Recruiting automation may appear to be at odds with the personalized, white-glove treatment of the executive search industry. But that view can be deceptive. 

According to Hunt Scanlon, the executive search industry is about to enter a new phase of growth driven by AI and automation. In fact, automation is already in use by many recruiting firms, and 22% say they plan to invest further. Executive search firms in particular have a lot of opportunities left to leverage. Many still rely on outdated or generic software and have yet to automate basic tasks. 

As the executive recruiting landscape evolves, those that fail to embrace automation risk being left behind. 

Recruiting automation and why you need it

Recruiting automation is the use of technology to complete time-consuming and repetitious tasks normally handled by a recruiter.

Automation isn’t expected to eliminate the need for recruiters but to help them function more effectively and efficiently. Automation can benefit your company in a number of ways. It lifts productivity by eliminating tedious administrative tasks, so your firm can do more without hiring more people — and do it better. It allows your staff to focus on higher-level work, like building relationships, tailoring their outreach, and finding creative ways to discover and place the best talent. This, in turn, can boost morale because employees are more likely to enjoy their work when they feel they are making meaningful contributions. This provides an injection of positivity that can have a far-reaching impact throughout your executive search business. 

Automation also reduces manual error and lets your team collect more — and more reliable — data. This puts your team a step ahead as you develop a high-quality database of executive talent that would otherwise be hard to find. Your recruiters are also less likely to let important communications slip through the cracks or make mistakes due to poor-quality information.

12 things you should automate in your executive search firm

You probably already employ some recruiting automation without even knowing it. A weekly calendar reminder — that’s automation. So are the rules you use to sort email and notifications you get from LinkedIn. But many more processes can be automated to streamline executive search management for your firm.

Today’s tailored executive search software can take care of a host of tedious and error-prone activities. These activities, when automated, support the white-glove treatment that executive candidates and your clients expect. 

1. Adding candidates to your database

Most databases suffer from poor data quality due to manual entry. Automating data entry, such as the information from online profiles and resume documents, will greatly reduce errors and help you build a valuable database of candidates.

2. Updating candidate info

It’s a tedious job to check and update existing candidate records. Now technology can check and update your system’s data against a candidate’s online profile. 

3. Checking for duplicate candidates

Manual entry results in fragmentation, leading to multiple records for the same candidate. Modern systems can automatically check for and merge duplicate records to preserve the quality of your data. 

4. Tracking search activity and outreach

Mistakes and miscommunication happen when team members lack visibility. Keep everyone aligned by automatically logging emails sent to prospective candidates and tracking activities and tasks performed by recruiting and hiring teams. 

5. Managing day-to-day recruiting team activities

Relying on memory to manage assigned tasks often results in crucial things falling through the cracks. Modern executive search systems help you manage workflow with automatic notifications and reminders. 

6. Updating calendars

Missed interviews and meetings can set your timeline back. You can track and manage meetings and interviews from your calendar or recruiting system, because they automatically stay in sync with each other. This also adds transparency for those who might need to know when you interviewed a candidate.

7. Creating and sharing candidate lists from your database

Pulling together an initial pool of candidates takes a lot of legwork and research. But with your accumulated data and recruiting automation tools, you can easily create lists of candidates that meet various criteria right from your own database.

8. Writing emails

Writing emails takes up an inordinate amount of time. Often recruiters find themselves sending the same message with just a few changes. Save time and reduce mistakes by using templates to pre-populate the email text.

9. Sharing real-time search updates

When clients lack visibility into your work, they become uneasy. Automatically sharing important information in a dashboard helps build trust and peace of mind, with no additional work on your part.

10. Completing and tracking candidate assessments by hiring team members

You need input from the hiring team at critical milestones. Automated recruiting technology can notify the client when they need to take action, such as reviewing a candidate.

11. Notifying when an action is completed

Relying on emails to let others know when a task is finished can slow your team down. Instead, automated notifications should keep everyone in the loop, letting team members and your client know when a task is completed.

12. Creating and sharing search status reports

Creating reports can be time-consuming. An automated system can pull together a search or contact report with custom fields and filters, creating and sharing a polished report in seconds. 

Recruiting automation faces fewer barriers than ever before

Automating these and other tasks are no longer a nice-to-have. Your clients, candidates, and staff expect it from your firm. 

Thankfully, it’s no longer difficult to automate processes in the executive recruiting lifecycle. With today’s recruiting automation software, you don’t need to figure it out yourself or employ IT staff to patch together automations for you. The smallest team can now automate many aspects of their search operations using a tailored solution built specifically for executive search processes.

Learn more about streamlining your executive search process. Read our definitive guide: How Effective Search Management Delivers the Right Candidate Faster.