you may reach out to them and ask for their help in building automations or tools linking your services and theirs. If anything else, they may turn right around and sell those same integrations to others. Believe me, you are doing them a favor by asking for their help!

Ask Your Candidates’ Advice

Everything you automate needs to be tested. If you’re testing on live candidates, say, a process that allows them to book their own interviews, you could let them know about this in your calls. Something like “Julie, I am testing a new process that should let you book your own interviews. Do you mind trying that out and giving me some honest feedback about it?”

This enrolls the candidate in your process and helps them help you know what things look like from their perspective. The most efficient process doesn’t necessarily feel efficient to the candidate… and their experience is the most-important.

Give candidates an “out”

Make sure you clearly communicate to your candidates that there may be things they don’t like or they may feel they’re being pushed into a process too quickly.

Always give them an out. This could be as simple as a disclaimer in a system-generated email which reads “Not ready to book a meeting? Just reply and let me know your concerns or give me a call at 111-222-3333. I look forward to hearing from you.”

Iterate, Iterate, Iterate

Once something is working, great. It’s easy to forget there was ever a problem. That doesn’t mean you should stop iterating and perhaps rethinking your processes.

Keep asking candidates for feedback, and take them seriously. Dont ever lose your understanding that their experience and how it feels to work with you and your company is more important than anything else.

What Works For You?

Your favorite recruiting automation of late? Share them!

By @AskRobMerrill

I'm Robert Merrill. I am the founder and principal consultant at ConnectedWell Recruiting and Talent Advisors, a boutique recruitment consulting agency. I have more than 15 years technical and professional recruiting experience across the US and fourteen other countries, globally.

Beside my writing here, I am working on helping make hiring more human again, publishing a newsletter, and Helping 1 Million people get better jobs in 5 years. The clock is ticking.

I also write on linkedin and medium, answer questions on quora, am funnier on twitter @askrobmerrill and trying to figure out instagram as well. Give us a follow, if you like.

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