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How To Use Recruitment Software To Save Time On Hiring

For businesses of every shape and size, identifying and recruiting the right talent is one of their biggest challenges. It’s a process that demands considerable investment, both in time and effort, to build and maintain a winning team.

However, it also carries considerable risk. The substantial costs associated with advertising, recruitment fees and interviews are significant in themselves - upwards of $4,000 per vacancy according to the Society of Human Resource Management - but the ongoing cost to the business caused by hiring the wrong candidate can be even more severe.

The critical problem for busy hiring managers is differentiation. Given a large pool of potential candidates for a position - what’s the most effective and efficient way to locate the most qualified?

The solutions used range from simple to complex. Word-of-mouth referrals are still common in many industries, as are internal appointments, where the potential hires are a known quantity. But for the majority of vacancies, businesses are looking outside their immediate networks, addressing a market of thousands of job seekers.

Like finding a needle in a haystack?

While job hunting sites and social networks such as LinkedIn have made it easier to advertise vacancies, they have also made it easier to apply, resulting in a much larger group of applicants for hiring managers to review. Increased volume has come at the expense of focus.

Of course, for every tech problem, there’s a tech solution. Many businesses and recruiters use recruitment software such as ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) to automate part of the selection process.

The exact features vary between systems, but the core function of an ATS is to filter incoming applications, assessing which candidates best align with the requirements of the post. This may involve searching for specific keywords relating to desirable skills, analysing qualifications or certifications, or categorising applicants by experience level, location or other criteria.

The benefit to hiring managers is clear - an automated process that presents them with a reduced list of the most qualified candidates, who can then be invited for further interview.

But there are limitations to the effectiveness of this type of recruitment software. In the same way that web developers optimise their sites to rank highly in Google, tech-savvy job hunters are increasingly editing their resumes or applications to score points with an ATS.

While that’s arguably a skill in itself - it does mean that the hiring manager isn’t always getting the full picture, and more qualified candidates may be edged out by those who know how to game the system.

Adding the human touch comes at a price.

Ultimately, there’s no substitute for human interaction when it comes to building a complete picture of a potential hire. The big issue here, though, is time (and therefore cost). To maximise contact time with as many candidates as possible, hiring managers can choose a number of approaches.

The obvious one is to outsource the initial stages of the process, relying on recruitment agencies or headhunters to conduct the initial vetting and interview process. But for many roles, these agents don’t have the insight and inside knowledge to accurately judge if a candidate will be a good fit for the culture and specific demands of the target role.

Another common tactic is to limit initial interviews to phone or video calls. While this does allow interaction with a larger number of applicants, it’s still relatively inefficient. Time wasted by senior staff on missed or dropped calls soon adds up, and scheduling calls outside of the candidate’s current work hours, especially across time zones, can seriously limit the available slots.

Asynchronicity = efficiency

A new generation of recruitment software is emerging to address this challenge. Tools like QFinds on-demand video interview platform offer hiring managers and candidates a “best-of-both-worlds” solution, which maintains the personal connection associated with a video call while eliminating scheduling conflicts and improving the consistency of the interview process.

QFinds allows recruiters to invite potential candidates to a secure, online platform, accessible from multiple devices, where they are presented with a predefined series of interview questions and have the opportunity to record and submit a video response. From the employer’s point of view, this delivers much richer content than a resume alone and allows multiple hiring staff to review the candidate’s performance at their convenience, sharing their feedback and assigning a rating based on the strength of the applicant.

Unlike a traditional screening interview, candidate responses can be revisited, and compared side by side as recruiters whittle down the shortlist. And crucially, there’s much less time wasted on scheduling, chasing, missed calls or no-shows, meaning that hiring managers can make the most effective use of their limited time, devoting more of their attention to the review process.

An enhanced candidate experience, without bias

Applicants benefit too. A common issue for job hunters is finding time outside of their existing schedule to contact recruiters within office hours - resulting in whispered calls from the break room or parking garage. One-way video applications allow them to find the most convenient time to respond, in an appropriate setting, with time to prepare and consider their answers.

As the Harvard Business Review puts it, “Interviews are arguably the most difficult technique to get right, because interviewers should stick to questions that predict good hires and ask them consistently across candidates.”

With QFinds video interview tool, the standardised process means each applicant can be confident that they have received exactly the same questions as everyone else, with no difference in the style or tone of the interview, and no worries that their interviewer was busy, distracted or simply tired after a long day.

The holistic view

Recruitment software is an important part of the modern hiring process - but it’s important to remember that it’s just that - a part. To find and attract the best talent, the key factor is the expertise, knowledge and experience of the hiring manager.

Relying on tools such as ATS or video application platforms to do the job for you is likely to end in disaster. The advantage of these tools is to remove some of the barriers to effective recruitment by lowering administrative overheads, eliminating scheduling conflicts, improving consistency and enhancing the end-to-end experience.

The result is less stress and less wasted time for both recruiters and applicants, resulting in a more effective interview process, deeper understanding on both sides of the process, and a better, longer-lasting match between employers and their new hires.