3 Steps Talent Leaders Need to Take Before Selecting Recruitment Automation Software

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Automation and AI

Your organization has finally decided to make a change–manual recruiting costs too much time and energy. But where do you start? The first step is to start researching, but there are so many recruitment automation software options–all promising something different or, more often, something entirely the same. Despite the vast array of technological options, each software has unique features for addressing specific challenges while possibly falling short in other areas.

The buzzwords are everywhere: artificial intelligence for recruitment, automatic hiring management, video screening, virtual chatbots, and psychometric tests. Understandably, the amount of recruiting technology available can be overwhelming.

If you’re unsure where to begin but know your hiring team is struggling to keep up with the demand of high-volume hiring, you’re in the right place. 

I'm here to help determine if a recruitment automation platform is right for you and your organization. You will find observations from my experience and knowledge from years of helping HR leaders decide how to approach their projects. 

Here are the three things every talent acquisition leader should take before buying recruitment automation software.

1. Define recruiting challenges and needs

I wish a single software provider could solve all your problems, but if it covers a lot, it usually doesn’t cover it well. That is why it is essential to understand what hiring teams are trying to address or accomplish.

Imagine that you need to automate the first stages of your selection process, like a candidate interview with a sales manager. A software for this challenge might be a video-calling platform that uses artificial intelligence for gesture recognition. On the other hand, this kind of tool will not help if your challenges come later in the hiring process, like delivering offers to candidates and ensuring they receive and review them. This would be where something more holistic like a recruitment automation platform might fit well.

To identify what recruitment automation software options a company should explore, organizations must first answer key questions about the teams’ recruiting challenges and needs, such as:

  • Does the team currently track its key recruiting metrics? If not, what metrics would they want to have access to?
  • If tracked, what KPIs are the hardest to improve?
  • Where do you lose the highest number of candidates in the recruitment funnel?
  • Are there specific roles or shifts that are harder to fill than others?
  • How much turnover does your organization experience in various roles?
  • What tasks lead to the most burnout for team members?

Clarifying what goals the team hopes to achieve or what challenges must be addressed will help leaders narrow in on the most appropriate solutions. 

I use a straightforward problem-solving methodology called “Pain-Relief” to emphasize clarity and visualization. It involves breaking down a problem into its components and identifying the desired solutions for each element. One effective way to apply this methodology is by creating a simple table where you can list your problems alongside the corresponding solutions.

How to use the “Pain-Relief” methodology:

  1. Get a piece of paper, tablet, or fresh document in a word processor.
  2. Draw a line with two columns. One column will be for your challenges or current pain points, and the second will be for possible solutions. Then, you can add an extra column based on the number of tools or systems you plan to explore.
  3. In the first column, write down each problem or challenge you encounter. Be short but clear.
  4. In the second column, describe the pain caused by the challenge. Be specific and concise, ensuring that each item accurately reflects a particular solution you must address.
  5. In the final column, as you review different systems or tools, write down how each does or does not address your pains and challenges.

Clarity is vital here—describe the actual problems and the desired result in a manner that leaves no ambiguity about what would be considered success. This will allow you to convert this table into a visual aid, organizing your thoughts and clearly defining your issues and the outcomes you hope to achieve.

Regardless of the problem-solving methodology teams employ, identifying and prioritizing the challenges must be addressed is essential. Only then can you find a solution that will help alleviate the pressure those challenges cause.

2. Identifying users and stakeholders

Now that we have defined needs, identified requirements, and applied a framework, it is time to determine who will use the recruitment automation software and how they will use it. 

