Here is everything you need to know about how to choose the right recruiting software for small businesses to accelerate growth and revenue.

recruiting software for small businesses

What is a recruiting software?

Before we dive into the details of a recruiting software, it’s important to get the basics out of the way; what is it and how does it help create a seamless recruitment process?

A recruiting software is a tool used by recruiters and TA professionals to optimize hiring efficiency, automate the recruitment workflow, and eliminate repetitive manual tasks and hiring challenges.

Here’s a quick rundown of its major functionalities: 

1. Candidate sourcing

Sourcing talent is an integral part of recruitment. Smaller staffing agencies need to attract not only active but also passive candidates for job openings. A recruitment software can help you with this, allowing you to reach, attract, and retain talent.

2. Candidate engagement

Post sourcing, it’s essential to retain candidates throughout the hiring process. A robust recruitment software can help you keep applicants informed and engaged by streamlining candidate-recruiter communication.

3. Candidate screening

Selecting the most suitable candidates from a competent talent pool is tricky. A recruiting software has a variety of features, like resume parsing, online assignments, central collaboration, etc. to help you pick the best out of the bunch.

Also read: Agency vs. internal recruiting software: A complete guide

Key features of a recruiting software for a small business

The utility of a recruitment software lies in its key features that bring a remarkable difference in the overall quality of hiring. 

So let’s take a look at some core functions that a recruiting software serves and the features it exhibits to perform them.

1. Candidate sourcing 

Sourcing eligible candidates is one of the primary reasons why agencies look to incorporate a recruiting software into their hiring procedure.

  • The talent sourcing feature of this software involves researching thoroughly about the best sources to find candidates, identifying the most relevant ones and networking on them. 
  • Resume parsing through AI algorithms also comes under the “candidate sourcing” umbrella as it helps identify the relevant qualifications, experience, and skill set of a candidate for a particular role. 

2. Attracting & retaining candidates

After sourcing, the most suitable candidates need to be convinced that the job you are offering is exactly what they have been looking for. This function is mainly about attracting, engaging, and retaining potential candidates.

  • Features like a robust Single-interface Communication Channel can play an important part here. You can interact with candidates about everything, from interview updates to probable delay in response for top notch candidate experience.
  • Career Websites are also a brilliant way to put out your credibility as a recruitment agency, with promising job openings up your sleeves. These websites are typically meant to list out all the available career opportunities for candidates to view.

It encourages candidates to create their profiles, apply for jobs, and track their applications.

3. Conducting interviews

Interviews play a huge role in the recruitment process and often work as the deciding factor. Given how important interviews are, you must try to conduct them as seamlessly as possible.

Features like Interview-cum-Offer Management help get rid of any confusion around allotted interview timings and eliminate any room for accidental double bookings. This helps both interviewers and candidates choose their preferred time slots based on availability. 

Alongside structured interviews, this feature also has ready-made customizable templates for offer letters, built-in e-signing tools for digital signatures, cards to score candidates post interviews based on skills and performance, a chatting portal for quick conversations, and so much more.

On the other hand, platform features enable recruiters to regulate and conduct interviews even on mobile devices. This comes in super handy, from cutting down on traveling expenses, avoiding delays, to eradicating any scheduling conflicts that may arise. 

It also offers tools like dashboards to track necessary metrics, reports based on insights from recent trends in the industry, workflow templates for better productivity, candidate experience surveys for feedback, option to accumulate employee data for future, filters for advance search, and so on.

4. Candidate assessment

The entire motive behind the recruitment process is to assess the pool of available candidates and screen them to find the best fit. This makes candidate assessment a crucial part of the process.

Features under the Applicant Tracking umbrella help recruiters collect relevant information about each candidate that needs to be considered critically for better judgment. These include both personal and professional details like skill sets and experience. It even filters resumes based on these attributes for eligibility.

Additionally, features under Candidate Evaluation are typically about comparing potential candidates by putting the most relevant information upfront. 

