Uses for Automation in Recruiting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an upheaval in employment and recruiting. Changing what jobs are in demand and throwing millions back into active job searches. Staffing professionals have had to contend with the shifting jobs landscape. Plus, there have been changes in how they perform their own jobs.

Recruiting teams have gone remote. The hiring process itself has had to go virtual as well. Recruiting professionals find themselves making sure they can put in place ways to perform as well as – or better than – they did before the pandemic hit.

Over the last several years, the staffing industry has adopted an increasing number of tools incorporating automation. From sourcing to communications. To onboarding and more. They increase the speed and efficiency of the entire process.

Automating repetitive tasks and using machines to help make smarter decisions have taken on greater importance now. Those already taking advantage of such technologies have set themselves up for an easier transition to the new reality of their work.

However, another question many recruiting professionals find themselves asking at this moment is “What else can we use automation for right now?”


Applied to the Current Pandemic

To go beyond the ongoing benefits of automation, there are examples of recruiters applying these tools specifically to the current pandemic. One helpful use case we have seen is that companies are sending daily push surveys via text to workers.

These surveys give workers the opportunity to indicate whether they are available to work that day. With the coronavirus spreading and adding to the reasons some workers are unable to show up, gauging the availability of workers is far more dynamic now than merely managing contract end dates. The problem of employers needing to know – on a daily basis – who is not able to come in that day, and being able to replace those workers quickly is much more prevalent.

Where automation enters is in being able to identify on a mass scale which workers should get these surveys, and which should not – each day, and in processing those messages and responses with great speed.

Another factor, of course, is accuracy. Even if you could handle the number of outgoing messages manually. Processing the responses and analyzing the data by hand is guaranteed to be full of errors and omissions. Meaning missed shifts, unfilled positions, and frustrated customers.

GEM Recruiting AI


Automated Candidate Surveys

Another example we have seen is companies managing the influx of new job seekers by sending automated surveys to new applicants. Asking for information including availability, location, notice requirements, skills, and the reason they are looking for a new role. This automated communication and data-gathering can help staffing professionals more quickly process new profiles and match them with potential openings.

Staying with communications, there is a need for staffing firms to share up-to-date policies. As well as to ensure that workers have received and understand the information has become more important. For example, if an employer implements new safety requirements for contractors working on-site. Automated tools help push the update messages to all workers who need them.

In addition to needing to reach an audience that can change greatly each day, these policies may require only a passive acknowledgment. Knowing that the worker has received the message – or active, explicit acknowledgment indicating consent. Such as a “click to confirm” button or a request to text back a response code.


Streamline the Process

Finally, recruitment firms can put automation to work to streamline the sourcing and hiring process. To focus on the most important steps and eliminate those that aren’t necessary. In cases where workers are needed to fill roles urgently. (Emergency room nurses being a timely example.)

Recruiters can benefit from skipping some steps in identifying, hiring, and deploying workers more quickly. And, without skipping requirements. If a candidate in the database fits all known criteria. Such as location, availability, and skill set. Then, automation allows recruiters to bypass the niceties of non-critical communications they might normally send.

Instead, go right to a text or email to book time directly with the person who will get them through the credentialing process.

Automation tools are powerful accelerators for recruiting in normal times. The COVID-19 crisis, with the changes in demand and work situations for staffing professionals, customers, and workers alike, makes that power stand out more. And, it highlights the needs and advantages of automation in ways that will also change how staffing is done in the future.

Jason Heilman

Jason Heilman is Co-Founder of Herefish by Bullhorn, a company dedicated to helping the staffing industry better engage with their candidates and contacts. Jason spends his days working with customers and the Herefish team, figuring out ways to build better relationships with candidates and potential clients. Outside of work, he enjoys being active, getting outside, and spending time with his two sons.