In our current situation, with fewer candidates applying for jobs, in-house recruiters will need to lean more on sourcing passive candidates. By the end of July, the US Department of Labor reported that there are 8.7 million potential workers who have been looking for jobs, while job placement site Indeed estimates there are about 9.8 million US job vacancies. Meaning there are roughly one million more job openings than job seekers to fill them. Meanwhile, in the UK, as reported by the Office of National Statistics, job vacancies are soaring and may soon reach one million.
An August 2021 Willis Towers Watson survey found that 73% of employers are having difficulty attracting employees. “Employers are in the middle of an intense war for talent that’s not likely to let up anytime soon,” said Adrienne Altman, managing director and North American head of rewards, Willis Towers Watson. Your recruiting workforce may even be smaller now than before the pandemic. So how do you win the war?
There are software solutions that can help, the key being automation.
What the experts think
Everyone wants a more productive talent acquisition department. DaXtra experts Daniel Locke and Gregory DePaco share their knowledge of products on the market that streamline recruitment processes helping put recruiters' time to better use. If you're not familiar with automated talent acquisition and sourcing tools, this article may answer a few questions.
The replacing of manual tasks with technological processes is the broad definition of automation. Today, it’s hard to find an industry that hasn’t adopted automation in some form. As HR professionals in corporate or in-house recruiting, you may already have many tasks that are automated that you may be aware of, or not. Some are obvious, others are hidden within some of the software you use, like some functions within your ATS.
In our eBook, The Power in Automation - How technology can reduce time to fill and grow your talent pipelines, we’ve identified which can be improved upon through automated solutions. Turn your attention to these functions that can be improved with automated processes:
- Sourcing talent
- Collecting, parsing and loading data
- Candidate experience
In today’s climate, you may want to rethink a portion of your sourcing process. If you’re having challenges that relate to many vacancies and fewer candidates, what could be necessary is innovative sourcing – reaching out to communities you hadn’t reached before. You should also review your job descriptions to make sure they’re written in a way that will not exclude those who have the skills needed for the position but may not hold a degree. Skills-based hiring has become a necessity and a better way to source and hire the right person for the job.
Search and Match technology is built for skills-based hiring and can help you identify the best candidates for the roles you’re looking to fill.
“The key here is ‘context.’ Your technology must be able to interpret language on resumes and understand the meaning, or context, of the words. By having this in place, automated candidate search and match can then accurately and reliably shortlist the most relevant candidates within seconds.”
— Gregory DePaco, US Director of Corporate Sales, DaXtra Technologies
In the downtime the pandemic brought for many, people without work brushed up on their skills, taking courses and completing online education. Skillsets have expanded along with evolving skills taxonomies. Automated sourcing tools that search, match and rank are exceptional at matching the best candidates for the job with open positions and the best part – they do it quickly. Recruiters and sourcing specialists can gain back as much as eight hours a week using these tools.
“From our experience, internal talent teams can spend as much as 50% of their time on ‘low value’ tasks such as data entry and administration. By automating some of these tasks, recruiters have more time to focus on activities that directly contribute towards filling open vacancies.”
— Daniel Locke, EMEA Corporate Account Director, DaXtra Technologies
This is helpful for candidate rediscovery too. You should think about enhancing the capabilities of your ATS with these advanced search options that are built to optimize search function in your ATS by searching over external sources as well as your database, matching candidates to jobs, jobs to candidates and candidates to candidates.
“The painstaking days of sourcing candidates from multiple websites with manual Boolean search and duplicate resume results are finally over! Simultaneous sourcing from all your sourcing sites can now be done from one platform. Talent acquisition teams cannot compete in today’s war for talent without this automation.” — Gregory DePaco
AI in the form of Natural Language Processing (NLP) is one of the fastest-growing areas of talent acquisition today in sourcing and engaging talent. It adds value and automation to the acquisition process by sourcing, sorting, ranking and loading candidates into your ATS to create and pipeline of qualified candidates that are suitable for your vacant positions. The efficiencies brought can reduce time spent on manual tasks from hours to minutes.
Collecting, parsing and loading data
The next area of talent acquisition that can benefit from automation is extracting, converting and loading candidate data or resumes. If there is one thing you choose to improve, automating the tedious and time-consuming task of uploading resumes into your ATS should top the list. Resume parsing collects data from numerous sources and turns it into data that is easily understood by a computer, in the form of structured text. This technology has features that auto-load data which has been converted to rich, formatted text, updating candidate profiles within your database.
The parsing and auto-loading capabilities of this technology can save up to 95% of labor costs that are normally wasted in a manual process.
With so many corporations vying for qualified candidates, competition is at an all-time high. To attract talent, candidate experience in the application and hiring process needs to be as good as it can get.
A 2021 Pew Research Report shows 96% of Millennials own a smartphone. They want to be able to look for and apply for jobs using their phones and want quick easy career sites. CareerBuilder reports a high drop-off rate citing the application is too long and complicated. So give them what they want – an easy application process.
“Today’s candidate-driven market requires employers to source passive talent or risk being left behind. Many passive candidates will not have an up-to-date resume so it’s important to ensure that any barriers to the application are eliminated or at the very least reduced. Offering the facility for candidates to apply for roles using other means, such as with their professional social media accounts, will reduce application drop-off and contribute towards an excellent candidate experience.” — Daniel Locke
The answer is to have a mobile-friendly application process that auto-fills forms and has a “save” feature so the applicant can return to the application if they aren’t able to complete it the first time. Since many snags occur if a resume doesn’t match the format required of the individual system, a tool that standardizes all incoming data by parsing before loading would be helpful. All resumes could be pulled into the system in rich text format and deduplicated in case the candidate profile already exists within the system.
