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There’s a whole category of software designed for employment agencies, headhunters, temp agencies, recruitment agencies, staffing agencies and related businesses that focus on recruiting employees to work for client organizations. Although “recruiting agency software” is not a commonly used term in the industry, we’re using that phrase in this guide to describe this type of software, which is designed to assist recruitment agencies in performing their day-to-day tasks more efficiently.
This buyer’s guide has been written to help recruiters navigate the landscape of available staffing software products, and to assist you in making the right decision.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
A good recruitment agency software product will be designed with multitasking in mind—since you’re constantly fielding phone calls and moving from one candidate to the next, the ability to get from one place to another in the software without losing your place is critical.
Staffing agency software will contain many of the same features and functionality associated with HR software or recruiting software, though slanted to the fact that agencies are hiring for other people, not themselves. At its heart, an employment agency software program contains applicant tracking, resume tracking and recruiting applications, which together allow recruiters to manage all the necessary data related to applicants and clients so they can make better matches in less time.
The more advanced a product gets, the more likely it is to have features like automated candidate matching, social media integration, accounting/payroll and time and expense tracking. The best software for staffing agencies will let you manage all aspects of your business in one place.
Features of recruiting agency software include:
|Applicant tracking system (ATS)||Manages basic information on a candidate, their skills and work history and their status in the hiring workflow. More advanced systems have resume parsing capabilities, which help convert candidate resumes into the relevant data fields.|
|Employer tracking||This is the customer relationship management component of the software. Every company that comes to your agency looking to hire someone gets their own ID and workflow code, which includes basic information about the employer, their hiring needs and history, deadlines etc. This helps you manage who’s hiring for what jobs and when.|
|Candidate matching||Matches candidates to the employer and job, based on their skill set, work experience and the needs of the hiring company.|
|Time and expense tracking||This feature allows the agency and/or hiring company to track employee time cards, invoices and expenses to make sure their resources are being spent appropriately. This then ties into the accounting workflow.|
|Payroll and accounting||Recruiting agencies need to be able to tie their accounts receivable to the employee that they helped match. Temp agencies need to tie this to accounts payable, too, since they receive the money from the hiring company and then pay that out to the temp.|
|Social media and online integration||Helps you connect to major job boards and social media sites to share job openings and recruit new candidates. Some programs also offer the capability to scour job boards, which helps find passive candidates who have their resumes posted online.|
|Email/calendar integration||More advanced systems will tie directly into your Microsoft Exchange Server, Google etc., to associate the email or calendar item with the candidate and/or employer. This makes it much histories much easier to browse and search and immediately gives you access to all the data you need for any conversation.|
Products in the recruiting agency software market are designed for different types of buyers. These buyers include:
Temp agencies. Since temp agencies deal with high turnover and are paying the people they recruit, they often need temp agency software or temporary staffing software with accounting capabilities that can handle this kind of use, as well as an online system that lets candidates log in and track their work history and payment status.
Full-time staffing agencies. Staffing agencies that recruit primarily full-time employees get paid a one-time fee for recruiting a good candidate. This typically makes for much easier accounting, but it may require more robust candidate tracking functionality, since there will usually be more steps in the candidate matching process.
Human resources (HR) professionals. If you hire exclusively for one company—i.e., you work in the HR department of a company—you’ll probably be better off with HR software or recruiting software, which are designed more for the needs of a single business rather than a recruiting agency.
As you evaluate recruiting systems, it is important to understand the current trends in this industry:
Online applications. Using email to manage your recruiting process can be a nightmare. Far preferable is allowing the candidates to import their data into an online system, which helps automate candidate matching and leaves everything simple and searchable. Resume parsing is the term used to describe this feature of recruiting software—the ability to import a resume and automatically identify the different elements to put into unique data fields.
Software as a Service (SaaS). Also known as cloud computing, many software programs are hosted remotely, with access coming through a Web browser. In the past few years, SaaS applications have become just as robust as traditional programs, but without the upfront costs and IT investment, which smaller companies in particular tend to find very valuable.
Social media recruiting. Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are fast becoming the number one place to find candidates. A good system will integrate well with these platforms so you can leverage them to build your business.
Bullhorn acquires Sendouts and MaxHire Solutions. In November 2012, Bullhorn, one of the nation’s premier vendors of recruiting agency software, announced the acquisition of Sendouts and MaxHire Solutions, two other recruiting software programs. All three companies have traditionally focused much of their efforts on engineering and innovation, and the acquisition gives Bullhorn 160,000 combined users.
IBM acquires Kenexa. In August 2012, tech giant IBM paid $1.3 billion for Kenexa, an online recruiting and talent management solution. Although reports mentioned IBM looking to become a bigger player in the field of “social business,” IBM traditionally swims in the sea of business intelligence and analytics, so they seem to be looking to mine the social business data for better insight into that area.
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