How Automation Supersizes Recruiting Efforts for Small Businesses

Level up hiring for your small business through automation

July 8, 2021


Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. In every corner of the world, small businesses are innovation hubs. Although 2020 was a tough year for many small businesses, small-business owners are optimistic as vaccines have rolled out and the economy is recovering. Like their large and mid-size counterparts, the success of small businesses rely on the quality of their employees. However, 50% of small businesses report hiring new talent to be one of their top challenges.

A large contributing factor to this is the many hats recruiters and hiring managers have to wear at small companies. At a small business, a three person HR department might be in charge of processing payroll, managing employee benefits and policies, recruiting, and onboarding. That’s a lot to manage! When recruiters are spread thin, they can’t move candidates through the talent pipeline effectively and they end up making desperate decisions leading to hires that may not be the best fit for the role or the company.

Additionally, unlike larger counterparts, smaller businesses don’t always have the extra money to pay a headhunter or outside recruiting agency. Automation, and its variety of uses, is the extra muscle small teams need to power their recruiting process!

Automated Sourcing

On average, recruiters spend thirteen hours a week sourcing candidates for just one role. On a small team, committing this much time to finding prospects just isn’t feasible when you are juggling other HR responsibilities as well. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can slow down your search. Top candidates won’t stay unemployed for long so you need to move quickly. This often leads to working longer hours or on weekends to find the right candidates.

Here’s where automation can help. Fetcher, for example, will help you cut down on sourcing hours and cost. Calibrate your search parameters, and Fetcher scours the internet bringing qualified candidates right to your inbox while you sleep. Additionally, your dedicated human-in-the-loop reviews all the candidates that Fetcher’s AI surfaces to make sure they’re meeting the standard you set.

Our 1-click web extension allows you to add a candidate from LinkedIn directly to your outreach list. No more searching for candidates’ personal email addresses, keeping track of multiple tabs, and copy-pasting until your fingers fall off.

TIP: Use Fetcher’s Funnel Forecasting Calculator to help determine how many candidates you need to source and email in order to reach your goal number of hires.

Automated Outreach

Personalized outreach is so important and the first step in successful candidate engagement. Crafting and sending these messages is also time-consuming but generic messages where only the prospect’s name changes will go unread or wind up in a candidate’s trash.

Fetcher allows recruiters to create personalized outreach and follow-up email sequences. You can create custom templates and set the frequency and schedule of your follow ups. With Fetcher, you can send 150+ emails an hour. Manually this would take over 10 hours!

Automated Assessments

Assessments are a key tool for recruiters and hiring managers. They’re essential for skilled-based jobs like software engineers and they’re becoming popular amongst all job types because they help to remove bias from hiring decisions.

Automating your assessment process reduces time spent screening candidates. Organizations report 39% lower turnover rate and 36% higher hiring decision satisfaction rates when incorporating assessments. To learn more, check out Digital HR Tech’s thorough review review of 40+ pre-employment assessments tools.

Automated Onboarding

Onboarding occurs during a new hire’s first days at your organization and can make a lasting impression. Strong onboarding leads to better employee retention. While not every step should be automated (a huge piece of onboarding is meeting your new team!), some elements can be streamlined to save you and your new hire time:

  • Pre-onboarding. Use tools like DocuSign to process new hire’s documents sooner. Allowing a hire to track and sign contracts, NDAs, W-9s, and other documents before they start means they can focus on introductions and learning job functions from the get-go.

  • Employee data. There are many data entry software options available that integrate with your accounting system, payroll, and employee rewards program. Take data entry off your list!

  • Benefits enrollment. Simply send an automated email to new employees with an explanation of the offered benefits package and instructions. Schedule automated reminders to make sure your employees meet important deadlines.

There are a lot of tools available to help you onboard with ease. Check out Capterra’s list here.

Other AI Integrations

Whether you choose to fully automate your recruiting process or not, consider implementing one or more of the below to streamline processes. Anything you can automate leaves you more time to focus on the candidate and new hire experience.

Announce new hires in Slack or Microsoft Teams channels.

It’s so important for a new employee to feel welcome on their first day and it’s so easy to forget to send a company wide email or pop a message in your shared slack channel. Make sure no new hire feels unappreciated by automating your welcome messages!

  • Slack uses GreetBot to automate welcome messages and other onboarding functions
  • Microsoft Teams uses Power Automate Power Automate to automate welcome messages and integrate many other apps into teams
  • Pre-schedule welcome emails ahead of a new hire’s first day so you don’t risk forgetting to hit send day of
Notifying your team about candidate progress

Hiring managers will want to be kept informed when candidates pass assessment tests, HR will also want to kept in the loop on when background checks clear, and IT will want to be notified of new hires ASAP for employee provisioning. By automating internal communication, everyone will be on the same page at the same time, and those that need it will have access to review candidate results.

Inform sourced candidates when a position has been filled or of a hiring freeze.

No one likes waiting in the dark but, sometimes schedules are just too hectic to reply to all candidates to let them know the position has been filled. Consider integrating an email bot, or schedule emails in advance, to let candidates in your ATS down easy. They’ll appreciate you getting back to them and this will work to your advantage if you want to keep a candidate warm for future job openings.

By integrating automation into your recruiting process, your team will be able to get more work done in less time and with less manual effort. It will reduce time-consuming and repetitive work, improve organization, reduce time to hire and cost of hires, and surface better candidates.

For example, if your business wants to hire 5 engineers in the next year, Fetcher will save your recruiters on average 2 hours of work per week per role and roughly 12 days overall in the hiring process. For a small business, that time and money can allocated to others areas to help the company continue to grow.

Most importantly, by allowing automation to handle your more mundane tasks, you’ll be able to focus on candidate engagement and overall hiring strategy. If you’re ready to take your small business’s efforts recruiting to the next level, check out Fetcher today!

Check out our other blog posts for more talent acquisition tips and insights into recruiting trends.

About Fetcher

At Fetcher, our mission is to introduce companies to the people who will help them change the world. Our full-service, recruiting automation platform automates those repetitive, top-of-funnel tasks, so you can focus more on candidate engagement & team collaboration. Simplify Sourcing. Optimize Outreach. Hire Top Talent. Learn more at

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Recruiting Strategies