How to Automate Your Recruiting Process

by Mike Tannian on May 10, 2022

Wasting time on cumbersome administrative tasks? Learn how to automate the recruiting process for public sector and educational institutions.

Article Highlights

Imagine this: every time you need to fill an open position, your hiring process runs like a well-oiled machine. You know exactly where to source quality candidates, your resume screening goes on without a hitch, and the interview process yields a prospective employee everyone on your hiring team is happy about.

This isn’t just a pipe dream. There are steps your organization can take to make this a reality… and all it takes is a little planning. Whether you’re looking to cultivate stronger talent pipelines or reduce the average time it takes to hire someone, you’re in the right place. 

In this post, we’ll discuss common recruiting challenges your organization may face in today’s job market. Then, we’ll address how talent management systems can improve your recruiting process and the benefits of recruitment process automation. We’ll wrap up our conversation with some of the recruiting metrics you should track to monitor progress.

Common Recruiting Challenges

Given the Great Resignation, organizations are in recruitment mode more frequently now than ever before. Let's dive into some of the common recruiting challenges you might face today (and how to overcome them!).

Ineffective candidate sourcing

It’s time to fill yet another vacancy, so you do what you’ve done for the past five resignations: post a recruitment ad to a job board and see who bites. 

Unfortunately, this approach isn’t going to get you very far in today’s job market, especially in the public sector. As the average number of applications per job continues to decline, organizations need to be proactive about candidate sourcing long before it’s time to fill a vacancy. 

To do so, work on building your employer brand to attract passive candidates (individuals who aren’t actively looking for a new job), which make up 70% of the global workforce. Candidate relationship management software like NEOGOV’s Attract (coming Q3 of 2022) can also help with candidate sourcing by: 

  • Compiling qualified candidates from previous hiring cycles
  • Managing data on potential candidates you meet at networking events and career fairs
  • Tracking and measuring data, including the impact of your sourcing efforts 

Slow time to hire

Compared to the private sector, it takes the public sector three times as long (119 days) to fill open positions.

And the longer your time to hire, the higher the likelihood your top candidate accepts a position at another organization before your hiring process is complete. 

Public sector organizations should thus carefully consider how to reduce their time to hire. This might include:

  • Clarifying the expectations of your hiring manager early on in the hiring process
  • Using a talent management system for candidate pre-screening 
  • Reducing the number of interviews you hold 

We’ll discuss how talent management solutions like NEOGOV’s Insight and NEOED’s Insight can improve your time to hire in more detail shortly. 

Poor candidate communication 

With limited resources in the public sector, recruitment teams are often stretched thin, forced to juggle hiring tasks while also covering the job duties of vacant positions. This often means follow-up communications with candidates is far from top of mind.

But bad communication only leads to a bad candidate experience, decreasing the likelihood of a successful recruitment cycle. A bad candidate experience can also impact your organization down the line since 72% of candidates will publicly share about a negative hiring experience online. 

It pays to be upfront early on about what candidates can expect from your hiring timeline. And following up with the candidates you interviewed (even the ones you don’t ultimately hire!) demonstrates you respect candidates’ time and keeps the door open for future job opportunities with your organization.

As you’re likely well aware, we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to today’s job market challenges. Check out our blog to learn about 10 Recruiting Challenges and How to Prevent Them.

What is a Talent Management System?

There’s another way to overcome some of the recruiting challenges we discussed above: software. A talent management system is software that helps your organization track and manage information about individuals who work (or would like to work) at your organization. 

Below, we discuss the specific ways these systems can help automate recruitment and onboarding for your organization. 

Key features of a talent management system

Using a central, cloud-based repository, talent management systems enable you to easily access information about candidates and employees as they move through the employee life cycle at your organization. 

Good talent management systems have key features like: 

  • Candidate relationship management (CRM) software 
  • Easy-to-use job application templates and job boards 
  • Applicant self-service portals 

From the start, candidate relationship management (CRM) software strengthens communication channels between human resources and potential job candidates. Using a CRM system such as NEOGOV’s Attract, organizations can easily manage a wealth of information about potential candidates, simplifying talent acquisition and speeding up candidate recruitment.

Some talent management systems also provide easy-to-use job application templates, making it straightforward for organizations to post recruitment ads on job boards. NEOGOV’s GovernmentJobs.com even includes a basic application template. Organizations can add supplemental questions to help with candidate pre-qualification.

Then, as candidates move through the talent pipeline, recruiting technology (like applicant self-service portals) automates the interview process. Qualified candidates can self-schedule interviews, reducing the time HR spends coordinating schedules. Self-service portals also speed up the onboarding process since new hires can easily upload important paperwork. 

To sum it all up, a talent management system facilitates seamless administration of employee data, from new hire to tenured employee. This is particularly true when your system can “talk” to existing software in your organization, such as an HRIS or HCM system. 

Other terms you should know: HRIS and HCM System

Speaking of which… what is an HRIS and HCM system?

Well, HRIS is short for Human Resources Information System and is simply software that tracks all the nitty-gritty details about employees. This includes information that’s used for payroll, benefits, and time-keeping. An HRIS might also include employee self-service portals that enable current employees to do things like request paid time off or submit a sick day. 

HCM systems, or Human Capital Management systems, are a bit more comprehensive. That’s because they manage information from start to finish of an employee lifecycle. HCM systems might include:

  • Applicant tracking systems
  • Talent development software
  • Performance evaluation software 
  • Onboard and offboarding modules 
  • And more 

The key thing to keep in mind is that, whether you have an existing HCM or HRIS system, any recruiting automation software you bring to your organization needs to integrate with it. Otherwise, you’ll spend unnecessary time referring to multiple software systems or even manually transferring information between them.

