Candidate Cloud SoftwareThe cloud.  We hear this word all the time nowadays.  You can store your music in the cloud, your photos, and your videos – any file at all.  One could even argue your identity is beginning to be stored in the cloud, with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and the rest of the social media platforms forming a picture of your virtual self.But how have cloud-based (software-as-a-service or SaaS) applications impacted business?  More specifically, how has cloud computing affected the way companies manage their most important asset – their employees?There are many benefits of cloud-based recruitmentsolutions, but they are especially relevant for maintaining a robust candidate community.  Traditionally, companies have maintained multiple, fragmented, proprietary software databases to house candidate information.  These fragmented databases become increasingly unsearchable as they grow over time, increasingly outdated, and increasingly costly as employers shoulder the burden of keeping information up-to-date.

In contrast, cloud-based, candidate maintained databases take employers out of the database management business.  Instead of proprietary databases where resumes quickly become outdated and irrelevant, a candidate-maintained, cloud-based community always remains current as candidates continuously update a single career profile.  Thus, employers are guaranteed access to the most current candidate information – whether they are actively looking to hire an applicant or keep track of him/her for future hires.

A cloud-based candidate community that uses structured or standardized data provides another important advantage: an ability to use structured search instead of keyword or Boolean search ensures that employers can find talent, no matter how large the community.  Standardized search criteria delivers infinite scalability, which is important for large corporations who need to track and manage thousands (or millions) of applicants.

Finally, a SaaS candidate community quickly becomes a two-way community, in which both candidates and employers find engagement mutually beneficial.  Candidates gain visibility into where they stand in the hiring process, and employers are ensured access to the most current information.  Recruiters no longer have to waste time updating stale information or chasing old records, saving time and cost.

The advantages of a cloud-based community undoubtedly outweigh the traditional model of fragmented, proprietary databases.  But the benefits are even greater for employers who embrace a true single-instance, multi-tenant, software-as-a-service application.  Many users access the same – and only – instance of the cloud-based solution with SaaS systems, which improves efficiency and decreases cost.

First and foremost, a single-instance SaaS solution allows the host to maintain and deploy enhancements in one fell swoop.  Employers benefit from a constantly evolving solution, and updates are made universally instead of on individually hosted, localized software.  In addition, SaaS cloud-based solutions are more reliable and economical than traditional candidate databases.  Employers no longer have the added responsibility of hosting a local application; rather they have an entire company dedicated to hosting and maintaining the database for them.  Finally, SaaS platforms do not require hardware purchases or specialized individuals to fix inevitable local problems.  With these and other benefits of true single-instance, SaaS platforms, it’s no wonder that companies like Salesforce and Dropbox are experiencing great success.

Some argue that a shared candidate community among employers could lead to the poaching of talent; however, this shared community is in fact major asset for employers.  Employers gain exposure to a significantly larger pool of applicants, with whom they might not have connected otherwise.   In addition, some who are reluctant to adopt cloud technology are concerned that their data will not be stored securely.  But any technology carries risk – the risks are simply different.

Maintaining a candidate community in the cloud and adopting a single-instance, software-as-a-service talent management solution are certainly the new best practices in talent management.  And we see this shift reflected in the market – with SaaS all abuzz, many providers claim to have transitioned their software to the cloud.  A closer look, however, will reveal that in many cases, a number of clients are still using separate instances of the software that are not uniformly updated.  Employers should be on the lookout for true single-instance, SaaS talent management platforms to ensure they can reap the substantial benefits: a constantly evolving solution, seamless updates, decreased hardware costs, process efficiencies, and access to an up-to-date, scalable candidate community from which to manage talent.  Cloud-based candidate communities and single-instance SaaS talent management platforms are the future of recruitment – jump on board and find top talent in less time and at less cost.

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