Creating a Safe and Efficient Recruiting Process using Technology during COVID-19

Companies are hiring! A recent LinkedIn article shows that individual companies are now hiring 10,000s of new employees. This is great news for the economy. We at Worklogix have also seen customers gearing up their recruiting systems. But all this renewed activity in the “New Normal” raises the question “How do we keep everyone safe during the process without sacrificing the candidate experience?” In this blog we share how we’ve helped customers expand their recruiting capabilities with SAP SuccessFactors technology to keep candidates and current employees safe.

Engagement

Just because there are more people looking for jobs doesn’t mean engagement needs to go down. Quite the opposite–it means now is your chance to engage the most people to get the best talent! If your company isn’t hiring yet, it makes the challenge even more important because without any postings, you’ll need to come up with creative ways to keep people checking back in with your career site. We’ve helped companies integrate with tools like chatbots that interact with candidates to document their interests and create talent profiles that can be used to trigger email updates. If you are wondering how to create talent pools and target them with email campaigns within SAP SuccessFactors, checkout our other blog article “Actively Engage Prospective Candidates with SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting CRM Features“. Email campaign content can range from virtual career fair announcements and updates on postings, to videos featuring real managers describing why they like working for the company and what they are looking for in a good candidate.

Automated Assessments

Assessment Status and Scores showing within Candidate Overview Screen in SuccessFactors

Even prior to COVID-19, we’ve been helping customers sift through 1,000s of candidates with automated assessments. With more unemployed people seeking jobs, there is increasing pressure to comb through even more candidates per posting. Automated assessments can take the form of surveys or even Artificial Intelligence. For example, we’ve help customers automatically send out 3rd party survey assessments immediately upon applying or at other stages in the recruiting process. From there, the candidate can either be automatically disqualified or be sorted into different statuses and/or given a rating to easily compare against others. Assessment status and scores can also be integrated directly into the SuccessFactors user interfac as shown in the screenshot above and even sorted in descending order for maximum visual efficiency for recruiters. We’ve also worked with cutting edge vendors to give candidate similar ratings based on resume and candidate profile content using AI technology.

One-Way Interviewing / Virtual Interviewing

As in-person interviewing takes on new risk, many are turning to one-way interviewing and/or virtual interviewing. We’ve helped customers setup their SAP SuccessFactors systems to automatically trigger 3rd party video interviewing systems when placed in an interview status. Typically, after the status trigger, the candidate gets an email with instructions, perhaps to download an app on their phone. In a one-way interview scenario, candidates are prompted with specific questions and are allowed to record an audio or audio/video segment answering each question. The recruiter then receives the segments in the vendor system and can even get automated system feedback on how the candidate answered. The advantage here in addition to not having to meet in person is there’s no need to work out scheduling issues and the candidate can often re-record until they are satisfied with the answer they have provided. Two-way interview automations often take the form of automated scheduling systems ending in a virtual conference call.

Will I have to work on site once I get the Job?

Depending on the position, this is probably a question on many candidates’ minds when applying to a new position, and one that recruiters should be prepared to answer with confidence. At Worklogix, we’ve helped companies flagging their positions to denote how critical being “in-person” is to the role and even denote what kind of proximity to other people or exposure risk the role may require. By expanding position objects in the SuccessFactors MDF and linking the field to the requisition, recruiters can post positions and communicate with candidates clearly about the on-site expectations of the role are.

Automated Drug Screening and Background Checks

While some companies may choose to forego drug screenings, others like those subject to DOT regulations have no choice. A recent SHRM article talks about the pros and cons and realities of drug testing during COVID. The question seems to be, are we doing more harm by not conducting screenings designed to provide a safe work environment for employees? Giving candidates options might help here. We’ve helped many customers setup automations with a variety of background check & drug screening vendors. Some of these vendors allow candidates to choose from a variety of facilities that may have different safety options candidates can choose from and feel more comfortable. In a typical automation scenario, the candidate is moved to a background screening status in SuccessFactors which triggers a call to the vendor, which in turn sends an email to the candidate to provide needed information and choose a drug screening facility. Results can also be shown directly in the SuccessFactors UI similar to assessment results.

