CandE Research Takeaway #3: More Recruiting Automation in 2021

Recruiters already have their hands full in 2021—processing extraordinary numbers of job applications even as their budgets and teams are being pared down in many industries. And despite having fewer resources, recruiters must somehow continue to maintain the integrity of the candidate experiences they’ve worked so hard to build.

Better days are coming for sure. The question is, what can they do in the meantime to overcome these challenges?

While recruiting technologies aren’t new – we’ve had applicant tracking systems for over two decades and lots of tech in between – in the past few years more companies are embracing smart technologies. These leverage machine learning, natural language processing and first-stage artificial intelligence to handle the more labor-intensive aspects of recruiting. The thing is, many companies have taken great care to infuse their candidate experience with as much human contact as possible. Understandably, they’re reluctant to inject more technology into their processes even if it would lighten their burden.

Balancing Tech with the Human Touch

Turns out, recruiting leaders needn’t worry about adding technology to help them recruit and hire—as long as they use it wisely. As Talent Board’s 2020 Benchmark Research Report makes clear, candidates don’t really care about the tech or expect human interaction at every single moment of their journey. They fully realize you’ll likely use technology to handle some touch points. What matters most to them (other than getting a job) is that potential employers do three things:

  1. Clearly acknowledge their presence when they apply.
  2. If they make it past the apply stage, communicate with them consistently during their journey, however short or long that ends up being.
  3. Provide them with definitive closure once you’re not going to pursue them any further.

In other words, candidates don’t literally think about your tech stack. What they do think about is falling into the big black hole of zero acknowledgment and communication that still plagues too many candidate experiences, especially in the initial stages.

Where To Leverage Recruiting Technology

Just about every stage of the candidate experience can be augmented with technology solutions, but there are a few areas where you can integrate it unobtrusively and with powerful outcomes:

  1. Your career site and application process. These are ideal places to use chatbots and mobile text campaigns to answer candidates’ questions or provide useful information. Too often, there’s little or no communication happening in the research and apply stages.According to 2020 CandE benchmark research, chatbot usage has risen by 87% in EMEA since 2019, 47% in APAC, and 15% in North America (it remained the same in Latin America). Despite these spikes, there are still plenty of employers who can benefit from it—and they should because candidate satisfaction rates go up when there is more communication and engagement. Here in North America, for instance, the number of candidates who are “extremely likely to refer others” increased by 29% when a chatbot answered questions during an employer’s application process and 25% when a chatbot answered questions on a Careers site. Careers sites and the application process are also perfect places to use mobile text campaigns. The use of mobile text campaigns went from 0% to 43% in Latin America in the past year, jumped by 50% in North America, and remained about the same in EMEA and APAC. When candidates received text message reminders about their next steps, he number who reported a positive experience increased by 38% in Latin America and EMEA, 35% in North America, and 32% in APAC.
  2. The interview process. With quarantines, lockdowns, and social distancing still dominating our reality, video interviews are not only a great solution – it’s the only solution. Not surprisingly, the use of video interviews soared 163% in APAC, 129% since 2019 in North America and in EMEA, and 24% in Latin America in the 2020 CandE benchmark research. But video interviews will be with us long after the pandemic has abated, thanks to the convenience and cost savings they provide.Pro tip when using video interviews: the number of candidates who reported a positive experience increased by 78% in Latin America, 58% in EMEA, 51% in North America, and 32% in APAC when employers provided them with “how to prepare” instructions prior to their digital interviews.
  3. The assessment stage. Employers use many kinds of assessments these days, including job simulation assessments, which can be done online, over the phone, or via an assessment center. Job simulation assessments enable employers to form a clearer impression of how candidates will actually perform in the roles for which they’re applying—a huge help in determining the best final-stage candidates. In North America, the use of job simulation assessments has increased by 26% since 2019.

Let me close with a graphic from this year’s North America Research Report showing some of the key ways global employers plan to leverage AI technologies to improve their recruiting in 2021:

Based on the above AI tech, you should definitely consider the likes of Modern Hire, Phenom, Paradox, Beamery, Jobvite, SeekOut, SHL, Symphony Talent, Wade & Wendy, Meet & Engage, pymetrics, Eightfold, XOR and all the other CandE sponsors!

Hopefully, I’ve given you some solid ideas for incorporating recruiting technologies into your own talent acquisition process. You’ll find many more in this year’s Benchmark Research Report.

In my next post, we’ll explore the importance of making it easy for candidates to research your company. And if you’re interested in participating in our 2021 CandE benchmark research program, click here.


Be safe and well.

Kevin Grossman, Talent Board President

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