How to use recruiting automation to identify and attract qualified candidates

Nearly 3 in 4 organizations have a slow hiring process due to a lack of automation.

This carries big implications for your organization, as a long hiring process translates to poor candidate experiences, frustrated recruiters and hiring managers, and, ultimately, missed hiring opportunities.

How can automation shorten your time-to-hire? We’ll walk you through 9 examples that can help paint the picture. But before we do, let’s align on what we mean by recruiting automation.

Related: The ultimate guide to automating HR processes

What is recruiting automation?

Recruiting automation is the use of automation to streamline recruitment processes end-to-end. It involves a platform that can “listen” for pre-defined business events, or triggers, that—when met—leads it to deliver real-time business outcomes, or actions. 

These outcomes include anything from sharing a new job posting in a business communications platform (e.g. Slack) to scheduling a meeting with interviewers once they’ve finished speaking with a candidate to generating an offer letter once a candidate gets chosen.

Note: In the past, recruiting automation was defined as a specific category of technology that can help recruiters source, engage with, or sign talent. These tools can automate specific tasks, but they can’t streamline recruitment processes end-to-end. 

9 ways to automate your recruitment process

With this definition in mind, let’s review a few recruitment automations you can put into place:

1. Increase referrals by instantly sharing job postings with employees

Your team can often provide the best job candidates—as research proves. The problem is, they don’t know which positions you’re looking to fill.

You can inform them in real time and in a way that’s visible by using the following recruitment process automation:

Essentially, once a job is posted in an application tracking system (ATS) like Greenhouse, a chatbot posts the job in a specific channel within your business communications platform. 

From that channel, your employees can review the postings and once they want to refer someone to a specific job opening, they can easily do so by following these steps:

1. The referrer types a command in a chatbot like “add new referral.”

2. The referrer can then click a button—like “Refer Candidate”—that opens a pop-up.

3. Within that pop-up, the referrer can add information on the candidate, such as their full name, the job they’re being referred to, and a link to their Linkedin profile.

4. Once submitted, the chatbot adds the referral, along with any information that was provided, in the ATS.

5. The recruiter then receives a message from the chatbot in their business comms platform. Within the message, the recruiter can learn more about the referral and they can forward them onto the hiring manager with the click of a button.

We’ve seen a ton of value from using this automation here at Workato. Jessalyn Klein, our Head of People and Culture, shares why:

“(Through the automation) We’ve increased our number of referrals and the quality of our candidates. Our employees can now act as an extension of the recruiting team, which is critical in supporting our growth.”

2. Uncover the best candidates quickly by automating the screening process

Based on a study by Glassdoor, the average number of people who apply to a corporate job is 250. This makes the process of combing through resumes and identifying the best candidates incredibly daunting. 

So how can you surface qualified applicants in a way that’s quick and easy? By adopting this workflow automation:

An automation that allows you to streamline resume screening

A chatbot evaluates candidates’ applications based on the criteria that live in the job posting. If the job seeker meets the criteria, the chatbot posts their resume in your company’s chat platform; if the candidate doesn’t, they’re automatically marked as rejected in your ATS.

Related: Benefits of automating resume screening

3. Make interview scheduling a breeze by coordinating any from your business comms platform

Interview scheduling, though unpleasant as it is, is an essential part of managing candidates. 

You can minimize the manual tasks involved in the process with the following automation:

1. Once you’ve changed a candidate’s stage to interview in your ATS, a chatbot creates a channel in your business comms platform with all of the interviewers. 

2. Within that channel, an interviewer can click a button that reads something along the lines of “Set interview date.” The chatbot then displays a popup that allows them to pick the date and time for the interview.

3. The interview gets scheduled both in your ATS and on a platform like Google Calendar (where the chatbot invites interviewers and provides resources, like a link to the candidate’s profile in your ATS and a link to the interview kit). 

4. Prevent no-shows from interviewers by sending them automated reminders

As a recruiter, there’s no situation more stressful than a colleague forgetting about their interview. It not only hurts your relationship with the candidate, but it also hurts your chances of recruiting them successfully—as they’re likely in the market for just a few days.

Here’s a look at how you can avoid no-shows:

Based on when the interviews are scheduled in your applicant tracking system, a chatbot will remind employees 24 hours and 15 minutes before their interviews through messages in your business comms platform (you can easily modify when these reminders get sent and where they get delivered). 

The chatbot will also include a link to the candidate’s profile in your ATS. That way, your colleagues can easily learn about the candidate and prepare for their interviews.

5. Empower interviewers to evaluate candidates faster

Assessing candidates soon after interviews take place not only allows you to accelerate your time-to-hire, but it also allows your team to provide feedback while it’s still fresh in their mind.

You can fast-track candidate evaluations by adopting this automation:

1. Once a candidate moves to the interview stage in your ATS, a channel gets created on a platform like Slack with all of the interviewers.

2. After an interviewer finishes speaking with a candidate, they’ll receive a scorecard via a message in Slack. Once they fill it out, the responses automatically populate in the candidate’s ATS profile. 

3. As soon as all the interviewers finish speaking to the candidate, an HR chatbot schedules a call for them via Zoom, where they can share their thoughts on the candidate and align on next steps.

4. Using a sending platform like Sendoso, your team can also send the candidate some company swag to keep them excited about the role and your organization.

6. Send your offer letter soon after your team moves forward with a candidate 

When you and your colleagues finally decide on the best candidate, it’s critical that you send them the offer letter as soon as possible.

