On boarding new hires is one of those tedious tasks that is important but time consuming. It involves having new hires fill out multiple HR forms covering everything from work eligibility to a parking pass.
In a large organization with many new hires joining at the same time, the process can take all day.
Suppose there was a way to automate it all. Instead of requiring HR to walk each new person through each step of the process, what if a robot could handle it all?
That’s the promise of robotic process automation (RPA). In many large companies robots are taking over the most tedious tasks, freeing up HR professionals to handle more high value work that is best handled my humans.
Defining Robotic Process Automation
RPA isn’t artificial intelligence, though it may resemble it. RPA can weave together multiple complicated, but repetitive tasks, performing each in the identical fashion efficiently and flawlessly. While AI does many of the same things, it employs a more sophisticated system of analysis that uses unstructured data. In that way, RPA and AI are complimentary technologies to improve recruiting and make it more efficient.
The use of RPA to streamline repetitive processes has been growing rapidly. According to Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey, the use of RPA in HR increase by more than 50% in 2020.
Automating repetitive work is a significant benefit for recruiters who frequently juggle multiple tasks.
“Tasks go away with RPA,” says Mike Pino, partner and workforce learning strategies leader with PwC. “HR tasks present a lot of automation possibilities. I think as use of RPA and other automated technologies grows, HR professionals will find what they do each day on the job will be very different than in the past,” he told the Society for Human Resource Management
He said that by eliminating having recruiters do such routine tasks as data entry, it frees up time for them to have more personal and valuable conversations with candidates.
PwC says 40% of the HR functions internationally have adopted recruitment process automation. In one use case, L’Oreal Group recruiters say RPA algorithms have helped them achieve an 84% job offer ratio for interviewed candidates.
RPA Is Still Evolving
In most companies, RPA is still in its infancy. Recruiters still not entirely comfortable working with AI processes, now are wondering what robotic process automation is and how it can help them.
A primer compiled by Talkpush provides an easy way for recruiters to learn the fundamentals while taking small steps toward automating the most time consuming of processes. The company recommends beginning by deploying a chatbot to take over some of the more routine questions candidates have and keeping them informed of their status.
The next step is to set up a simple set of screening questions that the automation program can handle without requiring help from the recruiter staff.
What’s Next for Robotic Process Automation
As recruiter comfort with automation grows, more sophisticated steps can be introduced. One valuable use of RPA, Talkpush points out, is to automate the logging in to multiple databases by recruiters. Another good use is to automate the scheduling of interviews.
As writer Ivanha Paz points out interview scheduling is one of the more time consuming and frustrating of the tasks recruiters handle. Automating the steps allows recruiters and candidates to stay in sync. “This eliminates human error and facilitates notifications of cancellations, changes, and reminders of when the interview is coming up,” Pas writes.
Recruiters are just beginning to learn what robotic process automation is and how it can help them become more effective. Just as applicant tracking systems replaced paper and spread sheets, and artificial intelligence is now making candidate selection more sophisticated, robotic process automation will relieve recruiters of routine tasks allowing them to get back to doing what they do best which is to find and hire the best candidates.
Contribution by John Zappe