Robotic process automation (RPA) is a concept that all businesses - but particularly larger organizations with clear scope to make their operations more lean and efficient - should be paying attention to.

It has been estimated that the market for business process automation will reach a value of US$11.2 billion (€9.5 billion) in 2020 and US$12.7 billion by the end of 2021.

This growth is being driven by greater adoption as companies recognize the advantages they can gain in this space, like higher cost efficiency, lower risk of human error in key tasks and even a stronger employer brand

RPA is not dependent on office hours, so it can help you deliver quicker responses and achieve immediate engagement with job applicants. This underlines how automation of key processes in recruitment can boost the candidate experience, as well as helping employers. People applying for jobs with you can get instant answers to basic questions from robots, while the human contact they receive is of a higher quality because your staff have more time to focus on this aspect of their jobs. 

One area where these benefits are particularly evident is high-volume hiring. When you need to hire a lot of people in a short timeframe, RPA can play a vital role in helping you meet deadlines, stick to budgets and make the right hires.

Candidate sourcing and screening

An essential but time-consuming part of high-volume hiring is sourcing a sufficient number of candidates to meet your needs. You also need to come up with an effective way to screen initial submissions to ensure that only suitable applicants progress beyond the first stage of the process.

When you need to cast your net wide and reach as many candidates as possible, RPA can help with tasks like engaging with potential hires on social media. With nearly 2.5 billion people using Facebook alone every month, you can't afford to ignore the potential of social media to advertise vacancies. RPA can help you leverage this power through automated posting on your chosen platforms and processing of responses.

Once the applications start coming in, you can use software to automatically screen candidates and identify those who meet the criteria included in your list of essential skills, qualifications and experience. This offers invaluable time-saving benefits when you're involved in a large-scale recruitment operation and the people on your team have more important jobs to do than sort through reams of resumes to filter out those that are clearly unsuitable.

At the earliest stages of the hiring process, RPA can be combined with other technologies that utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning to save you time and make you more efficient. One example is chatbot software, available from providers like AllyO, which makes it easier to maintain engagement with candidates and provide instant answers to common questions.

Applicant tracking and interview scheduling

The use of applicant tracking systems (ATS) is one of the most common examples of how an increasing number of employers are incorporating automation into their recruitment function. Research has shown that three in four (75%) recruiters use some sort of ATS

Automated tracking software makes it possible for you to keep tabs on the progress of applications from start to finish. Information on individual candidates and how they are performing can be stored in a central database where it's available to hiring managers and other stakeholders.

An ATS can also be used to schedule interviews. Automated selection of successful applicants and allocation of an available interview slot, corresponding with the schedule of the relevant line manager, can be an extremely useful time-saver. It takes a lot of the manual work out of what can be one of the most laborious aspects of the entire recruitment process.

RPA in action

Randstad has a lot of first-hand experience of how automating key processes can have a clear positive impact on high-volume recruitment activities, most recently in a unique and challenging project that emerged out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A major multinational automaker had an immediate hiring need when it joined a project to manufacture vital equipment for the UK's National Health Service.

It was at this point that the company turned to Randstad, specifically our Inhouse Services division, which specializes in providing end-to-end recruitment solutions supporting high-volume hiring, onboarding and management of new workers.

Randstad Inhouse Services' approach to this challenge relied on a combination of RPA and human expertise - in line with the 'Tech & Touch' principle that lies at the heart of our brand identity

If you would like to find out more, Randstad has produced a case study that gives additional information about this special project, how we approached it and the results we were able to achieve for the client.

about the author
sandra ebbers

sandra ebbers

vp global concept inhouse & large accounts

Sandra is responsible for the implementation of the Randstad Inhouse concept worldwide. This business concept adds value to large organizations by optimizing their workforce and guiding their flex workers in a cost efficient way of working.