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Bill VenteicherJune 24, 2024
Topics: High-Volume Hiring

AI Workflow Automation: What It Is and How to Do It

Unpack how AI workflow automation can bolster decision-making and create standout experiences for both employees and candidates.

Artificial intelligence (AI) workflow automation offers an opportunity to simplify complex HR, talent acquisition, talent management, and HRIS processes. This leap forward creates a smoother operational flow but also arms leaders with the critical insights to make informed decisions.

While incorporating this new technology can streamline your HR processes, it comes with its own set of challenges. Potential issues like data security, funding, change management, training, and compliance can make adopting AI-powered tools seem daunting. However, 85% of employers who use automation or AI to support their HR activities say it saves them time or increases their efficiency — proof that overcoming these hurdles is worth it.

In this article, we'll unpack how AI workflow automation can bolster decision-making and create standout experiences for both employees and candidates. We’ll also provide actionable examples of AI-driven successes in HR workflows and offer step-by-step advice on integrating these advancements into your daily operations. By embracing these insights, you'll be well-equipped for an effective digital transformation, making your HR operations more efficient.

In This Article

    What Is AI Workflow Automation?

    AI workflows are routine business procedures that use artificial intelligence to streamline and optimize manual, tedious tasks. For example, in the context of HR, talent acquisition practitioners look for ways to automate repetitive tasks to reduce bottlenecks and save precious time.

    Here are some specific areas where automation can make a significant impact:

    • Scheduling and calendar management

    • Resume screening and initial candidate filtering

    • Coordinating interview availability

    • Sending automated follow-up emails and status updates

    • Gathering and organizing candidate information and feedback

    They leverage AI's ability to analyze, predict, and execute activities that traditionally required human intervention, transforming them into automated sequences. For example, in a retail setting, there may be a high-volume hiring workflow that has been set up to greet candidates, help them discover highly relevant positions, verify their interest, gather pertinent information, assess the candidate, and progress them to the hiring stage if they are deemed a good fit. However, clogs may be preventing a sufficient number of job seekers from making their way through the workflow. AI can help detect this and provide recommendations to decision makers to modify the workflow.

    The ultimate goal of AI workflows is to increase efficiency and optimize business outcomes, such as hiring.

    AI workflow automation is the process organizations rely on to automate AI workflows. The adoption of AI workflow automation is not just a strategic move for staying competitive; it's a transformative approach that reshapes how teams work and achieve their goals. An important part of understanding what AI workflow automation does for an organization is learning about the benefits the process provides.

    What are the benefits of AI Workflow Automation?

    By streamlining routine actions, AI workflow automation has the potential to optimize your organization’s efficiency. Here are some of the key benefits of integrating AI into workflows:

    Increased Efficiency

    AI workflow automation excels in boosting efficiency across various teams and HR activities. By using data-driven algorithms, AI workflows can automate the responsibilities that take up as much as 70% of employees’ time. This gives HR teams more time to focus on high-value work that directly impacts their objectives and the goals of the organization.

    Related: How to Transform Recruiter Efficiency with AI, Automation, and Video

    Minimized Human Errors

    One of the primary benefits of AI workflow automation is its ability to significantly reduce human errors. For instance, AI-driven data entry processes can decrease error rates in tasks like data entry, where human errors can be as high as 4%. This enhances quality of work and increases productivity by reducing the time and resources spent on correcting mistakes.

    Improved Reporting and Data Analytics

    AI workflow automation simplifies data collection and analysis, enabling more accurate and insightful reporting. This capability is crucial for assessing business impact and making informed decisions. With around 44% of tech firms using AI to improve data analytics in 2024, it’s clear that AI-powered task automation is no longer a futuristic concept — it’s becoming standard practice.

    Related: How This Financial Leader Gains Talent Efficiency and Agility With Critical Data Insights

    Reduced Costs

    AI workflow automation can also reduce operational costs by increasing employee productivity by 66% and making complex task completion easier. Since automating repetitive tasks reduces the need for time-consuming manual labor processes, companies can allocate resources in areas like recruiting, talent management, and talent acquisition more effectively. This can also help increase overall profitability, as organizations that invest in AI are 40% more likely to see revenue increases.

    Essentially, AI workflow automation makes operations run smoother, cuts down on mistakes, and saves money, allowing teams to focus on the big picture. This benefits employees and managers throughout the organization.

    Who Uses AI Workflow Automation?

