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Back in January at CES, we saw a preview of how new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning would have a profound impact on the workplace. Since then, nearly every conference this year has echoed the significant role of AI technology, highlighting new ways that organizations are using automation to transform different areas of work, from hiring and onboarding, to training and managing feedback. ERE's "Recruiting in a Candidate-Driven Market" conference, held last week in San Diego, California, was no exception.

Supporting the hiring process with automation technology was the focus at the event, though presenters also emphasized the importance of keeping the candidate experience human.

Robots Bring Out Our Humanity

It's no secret that today's recruiting landscape is tough—on the one hand, a low unemployment rate means candidates have particularly high expectations and can afford to be picky, but on the other hand, the onset of automation and other emerging technology has given rise to new skills requirements that otherwise qualified applicants may lack. These external forces are creating a perfect storm of challenges for recruiters, but AI technology can save them valuable time by automating the vetting process, presenters agreed.

In particular, Digital Ocean's Olivia Melman shared her insights around how automation can improve the candidate experience by speeding up recruiters' response times and injecting more regular communications into the hiring process. AI technology can, for example, automatically send candidates updates as their status changes in an applicant tracking system, or schedule an interview without excess back and forth emails.

By taking over recruiters' most mundane, time-consuming tasks, AI gives recruiters time to focus on the more human elements of hiring, such as talking to people, getting to know them and evaluating their cultural fit.

Thank U, Text

Surprise, surprise: we continue to hear how effective a text recruiting strategy can be for today's recruiters, especially when it comes to candidate engagement.

@sourcegenie: 80% of emails are unopened [versus] 2% of texts.... start texting recruiters #ERERC

Text messaging tools are now built into recruiting software platforms, making it even easier for talent acquisition pros to stay connected and share instant application updates with prospects. They also receive much higher responses rates, making it an even more obvious choice in today's candidate-driven market to do away with applicant “ghosting."

Top Talent Prefers Engaged Hiring Managers

One of the biggest bottlenecks in the hiring process comes from hiring managers. In today's job market — where quality candidates are entertaining multiple offers — moving quickly is more important than ever.

@Talent2Opp: Top talent goes to the most engaged hiring managers! #ERERC @ERE_net @vlastelica #PREACH #TalentAcquisition #recruiting #candidateexperience

In order to keep good candidates engaged, recruiters need to keep their hiring managers engaged throughout the process. That means improving collaboration and internal processes throughout the recruiting funnel, and leveraging new tools like video interviews to save hiring managers time.

With candidates in the driver's seat when it comes to the hiring process, recruiters need to get a lot more creative. The days of spray-and-pray requisitions on job boards are over. 

In today's competitive talent landscape, hiring teams need to leverage new tools and strategies to put the personal touch back in recruiting and keep candidates interested.

Photo: Creative Commons