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Recruiting Software and Platforms: a Complete Guide to HR Talent Solutions

Types of recruiting software. How to choose recruiting software platforms? Disadvantage of recruiting technology solutions?

The world of business and enterprise is a competitive scene; you need the latest cutting-edge technology, strategies, and employees to be at the top of the pyramid. Even the most minor lead above the rest can tip the scales to your favour, so keeping your eyes peeled for the latest advancements to make your work faster and streamlined should be in your priorities.

Employees are a cornerstone of any business, but finding excellent and skillful potential applicants can be challenging. Fortunately, recent technology has made it possible to automate your hiring process through recruiting software and platforms.

What is recruiting software?

Recruiting software is any software tool that may aid an employer find future or potential employees. It’s a technology that streamlines and eases the recruitment workflow, which can be heavily beneficial for all kinds of businesses out there: small, midsize, and expanded. It can also be called applicant tracking software, but the two are not the same thing exactly.

This type of software can handle all the low-level administrative tasks like screening resumes, creating a shortlist, and even interviewing applicants for all kinds and sizes of businesses and enterprises. It may also even collaborate with hiring managers and executives to revamp the hiring process.

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Why do we need recruiting software and solutions?

The world has staffed many through the old methods of manually processing and selecting prospective employees years before. However, this method has become quite time-consuming and stressful for the hiring team, even from the piles of paperwork alone.

Times have changed, and with that change takes place innovations to alleviate the workload. Recruitment software has made the recruiter role less of a hassle, thanks to its ability to streamline and automate tedious jobs, so the worker has more time to focus and work on other tasks.

Here are just some of the reasons and advantages why you need recruiting software and solutions to improve your hiring system:

It speeds up the screening process

Recruitment officers have to go through a lot of paperwork like resumes to screen promising candidates. One resume may even spend 38% of its time in the screening phase of the entire recruitment process.

Time is of the essence in hiring operations. When there is a long wait time for hires, candidates can feel discouraged from continuing and may even entertain other job opportunities elsewhere. With an efficient system, hiring software and platforms can avoid this.

It improves productivity

Doing repetitive and low-level administrative tasks that take so much time will leave the worker less time to do other responsibilities and tasks. Recruitment teams have to sift and scan through countless paperwork to start the hiring process alone.

With the help of recruiting software, it can automate low-level administrative tasks to save the worker more time to do other, more complex tasks that require more of their attention. The recruitment team can complete other responsibilities and therefore improve their productivity.

Most recruitment software doesn’t require much of a learning curve. Some of these tools will have free trials or demos for clients to try out before purchasing the software. These demos allow the clients to try out and see if the software is right for them and let them experience the tools first hand.

This doesn’t mean that all the hiring work will be left to the software. It is part of the hiring team’s job to overlook the results and data the tools come up with for more accurate and reliable outcomes.

It expands your database

Manually going through piles of papers to look for a specific application or update an older file can take too much time for a minor task. When a system goes to software, it’s straightforward to find what you’re looking for with just a touch of a button or a click of a key.

The automated system organizes and arranges candidate information efficiently, eliminating the chance of losing the applicant’s information.

Applicants can also upload their resumes themselves, and the system may even be able to filter them into categories when you’re looking for a specific skill to hire. This action allows for better job match-ups with suitable candidates.

With all this sensitive and personal data submitted to the company database, it can be possible to keep this information for the recruitment team only thanks to the system’s security and encryption features.

It creates a pleasant candidate experience

The new trend for the business world is to be candidate-centric. Workers now have broader expectations from their workplace, even more than just their paycheck. Workers are looking for workplaces that can nurture their skills and allow them to grow more as skilled individuals and for workplaces with faster hiring procedures.

The use of recruitment software speeds up the hiring process effectively. It also allows candidates to be constantly updated on their progress in their employment and lets them engage with the hiring team. Candidates can also take on a hands-on approach in the application as they can look up company information on the recruitment software as they wait for feedback.

Many hiring tools out there are also convenient for both the hiring staff and the applicant. This action allows the applicant to progress further into their hiring process at their convenience. Using such innovative and convenient technology makes applicants think that the business is more advanced, which is always a good thing.

There’s reduced unconscious bias

When the recruitment process is automated, there’s less chance of bias typically present from manual processing. The system won’t take into part the applicant’s race, gender, or even age. It recommends candidates solely from data-based, objective decisions and criteria set by the hiring team dictated by the higher-ups.

