The purpose of recruitment technology
is to make finding and hiring employees easier for either an organization or a recruiter. It helps to organize information so that it can be searched through in a systematic way. Recruiters can more easily narrow the number of applicants by searching for specific criteria.
Like any other software, recruiting software is intended to save time, energy, and resources. By eliminating paperwork, it prevents loss of information and saves space. It also helps recruiters make better matches between jobs and candidates by allowing recruiters to save information and apply filters to searches. Software also helps to comply with anti-discrimination laws by keeping recruiters from by-passing applications. As long as an application matches the search criteria, it should be considered equally with other applicants.
With software, recruiters can automate tasks, find vacancies, generate reports, group candidates, integrate job boards, integrate web sites, integrate voice over internet protocol, manage work, migrate data, parse curriculum vitae, search for candidates using a variety of filters, send e-mails and texts, and track progress. One could save hours by using a software to assist in the recruiting process.
A small sample of recruiting software vendors include Taleo, iCIMS, Jobvite, Chameleon-i, eBoss, Evolve, Gopher, Newton Software, RecruitPro, Sendouts, StaffingSoft, and Voyager. When choosing a recruitment software, one should consider platform, scalability, speed, implementation, price, ease of access, navigability, and search features. Most software vendors provide free demonstrations or trials so that recruiters can be sure that it will fit their needs.General Considerations for Selecting Recruiting TechnologyOverall considerations for selection are easy to confuse with a feature list. However, they can be easily differentiated in the following manner: software will either have or not have a feature. General and overall items will be answered with a range. For instance, all software systems have a certain level of performance, but some are faster. All software has usability, but some are easier than others. The best way to use this list is to give each software system a ranking 1-10 as you demonstrate various applicant tracking systems.
Cost Structure of Recruiting SoftwareEssentially, no cost structure for enterprise grade software is as simple as it sounds. Each method of procurement involves consideration of upfront and future costs. Here are some things to consider with each type of service. No one particular cost structure is correct for all companies - you have to find the type that meets your individual company needs.
- Feature set (Overall rank)
- Speed and performance
- Customer service
- Legal and compliance
- Usability and ease of use
- Reporting and metrics
- Implementation, ease of
- "Upgradability" and compatibility
- Customization options
Primary Recruiting and Talent Management Software FunctionsThe comprehensive list of recruiting software features can be a mile long. An example of a feature (versus a function) might be "The ability to post a job to a major job board that we have an account with" or "The ability for a candidate to login and alter their own profile." However, it is good to have a list of major software functionality by which to rank vendors. It is important to note that not all vendors will have each capacity. For example, recruitment marketing metrics analysis may not be addressed by the software - however, if you just purchased a specialized recruitment marketing metrics software, this could be a very good thing. The goal is to strike a balance between independent, specialized services (such as recruitment metrics, video interviewing, and assessment software) and a comprehensive system. More could be written about the philosophy of having many disparate but inter-operable systems versus having one comprehensive recruitment technology platform, but that is beyond the scope of this discussion.Here is a list of the core functions that recruiting software vendors typically address:
- SaaS: "Software as a service" systems offer web-based systems that usually scale costs based on number of recruiters (users). Factors to consider: Future growth of your employee or department base can lead to high monthly costs. Additionally, Saas systems may be month-to-month prices with no contract. Building your workflow and company around a particular system can lock you into that system for the long-term. Without a contract, the vendor can raise prices once they have a group of clients using their system.
- Direct purchase: Directly purchasing and hosting your own recruiting software is an option for larger or more technically inclined companies. The expense is one time; however, the factors here to consider are ongoing development costs and customer service charges. There is a real cost to upgrading systems on your own - it often proves prohibitive to develop new features on your own. Additionally, if the company provides development and customer support, you are dependent on that company and beholden to their price structure as well. Your ongoing costs will be determined by your future technology needs, which are often very difficult to predict.
- Hosted software system: Many companies purchase software and either host the software themselves or access the software through direct calls. Usually there is a fixed cost for implementation and purchase of the software license, and then an going fee for support, maintenance, and upgrades. This "Microsoft" model provides a good balance of price control and predictability for many companies. Factors to consider include cost of implementation and contractual support options.
- Managed services: Certain large companies benefit from outsourcing their technology management and procurement to professional firms. Managed services are not typically used for recruitment technology in particular; however, general HR system technology can be outsourced to a number of specialized firms. Cost factors are easily controlled through a service delivery contract. However, costs are based on a consultative process and hourly rates which tend to be high (although fixed.)
Advice for Selection and Implementation of Recruiter SoftwareBecause the type and selection of software is a very important decision for most recruiting teams, it's best to take a slow approach to research. Get to know all the major vendors and study exactly what's missing from your current technology. Additionally, be sure to include people from your technology and operations team to get their input on customer service, integration issues, and billing and cost issues as well.Here are some good articles and resources on the web that discuss recruiter software implementation and selection:
- Applicant database and tracking (recruiter activity)
- Background verification
- Candidate communication
- Career Site
- Client and company activity tracking (CRM-like functionality)
- Compliance and EEO / OFCCP Handing
- Employee referrals
- Internal team collaboration (hiring managers and team leaders)
- Job distribution
- Mobile deployment
- Recruiter performance reporting
- Recruiting vendor management and referral tracking
- Recruitment marketing analytics
- Requisition approval and workflow
- Social distribution and social recruiting
- Talent Management
Blogs and HR Publications that Cover Recruitment TechnologyYour job as a recruiting manager or HR Director does not end with the selection and implementation of technology. Rather, in a rapidly changing field, it is your duty to keep abreast of current best practices and trends in the industry. There aren't too many blogs that focus primarily on HR technology perspectives, but here is a short list. If you are responsible for technology procurement decisions, it's a good idea to keep in touch with these sites. This list of blogs and sites is in no particular order.
