With a faltering economy and a tight labor market putting immense pressure on hiring, recruiters are turning to automation to deliver results. Bullhorn’s aggregated data shows that recruitment firms that use automation have a 64% higher fill rate and submit 33% more candidates per recruiter.

Here are five ways that firms are leveraging automation that you can employ to address today’s challenges.

Leave repetitive tasks to your technology. Automation is great for the simple, repetitive tasks that eat up recruiters’ valuable time. A great starting point for firms considering automation is using it for simple tasks like leaving notes in the applicant tracking system (ATS), creating calendar appointments and sending internal reminders. This frees up time for recruiters to focus on tasks that add real value, such as nurturing client and candidate relationships.

Increasingly intelligent recruitment tools are also capable of more complex tasks, such as recommending candidates for jobs (and jobs for candidates). Tools with artificial intelligence capabilities can review details on candidates in an instant, providing recruiters with valuable recommendations. This is particularly useful for temp or contingent workers, as it can cut redeployment time.

Keep your talent engaged. According to Bullhorn’s recent survey of 2,000 candidates, poor communication is the top reason that talent became frustrated with the recruiting process. The good news is that automation can help. Many of the routine interactions in the recruiting process, such as updating a candidate on their application’s progress, are ideal for automation.

Keeping candidates in the loop without communications feeling robotic depends on a tightly integrated tech stack. The system must be able to collate information from across channels to accurately personalize the messages and deliver them both at the right time and on the right channel.

This technology is also useful for reaching out to candidates at other important points, such as when they are approaching the end of their contract. These interactions maintain a relationship and ensure that the recruiter will be top of mind when the candidate starts looking for a new job.

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Take the friction out of onboarding. Many recruitment firms are already using automation to fill out paperwork and complete other important onboarding tasks. This is particularly valuable for firms that work with several industries, as the system can automatically account for differing policies on topics like pay, benefits, harassment and more. This same logic applies to firms that work across multiple countries, where employment laws may be different. The result is a fast turnaround and the elimination of potentially costly back-office mistakes.

Declutter your ATS. Manually organizing the ATS is a time-consuming task that frequently winds up at the bottom of the to-do list. However, keeping a recruitment agency’s data in good working order is fundamental to its success.

Streamlining data management is a natural fit for automation. An automated system can comb through records in a fraction of the time it would take a person and identify outdated entries, duplicates, people without contact information and records with no recent activity, all without the risk of human error. It can even update job, company and contract status automatically.

However, this is only possible when data can flow freely between systems, so recruiters must ensure that their ATS is correctly integrated with the other tools and platforms they use before pursuing automation. Further, as with any technology that involves data on people, businesses must be aware of the regulatory restrictions. Most modern automation solutions are compliant with data protection and privacy laws when used properly, but it is a firm’s responsibility to ensure that all processing activities are legal.

Scale your marketing with your business. Reaching out to candidates and clients across channels is another task that is ripe for automation. The technology can automatically personalize the content to ensure that it is relevant and applicable to each audience across different channels like web, mobile, email and social. To target contacts with tailored content, recruiters can define segments and lists for the marketing workflow.

At every step, the system provides in-depth data for recruiters or the sales team to review and refine their approach. Stats to keep an eye on are engagement score, pipeline revenue and the new lead close rate.

Automation isn’t some faraway possibility for the recruitment industry. It’s already helping many recruitment firms to thrive in a challenging environment, and those that haven’t adopted it will quite soon be in the minority.

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