When all candidates are moved digitally, this ensures no bias on any candidate as they’re all treated equally. This reduced chance of bias allows for a more diverse selection of applicants.

There’s better communication between teams

When a company uses only one streamlined system, the flow of work is more efficient. The recruiting team can easily communicate with one another and with the applicant. The hiring team can also easily update applicants’ information throughout the hiring process and even communicate with them through the software.

Teams can communicate notes and progress reports of candidates easily on a centralized platform.

Recruiting becomes a tactical talent advisor role

When recruitment becomes a talent advisory role, it can team up with hiring officers and executives to create better, more proactive recruiting initiatives to improve its hiring strategies.

When the software can collect data over time, the hiring department can use this collective data as a springboard to formulate better procedures in the company’s hiring process. For example, the software itself can pick up on gaps like time-to-fill and time-to-hire in its analysis. Hiring managers and executives can get a report of these numbers and figure out how to improve.

The disadvantages of recruiting software

Many companies have adapted to recruiting platforms to assist in searching for their new generation of staff members. The text earlier discussed all the reasons you should have recruitment software in your business.

However, no system can be deemed perfect. Here are some cons you may encounter when using recruiting software.

Possible technical difficulties

The format of a candidate’s resume can play a factor in not using recruitment software to its maximum potential. When the software cannot view or read the resume, this can take the potential candidate out of the running. It’s vital to double-check the software often to ensure the hiring team can troubleshoot some technical issues.

Recruiting software may make the employment process faster and easier, but the recruitment team must not rely solely on it. The team should still be the ones to make the final decisions and steer the recruitment itself.

It may filter out good candidates

When recruitment software skims through resumes to determine candidates best suited for the job, it looks for keywords found in the resume to filter out candidates. It may also rely on other rules or specifications set by the company when reviewing candidate applications.

It can be possible for the software to filter out strong candidates when they don’t have the correct keywords put in their resumes or are passed over by a recruitment officer when some of their skills don’t meet the criteria.

It’s also possible to have false positive recruitment results when the software picks up on keywords stuffed in the criteria and no hiring officer reviews the selection made by the recruitment platform.

It may exacerbate unconscious biases

The earlier text mentioned that recruitment software has no unconscious bias. This is still true, but only when the human inputting these restrictions and criteria has no bias in mind.

There were reports of issues of companies using recruitment software that has allegedly perpetuated biases circulated. It was later found out that the keywords in the filtering system favor words used mainly by male candidates, making it difficult for female candidates to be considered in the filtering system.

To perpetuate no biases in the employment process, hiring teams must refrain from using keywords or restrictions that instill prejudices or bigotry. Doing so can limit your pool of potential recruits and paint the company in harsh light.

It is important to note that recruitment tools and platforms act as aids to help your business progress faster and more efficiently. The final decisions and the overall direction of the hiring process fall on the recruitment managers and executives. By keeping this in mind, companies can enjoy the benefits of this tool without being affected by these disadvantages.

Example use of recruiting software

Recruiting software and platforms can take on different tasks, depending on what your recruitment team needs. It can do the following functions for you:

Sourcing

If you had difficulty mass-promoting job opportunities to more audiences, recruiting software can source potential online applicants.

Sourcing pertains to promoting and mass-sharing job vacancies through career websites, talent communities, job postings, and social media. When more of the public can see your job opportunities, there is a better likelihood of garnering more potential candidates for the job.

Applicant tracking

Now that there is a list of interested and aspiring candidates, the automated system can run and track functions like resume screening, background checks, and assessing and even interviewing these applicants. Recruitment software can hold a vast amount of data and allows users to filter these data for quick searches.

Many software utilizes keywords to filter down your pool of candidates based on employer specifications for the job and their skills. This filtering process makes the hiring procedure a speedier process altogether.

This kind of software may also alert the candidates of any progress on their application process. It may notify applicants of scheduled interviews or the results of their assessments and tests.

Onboarding

With the new hires on board, it’s time to orient and train the newly hired employees. Onboarding makes the transitions for new hires a smoother process and makes the hiring manager’s job a smoother process altogether.

Recruitment software can do this task for you through its system. It can give modules or courses for new hires to follow and learn from to be oriented into the company. There is also accessible communication between the hiring manager and the employee before they even begin, allowing the manager to answer any potential employee inquiries.

