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Recruiting with Robots: Is Automation a Dirty Word?

Candidate experience featured

Recruitment automation. Whenever the two words are mentioned in the same sentence you can guarantee spilt milk and hurt feelings.

It also usually triggers the familiar question: are robots going to take our jobs?

According to the former CEO of McDonalds USA, Ed Rensi, it’s cheaper and more efficient to buy a robot costing $35k than hire an employee for $15/hour (the increased minimum wage many Americans are calling for).

Probably best not to take these inflammatory comments too literally, McDonalds is planning on using robots in some of their restaurants, but it's pretty unlikely that you'll get your next Big Mac from something that resembles the Terminator!

Recruitment automation - Robots McDonalds

Recruitment automation gets a pretty bad name, partly because too often automated workflows end up in candidate's getting messages like this:

Recruitment Automation - bad email

Can you spot what's wrong?

Recruitment automation doesn't have to be something to fear though. In fact, if you get it right there are enormous gains to be made for you and your team.

The best part?

It's all low hanging fruit (i.e. pretty easy changes to make with big rewards).

How can Recruitment Automation be used for good?

How can we recruit the robots for good rather than evil?

Well fortunately, automation doesn't put us at risk of genuine evil, (perhaps not as much should be said for modern car factories!)

There are a few areas that the _right _kind of recruitment automation can help with.

1. Improving the candidate experience

Right now you're probably thinking I'm crazy.

Isn't poor candidate experience one of the biggest negatives of recruiting automation? The answer is often yes, but it doesn't have to be.

Let's take a few steps back. Do you currently have a way to measure candidate experience?

If you enter the annual Candidate Experience Awards you'll be able to benchmark yourself against competitors. This is awesome, (I'm a board member so I'm allowed to be enthusiastic), but it's only once a year.

What if you could use automation to constantly collect real-time data on the candidate experience? What if you could segment candidate happiness by the stage of your hiring process they were at? (e.g. what is the experience at screening)

An easy way to do this is by sending automated emails with short surveys to candidates whenever they change status in your process. These surveys should be designed to get simple feedback on what people like and don't like about your process.

candidate experience - recruitment automation

This is not only easy to implement, but hugely valuable. With this data, you can make immediate changes to improve candidate experience. This will go a long way to improving things like brand perception and offer acceptance rate, (pretty worthwhile if you ask me)

There are plenty of great survey tools out there, but here are a few I'd recommend:

i) Typeform: slick surveys with plenty of customisation options.

ii) Survey Monkey: the traditional option, still got plenty of legs.

iii) Beamery Surveys: candidate experience surveys, integrated with your CRM.

It's easy to collect the feedback you receive in a spreadsheet and segment it to see how candidate experience changes throughout your process.

Pro tip:

We also recommend that you ask candidates quantitative questions (e.g. rate our application process out of 10) as well as qualitative questions (e.g. what do you think of our application process).

Quantitative data is easier to get insights from, and will give you a something concrete that you can take to your boss.

2. Automating sourcing efficiency

"Recruiters are still weeding out the weak rather than finding the best" - Lou Adler, Adler Group

Lou Adler's frustration in the quote above comes from the fact that he sees most recruitment as reactive. Companies filter information from applicants instead of proactively sourcing the candidates that are really relevant.

Adler believes that setting up drip campaigns of emails that are automatically sent to candidates based on their actions is the way forward.

This is not as complicated as it sounds. The first message in your sequence could be highly personalised or a well-crafted template. Write follow-up emails for every eventuality in advance and then just sit back and let the robots do the work!

Recruitment automation emails

Using this kind of system means that every candidate you source receives a chain of highly targeted messages.

You're improving candidate experience by only following up with candidates that are actually interested, and you're saving HUGE amounts of time with automation. Don't be surprised if response rates jump after implementing a system like this!

3. Automating data entry

"I wish I could spend more time entering data and doing more admin work" - said nobody ever.

Tracking relevant candidate data is hugely important to recruiters, the only problem is that this process is heavily manual. Without automation, you get bogged down in complicated forms and spreadsheets trying to keep track of what your team is up to.

Automating this process gives recruiters hours, (or even days), back every week. It lets them get back to the stuff that's actually important - building relationships with great candidates.

Now if only there was a platform that did that...


Ultimately it's unlikely that we're going to be replaced by an all singing, all dancing robot (credit to Oscar Mager for the image below).

Using automation wisely can be HUGELY effective. We're huge believers in the value of the _right _kind of automation at Beamery. By that we mean automation that makes your life easier and provides a better experience to candidates.

If you can strike that balance then you're onto a winner.

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Talent teams of every size can find value in this ebook, but it is especially targeted at sophisticated teams who want to leverage the technology and candidate data at their disposal to create highly effective event programs. It contains an exploration of the different types of events and how to best use them, checklists for event set up, project management tips, collaboration, event follow-up, not to mention metrics and best practices for measurement.

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