Written by Nathan Hewitt

Recruitment Software

Whether it’s a revolution or evolution, technology touches our lives in ways that few could even imagine just a few years ago. There are few, if any, industries that have not been transformed by the digital age.

With the rise of new technologies and automation, there were some that feared the robot apocalypse was upon us. Who needs actual people when machines, algorithms, software and programs can do the job faster, smarter and more cost-effectively?

In the recruitment and HR industries, as job boards, social networking and websites like LinkedIn began their relentless rise, many believed that the human touch was about to stripped from an industry that only exists for human capital.

Of course, the very opposite is true. While there’s no denying some roles and industries have changed forever, advancing technology means new industries are emerging, new roles are being created and new skills are being sought by candidates and employers alike.

In the hiring industry, recruitment software is here to stay. This article explains how it can be working hard for you and providing a seamless and rewarding experience for your team, your clients and for every candidate.

The technology landscape in recruitment and HR

In this article we’re specifically looking at recruitment software and exploring its role and impact in the hiring process. Before we do, it’s important to understand its context and connection to the technology that can support the complete employee lifecycle. This extends from talent acquisition right through to the ongoing management and development of people through HR teams. The recruitment strategy and candidate management technology pipeline covers:

  1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – tools use to manage and analyse interactions with past, current and potential candidates. It enables a proactive and ‘always on’ hiring strategy, by tagging, categorising and growing deep talent pools.
  2. Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – an online platform that simplifies and streamlines the entire recruitment process from sourcing to selection. We’ll explore ATS in this article.
  3. Vendor Management System (VMS) – tools used by specialist recruiters and companies to manage the end-end process of contingent labour – freelancers, contractors, sub-contractors, statements of work (SOW)
  4. Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) – the core people system underpinning an organisation’s HR department with capabilities that may cover: onboarding, human capital, leave management, learning, recruitment, performance management and feedback, payroll and benefits.
  5. Learning Management System (LMS) – Learning and development is critical for organisations to evolve workforce skills and knowledge to meet skills gaps and evolving technologies. These tools administer, track, report and deliver
    e-learning, training and development programs


So what is recruitment software?

Recruiting software is not one thing. It’s an umbrella term for different tools that address different stages of the recruitment process. From creating job requisitions and conducting candidate screening to scheduling interviews and even sending out job offers, recruitment software can automate every step of the hiring process.

Generally, most types of recruitment software can be categorised into four categories and will address some or all of these key functions of the recruitment process:

  • Sourcing – this is all about identifying, finding and attracting potential candidates.
  • Engagement – how recruiters, candidates and organsations stay connected throughout the hiring process. It’s about nurturing relationships.
  • Selection – a range of tools and technologies to help accelerate the process of identifying candidates with the best or appropriate qualifications from the pool of applicants
  • Hiring – software tools that can be used to manage and coordinate the practicalities and processes of hiring and even onboarding candidates

Just as there are many types of recruitment agencies, there are many types of recruiting software and every solution will look different. Some recruitment agencies may also manage work placements so their recruiting software technology stack may include a Vendor management System as described above.

An agency placing technology professionals into permanent positions will have very different sourcing, database and engagement needs than an agency working to high volume briefs for customer-facing service roles. An agency retained for search and recruitment at the highest executive levels will have different needs again.


Why do you need recruitment software?

It’s rare to find anyone in the recruitment business that hasn’t begun to automate at least some of the hiring process. Job seekers – and not just those tech-savvy millennials – have been quick to embrace and engage with mobile apps, social media, job boards and more to find their next job. However, there are still many organisations relying on outdated and labour-intensive recruitment methods.

Recruiting software has been developed and continues to evolve to address the universal challenges and experiences of recruiters the world over:

  1. Time – Filling any role could take weeks or months, much of it spent reviewing and screening CVs and candidates, communicating with candidates and hirers, scheduling and coordinating interviews, making job offers and more. Recruiting software can help automate these processes and give you back your time to concentrate on higher value tasks.
  2. Costs – As much an issue for recruiters as it is for the businesses engaging them, traditional manual and paper-based processes can be expensive. Recruiting software can dramatically lower costs to hire, repaying technology investment quickly.
  3. Hard work – Any recruiter will tell you there are simply not enough hours in the day (or dollars in the budget) to stick with traditional labour-intensive, manual processes, especially in high volume recruitment briefs. Is there really anyone who will manually read and screen the CVs of 5,000 applicants?
  4. Free the people – For most hiring and talent acquisition teams, human resources are stretched thin already. Recruiting software can give your people more time to deliver a positive experience for every candidate.
  5. Skills shortages – In the history of work, there has always been and always will be industries and times when it’s challenging to find appropriately skilled candidates. Recruiting software can help recruiters find more candidates, with the right skills to fill roles sooner.



