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The hiring process, crucial for any business, involves many repetitive, dull tasks. These are necessary to obtain the information about applicants’ engagement and previous work experience. All of these are needed in order to make a well-informed decision.

When performed manually, the tasks are not only laborious and hence more prone to error, but also costly, unproductive, and may result in downgrading the compliance level. Therefore, deployment of new emerging technology might be the ace in the hole for managing these structural challenges.

For instance, use of robotic process automation for recruitment to replace human action in the performance of administrative  tasks is an opportunity to be considered by companies aiming to progress and thus stay on top of the business game. In fact, recruitment processes are a central component of HR, and a typical use case of RPA in HR. In what follows, we will emphasize how intelligent automation specifically may facilitate recruitment.

In short, RPA streamlines recruitment by increasing work duration and accuracy, hence the reliability and productivity of the decision making process. It is a significant means to regulate expenditure on talent acquisition, thus leading to an improvement of the company’s saving potentials and overall profitability. These aspects provide the rationale for the claim that recruitment automation represents a strategic direction for the future of the industry.

“Such a claim is consistent with the findings reported in a recent paper by Lecaillon, Halpin and Hennebert (2018), according to which 47% of HR leaders already deploy RPA for recruitment, while 35% of hiring managers expect that by 2020 it will already be perceived as a top measure to advance the industry.”

How can recruitment automation help humans be more human at work?

We have argued time and again for the apparently paradoxical idea that automation technology has humanist outcomes in that it makes people really matter. The same idea emerges when using RPA for recruitment.

For one, robotic process automation can collect real-time data on the candidate experience during the hiring process, and then obtain a more fine-grained analysis for different stages of recruitment. Automated emails can be sent to candidates when their status changes, inquiring about their perception of the recruitment procedures. Such data can be very valuable for improving candidates’ experience and thus for making them more motivated to obtain an advertised position.

Moreover, intelligent automation can be used in the form of chatbots that can deliver fitting responses to candidates based on the interpretation of the way they communicate. These are significant upgrades when it comes to talent acquisition by your business. And this is no little thing, given that 79% of Australian employers believe that talent is the number one priority in their organisation.

Secondly, companies can automate sourcing efficiency by proactively sourcing really relevant candidates. The way to go is to send candidates drip automated emails according to their actions, thereby only following up with the most interested candidates. All that recruiters need to do is to set up skilfully constructed email templates, and then allow software robots to take over and deliver relevant updates to those candidates.

Thirdly, automation can provide reliable assistance when it comes to data entry, the kind of activity that everybody dreads yet no business can do without. In order to make appropriate choices, recruiters must accurately track the data of relevant candidates.

Passing on this task to software robots allows them to fully focus on the development of strong relationships with those candidates that are really worth considering. Those can be shortlisted with the help of software robots, which can easily gather all the files and compare the information with the list of job requirements.

The bottom line is that, ultimately, it is humans that make a difference in the process of candidate engagement for talent acquisition. What RPA does is to facilitate the process by providing what may be called an efficient ‘talent pipeline’.

How to select what processes to automate

In order to fully leverage the potential of RPA to streamline recruitment, companies must take into account some practices for successful implementation. Among those practices, process selection is key, because when it comes to robotic process automation for recruitment, not all processes are made equal.

The right process choice is context dependent, meaning that your specific business objectives should shape the decision of what to automate, when, what for. Starting from a very concrete problem and having a clear goal to be attained are necessary ‘ingredients’ for selection of the recruiting tasks that are likely to benefit most from automation.

Another useful thing to do from the very beginning is to calculate your robotics quotient, a helpful measure to evaluate your company’s readiness for robotic process automation. We provide some guidelines here for ways to answer questions about the ability of your organisation to handle the challenges of automation and AI, and about the readiness to learn, adapt and work alongside digital entities of your recruiting staff.

An overview of the project team members (e.g., recruiters, stakeholders, technology evaluators) with their specific duties should be part of the first stage of process assessment. Further collaboration with stakeholders is also very important because they can provide useful guidance for a coherent trajectory of the recruitment automation journey.

In order to play it safe (and successful), you ought to be fully aware of the rules governing the recruiting processes that you consider automating, and of the compliance risks involved. Of course, the higher the risk, the less likely that a process should makes it to the ‘automation shortlist’. Processes that are either marked for re-work, continually change over the short to medium term, or those that will be eliminated in the near term should also pertain to the category of processes to be avoided – read more about that here.

How to get started with intelligent automation for recruitment

The short answer is simple: start big.

In the first place, a robust foundation for implementing RPA, chatbots in particular, warrants more opportunities to take advantage of various courses of action after the pilot phase. By selecting more processes for integrated automation (according to the above-mentioned suggestions), you increase the likelihood of future progress at a macro scale for the whole business.

Moreover, by involving all business partners in a collaborative design of the implementation process, you minimise outcome uncertainty and thus stabilize the automation project. Having a long-term plan in the direction of scaling to enterprise level from the very beginning ensures more cohesive, well integrated measures that support goal attainment.

Last but not least, starting big with intelligent automation increases the overall productivity of the automation journey by enlarging the application scope and by facilitating recursion. For instance, if initially chatbots would just ask candidates the requisite pre-screening questions, with time they might get to answering candidates’ questions about the application process, or schedule interviews with the recruiters.


All in all, recruitment automation streamlines the hire-to-retire process and facilitates talent acquisition. Both are significant upgrades for your business, maximising the chances of reaching optimal hiring decisions fast. Among the expected consequences, consider financial gains, visibility on the market, social status enhancement, increased job satisfaction for your recruiting staff, improved candidate experience, etc., to name but a few.

Such outcomes are likely to strengthen the position of your organisation, and increase its rank on the market. In the end, deployment of automation technology for recruiting paves the way towards talent acquisition and all its beneficial effects.

Not only can RPA be used during the recruitment phase, but it can also be successfully implemented in further steps after the hiring process. One such example is streamlining the employee ID creation process. You can watch below how UiPath did this specific process automation for BMW in an RPA pilot.

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