    Companies in many industries use AI workflow automation to optimize operations within multiple departments. Here are some examples of teams that can experience optimal results from adopting AI workflow automation:

    Recruiting and Talent Acquisition Teams

    AI workflow automation has revolutionized the way recruiting teams attract, engage, and hire talent. Automating aspects of the recruitment process, like candidate screening and interview scheduling, allows recruiters to focus on creating the ideal candidate journey without wasting time on tedious activities. Talent acquisition teams use AI workflow automation through the entire recruitment lifecycle from sourcing to onboarding. Integrating generative AI also makes creating job descriptions and drafting emails more efficient than ever.

    Other ways these teams can use AI workflow automation include:

    • Automate visibility into candidates: Automatically pull candidate data from public sources, previous recruitment campaigns, past applicants, and internal teams. Then, let AI sort through profiles and resumes to find and suggest candidates with the most important skills.

    • Create exceptional candidate experiences: Engage best-fit candidates by presenting them with highly relevant content and job opportunities that fit their specific skill sets and experience. The engagement with this content quickly progresses candidates through the application process with no human intervention needed.

    • Use video: One-way interviews and video assessments allow candidates to make a great first impression on their own schedule versus depending on a recruiter to schedule a phone screen that consumes additional time and resources.

    • Streamline communication: Break down silos between talent acquisition and hiring teams by collaborating on the same platform. AI workflow automation brings pertinent details and insights to the forefront for hiring decision makers so they can spend less time scheduling interactions to get aligned and hasten their decision making.

    • Prioritize important conversations: Dedicate more time to personalizing the most crucial candidate interactions by using texts, chat, and automated email campaigns to reach out to candidates about routine information like job openings and next steps.

    • Allow candidates to self-schedule interviews: Provide dates and times based on real-time recruitment and hiring team availability vs. having a candidate wait for a recruiter to reach out to request available times and manually schedule.

    Talent Management Teams

    Talent management teams use AI workflow automation for employee development and retention strategies. By automating performance tracking, feedback collection, and training programs, these teams can more effectively manage talent pipelines and support career growth. Some of the specific ways talent managers can use AI to optimize their workflows and the employee experience include:

    • Encouraging employee growth: Give employees the tools to maximize their skills and plan for their career paths within the company.

    • Managing workforce and succession planning: Monitor your organization’s current roles and skills, track and fill skills gaps, and create strategic plans for internal mobility.

    • Personalizing development initiatives: Give employees customized upskilling and reskilling options and enable them to apply their new skills with internal gigs.

    • Increasing visibility for managers: Provide managers with a comprehensive view of their team's skills and goals so they can make data-driven decisions about current and future roles.

    • Providing mentorship opportunities: Pair employees with internal mentors whose skills and experience suit the employees’ career paths.

    • Promoting a positive organizational culture: Offer Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to allow employees with shared backgrounds and interests to connect internally.

    Recruitment Marketing Teams

    AI workflow automation has become an indispensable tool for recruitment marketing teams. Gone are the days of manually sifting through resumes and applications or building manual marketing campaigns for open positions. With AI, teams can set parameters and let the technology do the heavy lifting on tasks like:

    • Creating and managing personalized career sites: Attract right-fit candidates and optimize their experience.

    • Automating relationship-building conversations: Nurture leads via conversational chatbots and SMS.

    • Orchestrating campaigns: Personalized campaigns engage specific audiences through the mediums they choose. Campaign analytics tools provide insight into how frequently to communicate with candidates and which channels are driving results.

    HRIS Teams

    HR information systems (HRIS) teams use AI workflow automation to streamline their tech stacks and infrastructure. For example, the function is responsible for configuring automated workflows that support HR business processes – including job posting, candidate job search, discovery, and application processes, candidate screening and interview scheduling, hiring team interview evaluation and feedback processes, and the process for extending offers and kickstarting new hire onboarding.

    Another one of the primary ways they can simplify critical HR processes is through easy tech stack integrations. HRIS teams can use features like pre-figured automation and workflow templates to integrate talent experience, ATS, and HCM platforms and enhance their stability and performance. AI-powered technology also provides visibility into data so HRIS teams can maintain integrity, privacy, security, and compliance.

    Human Resources (HR) Teams

    HR teams are embracing AI workflow automation for notoriously complex processes like hiring, talent engagement, employee development, talent management, , and succession planning. By using AI to gather insights into skills gaps, career paths, and critical roles, HR teams can make data-driven decisions about talent strategies. They can also use detailed analytics reports to track their current strategies, monitor their performance, and determine where and how to improve them.

    Related: Find out how over a decade of evolution streamlines efficiencies for your teams. Watch the Annual AI Tech Showcase.

