Staffing Agency Software Guide: Features, Benefits, and Choosing the Best One
In the last decade or so, the recruiting landscape has seen a dramatic shift in operations. Gone are the days when recruiters would manually sort through resumes and connect with potential candidates one by one. Today’s recruiting era demands more efficiency, faster turnaround times and high quality results – all at economical pricing. But manual recruiting operations are not only time consuming, they can be expensive, not to mention, they risk the possibility of being riddled with human errors. That’s where artificial intelligence and automation solutions are breaking ground and changing the game.
In today’s highly competitive recruiter market, an important aspect of technology that is shaping the way we conduct recruiting operations is staffing software. In this guide to staffing agency software solutions, we will deep dive into features of staffing software, pros and cons of using staffing software, software affordability and whether or not a software solution works for your organization.
But first, let’s answer an important question. What is staffing software and how is it helping staffing agencies with recruitment?
What is Staffing Agency Software?
Simply put, a staffing software solution will be a piece of recruiting technology used to improve the efficiency of an organization’s recruitment operations. This is done by automating specific manual tasks that are usually mundane or repetitive by nature and can be done quickly and more efficiently by integrating staffing software. Essentially, the idea of using a staffing software solution is to allow staffing agencies to shortlist potential candidates, contact them about the available job opportunity and initiate the recruitment process. In a nutshell, a staffing software can post about job opportunities on job boards and job portals; they can be used to sort and sift through job applications from potential candidates; contact shortlisted candidates and even schedule interviews.
But these are just the basic functionalities of any staffing software solution. Staffing software can be customized depending upon it’s industry’s requirements. For instance, industry verticals like healthcare, technology fields, education, financial services, legal services etc might require specific functionalities.
Now that you know what staffing software is, let’s understand why organizations need staffing software.
Usage of Staffing Agency Software
Staffing software can be used to efficiently automate an organization’s hiring process
With a staffing software integrated into their hiring process, organizations can easily automate specific functions including posting about open opportunities, resume screening, communicating with candidates etc. These tasks, though fairly simple, can be time consuming and because of their mundane nature, the tasks can be prone to human errors. By using automation software, organizations can speed up the hiring process. Most importantly, automation software can be used to communicate with potential candidates and can help close the conversation – ensuring a positive candidate experience.
Automation solutions can help optimize the hiring workflow
Hiring opportunities can be abundant in larger organizations. Staffing consultants and agencies are also required to juggle multiple client’s. An automated staffing software solution can help optimize data from applications received for available opportunities. This helps organizations and staffing agencies plan a more efficient hiring workflow and be better prepared to source qualified leads as and when the need for talent arises.
Automated staffing solutions allow data driven hiring decisions
Staffing software doesn’t just automate manual functions. It can also collect, store and analyze data to determine specific patterns. For instance, staffing software can be used to determine what kind of applications are usually derived from a specific job board, when does a job posting garner the most engagement, what are the salary expectations for a certain designation etc. By analyzing data, recruiters can make informed decisions and alter their workflow to deliver the best results.
Automated staffing solutions are economical in the long run
Manual recruiting tasks generally need additional staff. However, by integrating staffing software, organizations can cut down the number or support staff required to carry out recruiting functions. This allows organizations to save on costs in the long run.
The types of staffing software for staffing agencies and organizations
Applicant tracking system
From attracting the right talent, to engaging with them, nurturing their interests and expectations and bringing them on board with interviews and offer letters, an applicant tracking system can redefine the recruiting process. Essentially, an ATS will provide end to end support to the recruitment process of an organization by automating quite a few of the tasks. The average conversion rate for job seekers who visit an ATS-populated career page is 20%. That is a very promising statistic for recruiters in this competitive environment.
ATS systems are designed to maximize the efficiency of a recruitment process. That is why most are affordable as well as user friendly. It is very important that an organization select an applicant tracking system that is compatible with their hiring process. The right ATS will not only make the current hiring process easier, it will further optimize it for better efficiency. The ATS demand is expected to reach US$ 2.34 billion by 2026.
Pros and Cons of an Applicant Tracking System
- Streamlined hiring process
- Significant improvement in quality of hire
- Improved candidate experience
- Allows collaborative hiring
- Might miss out on qualified leads if the resume doesn’t have the specific keyword
- Automatically eliminates resumes that are not recognized by the algorithm
- Because the filters are set by recruiters, there is a possibility of recruiter bias to seep into the sorting function.
Human resources information systems
Staffing software is not limited to recruiting. They can also be used to carry out functions post hiring. A human resources information system keeps track of employee payroll, employee performance, employee insurance etc.
Pros and Cons of a human resources information systems
- Stores and tracks employee information including details of performance, evaluation, promotions, pay raises, etc
- Makes payroll functions highly efficient – from direct deposit into multiple accounts in one go to managing the upload of payslips, an HRIS portal can do it all.
- Helps maintain compliance as per State and Federal Labour Laws
- Can be expensive. An HRIS can cost up to US$ 300 per employee at larger organizations and up to US$ 100 at smaller organizations.
- Possibility of human errors in input phase
- Possibility of unauthorized access that can lead to major losses to organizations.