You’ll need to ask pointed questions about the individuals who will use the solution, including:

  • What is the structure of the team that will use the platform? (E.g., a team of 40 recruiters and 10 hiring managers)
  • Who will be the directly responsible individuals (or DRIs) for the platform?
  • What will each user leverage in the platform? (E.g., Recruiters may utilize the platform end to end while TA leaders may focus on analytics)
  • In what stages of the hiring process will each user leverage the platform or tool?
  • What manual habits will you change once the platform or tool launches?
  • How frequently will each type of user access this platform? (Daily, weekly, monthly)
  • What device will users access the platform through, ideally? (Desktop, mobile, tablet)
  • Which departments or teams will be directly impacted by implementing the new platform?
  • Who are the primary stakeholders who will be impacted or involved with adopting the new technology?

If you don’t plan around the end users, you will still struggle with the problems your team faced before, but with a smaller budget. You must ensure the usability of whatever technological solution you select matches the needs of the individuals leveraging the tool. Allocate the time and effort necessary to train and support your team to achieve a successful project.

The level of user-friendliness needed is determined by how much users engage with the platform. If users engage with the tech throughout the day, having an easily navigable system is crucial. In contrast, certain conveniences can be sacrificed if the team will only use the system occasionally.

Understanding the user is essential to determine which technological solution is best suited for the organization.

3. Defining the timeline scope

Once teams have pinpointed the primary challenges and identified the specific individuals who will be leveraging the platform, you can transition to the next pivotal phase: mapping out the timeline and scope for adopting new technology.

Remember, the timeline should reflect the desired outcomes. For example, suppose the team is looking for a holistic change in their recruiting strategy by changing a long-standing hiring process. In that case, it is unrealistic to think that this level of change would happen overnight. Alternatively, a one-purpose tool might make sense if a single task needs to be accomplished quickly.

Teams must conscientiously weigh scalability, adaptability, and long-term sustainability factors when defining the scope and timeframe. By doing so, they can confirm that their chosen scope effectively addresses immediate needs while laying a foundation for future growth and evolution. When setting the timeline and developing the scope, it’s important to ask questions like:

  • Are there any critical deadlines or milestones that drive or impact the timeline?
  • Are there any external factors that could affect the time available for platform incorporation?
  • How much time does the team have to onboard and train users on the new platform?
  • How much time can each team member commit to the integration process without impacting their other responsibilities?
  • Does the timeline have a built-in buffer to address unexpected delays or complications during the implementation?
  • Can the necessary teams abide by the timeline with other ongoing organizational projects?
  • Do the teams that want to be involved have the resources and expertise to contribute effectively to the project?
  • Have all essential stakeholders been included in the integration process?
  • Have or will teams be informed about the time needed to implement the service or platform?

Have your answers handy as you evaluate recruitment automation software vendors. Managing a platform that only you and your team will use to process the ten vacancies in the finance area is very different from processing thousands of applicants to fill a new retail store opening.

You can now narrow the vendor search once you have all the pertinent information to evaluate the offerings against.

What's next in choosing recruitment automation software?

Deciding if any solution is the right software option for your organization involves thoroughly researching available options. It includes defining recruitment challenges, identifying users and stakeholders, and understanding the scope and timeline. Once these preparatory steps are complete, the focus shifts to evaluating vendors based on historical success and client support. 

You can make an informed decision that aligns with your organization's goals, addresses specific challenges, and lays the foundation for efficient and effective recruiting automation by following the framework outlined above:

  1. Defining recruiting challenges and needs
  2. Identifying users and stakeholders
  3. Understanding the scope and defining the timeframe

Investing time upfront will save valuable resources later on.

At Emi, we’ve worked with organizations, including Walmart, Heineken, and Danone, that followed these steps when seeking a solution for frontline recruitment challenges. While each organization was different, its needs were the same—it needed to find a better way to recruit top frontline talent at scale and wanted the support of AI and automation experts to help achieve its long-term goals. Ultimately, this led them to Emi, the frontline recruitment automation platform.

Ultimately, your organization must find the right recruitment automation software to support its goals, meet the requirements of users and stakeholders, and remain within scope and timeline.

If you’d like to start this process for your own organization, request your custom demo today!

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