How to Choose Software for Hiring and Onboarding a Remote Workforce
Author: Kate Moskalenko
Today, an increasing number of employers are hiring remote employees. In fact, the number of people working remotely has increased by 140% since 2005 and the amount of remote workers is set to continue to increase.
Boosted by the pandemic, remote working is here to stay. A recent survey of US employers found that the anticipated share of days working at home could triple post-pandemic, rising from 5.5% to 16.6% of all working days.
This means that US employers are now predicting that 10% of their full-time workforce will be working from home five days a week, compared to just 10% of full-time employees working from home one day a week in 2019.
That’s a staggering increase in the number of people who will be working remotely and it means that businesses will be able to attract top talent, unhindered by geographical limitations.
But it also means that companies will have to evolve in terms of their hiring, onboarding and employee management tactics to better suit their increasingly remote workforces. The same hiring tactics used in traditional, on-site hiring practices do not fit with the new model of remote working.
Fortunately, there are many software available on the market today that can help employers take a smarter approach to hiring, especially when it comes to remote workforces.
Remote first companies and the hiring process
For some companies, remote hiring is not a new concept. For example, GitLab, a web-based developer operations (DevOps) lifecycle software, is an example of a tech company that has been fully remote since its founding in 2014. Promoting ‘asynchronous collaboration’, the company is well-placed to hire top talent from around the world, not limited to specific markets or regions where they hold office locations.
In order to make an all-remote company successful, companies like GitLab know that they must take a tech-driven approach to hiring, particularly as the interview process will take place remotely, using videoconferencing as opposed to face-to-face meetings.
To facilitate a remote hiring process, companies like GitLab use what’s known as an ‘application tracking system’ (or ATS, for short) to log, track and monitor candidate applications. You can think of an ATS sort of like a CRM for hiring. They provide one dashboard that holds all relevant information about a candidate and are built to manage the hiring process from start to finish.
What is ATS software and how does it work?
There are several key ATS vendors on the market today. The top ones are Greenhouse, Bullhorn and Lever.
All of these technologies are similar in that they are dedicated tools that collect and organise job applications, and automate the recruitment and hiring process.
They help recruiters identify the most qualified candidates, manage data entered from multiple sources, and thus help find a candidate who will be the right fit for any role.
What are key features of ATS software?
Although each ATS software is different and offers various innovative features, there are several features that are nearly universal in every ATS software, helping recruiters and hiring managers track and manage job applicants. Key software features include:
- Sourcing capabilities
An ATS is more than just a database of job applicants. Its sourcing capabilities allow hiring managers to tap into a wide pool of applicants by including outreach tools and extensions that allow recruiters to source the right candidates and communicate with them through the system.
- Candidate Relationship Management capabilities
As mentioned above, ATS software is not unlike the CRM (client relationship management) software that many of us are already familiar with. Except here, the software is designed to be used not for managing customer relationships, but relationships with candidates. ATS software allows hiring managers to keep track of candidates, often keeping those that weren’t hired in one hiring round on the back burner for follow up later, for other suitable positions. This system makes sure that hiring managers don’t miss the right candidates.
- Interviews via video conferencing
Integration with video conferencing tools, such as Zoom, is a standard feature of most ATS software. In a remote working environment, candidates won’t interview in person, but they instead will be able to make a first impression via video conferencing, integrated directly into the ATS so that the hiring manager has details of when the interview took place, its length, and key outcomes.
- Data & Analytics
Data-informed decisions are key for any area of business in today’s data-centric world, and HR is no exception. Many ATS software on the market today come with reporting capabilities that help managers work out key metrics, such as conversion rates and cost per hire. These are useful metrics for internal decision makers and the application of this data can help improve the hiring process.
- Blind Hiring
Combating unconscious bias in hiring is a key issue for many of today’s companies. In order to make hiring decisions equitable and not subject to any identifying factors that could unconsciously influence a hiring manager, blind hiring is a useful tactic to employ within the hiring process. ATS software that offer this typically do so by integrating with a purpose-built solution, such as PitchR, which focuses hiring on a candidate’s skills, removing any bias-inducing identifying factors.
As mentioned above, most ATS software are able to offer many innovative features to improve hiring (such as blind hiring) by integrating with other powerful third-party software tools. All of the top ATS software on the market today have integrations with tools that make background screening, onboarding, video interviews, and other tasks, optimised and seamless. Examples of third-party providers that integrate with many ATS software include Zoom, Calendly, Glassdoor and PitchR.
Top ATS market players — How do they differ?
Now that we’ve discussed how ATS softwares work and looked at an overview of their key features, let’s have a look at some of the top ATS softwares available on the market today.
One of the top ATS software available on the market today is Greenhouse. In addition to being an ATS, it is also a recruitment software aimed at mid-sized and growing companies looking to scale their teams and improve the hiring process.
It offers filters to enable specific searches within the database, and integrates with PitchR to provide dynamic applicant profiles that are updated with each applicant’s skills, employment history and enriched with outside data (such as information from an applicant’s personal blog, LinkedIn profile, or their code hosted on GitHub).
It offers collaboration capabilities, including shared reviews and scalable workflows. It also has over 300+ integrations with third-party software tools that help making hiring decisions easier, smarter and more efficient.
Another market leader is Bullhorn, an ATS software that offers robust structure which helps recruiters and hiring managers interact with candidates to find top talent.
Bullhorn helps centralise candidate data from different job board sources, along with employment requests and referrals — so you can see all available candidates from various sources all in one place.
It integrates with Gmail and Outlook to make communication with candidates easy and trackable in the system, whilst automatically integrating with each recruiter or hiring manager’s inbox and calendar.
Like Greenhouse, Bullhorn also integrates with PitchR in order to make hiring smarter, and more time-efficient, whilst removing unconscious bias from the process.
Leading the ATS market along with Greenhouse and Bullhorn is Lever. Lever’s mission is to improve talent acquisition by combining its powerful ATS and CRM functionality in a single, modern platform that allows employers to source, nurture, and manage candidates all from one place.
Founded in 2012 and aimed at mid-sized and enterprise companies, Lever enables recruitment teams to post jobs, source, interview, and hire top talent. Lever is collaborative and offers customisable reports, as well as interactions with other top third-party software tools that help facilitate a better, more efficient hiring process.
Key Considerations for Remote Hiring
The remote working revolution is highly beneficial to employees because it widens talent pools and makes top talent available to employers everywhere, regardless of where the employer or candidate is based.
Using purpose-built tools to facilitate remote hiring, such as ATS software, also means that the employer has the added benefit of being able to hire the right people based entirely on competence — eliminating unconscious bias in the process.
Leading ATS software include integrations with PitchR, which means that employers can rest assured in knowing that they are hiring candidates based on their most up-to-date skill sets, and not on other irrelevant factors that might bias the hiring process.
The remote working revolution is here to stay. As we work smarter, let’s make sure we hire smarter too.
Author: Kate Moskalenko
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