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Recruitment Software

Recruitment software helps recruiting, staffing and hiring agencies manage their operations by maintaining a database of applicant and job information. These talent acquisition tools are used by organisations to collect applicant information and then filter, grade and match candidate skills against job requirements. Recruiting software is related to Applicant Tracking software, Human Resource software, Talent Management software and Workforce Management software. Find the best recruitment software for your organisation in Australia.

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Recruitment Software Buyers Guide


Recruitment software is designed to help with staffing and headhunting processes. It is used by both internal human resources (HR) teams and recruitment agencies to manage their daily operations, principally by maintaining a database of applicants, employment opportunities and job specifications.

Some of the core features of today's generation of recruitment solutions allow organisations to collect applicant information in a way that HR professionals can share easily. A candidate relationship management (CRM) model of software design is frequently used so that job applicants can be filtered and graded by HR teams cooperatively. Many recruitment CRM systems will help to match candidates and their skills against particular job specifications. In some cases, automated recruitment tools are available to help speed up recruiting times, thereby lowering costs.

One of the key benefits of any up-to-date recruitment platform is that it should help to save time for the recruiter using it. Whether this is a senior manager or a dedicated HR professional, the advantage of operating more quickly is that it means identifying and contacting the best candidates for any given opening within an organisation before a competitor does so. Equally, moving faster with recruitment processes means that greater productivity is possible. Users will also be able to spend less time working on repetitive tasks, such as formulating responses to job applications, because some hiring software systems allow such jobs to be automated. Recruitment software Australian users tend to opt for will help them to organise and contact passive candidates more easily. Crucially, this will be the case whether they're sourced externally or internally.

Perhaps more importantly, however, a software-based recruitment system aggregates data about candidates from job application forms and CVs so that it becomes much easier for recruiters to compare individuals for jobs fairly, taking into account all of the strengths and weaknesses at a glance. HR recruitment software is related to applicant tracking software, human resource database software, and talent management software. Recruitment software is also a part of some workforce management software solutions, as well. Overall, the best recruitment CRM system designs will offer numerous features that both large and small organisations can utilise, streamlining their recruitment processes and making life easier for both candidates and the businesses hiring them. Key features to look out for include:

  • Smart search filters that can help recruiters focus on key skills, traits or attributes among candidates
  • Social media integration to help organisations further their reach and find the best candidates
  • Application forms that can be adjusted to meet specific job descriptions and requirements
  • A candidate relationship management (CRM) system that functions as a customer relationship management system
  • Analytics that allow senior managers to keep tabs on the length of time it takes to hire employees as well as the cost-to-hire expenditure involved

What is recruitment software?

Recruitment software is a business tool that is primarily designed to help both recruitment agencies and HR departments better manage their operations by maintaining a database of candidates as well as job information. Typically, software recruitment tools are used by businesses to collect applicant information to filter, grade, and match applicants' skills against job specifications. In an organisation where multiple jobs might be being recruited simultaneously, recruitment CRM systems help HR professionals keep track of all the applications to various positions while keeping senior managers updated about the cost and time involved in the recruitment processes.

The type of recruitment software Australian businesses typically make use of provides multiple levels of functionality. For example, recruitment software suites will often include an applicant tracking system (ATS) which means that a candidate's progress can be followed as they advance through the application process. ATS is popular in recruitment software systems because it can help recruiters find other suitable positions for candidates who might not get the job they were first applying for. This might involve redirecting them to a position to which their skills are more suited or notifying managers in other teams of the applicant, suggesting that they might be suitable for another role.

There again, talent acquisition software and recruitment marketing systems are often parts of what makes a modern recruitment software suite so adaptable to the changing needs of organisations. Some specialise in recruiting high-calibre candidates, while others provide bulk-hiring tools. Most of the best hiring software available for commercial use today will work well in a variety of situations because it has been designed for plenty of different commercial set-ups. As such, recruitment software is really an umbrella term, covering anything from candidate databases to centralised communication systems, which do away with the need for multiple email exchanges.

What are the benefits of recruitment software?