    How to Automate AI Workflows

    We’ve talked about how automating AI workflows can have a significantly positive impact on your organization’s performance and profitability. However, approaches to automating workflows may vary by team. Here are some general steps you can follow to help you nail AI workflow automation, even if you have different teams with different needs:

    1. Determine the Needs of Your Organization, Candidates, and Employees

    To get AI workflow automation right, it's critical to know what your organization, employees, and candidates need to succeed. You can start by finding areas within your current operations where automation could help. Look for specific HR clogs you might have discussed or tried to optimize before. For example, parts of the job discovery process where candidates are being given too many options and give up, instead of having a focused number of options narrowed down for their review.

    You might think about asking teams for their feedback on the routine tasks that take up most of their time or the issues they’ve heard about from employees or candidates. This way, you can choose an AI and automation solution that benefits everyone.

    2. Map Out Your Current Workflows

    Mapping out your current workflows provides a clear understanding of how you handle specific tasks and identifies opportunities for improvement. Document each step of your operational processes, from the initial trigger events to the final outcomes. This helps highlight inefficiencies and redundancies and pinpoints where automation can bring the most value. You can use tools like flowcharts to make it easier to spot complexities.

    3. Evaluate Automation Solutions to Support Your Workflows

    Now that you've identified potential areas for automation, look for platforms that offer flexibility, scalability, and compatibility with your existing systems. It's crucial to consider solutions that meet your current needs and can adapt to future changes within your organization. As AI technology continues to evolve, you can stay up-to-date with emerging functionalities and maintain your competitive advantage.

    When it comes time to choose your solution, it’s essential to consider specific factors to make sure you pick the right fit. Let’s explore how to choose the right AI workflow automation solution for your HR processes.

    How Do I Choose the Right AI Workflow Automation Solution?

    The key to successful AI workflow automation for any team is an effective automation tool that meets the unique needs of the organization and its people. You need an AI solution that aligns with your organization’s needs while leaving room to scale to those needs as necessary. When you’re looking for your next AI automation platform, consider these features:

    • Ease of Use: An intuitive user interface and user experience are fundamental because they help your team adopt and use the tool without a steep learning curve. This enables a smoother transition to the new platform with less time lost to training and implementation.

    • Integration Capabilities: You’ll want your AI solution to seamlessly integrate with your existing tech stack. Effective integration capabilities allow for a more cohesive workflow, eliminating data silos and making sure your tools work in harmony.

    • Platform-wide integration and flexibility: A robust framework should integrate with components from across the platform to identify, build, implement, and monitor workflows efficiently. This infrastructure is vital for tailoring automation to specific actions and conditions that will trigger the correct response.

    • Talent Lifecycle Processes: Look for solutions that impact both new and existing talent lifecycle processes, such as hiring, career development, and retention. These improvements can significantly elevate the candidate/employee experience and organizational outcomes.

    • Workflow Intelligence: Workflow intelligence is critical for the constant monitoring and qualitative analysis of workflow performance. It provides actionable insights and recommendations for optimization, allowing you to keep your workflows as efficient as possible for maximum HR productivity.

    • Process Mining Capabilities: The ability to identify further optimization opportunities through process mining can lead to better outcomes, such as better conversion rates and a higher volume of hires in less time. This feature helps uncover hidden inefficiencies and areas for enhancement.

    • Dashboards Customized to User Roles: Having dashboards and user interfaces tailored to different practitioner roles, such as HRIS or talent acquisition leaders, ensures that each team member has the relevant information and tools at their fingertips, enhancing productivity and decision-making.

    While all of these features are critical, the most important feature of an AI workflow automation solution is the ability to handle all of your HR, recruiting, and talent management processes with seamlessly integrated data to maximize the application of automation.

    Discover the Power of AI Workflow Automation for HR with Phenom

    The transformative impact of AI workflow automation is becoming more apparent as the technology advances, particularly within HR. When harnessed appropriately, it can improve efficiency and create better experiences for talent stakeholders. If you’re hesitant to automate your workflows because of potential challenges like aligning with existing systems, ensuring data security, and managing change effectively, you’re not alone. The right AI-powered solution can help you overcome these obstacles so you can improve your operational efficiency, HR team productivity, and employee and candidate experiences.

    Phenom offers a number of award-winning solutions for addressing these complexities with a sophisticated platform that harnesses the power of AI to refine and revolutionize HR workflows. By automating tasks across the talent lifecycle, from recruitment to retention, organizations can gain the advantages of a more engaging and efficient HR operation. As a result, they benefit from seamless integrations, user-friendly interfaces, and actionable insights that empower HR teams to focus on what they do best: nurturing and growing talent.

    Discover how Phenom can elevate your HR, recruiting, and talent management workflows to new heights. Explore Phenom Intelligent Automation or schedule an Automation Conversation with the Phenom team., and see firsthand the difference AI-driven automation can make in your organization.

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