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How to make a successful business case for recruiting automation

Posted by
Pankaj Jindal
July 27, 2023

You have done your research and you are convinced about the many benefits of automating your organization’s recruitment processes. How do you get the buy-in of your leadership team? Here is a step-by-step approach.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the best ideas often do not see light of day because they fail at the pitch stage. There are many reasons for this. 

Organizations are notoriously resistant to change, especially the disruptive kind. There may be a lack of clarity on the objectives and expected outcomes. There may be concerns about the impact on employees. And there are almost always questions about ROI.

If you are about to pitch recruitment automation in your organization, here are some things to consider while building your case.

#1 Start by addressing basic concerns

Automation and AI are words that raise a lot of basic questions. What does ‘recruitment automation’ mean? Will candidates be talking to bots now? Will tech replace recruiters? Can AI really replace human decision-making?

On the other end of the spectrum, there could be folks who believe that deploying automation will make an overnight transformation in your numbers. As the evangelist for the project, you will need to address both of these.

Yes, automation is powerful; it powers tools that can interact with candidates, screen them or keep them engaged. No, it will not replace recruiters: it will actually make recruiters’ life easier. Yes, automation can increase efficiency, save costs, streamline processes and improve NPS numbers. But this will happen over time as the system collects more data points and builds on it intelligently.

Make sure to address all of these points in your early conversations with stakeholders to set clear expectations.

#2 Define and communicate clear objectives

Just as smart pre-screening makes a big difference to the subsequent stages in the hiring funnel, establishing objectives is key to the adoption of any new project. 

AI and automation can help at every stage of the hiring cycle: from candidate sourcing and screening to interviewing scheduling, and from post-offer engagement to onboarding. 

Which of these are key priorities for your organization now? What are your current challenge areas? Start by assessing these and clearly mapping how the proposed solution can address each of these needs. Clarifying the why will get your stakeholders onboard faster.

#3 Pitch the right message

When making your case, consider both short-term and long-term impact on your business. Let’s take chatbots as an example. In the short term, they help improve candidate outreach turnaround time by being available 24*7 and doing the first level of screening. This is especially helpful during the pandemic when job seekers outnumber recruiters by as much as 20x. 

In the long term, the same chatbots can be used to engage hired candidates and do regular NPS checks. Choose the right hook for your pitch — immediate solution for a current problem vs a futuristic view — based on your organization’s current situation and priorities.

“Ask yourself: what things would be better if they were done 24/7? What would be better if it were done at scale? What would benefit from greater consistency? What would be possible if we leveraged broader expertise to see beyond our current limits? These are good candidates for AI.” 

— Deborah Bubb, Chief Talent Officer at United Health Group

#4 Present relevant ROI projections

Who decides if your organization should deploy a recruiting automation platform? There will be multiple stakeholders involved: recruiting leads, talent engagement team, HR leaders, business leaders, IT, and finance. Each of them will have their own priorities and focus areas. 

HR leaders will see value in hiring conversion rate and employee productivity. Business leaders will want better quality of talent and higher employee engagement. IT will want to ensure seamless adoption of the new tech with the existing ATS and HRMS. Finance will have compliance and cost-savings as priorities. 

The success of your pitch depends on how well you can showcase the improvement that automation can bring in each of their KPIs. This is where data is your friend. Collect current numbers (time to hire, turnover rate, engagement scores) for your organization and work with your automation partner to project improvements.

#5 Start with a pilot before scaling up

We’d argue that the pilot is actually the most important part of the engagement. This is because it makes sense on multiple counts. You ease into the process with your automation partner and establish early working practices. The adjustment period for your systems and people will alleviate any stakeholder anxiety. Milestones will be small but significant, enabling tighter tracking. And most importantly, you get to see tangible results, which will practically make the case for scaling up for you!

We recommend creating a core team for the pilot with representatives from every stakeholder group. Together, you can define what the MVP will look like: the must-haves, the good-to-haves, and the for-laters. Work with your automation partner to establish clear goals and metrics that will be tracked during the pilot, which typically runs from 3 to 6 months. Keep the core team involved and communicate progress and challenges regularly. All of this will ensure a smooth, successful pilot.

Sense Case Byte

We love working with our clients to create solutions that meet their needs. A family of premier staffing and recruiting brands, Staffmark Group was struggling to engage their talent pool. Their search for an automation partner stopped at Sense. 

“Our business isn’t the same as everyone else’s,” says Shannon Ronspies, Manager of Operations Support at Staffmark. “We loved that we didn’t have to just open the box and use the platform as-is. We continue to adjust and customize what we’re doing based on what’s working and what’s not.”

Looking for a partner to help you build a business case for recruiting automation? Let’s chat. Our automation experts will walk you through everything you need to know to implement a platform that is tailored to your business challenges and needs.

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