The hiring process can be quite lengthy, especially if you’re careful about putting the right people in the right roles.

Understandably, hiring managers and recruitment firms have looked for ways to streamline the process, hoping to shorten the time it takes to get to a shortlist of qualified candidates. This is where automated hiring tools have come in.

Over the last few years, more of these tools have become available and their use is growing. One thing we’ll say right off the bat - those tools are not a replacement for humans who do the screening, interviewing and hiring. They might help to save some time, but they’re not perfect.

Here are some pros and cons to be aware of:

Recruiting software: The pros

Here are some of the pros of using recruiting software:

It can save you a lot of time

When you first advertise a job vacancy, it’s not uncommon to be hammered with applications, especially for the most popular roles! Before automated hiring tools, this meant having to go through piles of applications manually.

Even the most experienced recruiters will have to spend a long time manually going through applications. To take up even more time, there are often huge numbers of applications that aren’t really suitable for the role. Usually if there is a large number or applications to go through, the first run through involves sorting out who has the minimum “must have” requirements, and filtering out those that don’t. You then keep filtering down the pile by applying other criteria.

Recruiting software can do this filtering job for you, saving masses of time. At the very least, the software can exclude those that do not have minimum requirements.

It makes tracking and storing candidate information simpler

Another downside to manual methods of recruitment is that you can end up drowning in paperwork. This means that it can be difficult to keep track of candidate information, and keep them updated. When someone drops the ball, it can be a poor candidate experience which is never a good look for the company!

Hiring software makes it easy to keep candidate information organized. The best tools help you to see at a glance exactly where the candidate is in the recruitment process and to find any information you need on them.

They can make it easier to stay in touch with candidates

If there’s one thing job applicants can’t stand, it’s when they submit an application and hear absolutely nothing. This is relatively common, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Recruitment tools can be a great answer for easily staying in touch. They usually give you the ability to send automated responses too, so at least the candidate knows their application has been received.

They can help with scheduling

Scheduling interviews can be a back and forth juggling act. Some hiring managers will contact candidates and say “I can interview you at 3pm tomorrow,” but this puts the candidate in the awkward position of having to decline if they can’t be available then.

Automated software can allow you to select from several possible times so that a candidate just clicks on the time that works best for them. There’s no more time-wasting and awkward back and forth!

Recruiting software: The cons

Software solutions for recruitment are not perfect. Here are some of the cons:

Some software have perpetuated biases

One thing that many companies strive for is to avoid biases in hiring. Bias can come in many forms - race, gender and ethnicity are commonly thought of, but sometimes bias can be perpetuated when we try to recruit based on similarity, too. For example, leaning toward people who went to certain schools or have similar interests.

A challenge in recruiting software is that sometimes those biases can be magnified. Where AI is used to filter applications, the AI can mimic the same biases that humans have shown. Let’s say the AI’s task is to “learn” what successful candidates who have been in the role before looked like. This could leave you open to bias if, for example, there hadn’t really been diverse candidates in the role before. The AI would determine “this is what an ideal candidate looks like,” therefore perpetuating bias.

There have been multiple examples of this happening in real life. Amazon famously stopped using its AI solution in 2018 when it emerged that the system perpetuated bias against women.

Bias is a known issue in automated software and many companies are working to solve it. However, it’s important to recognize that you might be open to biases via the software. Look for software that has worked to overcome it and check the results you’re getting. Who is being included and who is being excluded?

We’d also add here, humans are known for bias in recruiting without the assistance of AI. People make quick judgements to lighten the pile of applications and sometimes those judgements are inappropriate. This is important to acknowledge and evaluate in your own practices. AI is often just magnifying what is already there.

Recruiting using software? Be aware of biases that may lurk in the programming…CLICK TO TWEET

Good candidates may be filtered out

Sometimes the “hidden gem” candidates don’t check all the boxes that you use for filtering applicants on a recruitment tool. For example, someone might not have a specific qualification that you’ve stated as necessary, but they may have experience that more than makes up for it.

Where your hiring tools filter out good candidates, you can lose competitive advantage through missing out on the best! No software is perfect…

May not recognize different formats

Some hiring tools won’t recognize resumes that go outside of very formulaic formats. Those applications may automatically be declined and you may be none the wiser that you’re losing potentially excellent candidates.

The other side of this is that many applicants are now learning how to “game” recruiting systems by using the right formats and keywords to push their application through. An automated tool might decide that a handful with good keyword usage must be the best applicants, but of course we all know this might not be the case!

How to get quality candidates for your jobs…

There’s no reliable software “shortcut” when you’re looking to recruit the best possible people for your job vacancies. Recruitment software has several time-saving advantages, but you’re still going to need to spend significant time on shortlisting your candidates.

Bottom line? We don’t suggest relying on hiring tools for sorting out the best candidates - they can be great for staying organized though.

However, there is another, shorter way to get a top-quality candidate if you’re looking for an executive assistant… Worxbee goes through the intensive recruiting work for you! We find the best executive assistants and pair them up with clients to match. Want to know more? Check out what we offer here and book a consultation with us today.