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Keep it Simple: Why the Best Recruiting Software Focuses on Ease-of-Use

Posted by Edna Nakamoto on Aug 6, 2019 10:35:00 AM

Best Recruiting Software

Like many other clichés, there’s a strong element of truth to the phrase, “you need the right tools for the job.” In a high-pressure recruiting environment, having the right software tools could make the difference between finding the right candidate or leaving a position unfilled.

For recruiters and the applicants they interview, the right recruiting software should focus on end-user ease-of-use. If a recruiter struggles with their applicant tracking system, they’re likely to miss out on good candidates. If an applicant gets stuck trying to navigate their online application, the recruiting software could cause them to walk away from the job opportunity.

Here’s why it’s so important to have easy-to-use, intuitive recruiting software – and what your company should look for in these tools.

What Makes a Good Recruiting Platform?

Apple’s meteoric rise in the late ‘90s and early 2000s was for multiple reasons, but one of the biggest was the “it just works” philosophy. Apple’s software and hardware were feature-rich, yes, but also incredibly intuitive to use. There was little fiddling with setup or digging through menus to configure something. Apple’s devices worked out of the box with little to no effort required, and consumers rewarded them handsomely.

For all the power in modern technology, the value of something being simple and working intuitively can’t be overstated. But when it comes to software, there are many applications on the market today that require extensive configuration, customization, and training before you can even start to use them properly.

It’s little wonder that when prospective clients come to talk, the things we overwhelmingly hear from recruiters are a need for simplicity and ease-of-use in their recruiting software.

Recruiting software should be instinctive to use, and as such, should make it easy to get to work. These tools should facilitate communication between recruiters and candidates; they should fit seamlessly into your daily workflow and your current tech stack and be mobile-friendly.

But “ease of use” may mean different things to different people. One usability designer suggested five E’s that make software user-friendly:

  • Efficient: Are the clicks, page views, and time spent on routine tasks efficient and kept to a minimum?
  • Effective: Simply put, does the software work properly with few to no errors?
  • Engaging: Is the software interesting to use for an end user, rather than frustrating?
  • Error-tolerant: Are there prompts for tasks that can’t be undone? What happens if the end user makes a mistake?
  • Easy to learn: Is the software plug-and-play with optional customization?

The productivity of your workplace can be enhanced when your employees can effectively use their in-house tools to get the job done. But all too often, complex or poorly designed software can cause frustration for both recruiters and the applicants they hire.

Recruiters Can’t Afford to Waste Time

Recruiters in staffing firms are typically paid on hiring volume. This means that they live and breathe the adage, “time is money.” If they’re wasting time, they’re not making money. The last thing they want is recruiting software that holds them back by creating repetitious tasks or an unwieldy candidate search process.

Obviously, as a recruiter, you want the software you use to be simple but effective. From a purely financial point of view, you pay for software because you believe it will save you time and make you more productive or efficient. If it is not saving you time, or you are losing time fussing with it, then where is the ROI?

Competition for candidates is intense in the marketplace today and it feels like new software claiming to solve a recruiter’s hiring problems launches almost every day. But when companies buy new software, productivity typically declines as workers struggle to learn all-new functions, workflows, and procedures. Ironically, a growing body of research suggests most technology does not actually increase the productivity of the end user.

Most people would probably prefer something easy to use over something more complex or difficult to use, even if the latter was ultimately more powerful. What use is power or extra features if you can’t figure out how to use the basic functionality of the product?

Candidates Will Walk Away from an Unwieldy Application Process

We’ve discussed the needs of recruiters, but what about the applicants? What is their experience with applying to jobs through some of the sophisticated applicant tracking systems today? Is there a way to also simplify their process to ensure their experience with your company is positive?

The value in good recruiting software is that it reduces barriers for candidates to put themselves forward for a job. The larger your recruiting pool, the more likely you’ll find a candidate with the skills, experience, and attitude you need for the position.

Conversely, the more barriers in the way of an applicant, the less likely they’ll follow through with finishing an application. Do they have to fill out an online form with information already on their resume? Are there questions they need to answer that are confusing or take a long time to respond to? All of these increase the likelihood that someone will leave the application unfinished.

This is not always bad. In the case of positions that require complex knowledge or experience, you may want to weed out under-qualified applicants with tactics like these, but doing it deliberately is very different from having it happen accidentally. 

If the candidate makes it through the application, what feedback do they get? A Monster.com survey found that 86% of applicants never even received an email confirming that their application was received. Automating these functions so that every candidate receives a response should be an easy part of the software process. Yet hiring teams fail to use this feature – or perhaps can’t figure out how to use it.

Giving every applicant a positive experience should be a top priority for any company. The best recruiting software is very easy to use for both applicants and recruiters, which can have a positive impact at either end of the user experience

Making a Good First Impression

Customer loyalty is often shaped by their first impression of your company. When a candidate is applying for a job, their first impression is of the hiring portal where they submit their application. If the application process isn’t an easy one, the candidate – your “customer” – will certainly not be satisfied.

Behind every application process lies a recruiter just waiting to connect with the job applicant. But if the software is standing between the two, how likely is it to end up as a missed connection?

If you’re frustrated with your recruiting software, maybe it’s time to try a more intuitive approach. The Applicant Manager (TAM) was recently awarded “Best ATS” by G2Crowd based on user reviews, ranking us at the top of the table in categories like “Quality of Support” and “Likelihood to Recommend.” Contact TAM today to request a demo of our next-generation intuitive recruiting software.

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Edna Nakamoto

Written by Edna Nakamoto