There has never been a more challenging yet exciting time to be in recruitment. On the one hand, a tight job market and talent scarcity make a recruiter’s job increasingly difficult. On the other hand, AI and new automation technologies hold the promise of a golden age.
Talent acquisition is undergoing radical change, but the transition to a new era of tech poses unique challenges.
Success will come to those organizations that make the right tech choices, implement seamlessly, optimize workflows quickly, and support teams to adjust and flourish. It’s tricky to get everything right, and there are a lot of challenges that can hamper progress.
In this blog, we share some insights on implementing automation solutions successfully.
First, a quick round-up of why you can no longer put off the inevitable – automation in recruitment is essential!
The Benefits of Automation in Recruitment and Why It’s Essential
Finding talent isn’t easy right now, and that isn’t about to change. In today’s recruitment climate, the efficiency of systems and the competency of recruiters largely determine who gets to talent first.
The best applicants are snapped up within ten days! – Recruiting Statistics by Office Vibe
When it comes to automating recruitment processes, leaders can’t keep kicking the can down the road. It’s more important than ever to make recruitment processes efficient so recruiters can get to talent faster with fewer resources.
Automation provides ample benefits, from speeding up the screening process and improving candidate communication to improving data quality and reducing errors. It optimizes the hiring process throughout. Engagement with candidates is supercharged, the length of the hiring process is shortened, and dropouts are minimized.
60% of job seekers would drop out of lengthy hiring processes! –Recruitment Statistics by G2
Recruitment technology can add hours to a recruiter’s day, and automation significantly reduces costs. This means businesses can scale hiring faster by reaching more candidates and clients.
While automation technology may seem scary for recruiters (roles will undoubtedly change), there are many benefits to sell to the team. By taking away some of the daily manual tasks, a recruiter has more time available to focus on the interesting, engaging, and strategic aspects of their jobs.
Role enrichment isn’t something that gets talked about much, but rather than staff seeing automation as a disruptor, with good leadership, tech should make a recruiter’s job less focused on menial tasks and more geared towards the human touch and other rewarding aspects of work. Building relationships is fundamental in recruitment.
Of course, the transition to new tech and greater automation won’t all be plain sailing. It poses many challenges, so let’s look at some of the potential difficulties.
The Challenges Posed by Automation
Whatever the sector, introducing new technologies always brings challenges, both internally to the organization (staff) and even externally (to clients and customers, or in the case of recruitment, also to candidates). All users have a steep learning curve when navigating a new system.
Employees must be trained proficiently to use the new tools to continue carrying out their roles confidently. Roles, as well as tasks, may change, so it can be an unsettling time for employees. Existing external users must also be introduced to the new software and new processes that affect them.
Choosing the Right Software
Ease of use should be high on your checklist when choosing new software. Complex systems may tick many boxes on your features list, but these can become troublesome if your employees create workarounds, which will happen if the software is too complex to fathom. No matter how great your software is on paper, baking in bad habits makes a landscape of missed opportunities.
Interfaces with the outside world (customers, clients, or partners) must also be user-friendly to optimize engagement. Candidate experience matters. There are plenty of other recruiters out there.
Cost is another consideration. The cost of digitizing your organization can quickly mount up. Failure to manage tech investments carefully will slow the speed of innovation. Cloud-based and subscription-style tech solutions are a great way to control costs and scale.
It’s important to recognize value. The best software isn’t necessarily the most expensive. In a recent Deloitte study on workflow automation, organizations experiencing greater value from their cloud services were not spending significantly more. A lot rides on usability and accessibility to make software cost-effective.
To understand what is involved in choosing new software and how Tracker approaches implementation, read our recent case study here.
New System Training
Also high on your checklist for software is the level of training offered by your chosen provider. Without adequate training, staff won’t know how to get the best out of the new system, creating a frustrating user experience. This is disempowering and may cause employees to disengage when you most need their buy-in. You’ll run into problems later if new processes aren’t rolled out properly at the outset.
At Tracker, we pride ourselves on the support we offer to ensure success from day one. We are always on hand to help with queries, discuss best practices, or assist when things don’t go to plan.