It is possible to increase your job application completion rate by up to 400% using today’s technology. With it, you can find and react to applications faster and more effectively and stop losing talent due to inefficient processes.
Candidate engagement tools can then be used to text or email candidates, letting them know the status of their application or alerting them of new jobs. This gives the candidate the secure feeling that they are being taken care of and you are aware of their presence, as opposed to the black hole some candidates feel they have fallen into when submitting applications.
The goal to improve candidate experience, reduce candidate drop off and streamline painful application workflows can be met by automating the application process.
A popular focus that has impacted talent acquisition and hiring practices, in general, is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I). Companies must support and make a push for hiring people for their capabilities and skills and not their demographics. This is important for reasons that go beyond, “it’s the right thing to do.” Our eBook on unconscious bias in recruitment reports that numerous studies show companies who have a more diverse workforce have:
- Higher quality candidates
- Happier and more productive workers
- A more profitable company
Bias is one thing, but unconscious bias is another. Unconscious bias creeps into decision-making when we aren’t aware of it. It is part of human nature, so it takes great awareness to be cognizant of it.
Blind hiring is one way to help reduce bias in the talent acquisition process. An exceptionally useful tool to put in place can redact sensitive information like name, gender, religion, or socioeconomic background.
“DE&I is at the forefront of everyone's minds at the moment, as we all know the benefits of a diverse workforce. Companies in the top 25% for gender diversity outperform their competitors by 15%. Companies in the top 25% for ethnic diversity outperform their competitors by 35%. Using tech-based blind hiring to reduce unconscious bias is a great way to improve diversity at the top of the funnel, which in term will filter through your organisation.” — Daniel Locke
This is important as we often form judgments by what we see first. Without being aware, we may judge someone who is younger or older than we are by seeing employment or education dates. Or we may come to a conclusion about a person with the same or a different heritage than ourselves. We may even unknowingly make certain assumptions about someone who comes from a different part of the country or world. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to form an opinion on a candidate based on their skills first before anything else?
We all know about studies that talk about first impressions being made within the first few moments of meeting someone. First impressions aren’t limited to personal interactions but can be based on seeing a candidate’s resume compared to another – skill-for-skill. This “first impression” sets a precedence and has weight. Second, comes knowing the person for who they are based on the information on their resume. And third, the final assumption is based on meeting them in person.
Talent sourcing software that searches and matches based on skill is the first step that levels the playing field so that candidates are found and matched to jobs based on skill, skill level and experience rather than demographics.
Before candidate profiles are sent to the hiring manager, a tool that anonymizes a resume by redacting information like names, dates, educational institutions and affiliations will establish a fair and true first impression, without bias.
What it all means
Automation is sometimes equated to, “the robots coming to take your jobs,” but actually is the digital assistant recruiters need to help make their jobs and processes more efficient. Look at automation as a tool to be used to help you do your job more accurately and much quicker. See it as a calculator is to a mathematician, and get beyond the stigma of media scare tactics.
“Speed is essential in today's hiring process. Candidates are used to instant gratification using the likes of Amazon, Spotify and Netflix in their personal lives, why should they wait 3 weeks for an update on a job application? Automation streamlines the hiring process and gives you more time to engage with candidates on a one-to-one basis.” — Daniel Locke
The main goal these recruitment automation tools bring is helping find talent faster and reducing time-to-fill while allowing your company to scale quickly by streamlining inefficient processes.
Not only does automating processes in corporate or in-house recruiting departments reduce dependence upon outside agencies. It also gives small companies tools that can compete with the big corporations that have far deeper pockets when it comes to acquiring talent faster.
“Seeing is believing when it comes to the real value of automation in the Recruitment Technology sector. Make sure to get a custom demo with real candidate results before investing in any Recruitment technology.”
— Gregory DePaco
Automation used to build talent pipelines and reduce time-to-fill can be an exceptionally powerful tool when used correctly. Make it a part of your talent acquisition strategy if you are looking for efficiency and growth.
For more information on how our talent acquisition software can help make your recruiting processes more efficient, please reach out via our contact form.
By m. Christine Watson, Marketing Director, DaXtra Technologies, with input by Daniel Locke and Gregory DePaco
EMEA Corporate Account Director, DaXtra Technologies
Daniel Locke is Corporate Account Director, EMEA at DaXtra. He helps in-house HR teams across EMEA use technology to streamline their recruitment workflows. Daniel brings a wealth of experience working with corporate businesses of all sizes, including leading multinationals. He's spent the last nine years at established software vendors and award-winning recruitment technology start-ups. If Daniel wasn't working at DaXtra, he'd probably be doing tech consulting or something to do with technology because he's a bit of a geek at heart.
US Director of Corporate Sales, DaXtra Technologies
Gregory joined DaXtra in 2020 and has over 20 years of sales and partnership experience, 14 of which have been focused within the HR Recruiting Services and Technology industries. He was a consistent top performer with the LinkedIn Talent Solutions corporate sales team from 2010 through 2014, including global top sales performer. At the start of his career in the recruiting industry, Gregory rolled up his sleeves and did both sourcing and recruiting for almost 10 years. His experience spans small start-ups to global enterprise organizations supporting SMB, Mid-Market and Enterprise customers. A former professional soccer player, this passion finds him still on the pitch most weekends.