- Choosing HR technology from conferences
- The evolution of HR systems
- Secrets for choosing the right ATS
- Best practices for implementing and selecting recruiting technology
- What's driving success with talent management systems?
- Managing change successfully with HR software implementations
- Managing the implementation of recruitment software
- HR Technology - Do you Care?
- Two emerging themes in the changing workforce
- A brief guide to successfully implementing recruiting technology
- Six questions to ask recruiting software vendors
- Linkedin Questions and Answers like this one
- Does software shape talent acquisition?
- Keeping candidate experience in mind when choosing an ATS
- A guide to choosing an ATS to ensure EEO / OFCCP Compliance
- Evaluating and purchasing recruitment technology - a vendor's perspective
Other Lists and ResourcesThere are quite a few resources besides Recruiter.com that offer resources, directory listings, and guides about purchasing recruiting technology. Please note that some of these guides might be authored by actual vendors, so they may be biased. Additionally, commercial portals usually accept paid listings, so consider this in your vendor research.
- Steve Boese's HR Technology
- The Puzzling World of HR Technology
- Bill Kutik's technology column on HR Resource Executive Online
- HRMarketer's HR Marketplace blog
- Josh Bersin's Blog and Bersin and Associates Technology for Talent blog
- Gautam Ghosh's Building Social Business
Who to involve in your procurement decisionWhen purchasing recruiting software, all the regular considerations for purchasing enterprise software should be in place. The committee head or VP of recruiting should research general software procurement best practices like this article, as it may be a new area of experience for them. You want to develop not only a strong committee and decision team, but a solid methodology on which to base your decision.Individual recruiters will of course be the primary users of the software system. Typically, organizations run panels of recruiters to assess technology and develop a feature set. In general, be sure to get user input early on in the process so that you don't spend time on the wrong path. Besides the actual users and the manager or VP of the recruiting department, here are some considerations on who to involve and what they can bring to the table:
- Onrec directory
- Talent acquisition vendor guide
- HRsoftware guide
- Recruitersnetwork listing
- Buyer's guide to HCM systems
- Linkedin company search
- Business.com recruiting software lists
Additionally, be sure to involve external people in the process. This can come in the form of unsolicited customer references or networking with ex-employees who are now using a different software system. The decision making committee should discuss their past experiences from other companies and jobs - this is often a great wealth of practical experience.SummaryNo matter if you are a recruitment agency or corporate talent acquisition team, no recruiter software is going to fundamentally change the way your recruiters recruit. It isn't going to make them pick up the phone, become technical sourcing wizards, or document every candidate or client interaction for them. However, it's hard to overstate the importance of a system that your recruiters will "live in." Having a well-performing and enjoyable software system that meets the needs of your recruiting team can help drive productivity and effectiveness. Additionally, proper selection and implementation of recruiting software systems is rapidly becoming a sought after skill for talent acquisition managers and recruitment agency executives.Note: This is a resource page for our users about recruiting software. No affiliation or association with any particular vendor is meant by this resource.For users, please study all available resources on recruitment technology and do not take this article and resource page to offer any serious financial, legal, or procurement advice. Software selection is an important decision which is not to be taken lightly.
- HR Head: The actual software decision is often delegated to the VP or head of recruiting, and especially in major corporations, the head of HR becomes divorced from the process. Ensure that the Director/VP of HR is involved in the committee, at least from a high level, because the interaction and integration with other HR systems can and should be heavy. Recruiting software should not exist in a silo, and most likely has to communicate with various back office HR functions.
- CFO / finance: The head of finance or CFO is often called upon at the end of the process in order to OK the software expense. A member of the finance team should participate as early as possible. Not only can a member of the finance team discuss the financial systems and technology that must integrate and coordinate with the HR software, but they can also contribute a deep perspective of the corporate bottom line.
- Legal: Employment law complicates recruiting software, especially in large companies with multiple locations or an international presence. Be sure to involve legal specialists or HR compliance specialists to get ahead of any employment law requirements and required workflows.
- CIO / technology: Your head of technology is most likely a strong hiring manager, so of course their input as a departmental user of talent assessment tools is valuable. However, their primary function can be to direct the very high-level selection of types of technology. Can you use self-hosted solutions? Open source? Cloud based monthly subscriptions? PC Application or web based technology? There are considerations of performance, uptime and availability, and future development that only technology executives typically understand.
- Procurement: Software procurement is an art in and of itself - but procurement is often involved only for the purchase order or for sign-off. Procurement can assist in developing future cost models which can get quite complex over time, in particular with future expenditures with Saas based models and service contracts. Software is usually not a fixed expense, unless internally developed - the resulting complexity of future value dollars requires some specialized analysis.