Most human resources (HR) professionals choose this career because they’re passionate about people leadership and business strategy. Yet many HR professionals spend more time and energy on routine admin and manual processes than they’d like to and less on strategic matters such as employee experience and engagement, workforce planning and company culture.
Sage’s global research report, The changing face of HR in 2024, finds that 73% of HR leaders agree that their team today focus primarily on processes. The recruitment process provides one perfect example of how manual processes still hold HR teams back. It’s an important moment in the employee journey and a key opportunity to build the employer brand.
HR professionals also recognise that Gen Z, the first truly digital generation, is entering the workforce in great numbers. Born between 1997 and 2012, this generation is reshaping how we hire and recruit. Meeting them on their terms is essential to successfully attracting and retaining the best young talent for your workforce of tomorrow.
Inefficiencies and frustrations in traditional recruitment approaches
Yet, traditional approaches to recruitment are rife with inefficiencies that cause frustration for recruiters and job candidates alike. It all starts with the avalanche of CVs recruiters get when recruiting for an open position. They may receive hundreds of applications for each role, with international research showing that upwards of 42% of CVs are from candidates who don’t meet the job requirements.
Manually sifting through these applications is a time-consuming and error-prone chore. Given the time pressures, recruiters may spend as little as seven secondsreviewing each CV. That makes it all too easy to miss strong candidates. Then, there’s the whole process of answering queries from jobseekers and keeping them posted about their application.
In addition to the time it drains from your HR team, a traditional approach to recruitment is a poor fit with a digital world. If you decline to interview an applicant with a CV that matches the spec, it can harm your employer’s brand. Similarly, if a candidate doesn’t receive any communication from you after completing two rounds of interviews, it can leave them with a negative impression and dissatisfaction.
Leveraging cloud-based HR software and AI to streamline recruitment
The good news is that help is available if you’re prepared to embrace digital transformation. Cloud-based HR software automates many recruitment process steps, giving you more time to focus on the human touchpoints. Today’s most powerful tools use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to streamline the recruitment process vastly.
When a potential employee encounters your company, the right tech can make a difference in the candidate’s experience. You can, for example, use your career portal to entice candidates to apply with a differentiated brand experience. By providing a user-friendly platform for candidates to search, filter, and apply for jobs and keeping them informed about the status of their applications throughout the process, you can ensure that top-notch candidates are not overlooked or missed.
That’s especially important to meet the needs of young jobseekers who have grown up with social media, Netflix, and Uber. They expect the job application experience to be as seamless and easy as the on-demand apps they use daily on their smartphones. Top young talent will gravitate towards employers who make a good first impression on digital channels.
Using AI algorithms to evaluate and score candidates efficiently
AI-powered candidate matching functionality can save you hours spent wading through CVs. It helps you eliminate unqualified candidates early in the process. You can match and score candidates according to the criteria that matter to you and in a way that removes bias. That lets you evaluate and process potential talent faster, so you can spend more time on personalised interactions.
By automating your recruitment process, you can rapidly speed up the process. AI algorithms can help you draw up a shortlist of candidates to interview within minutes rather than hours and days. You can reinvest your time in interviewing more candidates or interviewing them more comprehensively.
Provided you use it wisely and ensure there’s always a human touch, AI can also help you to communicate with candidates. You can, for example, consider deploying an AI-powered chatbot to respond to frequently asked questions that candidates have about a role. This would keep the new generation happy with the fast responses. You can also use tools like AI to get back to people when you’re snowed under.
Other steps in the recruitment process that can be automated include posting job ads on multiple platforms, such as social media and career portals, letting candidates in your database know about new opportunities that match their skills and preferences, and scheduling interviews. These steps can impress candidates while sparing your team many hours of tedious manual work.
Using Data to drive successful recruitment strategies
A further benefit lies in how an automated recruitment process supports data-driven decision-making. The data you’ll gather will enable you to understand where you found your best recruits, where applicants dropped out of your candidate journey and which qualifications, skills, experience, and behavioural traits your most successful people share. This takes the guesswork out of recruitment.
Technology advances are revolutionising how HR works, and recruitment is no exception. Today’s candidates, especially Generation Z, are connected, digitally savvy and expect a smooth experience when interacting with a potential employer. Leading brands that use tech to get recruitment right from the first moment of contact can gain an advantage when recruiting and retaining top talent.