What does recruitment software do?

The hiring process has many steps. From promoting job opportunities to screening CVs, tracking candidates to making job offers, there are many pressure points.  The process can be costly and time-consuming and if things go sideways, you’re not just burning hours and dollars, you could be burning candidates too by making poor hiring decisions.

Automated recruiting software can do all the heavy lifting for you. It organises all the tools and all the data in one place to provide end-to-end functionality through the complete recruitment process. Simplifying and enhancing that process ensures a better experience for everyone –  recruiters, hirers, HR departments… and job candidates alike.

By streamlining process, recruiting software can help you significantly reduce hiring costs and fill roles faster.


What are the benefits of recruitment software?

Here’s how your organisation can benefit from recruitment software:

  • Automation – It’s not about software doing your job, it’s about software helping you to do your job better. From managing client databases to scheduling interviews, automation of many daily tasks can give you back time to focus on higher value briefs and enhancing the candidate and client experience.
  • Hire better, faster ­ – Through the one platform,  recruiting software can help improve hiring metrics including time to hire, cost per hire, employee retention, turnover rate and quality of hire. An easy, pain-free application process means more candidates are likely to apply for your jobs.
  • Finding, attracting and cultivating candidates – Candidates are the fuel in the engine of the recruitment business. Most recruiting software solutions will include capabilities to implement a CRM system to build deep talent tools of ‘ready to go’ prospective candidates.

A CRM platform may stand alone or integrate with an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that can streamline the entire recruitment process. At its simplest, an ATS is a data-driven system that eliminates the paper chase of traditional recruiting. There are fewer opportunities for data-entry errors and as data is digitised and can even be stored in the cloud, say goodbye to physical files and unwieldy paper charts.

Every ATS is different, but most will include integration with online job boards, careers pages and resumé databases, automated hiring workflows, communication capabilities and reporting tools.

  • Evaluating candidates – As reading and screening CVs and job applications can be the most time-consuming part of any recruiter’s job, this is one of the areas that many recruiters prioritise for automation. Driven by artificial intelligence and powered by machine learning, Ai recruitment tools are used for 3 key functions in the hiring process: sourcing, screening and interviewing of candidates.

Ai tools can use text, voice and even video to automate part or all of the evaluation and interviewing process. Making the recruitment process up to 90% faster, it’s especially useful for high volume recruitment briefs such as frontline retail or customer service roles.

  • Support diversity goals – Ai-enabled interviewing and screening can help reduce the effects of unconscious bias – the inherently human prejudices, personal preferences, beliefs and world-views that shape our assessment of others. Our biases can easily have a negative impact on candidates and mean you’re potentially missing out on the best candidates for the job. It can also mean employers are missing the opportunity to cultivate workplace diversity and all the benefits it delivers.

PredictiveHire’s Ai recruiting tool is a text-based, mobile-first interview offering blind-screening at its best, with no gender, age or ethnicity revealed.  Candidates rate the experience highly and appreciate personal feedback and coaching tips.

  • Reporting and insight – Most recruitment software solutions will provide easy, extensive and accurate reporting so you can gain valuable insights into candidates, trends, costs of recruiting and more.

Good reporting and centralised information can also enhance communications and collaboration between all stakeholders in the hiring process – candidates, recruiters, hiring teams and employers.



Ready to continue your exploration of recruitment software and the benefits it can bring to your business? Find out more about PredictiveHire’s Ai-powered recruitment tool and how we can support your recruitment needs today.

You can try out PredictiveHire’s FirstInterview right now, or leave us your details to get a personalised demo









5 ways Ai will shape hiring in 2021

To find out how to use Recruitment Automation to hire faster, reduce bias and save, we also have a great retail industry eBook on Ai in HR.


Artificial Intelligence. Machine learning. Chatbots.

While the possibilities of technology always felt like some distant future, there’s no denying that the future is right here and right now.

Every day, technology touches and enhances our lives in ways we rarely even pause to think about. Algorithms, apps and digital automation continue to reshape the ways we shop, connect, bank, get around or even track our fitness and the steps we walk each day.

It’s changed the ways we access customer services and the ways we can connect with our tribes across social platforms. And in the time of COVID-19, it’s enabled ways of efficient remote working that few thought could be possible.

