Revolution: How Web-based Applicant Tracking Systems can Change the Way You Do
April 6, 2001
- Donald E. Breckenridge as seen in Employment Marketplace -
No industry feels the impact of
the Internet more than the staffing industry. The Internet has provided the
infrastructure for greater connectivity between companies, recruiters and
candidates, and has sped the process of sourcing candidates, communicating with
client companies and making placements.
increased efficiency and accessibility to candidates and hiring managers, the
barriers to entry into the marketplace have diminished, therefore increasing the
number of recruiting competitors. Furthmore, job boards and other sourcing tools
have developed bringing candidates and companies in direct contact, completely
bypassing the recruiter.
these factors have put tremendous pressure on recruiters to increase the speed
at which they source and present candidates for open job orders and to ensure
the quality of those matches.
A solution to
these problems can be found in a new class of software that is creating a
revolution, not only in the staffing industry, but also in industries across the
board. The new class, known as web-based applications, provides benefits far
beyond greater accessibility to an application and its data. Web-based
applications can change your business model and the way you communicate with
your customers, candidates and other recruiters.
are ASPs and web-based applications?
ASP stands for
Application Service Provider, a third party entity that manages and distributes
software through the Internet. Quite often, the applications they host are
web-based and users access the application and data (which resides at a data
center) through an Internet browser. The application and related services are
packaged and rented for an affordable monthly price, rather than a large,
up-front cash outlay. In addition, web-based applications for the recruiting
Let’s look at
each of these benefits in further detail.
server-based applications are highly functional, their high up-front costs,
ongoing maintenance fees and expensive hardware make them unaffordable to many
smaller agencies. Web-based applications are less expensive because the ASPs
provide the service of housing, deploying and maintaining the software. And
because the application runs inside an Internet browser, there is no CD
installation, there are no special hardware requirements, no maintenance and no
significant up-front costs.
pricing model for an ASP application, which is typically the monthly “rental”
fee, simplifies cash flow management. Thus, smaller firms can afford big-ticket
applications that would be too costly to buy outright and implement. And ASP
clients don’t need to worry about operating system, database or application
user-license fees and compliance because the ASP bundles all these fees within
the single monthly fee.
recruiters contact candidates from their home or while on the road and need to
update their applicant tracking system from these off-site locations. Because
web-based applications reside on the Internet, their applications are accessible
at any time from any Internet-enabled computer. This also means that all of your
recruiters can access the same data at the same time from multiple locations.
Some of the
more sophisticated web-based applicant tracking systems will integrate your web
site with their database, allowing hiring managers and candidates to access and
update information right on your site. Candidates can enter their résumé, keep
it updated, upload attachments such as portfolios and take authorized assessment
tests. They can view where you've sent their résumé, what interviews they have
and any tips you might provide. Hiring managers can enter and update job orders,
view résumés you've sent and manage their interview schedule. Visitors can
search and browse job orders posted to your web site helping you attract new
applications provide the means to offer continuing services to the end-user.
Users can purchase services such as assessment tests, global job posting, and a
host of other services directly through the application. With the click of your
mouse, you can select skills tests for a candidate or request a background
check. And a few of the higher-end systems will import the results directly into
the system so you don’t have to enter any data by hand.
One way to
increase your number of placements is to develop “split-fee” arrangements with
other recruiting firms. As technology evolves, applicant tracking systems must
incorporate a mechanism through which recruiters can easily collaborate in order
to increase their split fee arrangements.
there are varying degrees of collaboration among web-based applications. Some
systems allow for posting open job orders to an external recruiter-to-recruiter
exchange, while others are even more advanced. Sendouts.com, for instance,
provides sophisticated search mechanisms within the application to automatically
match job orders to candidates across staffing firms based on certain criteria,
such as skills, salary requirements, location, education, etc. Once matched, the
application walks both recruiters thrugh the placement process as if they are in
the same staffing firm. This technology further streamlines the collaboration
process and enables recruiters to find qualified matches faster than ever.
recruiting methods and technology change monthly. With traditional client-server
systems, users must wait for the next upgrade to become available. However, with
an ASP, the latest versions of the applications are available to all users
without the need for costly site-by-site in-house upgrades. As enhancements are
made to the application, they are immediately available to the users.
Furthermore, because you don’t have a major installation process, you can be up
and running very quickly.
systems for everybody?
of an ASP is to have a multitude of clients using the same application, not to
manage dozens of different customized versions. Therefore, an ASP may not make
sense for large companies that need to have a packaged application extensively
modified for their specific needs.
But for the
most part, if you’re thinking about upgrading your current applicant tracking
system, it would pay to consider outsourcing via an ASP as an alternative to an
in-house implementation. When doing so, it’s important to do your research to
make sure the system is right for you (see 10 Questions to Ask When Considering
a Web-Based Applicant Tracking System).
web-based application won’t immediately increase your revenue, it can streamline
your day-to-day activities for a manageable cost, enabling you to concentrate on
the larger goal of making placements.
TO ASK WHEN CHOOSING A WEB-BASED APPLICANT TRACKING SYSTEM
Other than a web browser, what hardware/software, if any, is required at
your company’s site?
Does the ASP offer a secure connection?
Does the ASP provide implementation and training services? If not, who
What happens if the Internet connection goes down? Is the application
What components of the placement process does the application track?
Does the system offer an integrated recruiter-to-recruiter exchange?
Does the application offer a standardized skills inventory to match job
orders with candidates across staffing firms?
What third-party resources are accessible through the application?
Does the application provide complete management reports?
How easily is data, such as résumés, entered into the application?