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How to Build the Best Software Platform for Staffing Companies

Recruitment is an increasingly competitive industry with around 11 million job vacancies and approximately 6 million job seekers in the U.S. alone. With the unemployment rate remaining at record lows, agencies need to find ways to increase recruitment while creating cost savings and efficiencies. Building the right software platform to help manage your recruitment efforts can be essential in maintaining your staffing agency’s competitive edge.

In this article, you’ll learn about software platforms, the different types of software programs, and the key features to compare when choosing the best software package for your staffing company. Finally, we’ll take a quick look at how to manage the cost of investing in new technology.

About software platforms for staffing companies

Today, the staffing industry is rapidly embracing digital transformation. An essential aspect of this has been the widespread adoption of software applications to help streamline and automate workflow.

Software options provide a wide range of features, from efficient recruiting process management (including sourcing candidates), applicant tracking, pre-hire assessments, background checks, reporting & analytics, onboarding, and more.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a licensing and internet-based delivery model that is now commonly used to distribute these software applications on a subscription basis. The automatic updates, flexible features, and cloud-based data collection approach make the model popular with recruiters and other professionals. In fact, it is now the most common software distribution and costing model across all industries.

While all-in-one recruitment software exists, it’s unlikely that a single service will cover all your needs. To efficiently run a staffing business, the integration of multiple software applications within your business processes is needed. A software platform is a set of integrated software and resources. Its value comes from its features and ability to connect external tools, teams, data, and processes. Software platforms are curated to allow applications to work together seamlessly, so with some additional work, you can create a user-friendly platform designed specifically for your business. Some vendors create complementary platforms, while others rely on APIs (application programming interfaces) to allow programs to communicate. With the SaaS model, software integration has been dramatically simplified, saving time and the cost of unifying applications.

Types of Software

Let’s explore the various types of software your staffing business can use to streamline workflow and create potentially cost-saving efficiencies.

Applicant tracking software (ATS) 

According to research from Zippia, the average job opening receives around 250 applications. In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that as of May 2022, there are 11.5 million job opportunities in the United States. That means an enormous volume of incoming applications.

ATS systems can not only organize and post job listings but also automatically screen resumes to identify the most qualified candidates and track and schedule interviews. Entering filters and keywords for each available job position makes the automatic screening even more effective.

However, attention to detail and creative thinking is critical – using an ATS for screening resumes isn’t foolproof. For example, you may get false positives from candidates who use the right keywords, whereas strong candidates may be excluded if they don’t precisely match your filters.

The best ATS systems will also automate and facilitate efficient electronic communications with candidates. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of candidates prefer text messages to other forms of communication. Texting is the most efficient means of professional and personal communication today. Around 95% of text messages are read and responded to within three minutes, while the average email is opened within 24 hours. So make sure your choice includes this essential feature.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

Although CRMs are designed to manage a company’s database of customers, for staffing companies, a CRM is used more extensively to manage candidates. Using data analytics, CRM software identifies the most suitable candidates in your pool for a specific role. Once you have identified your candidates, they are entered into your CRM database.

This software can send automated messages to candidates, encouraging them to apply for specific roles. The CRM should also hold candidate data, including professional interests, personality traits, skills, and job expectations. This information can help recruiters place the best candidates into roles, improving retention rates.

Interviewing software

Interviewing software can streamline the interview process, including assessments, pre-screening questionnaires, and the interview process.

Some recruiters find that interviewing software helps them standardize the process, ensuring they ask candidates the same questions and easily compare answers. In addition, some interviewing software platforms are sophisticated, using artificial intelligence to assess candidates’ word choice, speech patterns, and facial expressions.

It’s worth noting that if you rely on interviewing software without these A.I. features in place of live in-person or video conference interviews, you may miss out on the cues you would typically pick up with interaction.

Additionally, in the broader sense, utilizing interviewing software could cause you to miss out on good candidates who feel uncomfortable on camera or do not have a high-quality way to record themselves. So always keep the “human-touch” component in your interviewing process to catch these outliers.

Time-tracking software

Once you find suitable candidates, retention becomes essential. The right software can make a big difference in your employee experience. For example, while no one wants to feel like Big Brother is watching their every move, tracking workers’ hours is essential to ensuring workers are paid correctly, working their contracted hours, and ensuring proper billing to clients.

You have plenty of choices and features to consider with time tracking software. Whether you need an accurate time sheet or need to track time spent on individual tasks or projects, there are many platforms to consider.

Payroll

And, of course, everyone wants to be paid — on time and accurately. The right platform can streamline the entire process from invoicing clients and collections to payroll processing, tax filing, and deposits. Most allow for multiple payment methods, including live checks, direct deposits, and payment card programs.

Recruiting software benefits

Recruiting software can make life easier for staffing agencies. Some of the benefits of investing in the right software include:

  • Improved productivity for recruiters
  • Enhanced candidate experience
  • Streamlined data collection, storage, and analysis
  • Finding better candidates for your agency’s needs
  • Improving sourcing of top talent
  • Creating more engaging and accurate job posts

Recruiting software can enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of your business while automating time-consuming tasks. By tracking data and your progress, you can stay on track with deadlines. Additionally, automatic report generation can help demonstrate value to leadership and your clients. Finally, the right software can address some of the recruitment and retention issues that may limit your success or affect your competitiveness.