Recruitment and Ai – We’ve only just begun

With the uptake of automation and artificial intelligence (Ai) across every industry sector, it was inevitable that these technologies would reshape the HR and recruitment domains too. Compared to manufacturing automation, service delivery, supply chain management and marketing channels, HR and recruitment might be a little slower on the uptake. Ai tools are now rapidly reshaping the essential functions of hiring.

Ai recruitment tools are used for 3 key functions in the hiring process: sourcing, screening and interviewing of candidates.

Employing the latest advances in Ai, machine learning and big data practices are delivering new efficiencies and better outcomes for businesses, recruiters and candidates alike.

Text and chat interview automation with Ai

Conversational Ai is a type of Ai that lets businesses have dynamic and meaningful conversations at scale with customers, staff, business partners and candidates.

Conversational Ai uses Natural Language Processing (NLP), a sub-field of Ai that’s focused on enabling computers to understand and process human languages. Through machine learning, it aims to get computers closer to a human level of understanding of language.

Conversational Ai uses NLP to discern meaning from both written and spoken word:

  • Voice-activated systems ­ – NLP is used in digital assistants you’re probably familiar with: Siri on iPhone, Google Home or Amazon Alexa, for example. These follow instructions to play music, to control connected devices throughout the home, find web-based information and resources and more. On an enterprise-level, you’ll be familiar with voice-driven customer service over the phone.
  • Text driven systems – online or on mobiles, chat text discerns meaning in the written word.


How conversational Ai tools are changing the recruitment conversation

Sometimes referred to as chatbots or textbots, Ai-based conversational tools continue to evolve and be applied in new and extraordinary ways.  Through NLP, the ability to read, decipher and understand written and spoken language has evolved to the point that personality traits, sentiment and other inherently human characteristics can be understood from written and conversational exchanges alone. Our own peer-reviewed research shows how personality traits can be accurately inferred from answers to standard interview questions captured via a text chat.

Ai recruitment works best in high volume recruitment such as customer-facing retail or service team roles.  In roles and industries with fewer candidates or more senior positions to fill, traditional recruitment practices are likely to be preferable.

Conversational Ai can be helpful for profiling personalities in candidates or existing employees without the time and costs of conducting lengthy psychometric profiling. Add video into the mix and machine learning can add additional layers of meaning through analysis of facial expressions and profiles, body language and more.

Video interviewing continues to divide opinion as many believe it allows for unconscious (or not so unconscious) bias to remain front and centre of the hiring process. In text-based  Ai interviews, many of the usual bias cues or triggers an be effectively eliminated at the candidate screening stage.

Automated interviews support remote working and remote hiring

In a post-COVID or COVID-normal economy, employment opportunities will be competitive. As more people compete for potentially fewer jobs, finding and engaging the best candidates will be even more challenging.

Ai-powered interviews can help recruiters cast their net wider to reach a bigger pool of candidates and find better-qualified candidates.

Mobile-first puts the power in candidates’ hands

People know text and are comfortable with text. So by providing a text chat-based mobile-first experience for candidates, improves the user experience and addresses communication challenges.

Chat-text provides an easier and less confronting interview process for many candidates.

Everyone has a story that’s bigger than their CV and Ai recruitment interviews give every candidate an opportunity to tell theirs. Candidates can choose when and where they complete their interview and standardised interview questions ensure a level playing field for all candidates.

Sapia’s text chat interview automation is blind screening at its best. We’ve removed possible factors that can influence human bias – no CVs, no socials, no videos, no facial recognition and no time limit.  It’s just the candidate and their text answers, providing a fairer and richer experience where candidates feel comfortable just being themselves.

Recommender systems – How Ai supports people making people decisions

One of the most well-known applications of Ai, data science and machine learning is Recommender systems or Recommender engines. It’s how Spotify suggests the track you might like next. Or how Netflix recommends your next binge-worthy series. And how Amazon recommends books or products likely to be of interest.

In hiring, Recommender Systems use predictive modelling to recommend the most-likely best matches of applicants for a role.

Recommender systems guide decision-making by using machine learning to analyse all the data available through the HR lifecycle. From job advertising and clicks, through interviewing and hiring, to employees’ job satisfaction and tenure, data can be analysed to reveal predictive patterns and insights.

Data can find connections that humans don’t, providing valuable insight into what an ideal candidate looks like or where you’re likely to find them.

Predictive intelligence draws a picture of your ideal candidate

Recommender systems can cut through the ‘noise’ by providing a shortlist of top-ranked candidates. This is without burning time, sorting and reviewing potentially hundreds or even thousands of applications. Predictive intelligence shares additional insights on candidates’ values, traits, personality and communication skills. It helps to simplify the selection and guide faster talent decisions.

