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15-05-2017

Recruitment Data: Why You Need to Leave Manual Methods Behind

Taken from Recuitment Buzz.

It’s time for recruitment and HR professionals to put down the pen and step away from the paper.

Nowadays there are very real and significant reasons why manual processes simply aren’t sustainable – and we’re focussing on three that relate specifically to your recruitment data.

Lack of security
When you’re overseeing personal, organisational and potentially sensitive information, you need to be confident that your recruitment data is tightly protected.

Using manual methods to manage your administration, for example by using an Excel spreadsheet, having files of hard copy information or using an in-house developed candidate management system, can make it very difficult to be certain that your recruitment data is secure.

With a credible Applicant Tracking System (ATS), you should be more assured that your data is protected. In a nutshell: A secure online recruitment system should be running over https. Your ATS supplier should receive security audits and run your site through an SSL certificate. And a supplier should be able to confirm where your recruitment data is held, the data protection laws of that country, and how it’s protected.

Using manual methods to manage your recruitment data can leave you more susceptible to security breaches, whether through deliberate attacks or accidental.

Lack of reporting
There are several challenges that need to be considered here, but we’ll start with collecting recruitment data. Without an automated system, you’re probably gathering information from several channels. If you’re still receiving CVs and enquiries via email, you might then manually input some information into an Excel spreadsheet, forward some to colleagues and collate some into a manual talent pool.

This means that when it comes to reporting on this data, you might end up looking in three different places for three different pieces of information.

Other challenges include collating the data for source reporting – this includes tracking where your candidates are arriving from and calculating the time it takes to place a successful candidate.

Now think about how much time you’re spending trying to pull together all these reports. Reporting on your recruitment data accurately but manually can be an exhaustive process of cross-referencing multiple channels, sources and communications to piece together a full picture.

In an Applicant Tracking System, your candidate and job data should be in one place. You should have a series of standard reports available, from Cost per Hire to Recruitment Activity. And some Applicant Tracking Systems will provide custom report building features, so you can pull through the exact success metrics and stats you require.

Another aspect to consider is this: it can be much easier to create successful business cases for change or development in your recruitment function when you have the compelling statistics and evidence to back them up.

Potential for error
It’s so easy: A simple mistake when copying and pasting. Forgetting to save after inputting new details. Accidentally replacing one file with another. Managing your recruitment data manually can leave it wide open for human error.

Then there’s running the risk of storing duplicate candidates in your recruitment database, or neglecting to update the details of passive candidates, leaving them to languish in outdated talent pools.

How can an ATS help you to minimise these inaccuracies when collating and storing your recruitment data? Well, you can assign notifications and workflow steps, to help avoid bottlenecks and remind colleagues to complete actions. The system will flag up duplicate candidates and they can then be erased. You can track who has commented, actioned or progressed what. And as candidates’ information is automatically added to the ATS once they’ve applied online, there’s no risk of manual data entry error.

And your talent pipeline can benefit too. Using emails sent via your ATS, you can ask passive talent to update their candidate profiles, thus ensuring your talent pools contain only relevant and up to date information.

Manual processes often become embedded in your team’s working practices…

…and it can be difficult to turn these existing processes on their head and trust a ‘machine’ to look after your recruitment data.

But by enhancing security, creating more meaningful reporting and leaving less room for error, an Applicant Tracking System might be the best way forward.

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