2021 CandE Research Takeaway #3: Recruiting Automation Continues to Increase

This is part three of Talent Board’s new 10-post series on Key Takeaways from our 2021 benchmark research reports. All previous posts in the series are available on our Articles page.


Data from Talent Board’s latest candidate experience benchmark research confirms that recruiting automation is increasingly essential to a world-class candidate experience, especially AI-powered ones. More specifically, recruiting automation enables three things that candidates tell us they want from all employers:

  • Answers to their questions at various stages of their journey, especially the research and application stages.
  • Acknowledgement that their applications and resumes have been received.
  • More responsive and consistent communication from recruiters and hiring managers across the candidate journey, no matter how short or long that journey may be.

Candidates definitely notice and appreciate it when employers use automation to address these touch points. How do they show their appreciation? By willingly engaging in the experience again and again (i.e., reapplying to jobs), rating the experience highly across social media and employer review sites, referring colleagues and friends to the company, and even by increasing their willingness to purchase that company’s products or services when it’s a consumer-based company.

While all of the 2021 top CandE-winning organizations utilize some form of recruiting automation technology, they’re certainly not the only ones adopting it. Our data shows the use of chatbots, for example, has risen 40% among all U.S. employers since 2019, while AI-based video interviews/assessments usage has risen 35%.

Why Candidates Welcome Automation

Given the frantic pace of recruiting these days, it’s no surprise that recruiting automation continues to win proponents. Countless TA teams wouldn’t be able to keep their heads above water in today’s talent market without these indispensable technologies, which free up recruiters and hiring managers to work more efficiently and effectively when it comes to badly needed human interaction.

At the same time, automation benefits candidates by making their experiences smoother, faster, and more personalized. Indeed, today’s candidates expect you to use recruiting automation, even if they don’t always like it, because they understand the challenges you’re up against (again, even when all they care about is getting the job). They welcome anything you do that improves your ability to treat them with respect, reduce redundancies and extra steps in your process (especially during the application and interview/assessment phases), and respond to them quickly at each stage of your process.

Candidates may not even realize it, but the fact that automation technologies, such as AI matching technologies and AI-based assessments, can help reduce unfairness and bias in the recruitment process, thus giving them a better chance to present their skills and capabilities to potential employers.

As employers consider and experiment with new automation technologies, they may want to put their initial focus on solutions that address those three items mentioned earlier: 1) acknowledgement of resumes received, 2) answers to candidates’ questions, and 3) more responsive and consistent communication. These are hallmarks of the experience candidates so clearly desire, which means these technologies will pay big dividends in the long run.

We’ll explore Key Takeaway #4—“Make Researching Your Company Content Rich for Candidates”—in our next article.

Be safe and well.

Kevin W. Grossman, Talent Board President


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