Functions like background screening, reference check, work history verification, etc., are performed to reduce employee turnover. Online assignments on cognitive and behavioral traits help figure out a candidate’s suitability for the respective industry and work environment.

5. Hiring the candidate

This final step of recruitment is as essential as all of the above. You need to ensure that the individual selected for the role also ends up choosing the given job as the best one for them. To put that impression out, a seamless onboarding is a necessity.

The Onboarding Features of a recruiting software take over the responsibility to efficiently communicate with the new recruits, from reminders to fill out onboarding forms and meeting needful compliances, to communicating the perks of employment and confidentiality terms. 

Some features like step-by-step wizards and intuitive dashboards can improve the onboarding experience to a large extent. 

There are several other features that a recruiting software can possess, but these are essentially the key ones.

Your recruitment agency may have certain unique requirements that are not in the list. These special needs call for particular features to drive optimum results. You can easily incorporate them in your requirement list and you’ll be all set to look for the recruitment tool you need!

6. Building engaging and customizable career sites

A business’ credibility as an employer lies in its career website. A pleasant, professional, user-friendly and true-to-the-business career site can instantly intrigue job seekers to explore your job openings. Make sure your recruitment software has this feature.

7. Organized candidate database

One of the main reasons to get a recruiting software is to manage your candidate data better. So the tech you purchase must solve this purpose to structure and store your present and past employee data in an efficient manner.

8. Automation

Automation is the heart of a recruiting software. How much of your manual, repetitive work can be handled by a machine will depend on this feature. So you must not forget to consult thoroughly to see if the efficiency of the system’s automation meets your expectations.

9. Consolidated dashboards

An all-in-one dashboard is the most useful feature that a recruiting software can offer to a business. It encompasses every step of the hiring process and provides you the at-a-glance advantage to examine everything at once. You definitely do not want to miss out on this feature.

You might also like: Why you need an ATS  to accelerate your recruitment process?

Top 5 reasons why small businesses need a recruiting software

Using a recruiting software is the best decision any small business can take. It doesn’t just make the entire recruitment process easier and less time consuming but also improves the overall quality of hiring. 

Investing in a recruiting software can also be a highly profitable decision, especially during the incubation period. It will not only help you derive a workforce of highly skilled individuals but also help you organize different areas of internal control better. 

Let’s get a detailed view of why as a small business, you should invest in a recruiting software.

1. Better collaboration

A small business should always want its team to be on the same page with all the crucial whereabouts of the organization. A recruitment software can serve this exact need with the proceedings of the candidates, by allowing access to all the important information to everyone through a centralized platform.

2. Job postings made easier

Job boards are useful but highly saturated. Instead, curating brand career websites can help you stand out from other larger businesses and reach more potential candidates. You can easily build one for yourself using a recruitment software. You can also post jobs on multiple job portals with a single click, instead of having to manually post jobs on each platform.

3. Access around the day

To start attracting applicants, you need to be visible to your target audience. But being a small business, this can be very hard. So, it’s advisable to not lose any hours of traction that you can receive. This is where the importance of all-day-access job posting comes in.

With a recruiting software, you can keep your job openings accessible to applicants 24/7, along with an automated response feature to answer candidate FAQs on the spot.

4. Better job descriptions

The readability and clarity of a job description can make or break a deal. You can get better in this game with recruiting software suggestions and also customize them as you want.

5. Better reach

Simply using the advanced features of a recruiting software can make you more credible in the eyes of job seekers, hence, attracting way more applications than businesses that don’t use one.

Key questions to ask before purchasing a recruiting software

You are not going to buy a recruiting software every one or two years. It is a long term investment. This makes it absolutely crucial to enquire and ensure that you are choosing the right vendor.

Here are some questions you should ask the vendor before purchasing a software.

1. What are some possible anticipated changes that’ll be made to the recruiting software?

This question is not only important to estimate its applicability to your business for a set time period, but also to help you see through the futuristic approach of the software provider and if they are willing to adapt to the dynamic nature of the industry.

