COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the workforce, along with how we look at the talent acquisition process. While it has caused unexpected shifts within human resources, one universal thing is a new wave of technology adoption. Many companies have turned to new remote working tools, and many don’t plan on returning entirely back to work like they used to. One of the technologies that has been expanding rapidly is automation and Artificial Intelligence.
This shift is equally true within HR and recruiting spheres, where teams that have faced layoffs are having to look at a record number of resumes under extremely uncertain circumstances for their clients. Many recruiting goals have been evolving over this time. Just earlier this month, United Airlines announced it would furlough 16,370 employees on October 1st. This announcement was shortly after MGM Resorts fired 18,000 previously furloughed employees. On the other hand, employment was up 1.4 million in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
We are seeing many companies that are moving to hiring freezes to protect their current employees and profits. We also are seeing a large number of companies that are having to rapidly hire new talent as their industry has unexpectedly expanded during the pandemic. All of this ever-evolving change has kept HR and recruiting teams extremely busy trying to best fit their clients’ needs.
Employers have now started to look at automation and technological changes to keep up with this new landscape. Many recruiting teams have shifted their talent acquisition process to the virtual format. This adaptation is not only to keep both recruiters and candidates safe from COVID but also to expand the reach of their hiring process. After moving to remote, many companies are open to hiring remote candidates, especially as they realize that this larger talent pool allows them to find more top-talent for their positions.
We have also seen a rise in the popularity of automating flows in order to increase hiring efficiency and make those connections faster. Technology like AI Chatbots allow for 24/7 response times and can save recruiters an immense amount of time. This process is especially crucial for those companies that are overwhelmed with a record amount of applications. By adding AI to your HR team’s toolkit, they are able to focus more on essential points of human contact with top-talent rather than be stuck sifting through endless piles of resumes.
AI and automation have revolutionized this process by decreasing time-to-hire and improving candidate experience through automated screening and scheduling. AI is able to quickly screen people for roles so that recruiters only speak with qualified candidates, and also gives unqualified candidates immediate alternate openings that may be a better fit. By automating scheduling with automation technology that integrates through a team’s calendar system, endless phone tag is transformed into a simple interface for candidates to pick an available time.
Another trend employers are implementing is a focus on mobile-first experiences when hiring. Text messages and messenger applications are a key way to increase conversions and improve candidates’ hiring experience. You can see this reflecting in the increasing use of AI Chatbots that communicate through Whatsapp and text platforms. 98% of all mobile recruiting texts have a successful open rate. Compare this to emails, which have a significantly lower open rate at 20%. By using text messaging within your hiring strategy, you are much more likely to get a response from a candidate, and they will often respond faster.
Virtual Career Fairs have become popular, partially due to safety factors during the pandemic. In these events, employers and career fair organizers create maps with booths for each department or company. Prospective candidates can then schedule times to connect with recruiters over live chat and video. These events are able to bring in a larger audience than in-person career fairs, and due to their virtual nature, automation can easily be integrated into their workflow. Candidates that are moved on to further interviews can schedule through chatbots and can be screened by them before talking to a recruiter as well.
A useful feature that can be utilized in Virtual Career Fairs is Live and on-demand video interview options. These promote both flexibility and cost-efficiency when considering your recruiter’s time. Live interviewing is the best option for higher-level, specialized roles that require more detailed questions. On-demand is preferred for high-volume positions where recruiters can’t afford to allocate 30 minutes to every candidate. Both options allow for virtual interviewing that is both safe and convenient for both parties regardless of their location.
With the volatility of the labor market, we continue to see extreme changes in these trends. Though these shifts in the talent acquisition process already seem dramatic, we have yet to see the full extent to which this pandemic will shape our industry. We currently expect this lean into technology and remote recruiting to continue, and for more innovative changes to take hold through advances in AI and automation. To help benefit employers and keep them up-to-date, we have started a recurring modern communication webinar covering these changes we see in our clients. Feel free to sign up if you want to hear more about what we are seeing in the industry.
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