Staffing Software to the Rescue
Hiring highly qualified employees is one of the most important tasks for any human resources department. The right tools can help: today's staffing software solutions can reduce busywork and provide more tools to help you find the right applicant. Here's a quick look at some questions to ask during your search for the best applicant tracking software.
What do you need your staffing software to do?
A small, fast-growing company has different requirements from a software package than a large company. Ideally you'll want to find a system that can meet your needs as your company grows without overbuying. Look at your expected growth in the next two or three years as a minimum for what your software needs to handle.
You'll also have a range of features to consider. All staffing software should provide basics like applicant and resume tracking, interview scheduling, and flexible reporting. Do you also need remote access, so hiring managers in multiple locations can access the system? Or applicant self-service, which allows job seekers to upload their resumes and track the status of their application through a website?
Reviewing the biggest challenges faced by your HR department can reveal the areas most in need of help from staffing software. Once you know your requirements, you can move on to evaluating specific pieces of software.
Does it include an applicant tracking system?
Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are one of the most helpful innovations in modern staffing software platforms. They provide a central database for a company's recruitment to improve the management of resumes and the information they contain.
In particular, an ATS will collate data from the first application to the date of their hiring, eliminating countless reams of repetitive paperwork by incorporating parsing – a feature that transfers data from one form to another without requiring it to be reentered with each occurrence.
How easy is the system to use?
Once you've found several staffing software packages that meet your basic needs, a hands-on demo is the most effective way to compare them. The most important overall consideration is how easy the system is to use.
Try some of the essential tasks in each package and take careful note of how easy they are:
- Can you easily review all the candidates for a particular job?
- Can you get a complete history of a specific candidate's process?
- Can you set follow-up and reminder flags?
- Are the different screens and forms easy to understand and use?
- Can you get help if you need it?
Are you buying from a reliable supplier?
As with most software purchases, you may wind up purchasing your system directly from a software publisher, or from a reseller who provides additional consulting, installation, and support. Either way, you should spend some time investigating the company, both directly and through third parties.
Find out how long the company has been in business, how often they release updates or upgrades to their software, and how many other businesses are using their system. You don't want to purchase staffing software only to have the provider go out of business in a year or two.
Also carefully investigate support policies. Find out what hours support is available, how much it costs, if anything, and if the provider offers any guarantees of response times when you do have a problem.
Staffing software comes in two different types:
- Web-based, provided through an application service provider (ASP)
- Client-server, installed on your local machines
Of the two, cloud-based staffing software seems to be edging out the in-house version due to an ability to provide broad integration through artificial intelligence and natural language processing. These features enable employers to sort cloud-based resumes with far more accuracy and alignment with regard to a particular position while enabling them to tap into the nearly limitless reach of web-based portals.
ASP plans average around $100 per month for a single recruiter and often include setup fees of $60 to $150. Other packages can be found that cater to multiple users and limit the number of openings you can post, ranging from 4 to 8 jobs on the low end and 20 jobs to an unlimited number of postings in deluxe packages. These ASP staffing solutions cost anywhere from $90 to $1,000 per month.
In-house options are sold for one-time fee that’s based on the number of licenses required, costing anywhere from $250 to $1,500. Additional support and product updates are often assessed fees that range from $15 to $25 per month.
Note: Some business use the term "staffing software" to refer to more complex human resources information systems (HRIS). These packages can handle applicant tracking as well as many other types of HR responsibilities like payroll, employee demographics, annual reviews, benefits, and more. Read more in
Some business use the term "staffing software" to refer to more complex human resources information systems (HRIS). These packages can handle applicant tracking as well as many other types of HR responsibilities: payroll, employee demographics, annual reviews, benefits, and more. Read more in our HRIS Buyer's Guide.Ready to Compare Recruiting Software Price Quotes?