For the longest time, recruiters did not use recruiting software. The reason is simple: it didn’t exist yet. Neither did the Internet or email. Instead, recruiters used rolodexes (remember those?) and filing cabinets.
However, that was a thousand years ago in terms of technology. Now personal computers exist. The Internet and email exist, as well. Their introduction was truly a game-changing moment in the recruiting profession. In fact, some people believed that the Internet would mean the end of the third-party recruiting agency. Wrong-o!
What is recruiting software?
So what is recruiting software? Or to put it another way, what is recruitment software? The truth be told, recruiting software and recruitment software are one and the same. It’s simply a matter of nomenclature and semantics. Whether you call it recruiting software or recruitment software depends primarily on what part of the world you call home.
And while we’re here, let’s address military recruiting and sports recruiting, too. Obviously, when we talk about recruiting software, we’re not talking about software used to recruit people for the military or to recruit athletes. That should go without saying if you’ve conducted even a cursory investigation of the Top Echelon website. But I’m going to say it, anyway.
But once again . . . what is recruiting software? Recruiting software is a set of tools used by recruiters or talent acquisition professionals for the purpose of identifying, contacting, engaging, and recruiting job seekers and candidates in the employment marketplace in the hopes of hiring the best candidate for the position. The value of recruiting software is that it helps to both streamline and automate tasks associated with the hiring process in the interest of saving time, energy, and effort.
Who uses recruiting software?
Now that we know what recruiting software is, who uses this software? You are probably tempted to yell,” Recruiters!” And you would be correct if you did so. However, the answer is a bit more complicated than that. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- There is more than one type of recruiter.
- Recruiters are not the only people who use the software.
Corporate vs. agency recruiters
Let’s start with the fact that there is more than one type of recruiter. The term “recruiting software” is a rather broad one. It encompasses quite a few software packages or online tools, all of which have to do, in one form or another, with the hiring process. There are many people who are involved with the hiring process. These people include recruiters. However, there are different types of recruiters. There are:
- Corporate recruiters—These are also referred to as internal recruiters. That’s because they work directly for the organization for which they are recruiting. Usually, they are a W-2 employee of their employer. All they do all day long is recruit job seekers and candidates to work for their organization and their organization alone.
- Third-party agency recruiters—These are recruiters who do not work directly for the organization that has the job openings. They work for a recruiting firm or agency, either their own or somebody else’s. Instead of being paid a salary, they are paid a recruiting fee when they successfully place a candidate at one of their client companies.
Everybody involved with hiring
Recruiters, though, represent one category of people who use recruiting software. There is another category, and that category are those people who are not necessarily recruiters but who are still involved in the hiring process. This category includes the following:
- Human Resources (HR) representatives—Larger companies and organizations have entire HR departments devoted to the activities associated with hiring. One of the tools that HR representatives in their effort to carry out their duties is recruiting software. (Although in most cases, the software is called something different but still under the umbrella of recruiting software, such as applicant tracking software.)
- Hiring managers—A hiring manager is a supervisor or decision maker in charge of hiring within a specific department in an organization. They may work with HR personnel or independently of them. In other words, candidates might be interviewed by both a HR representative and a hiring manager. Or it could be one or the other. So the HR representative or the hiring manager could have access to the recruiting software, or they could both have access to it.
- Small business owners—These people do not have the budget to support hiring a team of HR personnel. In most cases, their company is not big enough to have a hiring manager, either. In such cases, the owner is the one who does the hiring. It should be noted that many small business managers do not use a recruiting software at all. They rely on more primitive methods. (Filing cabinets, anybody?) However, there are some small business owners who use a recruiting software package.
Recruiting vs. applicant tracking
So as you can see, there are multiple categories of people who use recruiting software. However, for the purpose of simplification, the software is used by two main entities:
- Third-party recruiting agencies
- Companies, corporations, and organizations (n other words, employers)
As a general rule, when recruiters use the software, it’s known as recruiting software (or once again, recruitment software). When a company or corporation uses it, it’s more commonly called an application tracking software or applicant tracking system. And of course, as you might have already guessed, it’s possible for a software package to be both a recruiting software and an applicant tracking software.
Regardless of what you call it, the goal is the same: to hire the best person for the job opening in the shortest amount of time possible. The emphasis is on speed, efficiency, and effectiveness, not sacrificing one for another but maximizing all three.
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