Whether employers and recruiters like it or not, job seekers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the hiring process. As the forces of the Great Resignation continue to be keenly felt across multiple industries, it’s time that recruiters and hiring managers start looking for recruitment practices that actually work. In fact, in a recent report by hireEZ, 61% of recruiters said sourcing talent was their biggest challenge in 2021. So, how can recruiters be ready for 2022?
Firstly, it’s time to accept that the labor shortage isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. With one report stating that by 2030 there will be an 85 million-person talent shortage, it’s time for recruiters to rethink how they can optimize their hiring efforts in the years to come.
And many organizations and their recruiting teams are realizing this! In 2021, 62% of companies increased their investment in talent acquisition technology. But what about the role of AI (artificial intelligence) in talent recruitment? Organizations are realizing that AI recruitment technology has the ability to enhance their talent managers’ capabilities, allowing them to focus on the “people work” — that is, the human element of recruitment.
Below I’ll discuss the top three ways in which AI-powered outbound recruiting will supercharge talent acquisition in 2022.
Casting a Wider Net
Through their ability to access a wider range of sources for talent, AI recruiting tools can drastically widen the pool of talent organizations have access to. Talent managers and recruiters don’t often have a robust set of sources to pull talent from. Limited by a small number of job boards, which don’t have much visibility into candidate profiles and scarce search functionalities, recruiters often have an incredibly small range of candidates to put forward.
In contrast, AI pulls candidates’ data from multiple sources and talent pools, enabling hiring teams to have access to more of the talent population. With some AI recruiting platforms now having access to close to a billion potential candidates, it’s more likely that hiring teams will find more success with such platforms at their disposal.
It may be easy to stick to the recruiting practices of the near past — to maintain a reactive stance focused on inbound recruiting, where candidates would proactively find job openings themselves. With the current talent shortages and the race to hire talent, it’s now time to focus on outbound recruiting whereby recruiters actively seek out talent and strategically attract them to an organization.
AI also has the potential to limit unconscious bias in the hiring process. Such tools automatically match candidates based on skills relevancy, removing focus on candidate attributes such as gender, race, age, etc. This lessens the impact unconscious and conscious bias has on the hiring process. By empowering recruiting teams to make more equitable candidate selection decisions, AI recruiting tools will further widen the net of who’s considered for open roles and who is not.
Optimizing For Speed
AI recruiting tools will allow organizations to automate tedious, time-consuming, repetitive tasks that often fill up hiring teams’ days. With the need for organizations to rapidly scale and grow, it will be increasingly important that talent acquisition teams shorten the time period it normally takes to match candidates with the right jobs.
With AI tools in their arsenal, companies and their hiring managers can begin to automate more of the transactional elements of the hiring process. Automated recruiting features that eliminate the need for manual tasks such as mass email outreach and bulk scheduling mean that recruiters’ precious hours are freed. This in turn allows them to focus on the people part of their jobs, such as assessing interests, ambitions, organizational fit, and more.
Additionally, by automating procedural elements of recruitment, AI enables recruiters to focus on more cutting-edge and innovative hiring techniques, which can yield faster results. One tactic to consider is contacting desirable candidates directly to highlight your organization and the perks associated with your open roles. When powered by AI technology, recruiters can bypass the constraints inherent in popular job boards or social media career platforms such as limited access to candidate information. With the assistance of AI, engaging with candidates in more meaningful ways can be what sets you apart from other organizations that are still reliant on traditional recruitment practices. In the context of the Great Resignation, this seemingly small innovation can have a big impact on staffing for your organization.
It’s important to note that while AI optimizes the hiring process for speed, it does not do so at the expense of quality. In fact, teams that leverage AI now often encounter fewer roadblocks that can lead to poor hiring decisions and poor hiring experiences. By lessening the likelihood of broken feedback loops or miscommunicated job descriptions and job expectations, AI recruiting tools can create a smoother hiring process, leading to a better onboarding experience for new talent.
A Valuable Face for Employer Brand
With a streamlined hiring process in place, and with recruiters who have the time to focus on the people part of hiring, hiring teams are better enabled to put their — and the organization’s — best foot forward. Contact with a recruiter is typically the first moment of in-depth exposure between a candidate and an employer’s brand. Every interaction with recruiters and hiring teams, whether in-person or virtual, gives candidates valuable insights into the company and culture. Whether that interaction is positive or negative will not only impact how that candidate perceives an organization, but also how and what they communicate to their peers and online communities.
With AI tools that match candidates based on skills and interests relevant to a job, unqualified candidates are less likely to be pulled further down the hiring process, and organizations will set up their hiring teams and recruitment professionals for more successful interactions with qualified talent. Remember, in the current hiring climate, companies are now having to entice candidates away from competitive offers and “sell” their open positions to applicants.
Leveraging AI tools to eliminate time-consuming manual tasks for recruiters, and positioning them to have genuine and useful interactions with candidates, will do multitudes for employer brands in 2022.
Shannon Pritchett is Head of Community at both hireEZ and Evry1 (which she co-founded in 2021). Prior to joining hireEZ, she served in a variety of recruiting roles and later leveraged her industry experience and expertise to hold leadership positions at Moxy, SourceCon, CareerXroads, and beyond. As a talent acquisition leader, she remains passionate about connecting companies with their most valuable asset — people.