Recruiters spending too much time on tasks that can be automated: Report

Which part of the hiring process can be automated?

Recruiters spending too much time on tasks that can be automated: Report

At a time when employers can reach out to a job seeker halfway across the world, hiring decision-makers are still spending way too much time doing tasks that can be automated, according to a recent report.

Hiring decision-makers are spending more than six hours doing the following, according to Indeed’s report: 

  • candidate sourcing (50%)
  • internal processes and approval (49%)
  • onboarding (49%)
  • candidate assessment (48%)

Currently, the most challenging stages of the hiring process are: 

  • candidate sourcing (24%)
  • communication with candidates (23%)
  • background checks and references (22%)
  • resume screening (21%)
  • candidate assessment (20%)

“We're talking 21st century, we're talking 2024. It's still, in many cases, manual,” says Raj Mukherjee, executive vice president general manager for employers at Indeed, in talking with HRD.

On top of that, talent acquisition teams “are the first ones that have been affected by layoffs,” he says. 

“They were already stretched thin and they're stretched thin further. So oftentimes, they cannot do all this work in a meaningfully reasonable timeframe.”

That time spent is crucial, as 50% of job candidates have backed out of the job offer before their first day, according to a previous report.

Automating parts of the hiring process

Now, 90% of employers feel that they can benefit from integrating automation in the hiring process, finds Indeed’s survey of over 700 hiring decision makers, conducted Sept. 21 to Oct. 6, 2023.

Among employers who do not use automation, the hiring process stages employers feel would most benefit include:

  • resume screening (34%)
  • interview scheduling (31%)
  • candidate assessment (27%)
  • candidate sourcing (26%)
  • onboarding and integration (26%)

“Let's say you're trying to hire a nurse in the healthcare sector. [Do they] have the nursing license or not? That’s a question that can be asked as part of the hiring process that saves people time later on, to go through all the resumes and try to find if this person has a nursing license,” says Mukherjee.

“This very simple check… as part of the screening process… definitely saves them time. And if you do that at scale… Let's say you have 100 resumes; for each resume, you spend a minute trying to find out if [the candidate has] a nursing license or not. That's 100 minutes.”

The minutes that employers spend doing these simple things add up, and that means more time with that job opening still unfilled.

“Every day that you don't have the person on the seat is an opportunity lost for the company…. And I think that's why focusing on reducing time to hire is [important].”

Many companies have already been using robots to do manual tasks, according to a previous report.

But many employers are not comfortable letting generative artificial intelligence (AI) handle staffing decision-making, according to a previous report.

Automation and the human touch

With sites like Indeed, employers only need to input their criteria for a job post and be connected to viable candidates. Employers can also schedule interviews and send direct messages to candidates.

But not every part of the hiring process can be automated, especially the final interview, says Mukherjee.

“That final interview that happens, where there is a job seeker and employer who are looking at each other… There's a human connection happening there. And that really matters. I don't think that goes away.”

It’s important for companies to automate the simpler tasks in the hiring process so they can focus on the things that require a human touch, he says.

“We don't want to automate away every single aspect of hiring because hiring is ultimately a very human process. But we do want to take out the mundane tasks that keep on happening, that you really care about: looking at a resume and trying to find out if this person has a learning license, [for example]. There are better tools to do that.”

His advice to hiring decision makers: Use automation tools and redesign the whole hiring process.

“Take a step back and say, ‘These are the steps that are not really adding value. How do we automate them?’” 

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