James Waite, Head of Technology for Gibbs Hybrid, discusses how automation and AI are transforming the future of HR.
A lot of time and effort goes into finding, scheduling and on boarding candidates when it comes to filling in a job vacancy. Recruiting now goes beyond picking up a telephone and calling an endless number of people all day on an ad hoc basis. It’s requires a strategic approach which takes into consideration the candidate’s experience, the brand’s image and how to leverage data across traditional and modern recruitment channels.
It is not a secret that every aspect of business has been touched by digital – from sales & marketing to finance – and so HR is no different. Trying to find the right candidate for the job is not an easy task and recruiters are turning to technology to simplify the process to generate leads and build talent pools.
A HR professional can spend as much as 60 – 70% of their time scrolling through job boards, on LinkedIn and on phone calls trying to scope out potential candidates for jobs. This task becomes even more time-intensive in hard-to-fill roles.
Artificial Intelligence is changing how recruiters do their jobs – from saving time to ensuring a better success rate. According to IBM’s 2017 survey of 6,000 executives, 66 percent of CEOs believe cognitive computing can drive significant value in HR and 54 percent of HR executives believe it will affect key roles in the HR organisation.
Reducing the time and effort spent on finding the right talent for the job allows businesses to redirect their focus on fulfilling their strategic and operative objectives to stay competitive. Candidates don’t want to wait endlessly to find out whether they were successful or not. The candidates’ experience, shaped by brands has an impact on the level of motivation driving candidates to apply and accept.
People want to apply to places that have a big name – think of the big brands like Facebook, Amazon and Google etc. 66% of people who recently changed jobs were aware of the company they joined before applying, with most job seekers reading at least 6 reviews before forming an opinion of a company.
Recruiters need to treat applicants like customers and create a brand image and a candidate experience which will motivate them to apply there. A company’s online presence across social media, including Glassdoors as well as their own website all play a part in forming an applicant’s impression of the brand.
It all comes down to understanding that candidates are not passive but actively using different channels to get a rounded image of the jobs they want to find. Of those 60% who had a poor candidate experience, 72% shared information on it “online on an employer review site, such as Glassdoor, on a social networking site, or directly with a colleague or friend”.
Sophisticated automation software is being used by recruiters to replace high volumes of admin work related to interview scheduling, background checks, contract management and talent on boarding to enable smarter candidate screening. 75% of hiring and talent managers use either applicant tracking or recruitment software to improve their hiring process.
By using AI & automation, line managers and HR professionals gain base-level data on every individual without the headache of compiling this information manually. For example, chatbots can get in touch with candidates, schedule meetings and direct them to line managers ready for interviews. Using a similar algorithm to Google maps, these programmes can streamlines the recruitment journey and automatically pencil in interviews and meetings, by taking into consideration the interviewer’s and candidates availability.
“People analytics” allow HR professional to use data as a way to refine the criteria when selecting candidates in real-time. Through automation, recruiters can gain a holistic overview of a candidates experience, skills and background using this information to direct the conversation in the interview and make better hiring decisions. For example, they will know if candidates have looked at the company website, checked their LinkedIn and even looked at Glassdoor reviews. This will help recruiters and line managers to differentiate between opportunists and those who are motivated for the job roles.
Using a single interface, line managers have an overview of the type of candidates filtering through and can adapt and change the criteria in real-time without hassle, based off previous interviews in their pursuit for the best person for the job.
For the candidates themselves, chat bot technology can tell them how suited they are for the role and can even tell the candidate what they need to do to become more suitable such as taking a course, or gaining certain experience. People who are satisfied with their candidate experiences are 38 percent more likely to accept a job offer. 
No matter what the job, it is clear that digital innovations are paving the way for the future of HR. For recruiters it is removing the painful repetitive and time intensive tasks which slow down the process. Line managers can gain access to a sample of the best calibre of candidates to optimise their chances of finding a person who best fits the job criteria. Last but not least, candidate’s can quickly get one step closer to that dream job, but also receive constructive feedback if they are not successful along the way.