Recruiting analytics

When there is a need for assessing data to improve hiring strategies, recruiting software can provide analysis of figures like key performance indicators (KPI) and funnel metrics. Recruitment supervisors can analyze statistics like time-to-hire, applicant-to-interview ratios, and also the source of hires.

Analyzing this data can allow teams to pinpoint what areas are lacking or need improvement for them to improve upon.

Pre-hire assessment and background checking

It is the protocol to assess if the candidates can perform well on the job before being considered hired. Recruitment software can handle these assessments and analyze results for the hiring manager. These tools can run tests like cognitive and skills testing and even personality assessment to evaluate new hires.

Background checks are also mandatory whenever recruiting new hires. These kinds of recruitment software are even able to run reference tests and background checks on each applicant.

How to choose the right recruiting software

Here is a short guide on finding the right recruiting software for your business:

It is best first to find out what problem you want to tackle in your hiring process. Start with your biggest roadblock first, like taking a lot of time screening through piles of resumes. The next step is to choose a tool that will not complicate your job further. The goal of using recruitment software is to make jobs quicker and easier.

It is essential to make sure that the software combines well and improves your current system. Recruiting software has also taken a strategic role where hiring teams can correlate their key performance indicators (KPIs) with business-related outcomes.

If the software you’re interested in can reduce gaps like time-to-fill and you can correlate this to a positive business outcome, you can therefore say that the software has a return on investment (ROI).

Types of recruiting software

With all the introductory information about recruitment software out of the way, it’s time to delve into the different types of recruiting software and platforms and how they function and aid in your journey to finding your new employees.

Below are the different types of recruiting software and platforms hiring teams can try to improve their employment procedure.

Job aggregators

Job aggregators will gather all job openings from all over the internet and input them into all one system for you to browse upon. It is essentially like an online search engine but for job postings only. It may even have sorting options like part-time or full-time and salary negotiations.

Using a job aggregator lets the public find job vacancies not typically found by many on the internet, allowing for a more comprehensive and widespread job search for would-be employees.

Companies can optimize their job advertisements in a job aggregator by utilizing specific keywords that are constantly searched for on search engines. They must also be sure to use these keywords repeatedly in the description to keep the job posting relevant. When done correctly, more people will click on the job posting and may even read the description.

Some of the top job aggregators are Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Google for Jobs.

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Stand-alone applicant tracking systems

A stand-alone applicant tracking system (ATS) is software that handles all the data in the recruitment process. It can process an applicant throughout their hiring process and also organize job postings, track interviews, and process resumes. This system can notify applicants of upcoming scheduled interviews and automates the screening of resumes.

ATS is not restricted to applicant management alone. It may set up automated responses and even manage job postings on career sites and social media. About 94% of companies that use applicant tracking systems report dramatically improving their hiring procedure.

The ATS relies on keywords set by the employer when screening applications, leading to some inaccuracies. Results may end up as false positives when the applicant mentioned the keyword but may not be a quality candidate and may also come out with false negatives when a strong candidate does not meet the keyword filters set.

ATS has proven to be a reliable tool nonetheless. It’s been recommended to pair other recruitment software with ATS for additional functionality.

The top stand-alone applicant tracking systems are iCIMS, Lever, Greenhouse, and SmartRecruiters.

Human capital management software

Human capital management refers to strategic and administrative processes to improve and optimize the workforce in a company. Human capital management software is also called human resource information system (HRIS) or human resource management system (HRMS).

The employees are a cornerstone of the company; therefore, it’s essential to keep them at their best. Many workers today have broader expectations from their workplaces; ethical practices, better experiences, and a lot more.

Human capital management aims to meet these expectations: to recruit, hire, and retain top talents, have a fair payroll, enable career choices for better learning experiences, and more.

Human capital management software aims to do all of this but through an automated system to eliminate manual processing. This software houses all applications needed for talent management, workforce analytics, and sharing information to reduce multiple applications being used for all these functions.

A few of the top human capital management software is Ceridian, Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, Oracle, and ADP.

Recruitment CRMs

Recruitment candidate relationship management systems (CRMs) are software that let employers and recruiters do recruitment marketing by actively sourcing candidate pools for both active and passive candidates.