The benefits of recruitment software include the ability to coordinate recruitment efforts within an organisation. All too often, a candidate who might be very strong for a position within a company, for instance, is overlooked because they have applied for a different role. With a recruitment platform that coordinates all candidate data, it becomes much easier for organisations to point job applicants in the right direction and to build more successful and qualified internal teams in the process. Other than improving collaborative recruitment processes between departments and teams in companies, some other software-based recruitment system benefits include:

  • Be more competitive when recruiting talent: operating without a recruitment CRM, for example, means that an organisation is not as likely to be on the ball with all of its prospective candidates for a given position. What this tends to mean is that higher-quality candidates are more likely to find a suitable job within another business or via a recruitment agency with the appropriate recruitment tools. In short, with a suitable system in use, recruiters will be able to operate in a more agile manner, helping them to beat the competition to the best candidates and stay one step ahead of the game.
  • Speed up recruitment processes: any HR professional knows that a significant amount of expenditure goes into recruitment and retention each year in business. For this reason, hiring someone more rapidly than would otherwise be the case makes a great deal of economic sense. Not only will a speedier recruitment process mean that HR professionals are able to cover more ground and work more productively, but it also means minimising the cost of advertising and time spent on the recruitment process. All of this means recruitment software can help to reduce business overheads to a significant extent. Even better, a well-maintained recruitment database with up-to-date information on prospective candidates can help fill positions even as they become available, thereby helping them overcome their skills shortages. This way, businesses should not suffer due to a lack of manpower or skills in their day-to-day operations.
  • Increase the quality of candidates who are hired: utilising professional hiring software makes it easier for organisations to select candidates who are genuinely suited to particular job opportunities. Although the sort of recruitment software Australian businesses use will vary, they all tend to help with candidate selection and shortlisting. Some even provide automated processes in this area, too, which help to compare multiple applicants for a job and recommend which ones should proceed further in the recruitment process. Equally, storing the data collected on unsuccessful candidates can be connected to other job opportunities matching their skill sets. This helps ensure that only high-quality and fully qualified job applicants go on to be hired in relevant roles.
  • Keep sensitive data secure: while the hiring process that goes on in many organisations needs to be transparent to ensure fairness, important and potentially sensitive private data should be held securely within any modern recruitment platform. As previously mentioned, sharing data between teams and HR professionals can make recruitment software operate more effectively than paper-based systems. That said, who can access private data and when needs to be controlled for data privacy compliance. Companies that invest in the right sort of recruitment CRM can expect these controls to be included as a part of their package so that no inadvertent data breaches of company or applicants' records are likely to occur.
  • Augment social reach: making use of many types of recruitment software will allow organisations to connect to social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter, reaching a wider array of potential applicants for jobs. These days, many recruitment software systems will include social media integration as a standard function or, at least, as an option so that businesses can link job opportunities to their social media profiles. In many cases, they'll help aggregate respondents and even provide automated responses to interested parties.

What are the features of recruitment software?

Recruitment software features are numerous, providing users with some included as standard within the program while others may be modular and have an attendant cost associated with them as an additional extra. Here are some of the most common features of recruitment software:

  • Candidate management: assess and update the progress of candidates as they move through the recruitment process. At its heart, any good hiring software will allow recruiters to manage all of their potential candidates through a single interface. Usually connected to a recruitment database in the background, this interface will allow secure access to details of all potential candidates for any given job opening within an organisation. Typically, candidate management systems within recruitment software provide an overview of a candidate's skills, performance record, attributes and other details drawn from their CV in an easily digestible format. This allows one candidate to be easily compared to another, of course. Other key data that can be accessed with a candidate management feature is whether or not an individual happens to be looking for work at the current time. When a candidate is going through the process of potentially being hired, the candidate management system will typically also keep track of appointments, job-specific communications, and who—if anyone—within the organisation is handling their progress at any given time. This part of the feature is sometimes referred to as an applicant tracking system.
  • Interview management: decide which interviewees have performed best by aggregating data that allows for fair comparisons. Bear in mind that in larger organisations, which may have multiple people involved in any recruitment process, subjective calls are made on job applicants all the time. With the right recruitment software, it is possible to iron out some of the discrepancies that inevitably arise from interviews by scoring candidates in a more objective manner. This can help small businesses, too; managing interview situations more effectively can help senior managers make better-informed decisions about which candidate(s) to offer a job to rather than relying on their gut responses to individuals so much. Typically, interview management features will hold quantitative data on the performance of individuals at the interview so that fairness can be maintained and proven, if necessary. This is an important consideration for many types of organisations in Australia, especially those that wish to maintain an open and honest approach about the fairness of their recruitment processes while still keeping private information on candidates secure.
  • Job posting: find and attract the best candidates for a post by posting adverts for them in the best places. As previously mentioned, social media integration is a benefit that many types of recruitment software offer these days, and this can be very useful in posting job vacancies if a business wants to reach as wide an audience as possible. In some cases, recruitment platforms won't just post jobs to social media but also qualify first responses to such advertising. However, not all job openings are suitable for a social media marketing campaign. For example, recruiting a senior management role may mean job posting needs to occur in specialist trade magazines or websites depending on the industry concerned. Where a certain standard of candidates is expected—for example, people who have been educated to a degree level—then it may also be appropriate for jobs to be posted on careers pages dedicated to recent graduates. With many recruitment software solutions, smart job posting is possible thanks to the level of integration such advanced HR recruitment software now provides.
  • Email marketing: provide potential candidates with the latest job information as it occurs. Today's recruitment software can integrate its recruitment database with an email application front end to match candidates with suitable job positions. For example, if a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) licence is required for a job opportunity, the system automatically identifies candidates with such a licence. They are then invited to apply for the job. Email marketing can also be entirely automated with the name of the recipient altered so that the communication becomes less generic. In other cases, HR professionals or recruitment agents can review the candidates the system has found within the database and exercise their own judgement about which ones will be emailed. Either way, this form of marketing makes it simple to gain outreach to suitable candidates at a relatively low cost. It should increase the chances of finding a strong applicant while also cutting down on time-wasters who respond to jobs they have seen but for which they are not qualified.
  • Resume parsing: organise the data that is held in resumes and CVs in a more rational way. In computing, the term parsing refers to the way digital systems, such as recruitment CRM systems, can understand the written language people use. This is extremely useful within recruitment software because it is highly unlikely that two candidates will express themselves on a job application form or a CV in exactly the same way. Of course, this is fine if recruiters only have one or two CVs to read, but it becomes much more difficult when there are hundreds, or even thousands, held on a recruitment database. Therefore, a resume parser can be utilised to 'read' the information and turn it into something that is much easier to digest, using similar scores and checklists to make it simpler to compare one candidate with another. In addition, resume parsing means that properly safeguarded digital records of CVs can be kept rather than relying on old-fashioned paper files, which are potentially much less secure.
  • Workflow management: improve workflows and make speedier recruitment decisions thanks to the networked nature of modern software-based recruitment tools. When the number of discrete tasks that are involved in an entire recruitment process is considered, it soon becomes clear how many workflows there are that need to be gone through. Firstly, the job needs to be identified and a specification for it written. Then, the job needs to be posted, perhaps in multiple ways. Then, responses to applicants need to be made after sorting them. If all is well at this stage, then interviews must be arranged, perhaps with some back-and-forth between the HR professional handling the recruitment process, the candidate(s) and the interviewer. After this, further assessments might need to be made before a further round of interviews. All of this often needs to happen before an applicant can be offered the job, one that, in the end, they might turn down, resulting in a whole new set of workflows. This situation is often complicated further by organisations operating in multiple time zones around the world or in more than one language. Consequently, what is needed is a workflow management system within the recruitment process. Numerous HR recruitment software systems offer just such systems. These might include the ability for anyone involved in the process to update the recruitment database following response from a candidate or an interview, for example. Manual operations tend to slow down recruitment workflows, which allows competitors an edge with the best talent or simply creates a poor impression among candidates about the company attempting to recruit them.

What should be considered when purchasing recruitment software?

When purchasing recruitment software, as it differs from system to system, there are important considerations that should be taken into account. Businesses need to consider whether or not the recruitment CRM or HR recruitment software they are planning to buy will meet their particular requirements. After all, some businesses will face the greatest challenges from candidate engagement, especially those which operate in a competitive labour marketplace, while others will find that the quality of their hiring is what is causing most operational issues. Here are some of the main considerations when selecting a suitable recruitment software package:

  • What software is suitable for recruitment agencies? Recruitment agencies tend to rely on professional recruitment software more than any other type of business. Not only do they use it to help manage all of the potential candidates through a CRM system, but some recruitment platforms designed for recruitment agencies also allow prospective clients as well as established customers to be managed within the same system. This offers a distinct advantage for recruitment agencies that want to share certain types of candidate information on their database with clients instantly, for example. Indeed, numerous recruitment systems designed for agencies tend to be more sales-based. For instance, they will often help drive sales, build client relationships, and market the agency within multiple commercial contexts. However, despite their ability to help manage candidates, such systems are not always what in-house corporate recruitment teams are looking for. In other words, recruitment software specifically designed for employment agencies may have more functionality than is needed by organisations that do their own recruiting.
  • Does the recruitment software include unnecessary features? As mentioned, many recruitment software packages designed for employers are different from those designed for commercial recruitment agencies. The latter tend to be more sales-focused, while the former tend to be more candidate-focused. However, numerous features that are not needed and will never be used might still be included in the package. If this does not affect the price of the software suite in question, then the only consideration is how complex the software will be to operate for the average user. Will they need training if they cannot navigate all of its modules easily? Moreover, where unneeded modules have been included in a recruitment software system, the question is whether they provide good value-for-money. In recruitment software, there could be a feature or module on something like compliance management that might be ideal for certain types of organisations but is useless to others. Similarly, internal chat integration could be something to look out for but would be unnecessary if the company that is buying the software already had its own chat system in place. Some recruitment packages also include onboarding modules, the sort of thing that is useful only after a candidate has been hired and become an employee. Again, this sort of feature may well be surplus to requirements in certain corporate settings or in smaller organisations.
  • Is the recruitment software system licence-based? As the uptake of cloud computing solutions continues to grow in Australia for a variety of business applications, some enterprises find that the benefits of an internet-based recruitment software system outweigh the traditional licence-based model. Of course, some businesses with only one or two HR professionals who will use this type of software may still prefer a licensed arrangement. It could be more cost-effective and even help certain organisations to comply with their own data policies and regulations. That said, it is worth considering cloud-based alternatives, especially if the company concerned already benefits from Software as a Service (SaaS) applications for other software systems. Importantly, both recruitment agencies and corporate recruitment teams can benefit from a more flexible, cloud-based approach. Furthermore, organisations that have fluctuating numbers in their workforces—such as those that employ seasonal workers, for example—may find that paying for licences they do not always need year-round could be wasteful. Where recruitment teams expand rapidly to deal with changing conditions, so greater flexibility tends to be more operationally sound. In this regard, on-demand, cloud-based recruitment software tends to offer an edge over licensed commercial models. Bear in mind that paying for the system to be maintained and updated could be more expensive over time if the software provider unnecessarily attends to unused features.
  • Can the recruitment platform be optimised for mobile devices? These days, people use mobile platforms more than ever before, and this includes job seekers, of course. In fact, one study suggested that up to 86% of people with smartphones would use them to look for work. Therefore, any recruitment software that is job posting or used to attract potential candidates ought to have mobile screen optimisation for at least the public-facing part of its interface. HR professionals may still be more likely to interface with a recruitment software suite via a desktop, but they can also sometimes benefit from being able to see new updates and information as it is written on the recruitment database from a securely connected mobile device. Of course, using mobile devices to access the system should not compromise on data security, so only certain records may be accessible using this format. Nevertheless, the world is increasingly becoming designed around the smaller screen form factor of smartphones and tablets. Therefore, recruiters who want to attract the greatest number of candidates for assessment within their software system should at least consider the merits of mobile optimisation.

Recruitment software trends are like trends in HR insofar as they focus on offering even greater functionality and, therefore, productivity to businesses. Theoretically, the best CRM recruitment system around today could soon be superseded by a newcomer to the marketplace, so most developers continue to invest in providing additional features. Which ones are likely to be on-trend in the foreseeable future? Read on to find out.

  • Even more focus on social media: Many recruitment software developers now see social media integration as a key part of their offering. After all, social media platforms provide numerous ways to gain greater outreach to both candidates and potential clients in the case of recruitment agencies. Given that social media affords multiple ways of achieving such outreach, managing various approaches through a single software platform is a desirable attribute to many. For example, being able to post jobs on a corporate social media feed is useful, but using a software system that can also track where such adverts are seen and in which demographic groups they're responded to can be even more useful. Equally, social media allows HR consultants to message targeted individuals directly or even have live conversations through voice calls. Collating the data around such activities so they can be recorded and analysed is increasingly the job of HR recruitment software.
  • Greater automation with candidate matching: When it comes to choosing new members of staff, matching only suitable candidates with job positions has always been important. In some cases, this may come down to something as straightforward as tracking down candidates with the right qualifications. However, artificial intelligence (AI) systems can automate much more than whether an applicant for a particular role has a suitable accreditation nowadays. They can also be used to match an individual's values with those of a prospective employer, for instance. With so much more on offer through big data analytics these days, recruitment software is only likely to become more and more automated, thereby freeing up time for HR professionals and recruitment agents alike. After all, with some of the advanced AI algorithms that are in use today, entire recruitment database records can be parsed by the system to come up with a shortlist of suitable candidates. Modern technology advances mean this is possible at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods. As more clients demand automation from their recruitment software systems, developers will continue to develop new uses for it.
  • Remote interviewing through recruitment platforms: Throughout the course of 2020, many businesses found that they needed to rely on digital video conferencing platforms more than ever before in their recruitment processes. This is a trend that is likely to continue, but it comes with certain limitations if recruitment software cannot integrate the interview management processes from remote interviews effectively. Increasingly, software developers are including remote interviewing technology within their platforms so that HR professionals, interviewers, recruitment agents and candidates can all have face-to-face conversations over the internet. Not only does this help with assessing candidates more openly, but it provides a single solution for businesses that want to streamline their operations and the number of software systems that they have in use.