Change Management: New Roles and Introducing New Workflows
As well as considering the challenges around the software itself, there is also the issue of new workflows and how that will change roles. Radical innovations inevitably facilitate change (hopefully for the better), but this can be a tough transition for staff.
Remember, some of your people will embrace change, while others will be resistant. Concerning automation, your people may need a lot of reassurance that robots aren’t about to take over their jobs!
The critical thing to know is that there is a lot you can do to support staff through the transition to prevent unfounded fears and worries. You don’t have to do anything radical. It begins with transparency. Be open and honest about the upcoming changes. Don’t forget that successful change management is about people, which is just as crucial as seamlessly embedding the technology.
It will be essential to communicate the positive benefits of upskilling. AI and automation won’t only eliminate tasks. New tasks will inevitably be created. For example, AI sometimes gives wrong or inappropriate outputs, so functions to check and synthesize data will likely materialize. Upskilling of staff as you shift to greater automation of business processes will be vital. Change can be embraced with many positive benefits when sold to the team correctly.
Importantly, staff will be more open to change if they understand how their roles will change and why. Ensure staff hear that the changes are about making it easier for them to do their jobs well and be clear that there will be opportunities to learn new skills.
Of course, there may be staffing challenges, including the scaling down of teams. This must be handled sensitively and within the confines of correct HR procedures. Ultimately, the critical challenge for leaders will be optimizing business outcomes while supporting workforce understanding and engagement.
Tips and Insights to Overcome the Challenges Involved
Be sure to choose a software provider that can support your vision of what success looks like. Can the technology do everything you want it to? How will it be implemented? What training is available, and how will updates be rolled out? Be clear about your criteria for success, both with internal staff and the software provider. Your rollout will require a lot of teamwork. The more prepared you are the easier it will be to spot problems and overcome them.
Communicate Like Crazy!
Adopting new tech and being asked to change how you do your job is quite alarming. The more you communicate with your teams, the easier it will be for them to get on board with the upcoming changes. Top-down communication explaining the need for the new solution and its impact on the organization is essential.
This Forbes article on Change Management has excellent tips for company leaders on introducing new technology.
Have a Clear Rollout Process
Map out a timeline for implementation. Ensure everyone in your team knows what is happening and when. Identify potential risks and where delays might occur. Try to keep everyone on the same page throughout.
Sell the Benefits of Role Changes to Staff
Be clear about what the new tools are, what processes will change, and how the tech will help recruiters to do their jobs better. Ultimately, you want staff to be great ambassadors of your new tech!
Reinforce to staff that recruitment automation won’t replace the insight, experience, and knowledge that recruitment professionals provide. In an increasingly tricky recruitment market, the personal touch and building relationships will be more valuable than ever.
Commit to Skill Development
Roles will change. There is little doubt about that. Play to individual’s strengths and commit to appropriate skill development. For example, could your most organized team member help with the rollout and project management? Who is your best communicator? Could they help reinforce the messaging about upcoming changes? Who is your details and data geek? What new roles could come to fruition in that field?
Reassure and Create a Buzz
Above all, communicate your vision with excitement. Recruitment automation is going to make your recruiter’s lives so much better! Build trust by offering reassurance and explaining the benefits. Create a buzz so that the whole team can feel enthusiastic.
Create a culture where staff are curious and can ask questions. Build trust. How committed and involved your people are will determine the success of your project. You know more than most about the difficulties of finding talent – reassure your team that you aren’t about to let go of the talent you have!
Provide Rigorous Training
For your new tech to kick-off effectively, rigorous training is vital. Schedule regular check-ins with your team to see how training is going and report back to your provider if any training gaps need to be addressed.
Key takeaway: In recruitment, generally, the focus tends to be on the candidate experience rather than that of staff. However, when implementing new technology, employee experience is hands-down critical. Implementation will be fraught with difficulties if staff aren’t happy and engaged.
If you’d like to know more about navigating the challenges involved when implementing recruitment automation, please get in touch! We’d love to help. Our implementation team is dedicated to making your transition to automation with Tracker a success.