Recruiting Software Poised for Innovation in 2012

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Feb 9, 2012

The increasingly diverse needs of organizations big and small demand a myriad of options in recruiting software solutions. Recent activity—including Salesforce’s acquisition of Rypple—is pumping new energy into this niche market. In the last month, VC funds have been flowing into the human resources software market, with large investments in SmartRecruiters and iCIMS. I’ve taken an in-depth look at how this dynamic software market will be impacted, how vendors will be poised for greater success, as well as how all of this may affect users.

Salesforce’s Social Enterprise growing in HR and Recruiting

Historically, CRM and recruiting have been the first business sectors to adopt new communications tools, and that continues today. Social tools have seen the most widespread adoption in these two markets. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is the greatest evangelist of the social enterprise, and continues to drive deep social integration in business management software. With Sand John Wookey (previously of Oracle and SAP) heading their HCM unit, Salesforce is in a strong position to help HR departments extend social media functionality across their various applications—including recruiting.

Many of the core functions of Applicant Tracking and Recruiting Software—from sourcing to screening to interviewing—thrive in the social media arena.Iit makes sense that you’ll see more social capabilities evolving in this area first. Though I can’t speak directly to Salesforce’s plans to build out recruiting applications in their social enterprise, I can say that other vendors focused solely on the recruiting and applicant tracking systems are making strides. There are a few that stand out:

  • Bullhorn, a leader in recruiting software, has broken into social with their new product, Bullhorn Reach. Currently in its infancy, I see a lot of potential in this product. Forgive me for throwing out some generic descriptors, but it really is easy to use. Basic features like creating and posting jobs are straightforward and the dashboard presents quick access to key information. The social functions—Radar (which monitors activity in the social sphere, flags potential movers, and notifies you of changes in position) and Engage (a tool for sharing articles and updates across your various social networks)—are very intuitive, and successfully automate two core components of social recruiting: ongoing engagement and information sharing.
  • With new VC funding, SmartRecruiters is poised to continue shaking things up with its open platform for social recruiting software. CEO Jerome Ternynck anticipates a lot of growth in the coming year. According to Ternyck’s interview with TalentCulture, SmartRecruiters is going to put “all of the money into product awesomeness,” which makes sense when you have a free product. “We’re building features around a one-click apply and allowing candidates to express interest more easily,” said Ternynck, ticking off features that the SmartRecruiters team is adding while also naming features that were soon to be gone, like the application form.
  • Jobvite‘s seamless integration of social functionality into the process of sourcing and recruiting candidates has received accolades left and right. Leveraging employee (or colleague) social networks, Jobvite allows for quick and easy sharing of your open positions. Suddenly, your reach is that much greater, and many users see a serious increase in the number of employee referrals and passive candidates they’re getting. The product continues to wow, and I expect they’re only getting started.

As innovative companies like Salesforce continue to dazzle, driving social tools deeper into business management, recruiting software will be right there leading the charge. In-house and third party recruiters alike would be wise to pay attention to continued movement in the market in the coming months.

For further reading, check out the full analysis and forecast on my blog.

Have your own thoughts? Join the discussion, and leave a comment.

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