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Legacy HR technology is impacting employee productivity

(Image credit: Image Credit: NakoPhotography / Shutterstock)

According to a recent report by Forrester, 90 percent of HR workers are losing up to four hours a week on admin and management tasks due to outdated technology. Despite the shift in the industry to remote working and recruiting therefore driving digital transformation, over 90 percent of organizations aren’t maximizing their investment in HR tech. In fact, over 75 percent of organizations admitted the need to update their HR tech in the coming months.  

In the aftermath of the pandemic, its crucial organizations remain agile to stay relative, and competitive. The companies that are slow to digital transformation for their HR tech, are already falling behind. Luckily, there are solutions, like adopting consumer-grade technology platforms that provide enhanced user experiences and integrate seamlessly with existing systems. According to the same Forrester study, this is what HR leaders want with a majority stating the introduction of advanced HR technology will allow employees to reuse up to 50 percent of their time for more value-added activities. Considering the national average of 40 hours of work per week this could mean up to 20 hours per week divided into more strategic high-value projects.  

To drive productivity for workforces, optimize digital transformation investment and advance over competition it is fundamental for companies to digitalize talent acquisition (TA) teams with innovative HR technology.  

Post pandemic job market – more pressure on TA teams  

According to a 2021 report conducted by the International Labour Organization, Global unemployment increased by 33 million during the pandemic. However, the job market is slowly recovering, and job vacancies are increasing. Recruiters need to be prepared to receive a higher volume of job applications for a small number of roles. Digital recruitment tools allow recruiters to handle these higher volumes of applicants. This means using software that allows recruiters to sift through applications quickly and shortlist the most qualified candidates.  

A volume-ready recruitment solution enables maintenance of high hiring standards despite the increase in applicant volume. One particularly important thing to look out for is the recruiting automation capabilities a tech stack can offer. Automating the manual, repetitive parts of the recruitment process will free up the TA teams' time to engage with the strongest candidates.  

IT leaders must also invest in recruitment technology that provides the TA teams with an overview of data in real-time. This visibility will enable them to pinpoint any improvement areas that need working on, so they can execute the best possible recruitment strategy. It’s also worth noting that this real-time data provides recruitment teams with a vital insight into who candidates are, their skills, and their location, often speeding up the conversion rate.  

In addition, investing in the digital transformation of recruitment will provide HR teams with the tools they need to enhance their skill sets and increase overall business efficiency. Selecting the appropriate tools will require executives to create and provide HR teams with advanced training and resources on the tools that they will use. 

To keep TA teams engaged throughout the process, HR leaders should always strive to provide a seamless and enjoyable end-to-end recruitment process for both the applicant and the recruiter. HR technology enables effective and secure recruitment and onboarding processes. Efficient onboarding also increases employee effectiveness and engagement, particularly during their first few months into the job which is critical when up to 25 percent of new employees quit within the first 6 months.

Increasing workflow efficiency by adopting automation initiatives 

Using legacy talent acquisition (TA) platforms forces most recruiters to spend  20 percent of their time on administrative duties and other mundane and repetitive tasks. This mismanagement of workflow can lead to employees becoming disengaged and therefore decrease productivity and ultimately profitability.  

The automation of these routine tasks frees up recruiters to focus on bigger, complex, and more profitable activities. Productivity increases when staff have the time to focus on more valuable aspects of the job and find new and better ways of working. Furthermore, automation increases efficiency through the simplification of these tasks; namely interview self-scheduling, auto-triggered candidate assessments, and a more intuitive application flow.  

Automation is necessary in a post-pandemic recruitment world. On average, applicant volume has increased by 50-100 submissions a post since the pandemic. Without automation, recruiters would be spending a majority of their time simply screening candidates and coordinating introductory interviews.  

However, automated processes require confidential candidate data, and HR teams must work hard to keep this secure, to mitigate the risk of security breaches or data leaks. In the wake of the pandemic, IT leaders can mitigate cybersecurity risks by assessing the security risks associated with their company tech and software and address these concerns before implementation of new HR tech and centralize cybersecurity and recruitment efficiency. 

In addition to optimizing hiring team workflows, organizations should invest in candidate sourcing enhancements that perfect outbound communication to attract high-quality candidates. Recruiters who use customer relationship management (CRM) software can create deep campaign segmentation within their communities to deliver tailored messaging to the appropriate candidates faster than ever before.  

Additional automation features include expanded data visualization options for system administrators and recruiting analyst bots to make better business decisions faster and increase candidate relationship management functionality to strengthen targeting of campaign audiences and improve the quality of talent communities. 

By bundling a variety of automation initiatives, businesses can boost their overall productivity and efficiency for hiring teams, reducing the time spent on non-value-added tasks, and optimize critical processes and drive productivity.

Integrating direct messaging solutions – higher conversations and better responses 

Incorporating direct messaging tools into the recruitment process through natively built texting solutions can drive efficiency alongside widening access to talent. With over 90 percent of workers using texting as the primary method of communication for business, TA teams can leverage SMS, direct messaging, and social media to reach their next great hires wherever they are, instantly.  

This form of direct and instant communication removes many of the communication barriers between hiring teams and candidates globally and makes jobs more accessible to candidates from all backgrounds, whether they are constantly on the move, or don’t have access to the internet or even an email address. These engaging messaging platforms ensure that candidates respond quickly and move through the hiring process efficiently.  

Our clients using these direct messaging capabilities have seen higher conversion rates and better response rates. One client found applications preferred text messages much more to email with an increase in the open rate to 98 percent and a 45 percent response rate.  

Direct messaging solution software centralizes all candidate communications across SMS, WhatsApp, and email into one view. It’s a game-changer for hiring teams that no longer have to waste time juggling multiple systems. They can manage all hiring communications within one central inbox which is innately compliant to keep candidate data safe. In modern recruiting, timeliness is the name of the game. The immediacy of the experience is critical when competing for the best talent.

Preparing for the future of recruitment

Finding, hiring, and retaining the right people is a crucial element in the overall success of an organization. The hiring process has shifted dramatically, and organizations must implement innovative HR technology to gain a competitive edge and ensure employee productivity. When the recruitment process is done right, enterprises can elevate their brand, attract a pipeline of applicants, and compete to gain the talent they want. In addition, organizations will maximize their digital transformation efforts and empower teams to make smart, agile data-driven decisions with confidence, preparing them for whatever the future of recruitment brings.

Tony De Graaf, Hiring Success Director - EMEA, SmartRecruiters

Tony De Graaf joined SmartRecruiters in November 2019 as Hiring Success Director for EMEA. In this position, Tony, as a Talent Leader, is responsible for our thought-leadership and Hiring Success consultancy across the region, helping companies to build purpose-driven organizations with a People & Culture at heart. Prior to joining SmartRecruiters, Tony has worked for different companies in e-commerce, fashion and retail, including McGregor, Gaastra, Wehkamp. where he held diverse senior positions in Talent Acquisition and TA leader.