Talent management is in a period of transition. Now, more than ever, businesses need ways to examine their workforces and inform their decisions with data-driven insights targeted at specific business impacts. Companies are looking to fill defined needs with the best talent and retain that talent.

During times of uncertainty and change, talent remains a priority. A business is only as great as its people. Recruitment, onboarding, and training all come with costs, but a data-driven approach can make material improvements. A new generation of recruiting, known as “intelligent recruiting,” leverages AI and big data to empower recruiters and HR professionals with actionable insights that allow them to attract and retain talent more efficiently and effectively in any environment.

Intelligent Recruiting 101

Historically, businesses have struggled to identify and understand trends within their people data. The challenge stems from a disparate human capital management ecosystem, wherein people data often resides across different systems that cannot easily communicate. HR and IT teams need to perform manual processes to import and export data to analyze offline, often requiring the help of skilled analysts. The result? A reactive, time- and labor-intensive process prone to error, with little focus on recruiting.

By reimagining and automating this process, AI can help reveal otherwise hidden insights in key dimensions such as compensation, time and labor management, benefits administration, compliance, and talent management. From these insights, you can unlock a deeper understanding of your workforce, discover critical patterns and trends, and most importantly, take action. The idea behind such analytics solutions is not to overwhelm you with a lot of information, but rather allow you to selectively slice data to make your job easier. With intelligent recruiting, you’re no longer searching for the needle in a haystack.

The Competitive Advantage

While there are many short- and long-term benefits of intelligent recruiting, a few of the most essential include:

1. Strategic Expansion of Your Talent Pool

Powered by AI, intelligent recruiting tools make sourcing talent — a traditionally time-consuming task — go a lot faster. They also add the ability to tap into a far broader talent pool across multiple platforms.

When it comes to attracting talent, technology solutions like enhanced job matching help you use information from successful past hires to create more effective job listings and pull candidates based on more nuanced skill sets. More refined sourcing is a huge time-saver for recruiters, who can spend an average of 13 hours a week sourcing candidates for just one role.

2. Enhanced Engagement During the Recruitment Process

When you automate pipeline functions like verifying qualifications and keeping candidates updated throughout the hiring process, you are free to focus on more thoughtful and meaningful engagement with top-tier candidates. This becomes especially crucial when circumstances put hiring processes on hold or introduce delays. You can better focus on keeping your top talent engaged in the pipeline, thereby decreasing the chances that those candidates will go searching for employment elsewhere instead.

3. Benchmarked Compensation Packages

Relying on spreadsheet analytics for payroll does not always yield the insight needed to build competitive compensation packages. Moving to an intelligent platform allows you to better understand how pay measures up for salaried and hourly employees. You can more easily see how your organization compares within your industry as a whole, and then you can take action to ensure you’re presenting a stronger offer than the competition.

Forecasting the Future

To get the most out of an intelligent recruiting platform, look for one with a robust set of owned data (not data from a third party) and a progressive mindset. A flexible tool that allows you to overlay your company’s information can give you a much more accurate picture of your business and how to move forward.

In today’s talent landscape, intelligent recruiting is becoming the standard for companies looking to make the best hiring decisions at exactly the right time. The global pandemic has further accelerated the use of intelligent recruiting. Organizations are looking to data analytics systems for insights into everything from hiring decisions and workforce spend to turnover and retention in an effort to best manage their workforces during such unprecedented times.

Over the next few years, intelligent recruiting platforms will evolve further. We may even soon see the emergence of sophisticated predictive capabilities that help companies not only stay competitive but also become less reactionary and more resilient. For example, you might one day pose a question like “What are the top 10 roles I should be hiring for in the next 10 months?” and receive an answer that accounts for expected shifts in the global business world.

This kind of future-forward modeling will be absolutely game-changing for organizations, helping recruiters make more timely and informed workforce decisions that can directly impact the bottom line.

Imran Ahmed is director of product marketing at ADP.

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