The MIT Technology Review recently began a podcast series on automated recruiting. Among the people interviewed were Ian Siegel, CEO of ZipRecruiter; John Jersin, former Vice President of Product Management at LinkedIn; and Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder.
Because these platforms allow job seekers to submit applications as fast as they can read listings on the platforms, there are now more applications for each job opening than ever before. This flood creates a massive problem for hiring managers and a significant opportunity for software companies to automate part or all of the recruiting process.
Siegel estimates that between 75 and 100 percent of all resumes are “read” by software, and only a tiny fraction of them are passed on to humans for further evaluation. This is by necessity: otherwise, the hiring managers would never be able to keep up with the flood of applications coming in.
Employers gladly pay a premium for assistance in filtering the flow of applications and reducing it to a reasonable number of qualified individuals. Automated recruiting systems give employers access to the same kinds of tools that the major job boards and platforms have. These tools allow employers to automate many of the labor-intensive tasks in recruiting and keep better control of the flow of candidates through the recruitment process.
Perhaps most important, automated recruiting systems can apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to the recruitment process to improve the quality of their automated decisions over time. AI helps the automated recruiting system interact with candidates through chatbots and automatic emails and helps make more thorough and objective evaluations of candidates.
What Automated Recruiting Entails
Writing at entrepreneurship blog Maddyness, Elizabeth Hines identifies the seven ways that automated recruiting helps accelerate the hiring process:
Initial Job Advertisements
AI can rewrite job ads for different target audiences and automate ad placement on job boards and other outlets.
Applicant tracking systems ensure that applicants flow through all the necessary recruitment steps promptly. They can send reminders to applicants and to internal reviewers to prompt for required information and approvals.
Social Media Recruiting
Automated recruiting systems can post job opportunities to social media. AI in the systems can screen applicants’ social media profiles to find a match to job requirements.
Automated recruiting can use simple keyword matching or AI-powered deep learning to check CVs and applications for a match to the corresponding job descriptions.
Initial Candidate Assessments
Automated recruiting systems may include skills assessment testing to ensure that candidates can meet the job requirements.
Automated recruiting can include automated calendaring of interviews for candidates that pass the initial pre-screening. Candidates can select from available interview times, and confirmed interviews are added to the interviewers’ internal calendars.
Automated recruiting systems can message candidates with the current status of their applications, reminders for interviews, and prompts for required additional information.
A Major Airline Turns to Automated Recruiting
Southwest Airlines, the US air carrier, faces a big challenge as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes in the US, and more Americans want to travel again. Southwest has about 2,000 open positions for in-flight personnel and ground crew members, and its average time from job posting to job offer has been 35 to 45 days. That amount of lead time significantly cuts into Southwest’s ability to ramp up operations for the summer travel season.
To cut the lead time and accelerate its schedule expansion, Southwest is turning to automated recruiting. The company uses AI software from Phenom People Inc. to power the careers section of their website. The software automates routine tasks in the hiring process and allows Southwest to reduce hiring lead times by half.
The Southwest automated recruiting system uses AI to personalize job postings and communications for candidates. It also includes a chatbot that engages candidates, answers their questions, and asks basic screening questions. Since 2020, the chatbot has conducted 1.2 million interactions.
Greg Muccio, Southwest’s director of talent acquisition, says that the chatbot’s ability to answer candidate questions has saved the company tens of thousands of labor hours. More importantly, it has saved processing time to speed up the hiring process. “The labor market is probably as tough as I’ve ever seen it, and so we’ve got to be able to move with speed, and that’s where all these tools come into play,” Mr. Muccio told the Wall Street Journal.
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How to Become Part of This Industry
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