Recruitment software guide

A company's success largely depends on its employees. With that in mind, there are few business initiatives more important than recruitment. HR managers are under pressure not only to find the best and brightest, but also to convince these high-quality workers to choose their company over its competitors.

In this guide, learn how recruitment software can help HR managers optimize the recruitment process and how recruitment factors into talent management software. Read about sourcing tools, find out how recruiters are leveraging social media, and learn about niche recruitment products. Finally, get tips on how to recruit millennials and skilled workers in the "war for talent."

Table of contents:

How recruitment software can enhance the recruitment process

Recruitment is the first stage in the employee lifecycle, when a company sources, screens, interviews and extends offers to job candidates. Recruitment software can assist HR managers with each step by providing analytics, scheduling, contract generation and job posting capabilities.

Most recruitment software products include an applicant tracking system which organizes candidates' resumes and can be configured to send out automated messages notifying candidates if they are selected for an interview or are no longer being considered for the position. Experts say that this visibility within the recruitment process is an important factor in creating a positive candidate experience.

Sourcing: How to find high-quality candidates

Sourcing is the process of finding qualified candidates for a position. Posting positions on online job boards such as Monster and CareerBuilder can help HR managers find "active" candidates, people who are looking for a new job. However, workers in high demand, such as engineers or scientists, are usually not involved in a job search. These valuable yet hard-to-find candidates are called "passive" candidates.

The social media website LinkedIn offers a variety of subscription services that many companies use to source passive candidates. Additionally, recruiters can now source using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter with the aid of emerging social sourcing software. For candidates that do not maintain a presence on social media sites, specialized search tools can reveal qualified workers that might have otherwise fallen through the cracks.

How recruitment fits into talent management

Since talent management software encompasses four functions, including recruitment, some experts say that purchasing a talent management system instead of multiple specialized HR applications can help to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO). However, many customers cite poor integration among the four modules, which could be an argument for buying specialized recruitment software.

When linked together, recruitment and talent management modules can be mutually beneficial. As performance data is logged into talent management software, the recruitment component can use the profiles of successful employees to screen candidates more effectively.

Recruitment software getting "socialized"

Recruitment software is becoming more social, especially in the area of referral management. Social referral management allows employees to suggest friends and acquaintances for open positions and collect a reward if their recommendation results in a hire. According to experts, Oracle acquired SelectMinds partly to benefit from its strong social referral functionality.

Social recruiting tools can automatically post open positions to a variety of social media sites. Offerings from certain vendors can also measure the success of social recruiting efforts with built-in analytics. From the candidate perspective, recruitment software's compatibility with social media sites can enable job seekers to apply to a position using their social media profiles, a time-saving shortcut.

The HR department has historically been one of the slowest within a company to adopt new technology, and analysts say some HR managers are wary of social hiring tools since social media can be regarded as a liability. Although some organizations are not taking advantage of social recruiting tools yet, others have been pioneering new recruitment initiatives around social media, creating an open platform where candidates and recruiters can easily communicate.

Niche recruitment software

There are numerous niche recruitment products available on the market. Video recruitment software enables hiring managers to conduct interviews with candidates remotely. Experts say benefits of implementing video recruitment include cutting back travel expenses and mitigating scheduling conflicts.

One vendor offers computer games that provide an alternative to the personality tests often used in screening. Combining behavioral science with an engaging format, the vendor claims that 15 minutes of game play can produce behavioral profiles of candidates that can accurately predict success or failure in a given position.

Further incorporating games into hiring, one company has even used Second Life in a recruiting capacity in an attempt to connect with Generation Y members of the workforce.  Since the virtual game world is global, the campaign also helped the company interact with candidates from around the world.

Recruiting successfully in the "war for talent"

HR managers often describe current labor market conditions as a "war for talent," but this phrase is potentially misleading. While there is an abundance of job seekers -- one company received 180 applications for 10 openings -- there is a dearth of skills, especially in technology and engineering. Thus, the war for talent can be more aptly described as a war for qualified talent. Some companies have addressed the skills gap by investing in training programs for employees, while others focus more heavily on hiring.

A major problem for many HR managers is how to recruit Generation Y members of the workforce, also referred to as "millennials." Because younger workers grew up in the digital age, they are often more innately tech-savvy and are therefore prime candidates for roles in the technology industry.

One tip for attracting millennials is to encourage referrals from current Generation Y employees. Other best practices for recruiting skilled workers include promptly responding to any communication from a candidate and choosing which candidates will proceed to the interview stage as soon after the job closing date as possible. Experts also recommend that companies analyze the behavioral traits and work patterns of top performers and compare candidates to these successful employees.