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Recruiting Automation: What it is and Why it Matters

Recruiting Automation What it is and Why it Matters

It is estimated that automation could improve global productivity by 0.8 to 1.4% over the next few years.

Online talent platforms alone will boost global GDP by $2.7 trillion by 2025. That is how powerful talent technology can be, and recruiting automation is a significant part of it.

And that technology is needed: Talent Acquisition teams are growing to become more sophisticated and are expected to run complex operations involving multiple work streams. To keep all of those work streams smoothly running, and most importantly, to be able to run them at a large scale, automation is inevitable.

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Recruiting automation is an Operations job

Operations are what makes or breaks a great strategy, and recruiting is no exception. Consider what’s on the plate of your average recruiting team: they have to keep running a bunch of different recruiting events and funnel the leads coming from them to the appropriate recruiter, while at the same time keeping alums engaged, monitoring data privacy compliance issues, and making sure nurture campaigns are getting adequate engagement. And we haven't even touched on anything related to proactive sourcing.

A large part of these workstreams can be automated and made manageable, but the flip side of that is that only a small operational detail needs to go wrong for things to start falling apart: A registration form can get fields switched up, a campaign’s variable can lose a bracket and send thousands of “Hi {first name=there!” emails to your candidates … it doesn’t take much.

That is why managing the operations behind a successful Talent Acquisition function is a specific role, and cannot simply be managed on an ad-hoc basis by whoever has a bit of time on the side. Modern Talent Acquisition teams usually have at least one full-time Recruiting Operations specialist on board, and might have more that one person assigned to the role if the team is large enough.

A large part of the role of the Recruiting Operation specialist is to set up processes to eliminate inefficiencies and improve the team’s productivity. In practice, that usually means setting up some recruiting automation flows to improve the efficiency of the recruiting process.

What does recruiting automation look like?

DEFINITION Recruitment automation can be defined as the use of software to support and augment modern recruiting techniques such as lead processing and assignment, campaign management, lead nurturing/scoring, lead lifecycle management, CRM integration, social marketing capabilities, and recruiting analytics.

Good use of recruiting automation helps recruiting teams focus on the work that requires their judgment and expertise, and gives the “monkey work” to software.

Some examples of automated workflows include:

  • Adding a candidate to a talent pool if they have certain skills
  • Assigning a candidate to a colleague when they are first added to a pool
  • Changing a candidate’s status when they hit a milestone, like 3 email interactions or attendance of one event
  • Monitoring replies to emails and prompting answers
  • Triggering a notification when a candidate is visiting a job posting

Use case for Recruiting automation: Smart campaigns

The value of scaling up recruiting operations is that you can engage with very large talent pools, while still preserving the quality of the candidate experience that is expected from a sophisticated Talent team. A great example of that is smart email nurture campaigns that adapt to candidates’ behaviors.

  • Candidates can fill up a registration form, then be automatically tagged or funneled to different talent pools based on their answers. For example, every engineers that says they are open to remote work can be tagged “remote” and quickly identified if you open a new remote role.
  • Candidates can be added automatically to a campaign if they exhibit certain behaviors, such as clicking on a link or subscribing to a newsletter or an event.
  • An engagement score can be automatically updated every time a candidate interacts with the campaign by clicking on a link or replying to a message, for example
  • Triggers can be set up to send a reminder email if a candidate hasn’t replied in a certain number of days, or if they haven’t clicked a link in a previous email.


Recruiting automation can take on a number of other forms: scheduling interviews, building reports, helping enforce compliance rules, and just generally enabling recruiters to recreate the same outstanding candidate experience many, many, many times over.

It is not hard to get started with automation. While a sophisticated, engagement-focused Talent Acquisition team might need full-time Recruiting Operations specialists to run all its back-end processes, even a small team can start by simply building a few talent pools and some basic nurture campaigns.

Why does a Talent Organization Need a Talent Operating System?

Top candidates have more options than ever before, and in such a competitive setting, every aspect of the recruiting experience matters. It's on the talent operations function to design the new way of working that will bring in the best talent.

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