Long gone are the days when recruiters would receive walk-ins with their CV in hand. Today technology is an essential and ever-growing part of an HR department, with hundreds of specialised software out on the market. Almost all companies use some kind of software to, at the very minimum, store CVs. But is recruitment software all-powerful? Will it eventually even be able to determine what hiring needs you have? Will all recruitment specialists soon be replaced by robots?
What is recruitment software?
Recruitment software is a part of a wider group of Human Capital Management tools. The common categorisation is:
- Job posting software
- Application tracking systems
- Customer Relationship Management systems
- Video interview tools
- Talent assessment and evaluation tools
Recruitment software can be any program that helps recruitment teams in any stage of the hiring process. This could be from sharing job ads to onboarding. In most cases, a single tool will handle 2 or more of the aforementioned functions. The main purpose of recruitment software is to automate tasks and make the hiring process faster and more accurate.
Recruitment software can help you post your job ad to multiple job boards from one centralised system. It can also help you share jobs on social media. This saves a tremendous amount of time since you don’t need to enter each job board or social media channel separately and repeat the same task over and over again. More sophisticated programs can offer you the option of scheduling job postings so that you can choose the best time to reach more potential candidates. There are even tools that help you write a non-biased job description that is appealing to a large and diversified audience.
But recruitment software cannot actively search for candidates like recruiters can. They can help you use the right words in your job description, spread it across various job boards and social media, and even suggest which channels to use but that’s it. The candidates still need to apply for jobs. This works really well if your job has a lower entry bar and you expect many people to apply. This is the case with entry-level jobs for HoReCa or retail. But jobs that require more sophisticated skills, more years of experience and specific certificates/degrees don’t necessarily see many great applications.
LinkedIn research suggests that up to 70% of the global force are passive candidates. They are not actively looking for a new job. That is why recruiters extensively use LinkedIn, Monsterboard and other platforms to personally get in touch with passive candidates. They will send the job description and clarify any doubts even before the candidate applies for the position.
Application tracking system
Application tracking systems are definitely a must for almost any company looking to grow its team. Each job can receive anything from 5 to 250 applications, most of them irrelevant. Recruiters take on average 6-10 seconds to screen a CV. It’s a lot of time only to estimate who to invite for the next step.
ATS allows you to search the database by keywords and filter out the candidates’ profiles that are not a match. The candidate’s profile stays in a database, and if they give permission, it can be matched against new job openings even for jobs they might not have applied for.
Customer Relationship Management
A CRM system is used to engage with a candidate once they apply for a job. You can inform every candidate about their status in the recruitment process via emails which still have certain personalisation. This saves an enormous amount of time a recruiter would take to write and send an email to everyone. Moreover, roughly 80% of candidates expect to receive information about their application status. But many companies fail to do that in time or at all. A CRM also allows you to send newsletters to candidates and get them familiar with your company’s culture long before they start working.
However, this works only if a candidate applies for a job or gives permission to receive emails from your company. As already mentioned before, in a candidate-driven market, the chances that a superstar job seeker will apply for your job before being contacted by recruiters are slim.
Talent assessment & evaluation
Traditional tools for assessing candidates include interviews, skill tasks and personality tests. But modern software offers more. From chatbots and gamification tests to programs allowing you to create tests for accessing the hard and soft skills of every candidate.
For example, Pymetrics offers a platform with a set of different games that measure cognitive and emotional attributes. Before candidates even apply for a job in a certain company, they are asked to play games through the Pymetrics platform. In the end, the overall score is calculated, and a candidate receives a shortlist of all jobs in the company that match their profile. At the same time, the recruiters receive a list of candidates that are the best match for each job.
Vervoe on the other hand allows you to create tests that access job-specific skills and automatically grades every candidate. They also offer a massive library of test templates created by industry experts that you can customize and match to your company’s needs.
Furthermore, many talent assessment programs offer a video interview tool as a part of their features. It can be in the form of helping you schedule a video call with remote candidates and/or a tool that records candidates’ answers in a video format.
Talent assessment & evaluation issues
The problem? In a candidate-driven market, it is hard to convince people to even upload their CV let alone spend 30 min doing a test or playing a game! These solutions are more fitted for big companies with many job openings and a good employer brand. People want to work for them, and they are willing to put in additional effort during the hiring process. However, if you are a start-up with only a couple of employees or a scale-up that is still figuring out the structure and employer branding these might not be the best options.
Another potential issue is that not everyone is comfortable with filming themselves, especially for a job interview. Some people might not look confident enough, or their communication skills wouldn’t stand out as much as in person. This is where recruiters have a great advantage. True professionals are capable of making a warm human connection with a candidate during the interview process and get more useful insights.
A common misconception is also that many software tools use big words such as “AI-powered”, and “Machine Learning”, which are supposed to create a “WOW” effect. The truth is that yes, some software uses complex codes that rely on machine learning to optimize processes. However, a simple plug-and-play chatbot that you set live in 30 minutes without any coding knowledge is also an AI solution.
The last countdown
So, who wins: Robot or a Recruiter? Neither. Recruiters today cannot be efficient without at least one if not more tools that can help them automate tasks or search large databases quicker. On the other hand, recruitment software is still not sophisticated enough to actively search for candidates. Instead of asking who the winner is, we should ask ourselves what the company’s hiring needs require.
Maybe you have a dedicated recruiter who can be more efficient with just a couple of the right tools. Maybe implementing complex recruitment systems is too much and you would do better by hiring an agency to find you the right people. Nevertheless, software solutions will keep improving and who knows one day candidates might be guided through a hiring process entirely by a robot. However, until then recruiters are still the ones a candidate will need to meet at some point in the recruitment funnel.