Which recruitment software is right for my recruitment business?
When choosing recruitment CRM software for your business you first need to decide what you will be using the system for. Will you be using it as an ATS (Applicant tracking system), as a general business management tool; for example to keep track of your candidates, clients, contacts and their respective details, as a candidate and vacancy management tool; for example searchable candidates / vacancies by keywords, work locations and disciplines or a combination of all the above.
While some business operate differently to others and they may find this list incomplete, we believe the functionality on this article is fundamental to a successful recruitment business.
Any modern recruitment CRM will be able to do this basic functionality, however, a truly innovative piece of software will be able to save you time, money and make your recruitment workflow easier in the process. Your recruitment software should interface directly with your recruitment website to handle candidate registrations and vacancy applications and allow valid applications proceed to shortlists and interviews with the least amount of friction possible.
An intuitive recruitment CRM will allow quick and easy creation of records. Record creation will start in different places for some records that are say associated with other records; for example contacts to clients. The largest chore of a recruitment consultant is data entry so the record creation forms need to be easy to navigate, make use of the keyboard as much as possible and take just enough information to get the task completed without causing brain overload. The software should then allow for creation of more records quickly and simply.
When it comes to querying your databases your recruitment software should be not only intuitive but powerful. Search algorithms should be well thought out to strike a balance between ease of use and accuracy; it's no good to have a search that's returns the most accurate results in the world but carries a steep learning curve and is difficult or complex to use. Where possible suggestive 'as you type' suggestions should be made to the consultant operating the search to allow them to quickly get where they want to be. Where applicable pre-filtering such as date ranges, tags and location should be used, result size and sorting should also be a factor in the initial query.
After your initial query is performed and depending on the size of your database you may have lots of results you wish to filter. Filtering should be accomplished in a familiar, modern and intuitive manner. We've all used some of the larger job boards and shopping sites such as Amazon. These sites have one thing in common - the filtering. They have what are commonly known as facets that allow the user to build up a list of X or Y or Z and view the results. In recruitment terms this might be used to find matching candidates to a job or matching jobs to a candidate.
Interacting with records
Interacting with records should be pain free. Records should be easy to open, update and close. Records should also be sharable among your company/team. Consultants should also be able to set reminders for contacting / updating records at a future date.
Users of your recruitment software should be able to effortlessly create notes with varying levels of importance. Notes should be able to be tagged, be searchable and filterable. Notes should reflect across your organisation in real-time without the need for a record refresh.
In this modern age we use software in a certain way. Gone are the days of refreshing pages or records to see the most up to date versions. A good recruitment CRM will offer real-time functionality out of the box. Where possible and where it makes sense to, your chosen software should update any part of the UI that has changed since it was opened.
Merges / shortlists
Your chosen recruitment software should have the ability to create and clone merges or list of records and be able to process them somehow; for example creating a list of candidates to send a personalised SMS to or a list of contacts to send a candidate CV to. The ability to track the progress of the merges is paramount and interface feedback back to the consultant an added bonus. Where the merge is an email, the software should throttle the merge as much as possible so to avoid spam blacklists and they should always use a reputable outbound transactional email provider.
A good recruitment CRM will have reminder and notification functionality allowing the user to create friendly memo's to interact with a record on a future date. Reminders should be easy to create, powerful and have good snooze functionality. Reminders should also email the user a notification if they did not receive it so they can deal with it upon their return / next login.
Recruitment CRM software should have secure document storage; preferably remote storage to allow for scaling and data abstraction. Storing and viewing documents should have little to no friction and display good feedback to the user. Document storage should optionally be able to extract information from the uploaded file via means of text extraction, OCR and or image identification techniques based on neural networks and or machine learning.
Resume storage and parsing
Ideally your chosen recruitment software should have the ability to parse a resume and create a candidate record from the contents - this is known as 'CV Parsing'. There are many third party providers offering CV Parsing and their accuracy varies with the best ones jumping in with over 95% accuracy. Parsed CV's should also be searchable so that you may do keyword, phrase and exact match querying on the documents.
The core of most recruitment businesses is the ability to create a company branded resume for a candidate and send that document on via a merge / email to a prospective client via a contact at the company. The interface for this should be cohesive and intuitive, it should also offer little to no friction, allowing the consultant to simply cut and paste information into the interface. Resume parsing should seamlessly pre-fill as much of the information as possible with relative accuracy. Section order and easy ability to enable/disable sections should be available to for example allow for speculative recruitment.
Job applications and Website registrations
Your chosen recruitment software should be able to handle job applications and registrations direct from your website either by means of direct integration or via a tracking beacon. Good software will allow applications to be moved to job shortlists to start the interview process and also registrations to be merged into your database - not directly inserted polluting your data.
Tracking candidates through the interview process for different vacancies is essential to good recruitment software. The ability to quickly move candidates through variable interview stages is paramount for efficiency. Pipelines similar to sales pipelines should be considered as an efficient way to track and eventually place a candidate through the interview process.
Monitoring recruitment productivity allows management and consultants to track their performance across a wide range of metrics but the most important of these is placement rate. Placements should be easy to create, informative and aggregate metrics for performance tracking. Historical placement metrics can be used to correlate and predict work-rates freeing up time spent on guessing marketing efforts.
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