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by Brian Westfall,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: July 1, 2015



We wrote this guide to help you determine what kind of system will best suit your organization.
Here’s what we’ll cover:

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Recruiting Software?
Recruiting Software Functionality
Benefits of Recruiting Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Market Trends to Understand

What Is Recruiting Software?

Recruiting software helps recruiters manage the entire recruitment process—from posting jobs to on-boarding new hires—with one, easy to use system.

The term recruiting software refers to a category of software applications that automate the sourcing and hiring process. These are typically standalone solutions that can be incorporated with a company’s human resources management software (HRMS), often integrating seamlessly with other functions like payroll, talent management and compensation management.

But while these solutions can make your life easier once they're implemented, finding the perfect software for your needs can be as difficult as finding the right candidate for that open position. We’ve created this buyer’s guide to help you do just that.

Recruiting Software Functionality

The primary application within any recruitment management suite is applicant tracking, which makes it easy to track requisitions in the hiring workflow and manage candidates’ profiles and status in the recruiting process. However, recruitment management systems include additional functionality that makes it more versatile than a simple applicant tracking system (ATS).

According to Gartner, Inc., a leading information technology research and advisory company, a standard ATS will manage applicant workflow, correspondence with candidates, interviews, background checks and the onboarding process. However, a full suite of recruiting software will offer, in addition to applicant tracking, functionality for requisitioning and acquiring candidates, as well as the ability to generate reports and advanced analytics.

 

Recruiting Software Functionality

 

Source: Gartner RAS Core Research, “Magic Quadrant for E-Recruitment Software”

Benefits of Recruiting Software

Whether used by recruiting and staffing professionals or by in-house corporate recruiters, recruiting tracking software saves companies time and money. Instead of tracking applicants in spreadsheets or email, these solutions let recruiters upload and store all candidate information in a searchable database, so there’s no time wasted on manual entry.

Recruitment systems also increase efficiency. They include automated tools to screen out unqualified applicants, and route qualified applications to the appropriate recruiter or hiring manager. This saves time, reduces the administrative burden and increases the speed of the hiring process.

Yet another benefit is better communication with candidates—improving the likelihood your top choice will select the position. And, finally, many systems offer reporting capabilities that allow you to track where the best hires are coming from, so you can focus your efforts on the channels with the best return on investment.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

There are two broad types of recruitment software buyer: recruiting and staffing firms, and corporate or in-house recruiters. (For more information, watch this video from Newton, an ATS vendor.)

A recruiting or staffing agency will have needs different from those of an in-house corporate recruiter. While many of the core features remain the same, there are a few notable differences in the functionality that an agency might look for in its software, as compared to what a corporate recruiter would seek, and vice versa.

Agencies often require solutions that are more candidate-driven. Their primary function is to fill positions based on information given to them by their clients. As such, these firms need to house large amounts of easily searchable candidate data in one place in order to find both active and passive candidates for open positions that they can then send on to the client. Additionally, they may need extra features, such as contractor portals and timesheets in order to manage placed candidates, as well as the option to manage client information and job requests.

Some vendors designing solutions specifically for recruiting agencies are: PCRecruiter, Bullhorn, myStaffingPro and COMPAS for Staffing. Recruitment, staffing and other types of employment agencies should refer to our recruitment agency software guide to learn about products for their unique needs.

In-house recruiters will generally need software that allows them to post open jobs to their company’s careers page, as well as allow them to screen applicants, share applicants’ information with the relevant department’s hiring manager and gather feedback from interviews. Employers must also ensure that the solution they choose can integrate with their current HRMS (if they have one), and that they comply with EEO laws. These systems are job-driven, and each function revolves around matching a candidate to a particular open position.

Vendors offering solutions tailored to the needs of corporate or in-house recruiters include iCIMS, BALANCEtrak, COMPAS for Corporate and Simplicant.

However, it is important to note that sometimes the needs of recruiting and staffing agencies and in-house recruiters may overlap, and the central functionality of most ATS systems will cover both types of buyers’ basic needs. A client may wish a recruiting agency to post the career page to various job boards, while an in-house recruiter may also need a database to house past candidates’ information, and both types of recruiters will most likely benefit from referral technology that increases the number of candidates applying for the job.

Depending on your company’s needs, recruiting software can be purchased either as a standalone solution or as part of a larger human resources information system (HRIS), and there are also options for cost-conscious buyers—but keep in mind which type of recruiter will be using the software and the functionality required.

Market Trends to Understand

In addition to our 2013 Recruiting Channels Survey, which found that social recruiting is on the rise, there are several other trends buyers should be aware of.

Software as a Service (SaaS). Sometimes called cloud or Web-based software, SaaS refers to the delivery model whereby an application is hosted by the vendor and accessed by users through a Web browser. This has become increasingly popular in the recruiting field due to the flexible access it affords recruiters, hiring managers, employees and candidates. Instead of being confined to access while in the office, recruiters can see their candidate queue from virtually any device with an Internet connection, and candidates are able to apply for jobs or check their status online.

Recruiters are going mobile. Finding that purple squirrel—a term recruiters use to refer to that elusive perfect candidate—is time consuming, and often recruiters have to act quickly to secure an interview with a candidate. Unsurprisingly, the use of mobile apps, primarily on tablets and smartphones, has taken off. Mobile and video technology designed specifically for recruiters is multiplying, and the best recruitment software vendors are developing applications with this in mind.

Online job applications are becoming the norm. Dwindling are the days of countless resumes, cover letters and reference sheets flooding the fax machines or mailboxes of hiring professionals. Candidate tracking software developers have been hard at work creating tools that allow users to create their own online job board and effectively route and organize incoming applications. This means hiring managers can more easily filter unqualified applicants and organize candidates automatically. With the increase in organization and efficiency, hiring professionals can simplify and expedite the hiring process for all parties involved.

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