Delaying I-9 Verification

Once a candidate is ready to hire, companies can also delay unneeded on-site attendance by delaying I-9 verification. As you may be aware, the Department of Homeland Security has delayed the need to verify employee work authorization documents. You can read the updates from DHS here. To comply for this, SAP has made updates to the existing Onboarding 1.0 process. You can read the full SAP note on the COVID-19 onboarding process here. For Onboarding 2.0, the US forms will be out as part of the H2 2020 release.

Wrapping up

Online engagement using chatbots and email campaigns, automated assessments, virtual interviewing, flagging positions for work conditions, automated background checks, and I-9 updates are just a few examples of how company recruiting initiatives are working to make the recruiting and onboarding process both safe and efficient during COVID-19.

Are you working on any similar recruiting initiatives and need help? Email us at info@worklogix.com!

Don’t Panic – R2D2 Doesn’t Want Your Job

As technology and mechanization become widely available and evermore integral to operations in the workplace, a dynamic between human and robotic workmanship has emerged. This clash has lead many individuals and companies asking about job insecurity.

Will my job be taken by a robot?

One of the first breakthroughs in automation in the workplace was a paper written by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne in 2013. In their paper, “The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?”, Frey and Osborne analyzed the probability of 702 occupations being automated. They estimate that 47% of these positions are at high risk (between 70 and 100 percent chance) of being automated. Since then, the internet has spun itself into a unfounded, alarmist spiral of Mother Jones fear-mongering. Frey and Osbourne warn against this kind of behavior in their paper:

“We make no attempt to estimate the number of jobs that will actually be automated, and focus on potential job automatability over some unspecified number of years … we expect [high risk jobs] could be automated relatively soon, perhaps over the next decade or two.” (48)

These probabilities aside, what can robots do in the workplace that make them so worthy of creation? Boston Dynamics has helped pioneer fully-capable robots. Their line of robots are uniquely designed for specific tasks. Atlas, their newest in the line, is a humanoid built robot that has arms and legs, a sense of balance and depth perception. Watch Atlas in action here:

In theory, Atlas could do certain jobs, like delivery or surveying – both of which are singled out by Frey and Osborne as automatable, but Atlas and his cousins lack many human aspects that not make them up to snuff for certain tasks. Frankly, machines still lack the emotional component that made HAL 9000 such a successfully terrifying supervillian, but make humans unmatched for certain tasks. In fact, the occupations with the lowest risk of automation are those that deal with either managing large amounts of people and/or those that handle an emotional response, i.e. upper management, clergy, therapists, and counselors.

Will robots help or hurt?

The apex of the automation debate has been the discussion around replacing cashiers with kiosks in fast-food restaurants. Several chains have replaced traditional ordering with kiosks, automated vending, and mobile apps. Since 2015, McDonald’s has added ordering kiosks in most of their 14,000 locations. While polls indicate that most Americans prefer to order from human cashiers, McDonald’s reports that kiosks cut down on wait times and increase order accuracy. Other reports indicate that kiosks may help keep restaurants and their food cleaner by allowing employees to focus on table service and decreases the contamination of food by those interacting with people and money.

What jobs can robots do?

Robotics can improve more than just fast food companies. In their book, Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future, authors Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson describe three main categories, the Three D’s, of jobs that robots are “taking” for humans:

  1. Dull jobs are tedious or cause repetitive stress injuries to humans.
  2. Dirty, or “Mike Rowe jobs,” are those that most Americans don’t think about, but they need to be done. Australian mining company, Rio Tinto, has already invested in “robo-trucks” to explore quarries of metals and diamonds.
  3. Most robots are being used to complete dangerous tasks. Military and police forces have long used drones, bomb diffusion robots, and, yes, the first Robo-Cop is employed by the Dubai Police Force.

