Google’s Small-Business ATS Gets AI Upgrades

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer July 2, 2018

​Google announced that users of Hire—its applicant tracking system (ATS) built for small and midsize employers using Google's suite of cloud-based productivity and collaboration apps—will be able to work faster with the addition of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.

The system has incorporated AI to reduce repetitive, time-consuming tasks that eat up a recruiter's workday and to free up time to connect with prospects and candidates, said Berit Hoffmann, senior product manager for Google Hire.

Google Hire, launched in 2017, integrated ATS functions with Google's G Suite, its alternative to Microsoft Office—Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sheets and Hangouts.

According to Google, recruiters using Hire report spending less time switching between these apps, reducing the amount of time spent reading resumes and arranging interviews by 84 percent.

Hire's launch was followed in March by another time-saving feature that allows recruiters to easily identify and re-engage past candidates in the ATS who are a fit for new positions, instead of spending time trying to find new candidates.

The newest functions include streamlined interview scheduling, automated skills searching on resumes and one-click calling to reach candidates.

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Scheduling Interviews

Whatever size the business, recruiters spend a lot of time managing interview logistics. "Hire now uses AI to automatically suggest interviewers and ideal time slots, reducing interview scheduling to a few clicks," Hoffmann said.

If an interviewer cancels, the system not only alerts the user but also recommends available replacement interviewers and makes it easy to quickly invite them.

"This helps a recruiter better handle time management issues," said Derek Zeller, director of recruiting solutions and channels at Engage Talent, an AI-powered sourcing platform based in North Charleston, S.C. " 'Time kills deals' was something a manager of mine would say when trying to get people in the door," he added.

Highlighting Resume Keywords

Recruiters also spend a lot of time reviewing resumes. "Watching people interact with Hire, we found that they were frequently using Ctrl+F to search for the right skills as they scanned through a resume—a repetitive, manual task that could easily be automated," Hoffmann said. Hire automatically analyzes the terms in a job description and highlights them on resumes, including synonyms and acronyms.

Zeller described this function as a game-changer, "especially for recruiters who are looking for specific skill sets yet are not overly versed in the terms they are searching for. This one tool will be able to help recruiters learn specialties."

Calling Candidates

Recruiters typically have numerous phone conversations each day with prospects and candidates, which means they spend a lot of time searching for phone numbers or logging calls.

Phone conversations using Hire have been simplified with a click-to-call functionality, and the system automatically logs calls so team members know who has spoken with a candidate.

"The system calls your phone, and then when you pick up, it calls the number in the system to the candidate," Zeller said. "I am going to let that sink in for a minute. You never leave your inbox, the phone call is recorded, and you can take notes while on the phone."

Companies like Microsoft, Google and Facebook are now "driving the bus," said Joel Cheesman, a recruiting technology industry veteran and the founder of Ratedly, which monitors anonymous employee review websites. "As recruiting becomes more automated and smarter, it's becoming clear the technology solutions with the bigger brains, deeper resources and broader reach are in the catbird seat to own the future. Deep integration into technologies that so many people already use daily, such as Gmail and Google Calendar, must drive traditional recruiting technology solutions crazy."



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