If you’re like most HR professionals, you’ve no doubt spent hours reviewing hundreds of resumes, thinking, “There has to be a better way.” However, you probably also haven’t felt warm and fuzzy after conversing with a chatbot. While automation and artificial intelligence (AI) can improve efficiency in the hiring process, is more technology always the answer? And how can we avoid being over-reliant on it while also recognizing when our process is too manual and unproductive?

The recruiting process is complex; to be successful, teams need to strike the right balance between technology and a human touch. But finding this balance is challenging. It requires testing which parts of the process should be automated and which are best left to the people: a task which most organizations don’t have the resources for. 

But Indeed does. As a technology company with the data and expertise to conduct experiments, we set out to find the perfect balance between the human side of recruiting — the “art” — and automation — the “science.” The result is Indeed Hire: Indeed’s pay-per-hire service that gives companies access to convenient and affordable recruiting.

Here’s how to balance the art and science of recruiting, and how Indeed Hire can help: 

Indeed Hire boosted 6x hires per recruiter

Indeed Hire, dubbed our “research and development (R&D) lab for recruiting,” experimented with hundreds of approaches to optimize the hiring process. First, the team identified every step in the recruiting process, finding a total of more than 100 steps with varying degrees of difficulty. Next, they went to work experimenting with every possible combination of automated and manual processes to find the right balance. 

The Indeed Hire team is composed of product managers, data scientists and hiring specialists who came together to conduct more than 300 experiments, run tests on over 90,000 jobs and evaluate over 6.5 million candidates.

The result? Indeed Hire saw a productivity improvement of six times more hires per recruiter. 

The team’s experimentation also produced key findings at each stage of the hiring journey, giving insights into which parts of the process are best for automation and which would benefit more from a personal touch — learnings published in our report, “Balancing the Art and Science of Recruiting.”  Here are some key findings.

1. A personal touch is needed at kickoff. 

When a recruiter receives an open requisition, nothing can replace a 15-minute conversation with the hiring manager. This conversation helps recruiters understand the new hire’s job responsibilities, work environment and who they’ll be working for — allowing the rest of the recruiting process to go smoothly. 

The hiring manager can also distinguish the “must-have” requirements of the role from the “nice-to-haves” (those that are more flexible), allowing recruiters to recommend changes to candidate requirements, benefits or location search radius in order to attract the best candidates. 

2. Focus on active job seekers over passive ones. 

Initially, Indeed Hire recruiters spent 80% of their sourcing time doing manual searches for passive candidates: those who were not actively searching for work. However, only 19% of these candidates turned into hires. Meanwhile, 81% of hires came from active candidates — those who were actively searching and applying for jobs on Indeed — yet these candidates were only getting 20% of our recruiters’ time.  

After analyzing the data, the Indeed Hire team refocused its efforts. Not only did they automate the sourcing process, they also started using signals such as clicks; job-post and company-page visits; and resume updates to focus on candidates who are actively looking for jobs. This saves 35% of the hiring team’s efforts for each role, streamlining sourcing so you can get to the screening stage more quickly. 

While we don’t recommend that companies stop sourcing passive candidates — especially for executive and high-impact roles — it’s worth noting that you can save time by focusing on active candidates, especially for lower-impact roles. 

3. Streamline your screening process by skipping the phone screen. 

Most recruiters agree that reviewing resumes can be tedious and time-consuming. In fact, before Indeed Hire optimized the process, resume reviews took up 17% of Indeed recruiters’ time. Phone screenings also needed to be simplified. Before optimization, they accounted for 31% of recruiters’ total time per requisition — not to mention, screenings focused on topics already covered in the job description and application questions. 

In response, the Indeed Hire team automated screening stages by building machine-learning algorithms; these quickly determine whether a candidate meets the basic requirements for a role. The team also moved straight to scheduling interviews with qualified candidates, skipping phone screenings altogether and using the time to conduct pre-interview prep calls — saving recruiters almost 20 hours per week. 

4. Build trust for better candidate experiences.  

While some recruiting processes can be automated, hiring is still an innately human experience. Just as it’s important to build relationships with the hiring manager, the recruiter must also build trust with the candidate about their job and company. 

Hiring specialists on the Indeed Hire team found that the most effective way to build trust is phone, text and/or email candidates before the interview to discuss the role in depth and address any concerns. They also follow up with candidates after each interview to gather feedback, answer questions and update them on their position in the hiring process. When it’s time to extend an offer, that trust makes negotiation and acceptance easier and more comfortable for both parties.  

To sum it up…

The most productive hiring teams balance the art and science of recruiting. Knowing when to use technology and when to rely on a personal touch is the key to a more efficient and effective hiring process. By signing up for the Indeed Hire service, your company can achieve this balance and capture the benefits listed here — improving hiring while freeing time for your recruiters to focus on the important work of interacting with clients.

Interested in learning more? For a deep dive, check out our report, “Balancing the Art and Science of Recruiting.” To see results like these in your recruiting process, learn more about what Indeed Hire can do for you.