While the applicant tracking system (ATS) focuses on the applicants themselves, CRMs focus on strengthening and engaging with the candidates, encouraging them to look after these job openings.

The latter system was devised to cater and develop to active and passive candidates who’ve fit the qualifications set by the company or those who’ve expressed interest in applying. It boasts of improving the candidate experience, as this factor may decide whether an applicant had a smooth experience engaging with you to consider applying.

Some may even recommend utilizing ATS with CRM to have the best of both worlds:

CRMs can nurture and progress your relationship with both active and passive candidates. ATS can make your hiring process a lot faster and simpler thanks to its fully automated and optimizable software.

Talent intelligence system

Talent intelligence is a tool that collects data from external and internal data sources for a comprehensive overview of the talents available to the company. Artificial intelligence can analyze this data, which can allow companies to match strong candidates to suitable job positions.

The AI can quickly adapt and personalize the data it collects to fit the needs of the company. Thanks to this kind of innovation, this type of recruitment software is best suited for global enterprises and organizations to tackle language barriers and cultural differences, which may be challenging to do manually.

This kind of system uses centralized talent data to automate insights and recognize patterns to create decisions. It may even identify gaps in talent pools and candidate pipelines for the recruitment team to improve upon. Talent intelligence systems may even give insights into the existing talent pool, individual satisfaction, and many more.

One of the top intelligence systems is Ideal.

Video interviewing tools

Video interviewing tools are considered one of the most common recruitment software companies use, along with ATSs and CRMs. It’s no wonder that this kind of recruitment software became so popular thanks to its convenience in conducting applicant interviews. These video interviews can be done either in real-time or pre-recorded.

Reports revealed that at least 60% of hiring recruiters and managers use video technology to conduct interviews. Even 57% of applicants liked being interviewed via this kind of software, and 98% of them find the employer innovative for using such technology.

Utilizing video interview software is a win-win situation both for the employer and the aspiring candidate. The hiring staff can interview on a platform that allows two people in far distances to converse when their schedules can’t align on assigned dates.

The next step to innovate this hiring software tool is to detect and interpret facial expressions and analyze speech patterns to see first-hand if the applicant is fit for the role.

Some of the top video interviewing tools are HireVue, VidCruiter, InterviewStream.

Testing & assessment

Assessments and tests are one of the critical trials when narrowing down a pool of aspiring applicants, as this will reflect their work behavior and job performance. Learning how the candidates handle their tasks on the spot and their results will be essential for selecting top talents for the company.

Job assessments can range from hard skills to soft skills. The complete pre-employment assessments spectrum includes hard skills, work sample skills, interview assessment, cognitive ability tests, and personality tests.

Hard skills are defined as on-demand abilities like typing proficiency, math computations, and proficiency in manipulating through different software programs of the Microsoft Suite. Work sample tests almost simulate a “case-study” presentation as the candidates perform tasks typically expected when working on the job, which will reflect their job performance.

The interview assessment can evaluate both hard and soft skills when executed correctly. It can be done in two methods: the structured interview where the interviewer created the questions in advance, and the unstructured interview where the interviewer comes up with the questions on the spot. Experts recommend that the hiring staff should record these types of interviews for better analysis of the responses.

Cognitive ability tests evaluate a candidate’s numerical and verbal reasoning skills, as well as their ability to think outside the box. This measures how well the candidate may perform in unanticipated situations. Soft skills pertain to personality tests like the Myers-Briggs test, strengths finder test, and cultural, behavioral, and cognitive tests.

The top testing and assessment tools are Criteria, Berke, HackerRank, Traitify, and SHL.

The bottom line

Thanks to the different kinds of recruiting software out there, finding the next line of excellent recruits will not be a problem. Using recruitment software and platforms speeds up the hiring process for both the recruitment team and the candidate, reducing time-to-fill statistics at an efficient rate.

With all the different kinds of hiring tools out there, from ATSs, CRMs, and many more, companies must make sure to choose the right software that fits their hiring process and business the best. Hiring teams should also not be reliant on these tools alone and still oversee the entire employment procedure.

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About the author

Susanne Ricee

Susanne Ricee is the Diversity and Inclusion Specialist and Researcher at Diversity for Social Impact. Sue brings over 15 years of HR and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion consultation experience.
Sue's previous experience includes Microsoft, Target, and Kraft. Sue is also the manager of Diversity Leadership Directory