Today’s recruitment operations professional has a growing variety of tools and resources at their disposal. The days of a hiring process that screens applications and resumes individually has given way to candidate sourcing technology that searches for keywords and deposits only the best qualified talent in a recruiter’s inbox. Phone-tag time wasting has been replaced by automated interview scheduling applications. Chatbots are prescreening applicants with short questions before moving them along the recruitment operations pipeline. With so many tools at their disposal, recruiters are more able to devote their time to the most important tasks: optimizing candidate experience and finding the right fit for the job, the team and the organization.

We are a digitally-driven world of data, with human resources teams becoming fast consumers. In the past, HR data was analog: file folders with employee’s life stories were secreted away. On the recruitment side, mountains of paperwork were the norm—from resumes and applications to reference information and employment eligibility documents. Moving out of the paper forest and into the digital realm has the potential to save both space and time for HR and recruitment operations departments. The challenge for many is to leverage the technology available for their organization’s needs and wants.

What are the most common digital recruitment operations tools?




Few employers today use paper applications or receive printed resumes. Candidate sourcing tools make it easier to find and evaluate potential new hires without killing trees. Whether you use a third-party provider or have your own career site, the single most common tool for recruitment operations is the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Not only can they screen for the best match, they can allow hiring managers, recruiters and other stakeholders to review candidates simultaneously, garnering consensus before the first interview is even scheduled.

Scheduling tools have improved one of the most frustrating parts of the hiring process —arranging interviews—from an hours-long process to a 60-second task. Whether used to schedule phone or complicated in-person interview days, these tools have cut down on downtime for recruiters, hiring managers and candidates.

Recruitment CRMs, or Candidate Relationship Management systems, help recruitment operations teams show off their brand to would-be hires. CRM software helps recruiters effectively communicate with job seekers throughout the hiring process while keeping a close eye on candidate experience. With email, text, and social media recruiting, CRM platforms keep candidates in the loop on their hiring status while getting a better understanding of an organization’s core values and mission.

More tools are available to automate rote recruitment operations and more are on the horizon. The task before hiring professionals is to evaluate where in their applicant pipeline they can benefit from recruitment process outsourcing or SaaS. Then it’s simply a matter of finding the right fit for their needs, budget and use.

What data is being leveraged to find the right talent for open positions?

Today’s recruitment technology can analyze the most generic data points (like years of experience) to the most complex. An ATS may screen for basic information — like “can you work graveyard shift?” — but can also be programmed to rank candidates based on their responses. Rather than sifting through every job seeker who’s willing to work overnight, talent is screened further to find the best match for each position.

Social media data – from professional to personal sites — are a new source to recruit passive talent. Employers can scour social media sites in nanoseconds for talent that meets their needs. Job matches are offered to professionals who respond directly to the organization. Some sites are taking it a step further: analyzing data for talent pools, schools that are graduating high performers, and recruitment metrics to compare how a company fares in their local market.

What data is being leveraged to optimize recruitment operations?

In addition to analyzing data from the job seeker’s point of view, data helps recruitment operations teams better their game in the marketplace. Recruiting metrics are top-of-mind for organizations vying for the best talent available in a tight market. Budget analysis lets human resources uncover where they’re getting the most return on their recruitment investment.

Tracking systems allow HR to analyze its recruiting funnel. Where in the talent pipeline are things slowing down, stopping or hitting a logjam? Armed with that data, corrections can be made to improve hiring metrics and candidate experience.

Other tech can help analyze time to hire, cost per hire, acceptance (and refusal) rates and track them back to their source. Whether you get a lot of candidates from a single source is less valuable than getting hirable (and retained) talent from another. With tech, days of analysis (a project rarely taken on in a busy recruiter’s day) are reduced to mere minutes of quantifiable, actionable data.

How can AI help you find the top talent for hire in your field?

In addition to screening for the best candidates, AI is improving the recruitment process overall in highly beneficial ways.

Eliminating bias in recruitment operations

As more business focus on social impact and corporate responsibility, AI fills a need. Screening technology allows recruiters to view candidates based on their skills and work history rather than name or background — ignoring data historically associated with pre-screening bias. For example, finding a candidate who went to your alma mater may have pushed them higher on the interview pile in the past. AI is only interested in the degree held (if applicable), not the university from which is was earned.

Boosting diversity and inclusion

In the same way AI ignores bias-prone data, it can analyze bias in processes. Are recruitment efforts culling a diverse applicant pool, or are your sources providing only homogenous results? Which candidates are more likely to make it through each stage of the hiring process and which are getting (and accepting) job offers? The analysis AI provides helps business understand where (if anywhere) recruitment operations need attention to make sure D&I initiatives are being met.

Where will technology take recruiting operations and analytics in the future?

