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The COVID-19 pandemic triggered massive changes in the business world. More people than ever before are working from home, and this shift has led to serious challenges for HR teams as they try to recruit new employees.

Right now, it’s not possible for many recruiters to meet candidates in person, and many businesses are struggling to fill in the talent gaps left by the layoffs they had to conduct to stay afloat in the cash-strapped initial months of the pandemic.

COVID-19 is causing significant stress for employers, and those organizations that fail to adapt may fall behind the competition — or fall out of operation completely. One key to adapting in the age of COVID-19 and beyond is to adopt cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to optimize your talent operations, from hiring and onboarding to supporting employee wellness and collaboration. Here’s exactly how you can leverage those technologies for recruiting success today:

1. Use AI to Hire the Right People

Consider the fact that many recruiters and hiring managers get dozens, hundreds, sometimes even thousands of applications for a single position. Talent teams used to sort through all of that by hand, but now, more sophisticated AI tools can screen all these candidates in moments, passing only the qualified resumes over to recruiters.

AI screening tends to have better results than the applicant tracking system (ATS) screening of yesterday. Instead of screening candidates based on keywords, AI can focus on more robust capabilities and relevant experience, thereby narrowing your talent pipeline down to those who are most likely to be a good fit. That way, you spend less time sifting through resumes and sitting in interviews with clearly unqualified candidates.

You can also use AI to make your job ads more optimized for search engines, which in turn makes your open roles more visible to top talent. Using AI-driven algorithms, you can more quickly research useful keywords, analyze competitor performance, and formulate a focused search engine optimization plan for your job ads.

You can even use AI as part of the assessment process: Leveraging information about current and previous employees, some AI tools can analyze and assess candidates for potential performance, and they can do so far more objectively than the average hiring manager.

2. Keep an Eye on Employee Wellness

Employee wellness should always be a concern, especially in the era of remote work, when many of the social supports we once received at work have been curtailed. Luckily, organizations can use AI and machine learning technology to monitor and support employee wellness, even from afar. Leveraged correctly AI technology can help HR teams track performance, identify employee issues, and intervene before burgeoning problems become full-blown crises.

3. Video Interviews Speed Up the Process

Video interviews are fantastic tools that allow HR departments to adapt their recruiting processes for a socially distanced world. You can streamline hiring even further by using prerecorded video interviews, in which candidates record themselves answering a predetermined list of questions. Recruiters and HR reps can then screen multiple candidates without having to sit through lengthy interviews with each one. Furthermore, prerecorded video interviews can be accessed anywhere at any time, and they can easily be shared with other members of the hiring team.

While live video interviews are still important, especially for higher-tier roles, prerecorded interviews can provide an effective first stage of screening to determine which candidates are worth a more in-depth interview.

4. Cloud Storage Is Key

As the recent push to remote work has proven, cloud storage is a necessary tool in any contemporary organization’s belt. The most popular cloud-based services, like Google Drive and pCloud, have features that make it easy for worldwide teams to access and collaborate on the same projects and documents.

5. Automate Onboarding

Onboarding is often one of the most time-intensive and personal parts of the hiring process — but thanks to COVID-19, onboarding now has to be contactless. Luckily, automated onboarding software can help new hires onboard smoothly, even if they’re onboarding from home.

For example, important electronic forms can be automatically shared with a new hire as soon as they accept an offer. Similarly, new hires can receive digital tutorials and employee guidelines in the weeks leading up to their first day.

Proper onboarding has significant ramifications for how well an employee performs at an organization and how long they stay. Master automated digital onboarding processes to ensure COVID-19 doesn’t sabotage your new hires.

In the end, cloud software and AI technology can help any recruiting team optimize the hiring process and maintain a consistent pipeline of qualified candidates, even in times as challenging as ours. Companies that successfully leverage these new technologies to overcome the obstacles of the post-COVID economy will gain a powerful edge over their competitors, both now and in the future.

Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer.

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