2. What are the qualifications of the concerned support deck?

Imagine an inexperienced recruiter being handed over the responsibility to address recruitment software grievances. Absolute disaster! Ensure that the team providing services behind the tech has the expertise and knowledge as required.

3. Can you trust them with your confidential data?

A recruiting software has exposure to some crucial and confidential business data. This puts you in a position to enquire as many security related questions as you want. Where does the data go? Which software is in charge of privacy?

4. Would you be able to customize the software as per your needs?

How a company ends up using the recruitment software entirely depends on them. Being able to customize the same according to your needs is a principal requirement for utmost efficiency.

5. Will they help you get in touch with some previous users of their services?

When you are asking this question, you are basically testing their transparency towards the customers. They might not really refer you to unsatisfied clients, but even a couple of happy clients can give you clear insight into their performance. 

Don’t miss out on: How to build a reliable recruitment tech stack for your hiring needs?

5 signs your small business needs a recruiting software ASAP!

No matter how many experts try to convince small businesses to sign up for a recruiting software, some of them will still hesitate to make this investment.

So let’s discuss some major signs in your company that scream the urgency of investing in #RecTech.

1. Job boards constitute a huge chunk of your sourcing strategy

Job boards have been tagged as saviors by all recruiters. But depending exclusively on one source is not a smart strategy.

To ace candidate sourcing, you need to diversify, and a recruitment software can make that easy for you.

2. Your database is massive

If your business is dealing with a huge pool of data, it’s unsafe to deal with it bare handed. A recruiting software not only helps you organize all the information systematically but also handles it carefully to save data loss or breach.

3. You are aiming towards cost efficiency

A recruiting software is synonymous to cost-cutting in the hiring sphere. Centralization and automation can save you big bucks and earn you some more.

4. You struggle to collaborate

Do simple recruitment procedures take more time than usual? This can lead to an irrecoverable dip in productivity. A recruitment software, however, can eradicate this threat altogether, offering integrations to work with multiple tools at once and more.

5. You never get time to think about employer branding

Routine tasks keep you too occupied to build an employer brand for yourself. A recruiting software will not only help you ace the basics but also free up time to focus on building a unique employer identity in the job market.

How to incorporate a recruiting software into your hiring process?

Purchasing a recruitment software is undoubtedly the best hiring decision you can take. But this tool may not turn out as useful to your business if you fail to implement it properly.

So here’s a guide on how to incorporate a recruitment software into your hiring system.

1. Consult with your team

This investment in the software is probably a collective business decision. But when it comes to implementing the same into the internal system, many small businesses dodge a second round of team discussion before kickstarting its use, which often costs them heavily.

To avoid this, ensure that you sit with your team for a second time to discuss the applicability of the software and invite suggestions from all the people involved in its use.

2. Set up departments

Almost every organization goes by the departmental approach. Similarly, once you have a recruitment software to implement, divide the responsibilities and functioning to all the respective departments.

Assigning a to-do to every department at different levels of the recruitment process can yield remarkably high efficiency and accuracy, if done right.

3. Train the rookies

While some part of your user team will adapt to the recruiting software quickly, some of them may lag behind and struggle to get the hang of its functionalities. 

In such cases, instead of keeping them away from the system, train them on how to use the software better, to enable a team with credible understanding and skills.

This training campaign, however, should also be available to everyone, from users to stakeholders, for better transparency within the business.

4. Filter the available data

Managing relevant hiring data is an important feature of a recruiting software. So many businesses start organizing and uploading all their available data into the software right away. But this shouldn’t be the first thing you do.

Before using the software, all the available information in your database is less likely to be homogenous. Be it old or new data, there are some details that do not need to be on your database anymore. Filter them out beforehand.

5. Keep up with the progress

A recruiting software will yield beneficial results for you in the short as well as the long run only if you stay on track with it.

How much improvement have you observed since installation compared to previous records? What is the feedback of the talent acquisition team regarding the software? Is there any aspect that didn’t see results as expected from the software boost?

