How to Assess Your Recruitment Automation Process

October 5, 2016 Tim Sackett

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you could just completely start over with your recruitment technology? No barriers or roadblocks. No legacy human resources information system (HRIS) or applicant tracking system (ATS). Clean slate.

Of course, it would be easy to just tell you to go out and buy the newest, most expensive tech on the market. That would also be a bit of a pointless exercise because 99 percent of us would never be able to do that. But, what if you got the chance to build a new recruiting tech stack from scratch?

What would you choose?

Below, I share what I would do if I could start over — which things within the recruitment process I would automate, and which would get a more hands-on approach.

Core Recruitment Technology

  • Applicant tracking system – Okay, this one is easy. It’s like your HRIS, or system of record, but for talent acquisition. The problem is that most ATSs will tell you they can do it all. I have never found one that can do it all (effectively). So, really dig into those claims.
  • Analytics – Everyone will tell you they have analytics, but when you finally demo a full analytics-talent acquisition technology and it completely blows you out of the water, you realize what powerful analytics really mean. The larger the organization, the more important and more of a must-have this becomes.
  • Digital phone technology – Oh, boy — here we go. Almost no one on the corporate side of talent acquisition has this, and it’s a huge miss. Most recruiting is still done by phone — and this won’t change. Unless you have candidates accepting a job without ever speaking to someone at your company, you need this. A digital phone system tracks usage by recruiter and gives you metrics that can help you see who is actually making calls and who’s not. Be forewarned, the lack of time your recruiters are spending on the phone may give you a stroke!
  • CRM – This is ongoing candidate communication during the pre-apply, apply and post-apply hiring process. Truly, 99.9 percent of ATSs don’t have anything close to CRM, but will tell you they do. You need a strong CRM technology to build talent networks, pipelines of talent, and catch so much talent you’re missing and have no idea you’re missing.
  • Recruitment training – All the best talent acquisition technology is the world is great, but if your recruiters suck, great tech only makes them suck faster! I suggest you find a great online technology that continually trains and enables you to track this training and use.


  • Job distribution – Recruiting can be broken down into two main buckets: inbound and outbound. Most corporate organizations do about 90 percent inbound (post and pray baby!). So, if that’s your main strategy (and it usually is), you better have the best job distribution engine on the planet.
  • Sourcing technology – This space is packed right and growing super fast. More money is being dropped into sourcing technology than almost any other segment, which makes it very confusing for talent acquisition buyers. Ultimately, before you buy, you need to talk to people you trust who are using the technology. I had one vendor drop the name of a competitor of mine. The vendor said the company “loved” using the vendor’s technology, but that because the company was a competitor they wouldn’t talk to me. BUT — I “need” this tech! So, I called the competitor’s CEO directly. Guess what? The CEO thought the tech was worthless.
  • Employee referral automation – Is employee referrals your largest source of hires? For most organizations, this is the case. Yet, when I ask how much money they’ve invested into technology to support their most important source, it’s almost always $0. Doesn’t that sound silly!
  • Job advertising – If you haven’t looked into programmatic job advertising, you need to: It’s what all companies will be doing in the future. Basically, it entails using technology to buy and place your ads in real time in a very hyper-specific way. Higher quality applicants, at a lower cost.



  • Video Interview Technology – I love this technology and how it’s evolving. What we know is that our hiring managers love to see candidates before they live-interview them. Video interview technology helps your organization be more effective with its time and resources.
  • Assessment technology – No more gut decisions! Assessment tech has also evolved way past the personality assessments of yesteryear. Predictive assessments can now accurately tell you who you should be hiring, and they have proven to be more effective than live interviewing. If you want to hire better, you need to add assessment technology to your stack.
  • Automated reference checking technology – This is a giant pet peeve of mine. If you manually do reference checks from references given to you by a candidate, you should be fired — it’s a giant waste of time. What do you think the candidate’s references are going to tell you? They gave you the references! They will tell you the candidate walks on water. There — I just saved you all that time. Seriously, stop this. Get an automated reference checking tool that’s proven to actually knock out some candidates based on how they’ll fit into the role and your organization.
  • Automated background checking – I think most organizations have this now, but if you don’t, you should. This is a way to verify the credentials of a candidate and the information that’s presented in a resume.



  • Interview/apply feedback – Don’t just think “exit interviews.” Think about all those candidates in your own database who you didn’t hire, but who are still awesome, talented folks you might want to hire in the future. How is your organization staying connected with them? For most, this will be with your CRM technology. Think about that entry-level engineer who loved you and applied three years ago. Back then, you just didn’t have an entry-level opening. Fast-forward to today, and that person now has three years of experience with your competition. How are you letting them know you still want them?

These are the big buckets of talent acquisition technology. Depending on your specific industry, location, and so on, you might have other buckets that you need or don’t need. Also, don’t get sold on the idea that you must have all of these technologies talking to each other, and thus must buy one big giant talent acquisition suite.

New technologies, built on a SaaS platform, will be able to “talk” to each other. The key is first checking to see if those integrations have already happened and talking to those using the tech now to know how they’re working. Suites will be great for some organizations, but they usually fall down on certain parts, so you need to know what’s super important for your organization before buying.

We’ve partnered with industry expert Tim Sackett to create a comprehensive checklist to help you take stock of where you’re at now — and take that first step toward determining where your process is too manual, too technology-focused, or just right. Get the checklist.

Automation Guide CareerBuilder

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