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Choosing the Right Recruiting Software: A Guide

Choosing the Right Recruiting Software: A Guide
Credit: Brt/Shutterstock

Looking for a recruiting software? Here are three things to focus on when selecting one for your business:

  1. What type of candidates are you recruiting?
  2. How do you want to recruit them?
  3. Do you need human resources features to manage candidates post-hire?

To help you answer these questions, here is our 2017 guide on how to choose the right recruiting software for your business. If you already know what you need and just want to see our recommendations for the best recruiting software, visit our best picks page.

Hiring the right people is one of the toughest challenges for small businesses. Recruiting software is all-in-one solution to making the hiring process easier, even if you don't have a human resources department. It can save you time and money by helping you find the best candidates in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

Recruiting software works by eliminating the need to use multiple solutions to find and hire new staff. It provides the tools you need to stay organized and streamline the hiring process, from creating job postings to onboarding your new employees. It lets you post job postings across multiple platforms, accept applications, establish workflows, maintain schedules and more — all in one place.

Not all recruiting software are the same, but the best ones offer features that automate the hiring process and reduce the time it takes to fill a position.

Your software should let you post job listing to multiple websites (including your own) and social media at the same time. Most recruiting software target popular job sites, but it's also equally important that it allows you to post job ads to niche job sites, particularly if you're looking for creatives or tech professionals.

Additionally, your recruiting software should allow you to accept résumés and applications online and populate data automatically. It should have the option of creating pre-screening questionnaires to weed out unqualified candidates, then let you quickly search for qualified candidates based on specific criteria, such as experience, school attended and required skills.

The best recruiting software also lets you stay organized and keep an eye on the entire hiring process. Look for features like the ability to separate the hiring process by stage and project management tools like to-do lists, contact management and scheduling capabilities.

Choosing the right recruiting software is all about looking for something that aligns with your business's needs, said Dean Iacovetti, director of recruiting at Apprenda, a cloud platform company.

When choosing an application tracking system (ATS) or other recruiting software tool, owners should always take into account what its ultimate purpose is, Iacovetti said.

Other than the features offered, businesses should also look at other factors like whether the software will primarily be used to keep a database of candidates or as a way of finding candidates based on values, such as those that match the culture of the company, he added.

Furthermore, businesses should also consider real-world application of the software, said Ben Eubanks, analyst at Brandon Hall Group, a talent management, talent acquisition and human resources research firm.

"The best recruiting software is going to depend on the size of the company, the industry, and the specific recruiting strategy it is pursuing," Eubanks said.

This includes considerations like whether you want to use video interviewing, focus on social recruiting or have a very limited budget, he explained. Some recruiting software are built for these specific approaches, while other completely lack those features.

Lastly, recruiting software should be simple and easy to use, especially for small businesses that don’t have the time or resources to waste on complex solutions.

"When you’re a small business considering purchasing a recruiting software program, it’s important to remember that the system you decide on should make things easier for your team," said Andre Lavoie CEO of ClearCompany, a talent management company. "You don’t want a system that will over-complicate the recruiting and hiring process, or your team won’t get anything out of it."

The best recruiting software also offers additional capabilities to help you get the most out of your investment. Liz D'Aloia, founder of HR Virtuoso Company, a mobile recruiting software provider, said businesses should look for the following functionalities:

  • Ability to decide which job boards you want to use
  • Mobile-ready for both candidates and recruiters
  • Fast application process that lets candidates apply in just five minutes
  • Quick training, so it doesn't take more than 10 minutes to train a hiring manager or recruiter on the system
  • Flexible enough so you're not paying for features you don't understand or need
  • Scalability to grow with your business
  • Manage compliance, such as Equal Opportunity Employment regulations

Other features to look for include:

  • HR tools like onboarding and benefits administration
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Email capabilities
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities
  • Alternative contact methods, such as the ability to text candidates
  • Customization and branding options
  • Third-party integration, such as payroll and HR management solutions

Ready to choose a recruiting software? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:


Sara Angeles

Sara is a Los Angeles-based tech writer for Business.com, Business News Daily and Tom's IT Pro. A graduate of the University of California, Irvine, she has worked as a freelance writer and copywriter for tech publications, lifestyle brands and nonprofit organizations in the Southern California area and throughout the U.S. Sara joined the Purch team in 2013.