Machine learning is not infallible.  One important consideration is questioning whether the data being used is not inherently biased. If, for example, machine learning models are built around data from a workforce that historically skewed towards male, the recommendations will inevitably have a male bias. Machine learning should only guide a decision not to make it and, ultimately, it’s always important to have real people making decisions about people.

Interviews – it’s not where you finish, it’s where you start

Reviewing CVs of all candidates can be the most time-consuming part of a recruiter’s job. Especially for large-scale briefs such as retail or customer service teams. In defining a shortlist of potential candidates to proceed to the interview stage it can be hard to differentiate between CVs. It’s also easy to make decisions that may be based on personal biases.

But what if you could start the hiring process with all the benefits of an interview process, without investing your time in them? And what if in the time it would take to properly review just a handful of CVs, thousands of candidates could be screened by interview?

With Ai recruitment tools you can.

Five top ways conversational Ai tools are changing the recruitment game

When it comes to recruiting and hiring, the ability to read the mood as well as the words is a game-changer in candidate assessment. Here are our top five benefits for your business:

1. Reducing time to hire, improving the quality of candidates

Without even having to consider CVs upfront, an upfront screening interview reduces time to hire by providing a shortlist of candidates with the best fit to move forward.

Ai interview automation looks beyond the CV to assess the skills, traits and temperament of candidates. Based on past hires, Ai learns what a successful candidate for your business looks like and joins the dots to find others that match that profile.

Recruiters and hirers can save time reviewing and assessing CVs. With the ability to complete briefs faster, build teams sooner and achieve business metrics, you can be on to the next job sooner. Or free yourself to concentrate on what you do best: building relationships, delivering a better hiring experience or enhancing the onboarding process.

2. Reduce bias & build diversity

Ai-enabled interviewing helps reduce the effects of unconscious bias – the inherently human prejudices, personal preferences, beliefs and world-views that shape our assessment of others. Our biases can easily have a negative impact on candidates and mean you’re potentially missing out on the best candidates for the job. It can also mean employers are missing the opportunity to cultivate workplace diversity and all the benefits it delivers.

Diversity improves employee productivity, retention and happiness. Time and again, research shows that diversity – of background, gender, experience and more – improves employee productivity, tenure and job satisfaction. In 2020, global management consulting company McKinsey confirmed that “The most diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform non-diverse companies on profitability”.

3. Cut costs of every hire

Companies that have automated part of their candidate screening and interviewing are not only reaping the benefits of a more streamlined and stress-free process but report an immediate pay-off in time and efficiency savings.

Get your time back quickly and reallocate budgets towards higher-value investments and automation in other areas of recruiting.

Calculate your RoI on interview automation

Use Sapia’s free calculator to:

  • Calculate your costs of hiring
  • Calculate the costs of your annual turnover
  • See the financial benefits of using automation for hiring
  • Avoid unnecessary revenue losses

4. Increase the productivity of every recruiter and hirer

Everyone has one part of their job that they could do better if they had more time. Like managing stakeholders. Improving business partnership skills. Or networking to improve talent pools with a focus on those high-end and hard-to-fill roles. Whatever yours might be, interview automation can give you back time to focus on high-value tasks.

Reviewing CVs and managing interviews might not be the biggest challenge in your role, but they are likely to be the most time-consuming. Automate those upfront interviews using the tools and process of Ai recruitment and you can focus on the bigger picture of finding the best fit for every role and meeting every brief with confidence.

5. Give candidates a better experience

While this one’s last on our list of the benefits of Ai interview automation, it could equally be the most important.

Ever since job boards hit the market, recruiters have been inundated with candidate applications. While that’s been good news for potential employers as well as recruiters, it’s not so good for candidates.  Too often candidates make the effort to apply for a position, but then due to the sheer volume of applications they never hear a thing from the recruiter or hirer.  It’s called “ghosting” for obvious reasons.

Ghosting is not just a bad look, it can be bad for business. Candidates can easily share a negative experience on social media. They may also be less inclined to apply again or accept a job offer now or in the future.

With interview automation, you can turn every candidate engagement into an efficient, empowering and enjoyable experience.

About Sapia

Sapia’s award-winning interview automation offers a mobile-first, text chat interview.  At scale, it delivers an engaging and relatable, in-depth interview, followed up with personalised feedback for every candidate. Here’s how Ai automation provides a superior experience to a traditional interview process:

  • A familiar and accessible, mobile-first text experience
  • No confronting questions or videos
  • Candidates can be themselves, completing questions related to role attributes where and when it suits
  • Blind-screening at its best with no gender, age or ethnicity revealed
  • Candidates are motivated by personalised feedback, insights and coaching tips… and the opportunity to provide their feedback on the process

Find out more about Sapia’s Ai-powered recruitment tool and how we can support your recruitment needs today.