Bonus: engineers and companies have recently used two more categories, “The Domestic” (like the Roomba that self-vacuums your floor) and “The Dexterous” (like the da Vinci system that performs minimally invasive surgeries) to describe areas where robots are also used.

While machines may be doing jobs that humans have done, it’s not quite true to to say that automation is taking jobs away from people. Robots are doing the jobs that people don’t want, and freeing humans to focus on advancing in places robots cannot operate.

Even more promising, Gartner found that, by 2020, more jobs will be created through the use of automation, than jobs automation will eliminate. The research firm found that 1.8 million jobs will likely be eliminated by automation or artificial intelligence, but will create 2.3 million jobs in the same amount of time. In their press release, Gartner posited:

“AI will improve the productivity of many jobs…[and will create] millions more new positions of highly skilled, management and even the entry-level and low-skilled variety.”

How may we help you: robots in call centers

One of the most at-risk occupations for automation are call center jobs. According to the BBC, call centers around the world may be soon using AI to replace millions of employees. On the other hand, T -Mobile CEO John Legere announced earlier this month that the company would be revamping their call centers to employ humans exclusively. In his announcement, Legere referred to the modern call center experience of phone menus, canned phrases and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems, “a massive digital fortress” that fails customers. Legere was so confident in the system that he alluded to customers abandoning competitors Verizon and and AT&T in favor of their customer service. He remarked about his competitors, “They are big. They are really good at sucking.”

While it is true that many companies are beginning to rely more on IVR systems over human representatives, customers still prefer speaking to human representatives than robots. And when 90% of companies say they compete in customer service, it may be more pertinent to keep hiring people for customers to talk to.

In essence, yes, automatons and AI are being used more in work environments. Whether it’s a threat to humans or if they are aiding human advancement in the workplace is uncertain. As much as half of all occupations may be subject to robot replacement, but to do so would be costly. While it may be pertinent to keep an eye on the growth of robotics, an alarmist attitude towards robotics is unwarranted. Look forward to more mechanical advances in the workplace. Sooner than we think, we could be working alongside C-3PO, WALL-E, or Jinx.


Worklogix Worklogix partners with clients to plan, configure, develop and integrate HR products and custom applications. We have assembled a global team with years of experience implementing HCM solutions. Our team is dedicated to understanding your business challenges, helping you leverage your technology and implement solutions that deliver results.


Baraniuk, Chris. 2018. “How Talking Machines Are Taking Call Centre Jobs”. BBC News. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45272835.
“Boston Dynamics | Changing Your Idea Of What Robots Can Do”. 2018. Bostondynamics.Com. http://www.bostondynamics.com/.
Drum, Kevin. 2017. “You Will Lose Your Job To A Robot—And Sooner Than You Think”. Mother Jones. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/you-will-lose-your-job-to-a-robot-and-sooner-than-you-think/.
Frey, Carl Benedikt, and Michael A. Osborne. 2013. “The Future Of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs To Computerisation?”. Oxford Martin Programme On Technology And Employment. http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/future-of-employment.pdf.
“Gartner Says By 2020, Artificial Intelligence Will Create More Jobs Than It Eliminates”. 2017. Gartner.Com. http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3837763.
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Marr, Bernard. 2017. “The 4 Ds Of Robotization: Dull, Dirty, Dangerous And Dear”. Forbes.Com. http://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2017/10/16/the-4-ds-of-robotization-dull-dirty-dangerous-and-dear/#950aa473e0df.
Sorofman, Jake. 2018. “Gartner Surveys Confirm Customer Experience Is The New Battlefield”. Gartner.com. blogs.gartner.com/jake-sorofman/gartner-surveys-confirm-customer-experience-new-battlefield/.
Vanian, Jonathan. 2018. “T-Mobile CEO John Legere Wants To Make Customer Service Something People Don’t Hate”. Fortune.Com. http://fortune.com/2018/08/15/tmobile-customer-service-wireless/.
Witsoe, Craig. 2017. “Self-Ordering Will Be The New Normal In Fast Food”. Linkedin.Com. http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/self-ordering-new-normal-fast-food-craig-witsoe/.