What is recruiting technology?

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Recruiting technology is a broad term that incorporates many different types of tools that are used for every stage of the recruiting process, from posting job openings and collecting applications to facilitating the hiring process (to name just a few). Broadly speaking, any technology that’s used by recruiters, applicants, interviewers and anyone else who’s involved in the hiring process can be considered recruiting technology.

Over 90% of Fortune 500 companies use some form of recruiting technology like an applicant tracking system (ATS), but if you’re just getting started, you might be wondering what types of technology you can use for different tasks and why you should even consider using them. We’ll dive into those topics here.

What are the types of recruiting technology?

For any aspect of the hiring process you can think of – whether it’s creating a job posting, collecting and reviewing applications or communicating with candidates – there’s likely a recruiting technology that helps you do it. Some vendors offer all-in-one platforms with a wide array of functions while others focus in-depth on one particular type of task, like reporting or sourcing. Let’s look at a few of the major types of technology you’re likely to encounter.

  • Applicant tracking system (ATS): This tool can help streamline your hiring process by collecting applications; storing data about applicants (like which source they came from, which role they applied to and where they are in the application process now); promoting your open roles through a job board and storing feedback on candidates gathered during the application process (from interviews and take-home assessments, for example). If you’re just getting started with recruiting technology, an ATS is likely to be one of your first investments because it’s central to many core recruiting activities. It’s common for an ATS to integrate with other tools, making it easy to build the exact tech stack you need.
  • Human resources information system (HRIS): Once someone receives and accepts an offer, they transition from being a candidate to an employee. The HRIS stores employee data, manages payroll and benefits and tracks PTO. Many companies find it helpful to have an integration between their ATS and HRIS so they don’t lose valuable data about candidates once they’re hired. This helps make a smooth onboarding process for new hires.
  • Candidate relationship management (CRM): You may sometimes encounter candidates or prospective candidates who don’t quite fit your needs today, but you believe they could be right for a role in the future. In these cases, you’d like to stay in touch with them and nurture a relationship over time. A CRM can help you build long-term relationships with these candidates by managing your communication with them and potentially automating certain tasks.
  • Candidate sourcing software: You may not get a large number of inbound applications for your open roles or you might want to ensure you have candidates from diverse backgrounds. In these cases, a sourcing tool can help you identify and reach out to qualified candidates from various channels, including job boards, social media platforms and professional networks. Some sourcing tools can even connect you with candidates from specific demographic groups, which can help you meet diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) goals if your company has them.
  • Referral sourcing software: Many companies believe their current employees are their best advocates and want to encourage them to refer people in their networks to job openings. This type of tool helps you create a structured and incentivized referral program.
  • Job advertising: This technology allows you to post job openings on multiple job boards simultaneously, eliminating the need for manual posting on individual platforms. One subset of this can include internal job boards that make it easy for employees to learn about and apply for other roles within your company.
  • Video interviewing: These platforms enable you to interview candidates remotely. Some solutions even prompt candidates to answer questions via video asynchronously at a time that’s convenient for them, eliminating the need to juggle multiple people’s schedules.
  • Job assessment: When you want to evaluate candidates' skills and suitability for specific roles, you can use this type of tool to run assessments, tests or simulations.

And this is just a small sample! There are hundreds of other recruiting technology tools out there that do everything from run recruitment marketing campaigns and collect candidate feedback to help reduce bias in job listings and other written communications.

Benefits of using recruiting technology

Now that you have a sense of some of the major types of recruiting technology, you might be wondering why you should use one or more of the tools we’ve discussed. Here are a few major reasons.

  • Reduce errors and duplicated efforts

With one unified system, everyone on the talent team has a clear idea of who’s doing what, making it easier to manage recruiter and hiring manager tasks. This is especially important as research from PwC shows CEOs believe 40% of time spent on hiring processes is inefficient.

  • Ensure efficiency and compliance

No more relying on spreadsheets or individual recruiters’ memories – recruiting technology becomes a single source of truth for everyone and can help keep candidates’ data safe and secure.

  • Keep candidates informed of their progress

Many recruiting technology tools have automated messages and reminders so candidates don’t have to wait too long for responses.

  • Easily access data

How is your recruiting team performing? You can easily answer that question when you’re able to track how many candidates are moving through the pipeline, which sources they’re coming from, how long they spend in each stage, how close you are to meeting hiring goals and more.

  • Mitigate bias in hiring decisions

Recruiting technology can hold your hiring team accountable to use the same interview questions and assessment criteria for candidates, which can help reduce bias when it comes to decision-making.

  • Save time and money

When you don’t have the right tools in place, recruiters and hiring team members end up spending more time on manual processes, which tend to be more susceptible to human error. When you make thoughtful investments in technology, you can boost productivity and let everyone focus on more meaningful tasks.

  • Choosing the right recruiting technology

When you’re ready to choose recruiting technology for your company, Greenhouse President and Co-founder Jon Stross suggests outlining the main problems you’re trying to solve: “My recommendation would be to truly understand what you’re trying to accomplish and find a system that will enable it.” In other words, don’t just focus on the features you think you might want, but have a clear idea of the goals you’re trying to achieve.

Beyond finding a solution that’s aligned with your needs, there are a few other factors that are helpful to consider. These include:

  • Scalability

Your organization is likely to expand over time – that’s why you’re hiring, after all! Don’t just consider how technology can support you today, but evaluate how it will handle increased data volumes and users. Look for technology solutions that offer flexible and scalable features to allow for seamless expansion of your recruitment efforts without disruptions.

  • After-sales support and customer service

Your relationship with a vendor doesn’t end the moment you sign a contract. In fact, the most successful relationships feel more like partnerships, where you’re comfortable asking for help and giving feedback. Plus, when implementing new technology, you’re likely to encounter at least a few challenges, and a responsive support team can make all the difference. Choose vendors that offer comprehensive support, including training resources, regular updates and a dedicated support team for assistance as needed.

Looking for additional support in helping you make recruiting technology decisions? Check out this guide.

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