Recruiting software is a critical part of Human Resources Management (HRM). Basic functionality supports posting jobs, reviewing resumes, and interviewing candidates. Today, top recruiting software includes a fleet of advanced features which deliver a streamlined, automated, and much-improved candidate search and hiring process.
State-of-the-art recruiting software includes:
Recruiting is such an old, well-understood process that you might assume companies have mastered everything there is to know. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, there are an overwhelming number of aspects of recruiting that can be improved.
Fortunately, software can make the recruiting cycle more efficient and effective, and bring innovation to every step of the process. Companies which developed or adopted recruiting software years ago and were originally ahead may find that now their software falls behind the curve. Off-the-shelf software is often suitable for the largest companies, but innovative companies who wish to distinguish themselves need to build custom solutions.
Today, the recruiting industry faces two new urgent needs. First, our awareness of the historical imbalances in hiring is driving companies to reassess their recruiting procedures and find ways to promote diversity and remove hiring bias. Second, the recent move to remote work has created a new set of criteria and considerations for companies as they pursue candidates who may be located anywhere in the world.
Why build custom software vs. purchase off the shelf?
Recruiting organizations need to consider whether their practice is solution-driven, or just “a collection of resumes.” Technology can’t solve our hiring struggles on its own. Effective solutions must be developed by human beings who take the time to:
- clearly define the problem,
- identify the ideal solution, and
- ask “why are we doing this?” before writing a single line of code.
My analogy is going to a doctor and asking for pain medication: a rushed doctor may just prescribe aspirin, but a caring doctor will try to understand the source of the pain, which may require an entirely different treatment.
The ideal recruiting solution can look very different based on specific hiring needs. “One size fits all” recruiting platforms are not able to address every organization’s unique situation perfectly. Taking the time to develop the perfect software fit can generate huge cost savings for companies as they undergo an inherently time-consuming and high-touch process.
There are four key areas in which custom software can address specific issues and give hiring companies an edge.
- Global, remote hiring
In an era of remote work, many companies are expanding their nets as they search for candidates. Some companies now designate roles as “do US-based jobs remotely.” A powerful recruiting platform can help companies market roles and discover talent in new regions through alternate recruiting platforms, including social media. If a hiring manager marks a job as remote-possible, software can automatically post the job on multiple offshore social media platforms.
Even within one country, job titles may vary from company to company: a VP here may have the same skills and salary as a Senior Director there. Managing these discrepancies across borders can be overwhelming. Recruiting platforms can help address this. Data is available to map job titles and typical functions, roles, and responsibilities. By pre-seeding workflows with this information, hiring managers can post a job and have the title automatically normalized.
Custom software can also solve for other speed bumps that come from working across borders. Software is very helpful in addressing language barriers, or in assessing language skills. Background checks are usually done by regional organizations and can add friction to a hiring search, but custom software can create a direct integration where a pre-specified round of hiring automatically triggers a background check of the candidate.
- Unbiased and diverse hiring
Recruiting platforms can aid in many ways as companies strive to find more diverse candidates. Custom solutions allow companies to carefully weigh parameters including a candidate’s unique background, whether it be gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
Recruiting platforms can create workflows which eliminate bias during the hiring process. Software that is seeded with predefined language can help guide hiring managers from the moment they begin to write a job description. During the scheduling process, unconscious bias may lead a hiring manager to offer better time slots to a candidate from a certain group. While this may not be overtly racist, it may still have important ramifications. Automatic scheduling is able to seamlessly compensate for this.
Redacting information is a powerful way to ensure standard identifying information is not unconsciously impacting a hiring manager’s assessments of a candidate. This may mean masking an applicant’s name, withholding their home address or city of residence, or hiding a photo of the candidate in order to ensure they are first judged on their merits. Software can be customized to release this information for advanced rounds of interviews, as needed.
Negotiations are a critical part of any hiring process, subject to opinions and emotions. Jobs are generally posted with a stated salary range, but once the candidate has been selected, software can recommend a more specific range based on the candidate’s specific skill set… and enforce it. The platform can also suggest an appropriate title for the incoming employee.
- Fast matching with Artificial Intelligence (AI)
These days, job openings often receive thousands, or even tens of thousands of applications. Software can save companies enormous amounts of time and money by using AI to conduct initial screening rounds based on quantitative data. Then, the recruiting platform can process all the information about the remaining candidates. With a well-defined, fully-transparent scoring system, the hiring manager can see scores with a variety of parameters, such as fits that are high on salary match, or performance match. A company can look for a geographic match, or on the fly, remove that parameter entirely. And if a company has a history of bad matches, such as a tendency to hire candidates with too low of a skill set, the recruiting platform can guide the hiring manager toward a predicted better fit.
AI can also help find candidates with more qualitative parameters, including emotional quotient (EQ), preferences for company culture, or very specific skill sets. Custom software can do “fuzzy” searches, such as including candidates with 2 years and 11 months of experience in a search for a candidate with a minimum of 3 years of experience, if other criteria are met. Parameters can be weighted, so that being weak in one parameter doesn’t eliminate an otherwise qualified candidate. With custom software, these weights can be completely configurable for each job opening, quickly revealing a qualified talent pool as parameters are adjusted.
- Automated scheduling
Anyone who has been involved in recruiting knows that scheduling is a critical — yet tedious and super time consuming — part of the process. Without efficient scheduling, qualified candidates can get lost in the process, or simply get frustrated and give up. Automated scheduling can move quickly. It solves multiple problems, including scheduling across time zones and preventing misunderstandings such as date and time format differences. A well-designed recruiting platform will integrate with multiple calendaring programs. Settings can be applied so that if one interviewer is no longer available, a predefined list of alternates are slotted in instead. And of course, automatic reminders help avoid no-shows on both sides. The result is software that acts as a “hiring completion device,” closing the loop at a much higher rate. In fact, the software can even provide metrics around hiring efficiency.
While the last year has been a rough road for many companies, there will be a huge opportunity as the world turns around and gets back to “business as usual,” or a larger rebound. Companies need to be ready for a tsunami of hiring. Recruiting with outdated tools will make it impossible to keep up with competitors armed with highly-developed software.
Custom software generally has a lead time of 3-6 months, or sometimes a year. Companies are always running to catch up. For any organizations that are considering a custom recruiting platform, now is the time to start identifying the unique problems their organization faces and envisioning their ideal solution. But always remember to pause and ask, “WHY are we doing this?” before proceeding.
About Assim Gupta
Assim Gupta’s career has centered around ERP software, including critical roles in the development of Oracle Business Suite HR and PeopleSoft HR. In the past 10 years, Assim has focused on building custom software for companies across all industries. He believes that custom software provides the most opportunities to innovate and create truly ground-breaking solutions. Recently Assim and the Closeloop team collaborated with their client Premier Talent Partners to brainstorm the ideal recruiting software and build Ajna, an extremely successful 360° custom platform.
For more information, please contact Closeloop to discuss how they can develop a strategy to address your organization’s specific needs.