Evaluate and observe the bonus points and the pain points on a regular basis and let the benefits reflect right back!

Common challenges associated with a recruiting software and how to overcome them

When starting out with a recruiting software, there will be certain challenges that you might face. Some of these challenges may even continue to exist even in the long run. 

But as soon as hiring teams start to get more accustomed to the loopholes of the software, they tend to chalk out ways of making it work.

So here are some of the major problems that recruiters are reported to face when they freshly start using a recruiting software.

1. Lack of rational judgment

A software is nothing but a machine. No matter how much the world of tech has advanced, the major lack of rationality is still quite visible.

This drawback is most likely to reflect on your day to day functioning. Starting from mis-categorizing data to sourcing candidates from the wrong industry, blindly relying on tech can create some substantial fuss in your organization.

2. Unconscious bias

The resume parsing feature of recruiting software goes by the keyword approach. This is where the risk of unconscious bias lies.

For example, certain relevant keywords might be misinterpreted by the software against your intention. The software favors the keyword in a particular format and rejects all the resumes that don’t abide by the same.

Such minor bias can lead to losing potential candidates who might be more competent than the selected ones.

3. Predefined rules 

A recruiting software is programmed with default instructions that largely govern its functionality. These pre-programmed protocols imbibed into the software can influence how it functions.

This influence can be a barrier for the tool to interpret your instructions and yield accurate results, hence, leaving room of possible errors.

4. More applications than desired

The candidate sourcing feature of a recruiting software is one of the most efficient traits of this piece of technology and indeed does what it claims.

Initially, the mass candidate sourcing feature would seem to be a life-saver. But eventually, when the inflow of applications will reach an overwhelming number beyond control, this same feature might start feeling like a burden.

Cloud vs. on-premise recruiting software

When you ask this question to an expert recruiter, most of them will confidently say Cloud over On-premise. Why so? 

The answer is that businesses have always been in search of something that is compact and easily accessible, and cloud is exactly that, the anytime, anywhere solution.

On the contrary, on-premise is a cumbersome and space consuming approach that offers almost no flexibility and accessibility, being only restricted to office premises.

Note – Certain business types may find on-premise more beneficial than cloud for their unique reasons. But cloud is a mass preference that suits most organizations.

Importance of GDPR in your recruiting software

GDPR, i.e., General Data Protection Regulation is a European Union legal instrument in favor of both individual and legal persons to protect their data and gate-keep their privacy.

This regulation demands every body that is dealing with personal data to strictly abide by the given set of rules.

The question here is, how important is it for a recruiting software to be GDPR compliant and for recruiters and employers to adhere to this law? 

Since a recruiting software is a data processor that handles candidate data on behalf of recruiters, to stay compliant to GDPR, it’s important for it to be governed by a Data Protection Agreement (DPA) that’s set by the data controller.

When it comes to recruiters and employers, they deal with hundreds and thousands of candidates, each submitting their personal data when applying for jobs. It becomes imperative for recruiters to keep this information secure to fall in line with the GDPR law.

With proper reasons, disclosure, and certified security, you can stay in line with the regulations involved.

Typical pricing range of a recruiting software for small businesses in 2024

According to the latest 2022 statistics, a recruitment software is most likely to cost you somewhere between $48-$950 on a monthly basis.

The range you land on depends on the following variable factors:

1. Features you get to enjoy

Quite justifiably so, recruitment software providers will charge you based on the number of advanced features you opt for.

2. Strength of workforce

A recruiting software typically comes in different capacities for the available employees in the organization with access to it. The more the number, the higher the charges.

3. Rate of monthly increase in candidates

Depending on the inflow of candidates you receive every month, the software providers will provide you the most appropriate version of the recruiting software for your organization and charge accordingly.

This article should work as your very own guide on recruiting software for small businesses. With this content piece at your disposal, you should be able to find answers to all your questions before you make the decision of purchasing a recruitment solution.