As technology expands exponentially and use cases increase, the answers may be unlimited. But some of today’s applications may be on the cusp of becoming as commonly used in recruitment operations as an ATS.

Video interviewing 2.0

Video interviewing is moving quickly into the mainstream. Interviewing platforms are being leveraged for both pre-recorded screening questions and live one-on-one or panel interviews. More than just convenient for everyone involved, cost savings are being realized and times-to-hire is being reduced. Rather than wait for a department head to land back in your time zone (and potentially lose top talent to the competition), organizations turn to video to interview from anywhere at any time.

AI is poised to take video interviewing next level. New versions assess candidate personality traits. Programmed to recognize and analyze facial expressions, gestures and even voice, AI can help recruitment operations evaluate confidence levels, truthfulness, skill and focus. This tech can turn the subjective “gut instinct this will be a good match” into quantifiable data that could mean long-term successful hires.

VR for business – it’s not just for gamers anymore

Once assumed only gaming applications were ripe for VR headsets, the tech has moved to the business realm. Now being used to train employees on everything from safety and procedures to soft skills, VR is an excellent means to ready employees for challenges they will meet. Business is leveraging VR and AR to demonstrate how to work safely and even access real-time assistance for help and advice. New applications are improving leadership and communication skills. Users are immersed in experiential scenarios that help them respond (and learn where their responses are working and where they’re not) to harassment in the workplace, communicating more effectively, leadership and even readying themselves for events like Black Friday shopping days.

For recruiters, VR could be a tool to attract talent. Imagine your spot at a job fair or campus recruiting event equipped with VR headsets to give job seekers a virtual tour of your facility.  Not only would your booth be the most popular on the floor, your recruiting team would have an easier time getting candidates to apply.

AI that measures potential?

As AI gathers data its power is realized in predictive analytics. AI sees patterns that humans simply can’t. As it collects more data, it learns more and can spot correlations and make predictions. These job performance data points have a higher likelihood of workplace success: those applicant characteristics show more potential than others. Whether an organization will use a third-party SaaS or compiles its own data for predictive analytics, the potential is there for good as well as harm.

AI can only extrapolate on the data it’s fed. And quantity matters as much as quantity. Creating an algorithm to predict effective hires based on recent successes may seem basic. But if all the recent hires fed into the system were white males under 50, AI will predict only that subset is worth interviewing. Too little data doesn’t help either: the more information the system can absorb, the more it learns and the more it can be calibrated against bias and wrong conclusions. The future of AI in predictive recruitment analytics may depend on how they well they can be fine-tuned  to reach the outcomes desired.

Will blockchain take HR by storm?

If you’re only mildly familiar with the term ‘blockchain’ and don’t really understand what it is, you’re not alone. Blockchain isn’t new technology, but it is seeing a renaissance that may impact recruitment operations.

Blockchain 101

Blockchain is a digital repository of information – basically a virtual file cabinet that allows users to access data on demand. With blockchain you control your information: your educational, employment, credential data is accessible to anyone you allow. If blockchain is ever fully integrated it could help recruitment operations in a host of ways. Universities that use blockchain could open access to educational records for their alumni. Candidates could then provide access to their complete or partial records along with their application, allowing you to verify credentials immediately. Registrar offices could be eliminated entirely.

Past employers on blockchain could allow candidates to provide access to their full or partial work history – making time consuming (and often frustrating) reference checks a thing of the past. Badging and credentialing records on blockchain could be immediately accessed.

Employers (or AI) could simply click on the link provided for each data set – education, experience, credentials – and verify the information provided before they get to the bottom of the resume. That level of back-end time saving could revolutionize the recruitment process.  Blockchain may be in its infancy for recruitment applications, but the value it can offer may make it worthwhile for business and third-party providers to pursue.

How is the field of recruiting analytics expected to continue to evolve?

If you can predict where the next big thing in recruitment technology or recruitment analytics will hit, keep it to yourself. Considering how big some of the giants have become (and the wealth they’ve accumulated), you might want not want to share.

But a bit of speculation. As technology continues to expand, so does use. Existing tech, from other markets is moving into the HR space. As recruitment operations evolve, there may be other tasks ripe for outsourcing. We see benefits administration, compliance and employee development being outsourced routinely. Will AI powered staffing organizations, outsource the recruitment function entirely?  Will the evolution of natural language processing eliminate the need for a recruiter to be on hand to answer candidate questions? The possibilities are as limitless as the tech we can’t keep up with.

Business can expect savvy entrepreneurs to leverage existing technology for recruitment operations applications in the near term. In the future, new technology will likely be providing solutions for tasks and problems not yet automated and perhaps not even considered. Whatever the future holds, recruitment operations must be tech-centric and cutting edge to attract and retain top talent.