You can try out Sapia’s Chat Interview right now, or leave us your details to get a personalised demo

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How COVID-19 is going to reshape hiring forever and that’s a good thing

COVID-19 has forced a lot of us to become remote workers by default. Now more companies are now declaring it is likely to become their new norm, with little understanding of what successful remote teams look like.

Zoom exhaustion is a thing. The reality of working from home for many of us has become long days trying to get small tasks done between back-to-back video calls. The founder and CEO of Automattic, Matt Mullenweg, a company with over 1000 remote workers spread across 75 countries, chose remote as the working norm for two key reasons. First, to access a broader pool of talent, and second to unleash productivity. He describes five levels of remote work maturity. Most companies now forced into WFH are at Level 1. We have just moved our way of doing things to a different location and are following the same daily routines that we always have.

Mullenwag describes Level 5 as the ‘nirvana’ for remote work where your distributed team works better than any in-person team ever could. He says his company is not even there yet.

So, what are we all doing wrong?

We have missed one of the drivers of remote work productivity gains which is asynchronous work- which needs asynchronous communication. This simply means that work doesn’t happen at the same time for everyone. Productivity and flexibility for employees come when we don’t all have to get in a room or via Zoom. That means communicating in writing, not by video is imperative.

Forcing people to do video meetings also risks continuing to drown out team members who don’t thrive in a live group setting. The introverts. The deep quiet thinkers. The ones who prefer to reflect on an issue and not be forced into making a contribution because everyone else is on Zoom. Again, written communication solves for this.

It’s quite simple, if you want a fully functioning remote team written communication is the way to go. It has to be the way you define a business problem, debate the key issues, and fast track from idea to execution.

Case in point: Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos cottoned on to this years ago. Amazon requires every meeting to be guided by a six-page memo laying out all the key issues. Everyone, regardless of their title, has to read every word. Bezos turned written narrative into a competitive advantage, recognising that writing clearly requires clear thinking. Effective written communication is a foundational building block of a successful remote workforce. GitLab, another fully remote organization with over 1000 employees across the world highlights this fact in their Remote Work Playbook (page 19).

This ‘new productivity hack’, how you write, whether via text, Slack, Wiki or on Google docs also impacts your hiring processes. At what point do any of us test for written communication skills when hiring? If you want to hire people who can work autonomously, be productive and who can collaborate you need to test their text communication. This calls for a radically different approach to talent acquisition.

A solution!

Mullenweg worked that out early in Automattic’s remote working journey and all their job interviews are via text. The other obvious benefit of this approach is it means there is far less room for bias. In contrast, put someone in front of a camera for a video interview and the bias risk is amplified. Hiring going forward has to test for written communication. This is not something you can ignore anymore.

How to hire for a remote environment?

If you speak to C-suite about why it’s taken so long to permit remote work, the word trust will come up a lot. Bottom line, managers don’t trust that people will actually work when at home, creating instead an unproductive culture of ‘presenteeism’. To manage the risk of hiring ‘slackers’, the other thing you have to test for is motivation.

Other personality traits that relate to good remote workers include discipline. The advantage here is that we stop Big ‘P’ personality-based hiring. We have all made those hiring mistakes – inclined to the person who tells a good story. In a remote work environment, self motivated employees, big talkers and non-doers get discovered quickly!

What may not be known to many people, is that testing for written fluency, clarity of thought, motivation, discipline, can all be done via text analysis in the hiring process. Testing should not be just limited to the skill of writing. It should also test the motivation behind expressing something in writing. That requires more effort and thinking than speaking it out. If someone is not motivated to express themselves in writing when a job is on the line, you can assume what it might be like once they are on the job.

The power of NLP!

The power of Natural Language Processing (NLP) based machine learning models that can tell you all of this immediately is here today. From just 300 words, we can infer writing skills, personality traits and job hopping motives. This means there is no excuse for not hiring for the key skills required for remote work right now.

Noam Chomsky, a pioneer of language studies said it best –

“Language is a mirror of mind in a deep and significant sense. It is a product of human intelligence. By studying the properties of natural languages, their structure, organisation, and use, we may hope to learn something about human nature; something significant, …” (Noam Chomsky, Reflections on Language, 1975)

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AI-assisted recruitment to reduce bias

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