Key features to compare when choosing software

Now that you’ve read about the different types of software and the benefits they can bring to your staffing agency, let’s consider the key features and capabilities you should build into your platform.

Your first step should be to consider your agency’s needs. For example, do you need to improve the candidate experience, either during the recruitment process or during placement, to reduce attrition rates? Or, do you need to create cost savings in the recruitment process to maintain profitability?

Make sure to talk to the recruiters on the ground about what they need to do their jobs. While agency leaders have their finger on the industry pulse, you want to ensure that the software platform you invest in does what your recruiters need.

Some of the features you may require in the platform include:

  • Forecasting
  • Automated job listings on multiple job boards
  • Online resume submission / quick and easy application process
  • Pre-screening questionnaires
  • Candidate filters
  • Talent matching
  • Candidate communications and engagement
  • Data organization and analytics

You may also want to consider:

Ease of use 

It might sound like common sense, but the platform’s interface should be easy for recruiters and candidates to use. The user experience needs to be intuitive and comfortable. If possible, get a group together to test the platform. Remember, what seems intuitive to you might not be to others.

Customization

While it would be amazing to be able to use a SaaS platform as is, it’s unlikely that any platform will have all the features you need as standard. In addition to customizing when you purchase the platform, you should also be able to tweak it to meet your needs if they change. For example, you might not think it’s necessary to have SMS messaging for candidates now, but you might want to add it at some point. Confirm the costs of all customization features at the time of purchase and in the future, and determine if you can customize it yourself or if the platform owner and/or consultants are required.

Integrations

As mentioned earlier in this article, it’s unlikely that a single software application will deliver everything your staffing agency needs. As such, the seamless integration of multiple applications is critical for efficient operations and hiring workflow. Additionally, if you need your recruitment software to automate listings on various job boards or social media, your software needs to do so without issue.

Training and support

The SaaS company should have a reliable customer support team to provide software training and respond to questions quickly and accurately. Good customer support indicators include a primary contact point for queries, a resource center with guides and other helpful information, and verified rapid response times. With a strong customer support team, troubleshooting any issues should be a breeze and minimize disruption to your day.

Scalability

Another factor related to cost is scalability. Any platform you choose should be able to accommodate business growth and match your business as it scales. For example, if you anticipate significant growth and additional users, you don’t want to get gouged with additional fees for the new users and related license agreements.

Security

You collect plenty of candidate data during the hiring and onboarding process and must protect it. In 2021, an estimated 30,000 websites were hacked daily, and this trend is expected to continue.

Hackers will likely be drawn to the treasure trove of personal data stored in cloud-based recruitment software. Ensure you investigate security measures such as data encryption, automatic log-off features, and two-factor (multi-factor) authentication.

Mobile-friendly interface

According to a report from Kelton Research, four out of five people look for jobs on their mobile devices, and around half of them apply the same way. If your platform isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on many qualified candidates.

Some standard mobile-friendly features include automatic rescaling to fit various screen sizes, rapid loading speeds, streamlined design, and intuitive navigation.

Many SaaS systems may also come with a mobile application (app) that users can install on their phones or tablets. This can provide a friendlier user experience than using the application on their mobile browser and integrate with the mobile device’s calendars, phone, or text apps.

Cost

Nowadays, all businesses are trying to operate with lean margins, so you need to consider cost when investing in new software. However, that doesn’t mean you should choose the least expensive option, especially if it doesn’t include the features essential to your business.

Various factors contribute to SaaS costs, such as the number of users, customizations, and add-ons. Compare your options to ensure you get the features you need at the best price.

Free trial 

A free trial is a great way to determine if a software platform meets your needs. You and your team can use the system and manipulate it to see how it can streamline your processes.

Managing the cost of investment in technology 

As your business grows, continual investment in resources and assets is needed to scale up operations. To overcome the cash flow issues that often accompany growth, staffing companies have embraced payroll funding to gain immediate access to working capital. Payroll funding is a mainstream financial solution designed to convert your account receivable invoices into readily available cash within 24 hours. It is best used to ensure staffing companies meet every payroll burden on time and provide the capital needed to support operational needs – such as investment in technological systems.

Conclusion

A platform with integrated software applications is a critical tool for a modern, efficient staffing agency. Confer with your team to identify your needs and priorities. Some of the main features your agency will likely need include forecasting, data analytics, and reporting as well as recruitment features like:

  • Automated job posting
  • Applicant pre-screening questionnaires
  • Online submission options
  • Candidate filters
  • Talent matching

You also need to consider how your team will use the technology and the type of training available. It should be affordable and be able to scale with your agency.

Investing in an integrated software platform is essential to your agency’s success. While the best platform for your business might not be the cheapest option available, choosing what’s best for your team is essential to remain viable and competitive.

About eCapital

Having financed over 12 million invoices and deploying more than $22 billion in funds to over 18,000 clients, it is safe to say that eCapital is a secure and reliable lender of industry-leading invoice factoring services. Whether your staffing company is a start-up, in growth mode, or is recovering from a tough year, eCapital’s industry-experienced team delivers the capital you need when needed. The main perks at eCapital include fast, flexible funding, low industry rates, and 90-day recourse terms.

For more information about how eCapital’s payroll funding supports your staffing company, from economic uncertainty to business growth opportunities, visit eCapital.com.


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