Here’s a talent acquisition automation that helps you move quickly in sending the offer letter while also ensuring that it goes through the appropriate steps of approval:

1. Once a candidate’s status in your ATS changes to the offer stage, the workflow gets triggered.

2. A chatbot shares the offer details to the appropriate stakeholders in a platform like Slack, where the stakeholders can approve or reject the candidate with the click of a button.

3. Assuming the offer details get approved, the offer letter gets created on a platform like DocuSign.

4. A chatbot then shares the offer letter itself to the same stakeholders, asking them to review and then approve (or reject) it.

5. As soon as the offer letter gets approved, it’s sent via the electronic signature platform.

6. After the offer letter is signed, it’s uploaded to your ATS, and the candidate’s status changes to hired.

7. Post jobs as soon as they’re approved

Once you’ve gone through the hard work of getting internal buy-in for a particular role and outlining the job description, you’re ready to add the open position to your job board.

Here’s how you can automate this step—all but ensuring that job postings get added to your career site quickly and without errors. 

1. Once a job posting is marked as approved in your HRIS, the workflow gets triggered.

2. A service like eQuest Job Posting Board instantly creates a new job posting, using the information from your HRIS to populate the appropriate fields. 

8. Expedite background checks to ensure target candidates don’t slip away last minute

Once a top talent goes through all the interview rounds and gets identified as the best option for a role, there’s a few important steps remaining, such as salary negotiations and performing a background check. 

Here’s how automation can help you perform the latter seamlessly:

1. Once a candidate moves to a stage in your ATS that demonstrates that they’re ready for a background check, the workflow gets triggered.

2. An app like Chekr goes on to perform the background check on that employee, and once it has, the results are made available in the candidate’s profile in your ATS and HRIS (allowing your team to review them quickly and easily).

9. Gather feedback from candidates to identify issues in your interview process

As your candidates spend weeks, if not months, interviewing with your team, they likely have valuable opinions on a number of topics. This includes the application process they initially completed, the questions your team asked during their interviews, and the follow-ups provided by your colleague after each round.

To identify the weaknesses and strengths of your recruitment and interviewing efforts, you can send every candidate an anonymous survey soon after they’re removed from your interview pipeline.

Here’s an automation that lets you do just that:

1. Once a candidate is either marked as rejected or hired in your ATS, the workflow gets triggered.

2. A survey tool like SurveyMonkey delivers the appropriate survey to that candidate’s email. 

As an additional step, every survey completion can trigger a notification in a specific channel within your business communications platform (e.g. #candidate-feedback); from that channel, your recruiters can quickly review the survey responses and take the necessary actions.

Why is recruiting automation important?

With these use cases in mind, you likely have a sense of why this type of automation is so critical. But just in case any benefit skips your attention, let’s breakdown each:

 It saves recruiters time

Recruiters perform a variety of manual, time-consuming tasks every day. This can be anything from sourcing candidates to coordinating interviews across their team to creating an offer letter. And when you’re dealing with a high volume of applicants, these grueling tasks can quickly overwhelm your team.

With recruiting automation, recruiters no longer have to perform a lot of these tasks, helping them focus more of their time on important responsibilities, like interviewing candidates and analyzing resumes.

It amplifies recruiters’ efforts

When they use automations that involve referrals, they’re motivating colleagues to be more involved during the recruiting process. This increases the chances that recruiters source and attract high quality candidates and it allows them to begin interviewing faster.

It provides candidates with a better experience

Recruitment automations can be geared towards providing delightful experiences—whether it’s sending swag through a platform like Sendoso or simply ensuring that interviewers show up prepared and on time for their interview. These automations can help your organization stand out from all of the places an employee interviews with, and it can improve your reputation as an employer.

It allows for less bias

As you already learned, you can use recruiting automation to streamline your screening process. As it does, it focuses solely on the candidate’s credentials while ignoring personal identifiers, like ethnicity, gender, and age. This helps your team avoid, at least in part, subconscious biases that can influence your hiring decisions. And while this doesn’t guarantee that you’re able to build a team from diverse backgrounds, it should go a way in helping.

It enables a shorter time-to-hire

Now that your recruiters can avoid many manual tasks and source more candidates with the help of their colleagues, they can shorten the interview cycle across open positions and fill each role faster. This should not only save your organization a significant amount of time, but also lower its costs per hire (which according to the Society for Human Resource Management, is $4,129)

Related: What is ATS integration? And why is it important?

Learn how Workato can streamline your recruitment workflows 

Workato, the leader in integration-led automation, offers a low-code/no-code platform that can help your employees build the automations above—among countless others—in minutes. 

Here’s more on what makes the Workato platform different:

  • It presents you with more than a thousand automation templates (or “recipes”) and hundreds of pre-built connectors, allowing you and your colleagues to brainstorm and easily implement integrations and automations
  • It offers an enterprise platform bot—Workbot—that empowers your employees to work in their apps and automate their workflows without leaving your business comms platform
  • It provides enterprise-grade security and governance so that your data—and your customers’—is kept secure
  • It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help users build more valuable automations

You can learn more about Workato and how its platform can help transform your recruitment processes by scheduling a demo with one of our automation experts.

About the author
Jon Gitlin Content Strategist @ Workato
Jon Gitlin is the managing editor of The Connector, where you can get the latest news on Workato and uncover tips and frameworks for implementing powerful integrations and automations. In his free time, he loves to run outside, watch soccer (er...football) matches, and explore local restaurants.