Candidate relationship management systems
A candidate relationship management (CRM) system is designed to allow recruiters to actively source candidates by building talent pools and nurturing them through recruitment marketing. This software allows recruiters to maintain communication with potential talents – thereby streamline processes designed for hiring pipeline projects.
Interviewing and assessment software
Software solutions that help candidates schedule interviews and attempt online assessments are becoming increasingly popular, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. These software solutions can help recruiters easily conduct, record and even analyze online interviews to better judge candidates. In a regular face to face interview, candidates are usually nervous and on their best behaviour. In a remotely conducted interview, candidates are in a relaxed environment, usually their homes and it becomes easier to point out non-verbal behavioral cues that can give the recruiter a deeper insight into whether or not a candidate will be a good fit for their organization.
Pros and cons of a candidate relationship management system
- Low pressure on candidates
- Time and money saving solution
- Allows candidates to schedule their own interviews
- Allows candidates to attempt assessments at their convenience
- Possibility of using fraudulent means to attempt assessments
- Connectivity issues
- HR personnel are usually trained to read cues in a face to face environment and their training is essentially moot in an online interview
What should you look for in a staffing software solution?
While different staffing solutions will offer different features, they are likely to boil down to some basic common functionalities. Remember to look for these ten must-have features while considering different staffing software solutions.
- Ability to automate candidate and client management
- Easily sort through resume applications to shortlist suitable talent
- Ability to streamline talent pipeline for better talent sourcing
- Ability to customize software features and functionalities as per organization’s or agency’s needs
- Offers data storage and data analytics
- Allows easy scheduling of interviews and assessments
- Ability to automate communication between organization and candidate
- Mobile-friendly user experience and user interface
- Can automate posting of job opportunities
- Can maintain candidate information securely and allow a seamless application experience
Let’s understand each of these features in detail.
Ability to automate candidate and client management
A good staffing software will be able to ease the process of managing candidates, or even clients, if you are a staffing agency. Most staffing software solutions offer end to end candidate management including candidate interaction, candidate shortlisting and candidate assessments.
Easily sort through resume applications to shortlist suitable talent
A good applicant tracking system will not only sort through resumes, it should be able to recommend candidates with similar backgrounds with a view to use that information for future hiring exercises.
Ability to streamline talent pipeline for better talent sourcing
Since recruiting is a continuous process, it is important to integrate a software solution that can create a talent sourcing pool. This pool can be referred to first before making the job opportunity public.
Ability to customize software features and functionalities as per organization’s or agency’s needs
Organizations might have different hiring needs basis on their operations. For instance healthcare organizations might require a candidate to submit specific certifications for job postings. Another example is of organizations who might require candidates to relocate for the job. A software solution should be able to offer functionalities to sort candidates basis specific filters. It should also have the ability to test candidates basis their area of expertise.
Offers data storage and data analytics
While shortlisting candidates with better efficiency does help with the hiring process, a staffing software solution should ideally be able to store and analyze data patterns emerging from the number of applications received. This will give the recruiter insights and they will be able to realign their hiring strategies accordingly.
Allows easy scheduling of interviews and assessments
With face to face interviews becoming obsolete and remote interviews gaining popularity, it becomes easier for self service solutions like scheduling interviews and sharing assessments.
Ability to automate communication between organization and candidate
Hiring has becoming extremely demanding in today’s day and age. Candidates now demand closure on job applications. Having a software that can automate the communication between and organization and the candidate sets a good impression and makes forms a positive hiring experience.
Mobile-friendly user experience and user interface
At least 77% of candidates in the United States tend to apply to jobs from a mobile device. This means any staffing software will be required to offer a user interface that is mobile friendly.
Can automate posting of job opportunities
Based on the data it has collected, a good staffing software will not only be able to post job opportunities to relevant job boards and portals, it will also be able to recommend ideal times for posting and trending keywords for specific designations.
Can maintain candidate information securely and allow a seamless application experience
Most staffing software solutions allow integrated account creation and SSO login from social media job boards. This requires the software to offer a secure environment for filling in information, thereby giving the candidate a seamless application experience.
Which staffing software solution is best for your organization?
Here are points to consider before selecting a staffing software solution for your organization.
A staffing software solution should easily integrate into your existing recruitment system
Easy API integrations means recruiters don’t have to reinvent the wheel and start from scratch. A good staffing software solution can easily integrate with an existing recruiting system and simply increase efficiency.
Costing, upgrade and support expenses
Based on an organization’s needs, they might want to consider basic costs and cost of upgrades and any support expenses that might crop up post purchase. Most staffing software offer annual subscriptions, upgrade based payments or even pay-per-applicant pricing model. It is also important to consider other features like multiple user accounts and location based access before making a purchase decision.
User experience and fool proof functionalities
It is not necessary that the user using staffing software will be well versed with technology. It is therefore required for staffing software to be as people friendly as humanly possible.
Staffing software solutions have become the need of the hour to maximize HR efficiency. But their purpose is not just limited to that single objective. In today’s competitive environment organizations want more done at a fraction of the cost. They also expect high quality results in the form of suitable leads. With the talent market becoming easily competitive and recruiters swooping on desirable candidates at every possible opportunity, a staffing software solution gives hiring teams the breathing space they need to come up with better recruitment strategies.