Benefits of Automating the Recruitment Process

Remember when we said that your desire for an efficient recruitment process isn’t just a pipe dream? It’s time to turn that dream into reality. Let's dive into the benefits of using talent management software to automate your recruitment process. 

Increased productivity

Imagine what you and your staff could accomplish if you had just one or two more hours in the workday. One of the best things about automating your recruitment process is how much time it frees up. An automated recruitment process increases your ability to focus on things like: 

  • Building your employer brand
  • Strategizing about upcoming recruitment needs
  • Hosting wellness events for existing employees
  • Cultivating professional development opportunities

Think about it. With recruitment automation tools, you no longer need to sift through every single application, rank and create a shortlist, then take the time to schedule interviews. Instead, recruiting automation software auto-scores and auto-ranks candidates for you, enabling the screening process to move forward without your direct intervention… 

And giving you those extra couple of hours to pursue more meaningful work tasks. 

Higher quality candidates

Recruiting technology can also bring your organization higher-quality candidates. When you use GovernmentJobs.com, you’re 177% more likely to find a qualified candidate than if you used Indeed. 

And remember all that saved time we just talked about? When you automate the recruiting process, you have the capacity to cultivate stronger relationships with these qualified candidates. Not only are you attaining higher-quality candidates on paper – you can also make sure those seemingly ideal candidates are a good culture fit, too.  

Additionally, candidate relationship management software ensures that you’re pulling both active and passive candidates into your candidate pool – including candidates from previous hiring cycles. As such, talent management software allows you to create the best candidate pool possible. 

Improved time to hire

Of course, the last thing you’d want is to lose out on these qualified candidates because your hiring process is too slow. Fortunately, automating your recruitment process can help with that, too. 

Software helps reduce time to hire in several key ways. In addition to its auto-scoring and auto-ranking capacities, self-service portals enable candidates to easily schedule interviews. This eliminates the time you spend revisiting calendars and double-checking everyone’s availability. 

Additionally, onboarding modules such as NEOGOV’s Onboard enable new hires to easily upload I-9 and W-4 forms – without your oversight. This is especially beneficial since a stellar onboarding process can also help improve employee retention by 82%

You can learn more about Why Time to Hire is So Important and How to Reduce It on our blog.

Recruiting Metrics You Should be Tracking

We’ve explained how automating your recruitment process can lead to increased productivity, higher-quality candidates, and a better time to hire. 

But you don’t just have to take our word for it.

Tracking and analyzing recruiting data on your own is a great way to help your organization make data-driven decisions, especially when it comes to building the most effective hiring process possible. This also helps you benchmark your recruitment success against similar organizations to identify key areas for improvement.

Below, we discuss some of the key metrics to consider. You can also learn about other recruiting metrics you should be tracking on our blog. 

Application completion rate

Your recruitment ad has gotten hundreds of views. So… where are all the applications? 

Your application completion rate may provide some context. If candidates are regularly starting (but failing to complete) your application, it may be that it’s too long or complex. Applicants are significantly less likely to complete job applications that contain 50 questions or more

Talent management software can help you assess your application completion rate so you know whether you need to make changes. By making small adjustments (such as decreasing the number of supplemental questions you ask), you increase the likelihood that qualified candidates will apply to work for your organization. 

Source of hire

Sure, you could just willy-nilly post your recruitment ads to every popular job board; however, that’s bound to waste money over time since some job boards provide higher-quality applicants than others.

But you can’t know which ones those are if you aren’t actively monitoring your source of hire. 

Tracking your source of hire allows you to focus your recruiting efforts where there’s a high return on investment. Once you begin tracking each source of hire, you might be surprised to find that your best employees come from an unexpected source, such as career fairs or employee referrals. 

Candidate experience

A candidate’s experience throughout your hiring process matters – even for the candidates you don’t ultimately hire. That’s because more than half of candidates who received feedback from an organization would consider a future opportunity with that company. 

The flip side of that statistic? If you’re burning bridges by providing a poor candidate experience, you’re making candidate sourcing that much harder for yourself down the line. 

Monitoring candidate experience, whether you conduct a formal survey or simply ask candidates for feedback, helps your organization identify blind spots in your recruitment process that may be negatively impacting candidates.

Quality of hire

It’s pointless to spend time on recruitment process automation if it just results in a bad hire. After all, an effective hiring process is only effective so long as you end up with a candidate that makes a positive impact on your organization. 

Chat with a new employee’s hiring manager to see if they’re happy with the hire. Performance evaluations serve as another way to determine whether an employee has been a positive addition to your organization. 

Final Thoughts

Recruitment isn’t getting any easier in today’s job market. But investing in a talent management system is a great way to improve your internal processes and find qualified candidates for your organization. 

NEOGOV and NEOED’s Recruit module can take your recruiting efforts to the next level. Its two key products, Insight and Attract (available in Q3 of 2022), provide valuable tools to automate recruitment, from managing candidate relations to auto-ranking applicants to facilitating onboarding and more. 

So, are you ready to automate the recruiting process in your organization? Schedule a free demo today.

Mike Tannian

Mike Tannian is the Head of Content Marketing at NEOGOV. With a talented team of writers by his side, he aims to produce content that delivers real value.