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Top 10 FAQs about talent acquisition software

May 12, 2021
iCIMS Staff
8 min read
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If you landed here, it’s likely you have questions about TA software. So many questions. And no wonder! The landscape is packed with providers and products, so it’s hard to know what you need to attract, engage, hire, and advance candidates.

Optimizing and streamlining your talent acquisition process is a high priority for your organization. But when software can be robust and complex, how do you know if you’re getting the solutions your company really needs?

Today, we’re addressing the top 10 frequently asked questions about talent acquisition software to help you make educated, empowered decisions about the software that powers your talent acquisition process.

1. What is talent acquisition software?

So much more than just sourcing and hiring candidates, talent acquisition software takes a holistic approach to the entire employee lifecycle. It supports your business as you attract, engage, hire, and advance top talent while streamlining and organizing your processes.

Modern talent acquisition software is:

  • Cloud-based: Allows users to access the software from any location on almost any device.
  • Intelligent: Uses artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to reduce manual work and remediate bias.
  • Centralized: Integrates with other talent management and recruiting software, so your team spends less time switching between systems. It also keeps your teams’ efforts organized and efficient.
  • Empowering: Grants transparency into data and analytics, empowering your team to make educated business decisions.

The engine that powers your TA software is an applicant tracking system (ATS). Through this software, recruiters capture applications, review candidates, and make final decisions on who to hire. You can combine your ATS with modern recruitment marketing software to create an efficient, powerful talent acquisition machine.

2. Where does candidate relationship management (CRM) software fit into the recruiting process?

You can use CRM software throughout your recruiting process to communicate with active and passive candidates in your talent pipeline. Most commonly, a CRM is used in the first stages of a candidate’s experience with your company.

For example, use tools like social and text messaging to contact candidates immediately after they submit their application. Or, if you feel like a candidate has ghosted you, use automated email campaigns to reengage prospects and drum up new interest. Best of all, a candidate relationship management (CRM) software tracks all of these communications in a central location so that recruiters can view messages without switching between channels.

Ultimately, a CRM is used anywhere in the recruiting process where a meaningful connection can move the candidate forward in your pipeline.

3. Why are career sites important?

Career sites are like a billboard on the busiest highway in town. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people see it every day and make snap judgments about your brand. A well thought out career site (just like a billboard) will make a lasting impression on prospects that leads to a positive return on investment.

While third party job boards are crucial to supporting your recruitment marketing efforts, career sites allow you to control the entire candidate experience.

With an owned career site, you can showcase your culture with videos, highlight your DEI efforts, and quickly match candidates to jobs using AI. These features help candidates make a personal connection to your company. When that happens, you win top talent.

4. Can recruiting software help with gig and contingent recruiting?

Yes, modern talent acquisition software gives you the power and flexibility to hire all types of workers, including full-time, seasonal, contract, and interns.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company is a shining example of how advanced recruiting software can help companies engage and hire a large contingent workforce. Using candidate relationship management (CRM) tools, Cedar Fair proactively communicates with last season’s part-time employees to speed time to hire for the current season. With iCIMS, the amusement park operator hires 47,000 people each year and maintains a 7-day time to hire.

“We needed recruiting technology that would modernize our approach to hiring a high-volume seasonal workforce. With iCIMS, we’ve created efficiencies and improved candidate experience –which is incredibly important in today’s competitive labor market.” – Senior VP of Human Resources, Cedar Fair

Additional tools like text messaging and email campaigns help Cedar Fair ensure contingent workers show up for work, ready to work.

5. What is text-to-apply software?

Text-to-apply, also known as text-to-hire, allows candidates to start a job application simply by texting a word or code to a specific phone number. This message triggers an automatic response that guides applicants to further complete their application.

Recruiters benefit greatly from text-to-apply software because:

  • It drastically reduces the barriers to apply, widening your talent pool.
  • It opens a direct line of communication between recruiters and candidates.
  • Candidates are more likely to engage with text messages compared to email or phone calls.

Text-to-apply software can also be integrated with your talent acquisition software to allow recruiters to view communications and analytics in one central location

Discover how text-to-apply transformed hiring for three companies in three distinct industries.

6. Why are talent assessment tools useful for recruiters?

Aligning the right talent with the right team is key to creating a winning workforce. By using talent assessment tools to pre-qualify candidates, recruiters can be more successful in identifying top-notch talent.

Talent assessment tools are typically used to qualify candidates in four key areas:

  1. Knowledge and skills: Does the candidate meet qualifications for job-specific soft and hard skills?
  2. Work style: How does the candidate operate in their day-to-day?
  3. Personality: Will the candidate easily align with company values and culture?
  4. Language: Does the candidate have proficient written and verbal language skills?

These automated assessments help recruiters identify hard and soft skills, analyze fit based on job criteria, and surface the most qualified prospects. When reviewing hundreds of applicants for one job position, these tools drastically reduce effort and time to hire.

In addition, a standardized scoring structure can reduce bias in talent acquisition by removing the human element. Yes, we all have bias, and using automated tools like talent assessments can reduce the implicit bias all humans have.

7. Why is employee onboarding software important?

Employee onboarding software streamlines the process by assigning tasks, delivering documents, and sharing your culture with new hires. Through a cloud-based portal, new hires view their to-do list and complete documents and training electronically.

This automates much of the menial paperwork often associated with starting a new job for both employees and HR teams.

This streamlined experience sets the tone for a new employee’s career at your company. By organizing and automating the onboarding experience, new hires can quickly get up to speed in their role and assimilate into the company culture.

Get our definitive guide to employee onboarding here.

8. What software applications are helpful for internal recruiting?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to start from scratch to build an internal recruiting process. The same recruiting software used to hire externally can be used as an internal talent mobility platform for your internal recruitment efforts. In addition to a public-facing career site, you can build an internal career site that employees can use to find open positions. Put your CRM and ATS software to work communicating with internal candidates and track their progress throughout your internal advancement process.

By using the same software and similar processes to your external hiring efforts, candidates receive an equitable experience to those you hire from outside the company. Remember, your existing employees are your greatest asset. Providing the same seamless experience for internal mobility as you do for external hires shows them that they are valued and respected.

9. Which talent acquisition product is usually used for tracking a referral program?

Typically, an ATS is used to keep track of your employee referral program. Not only is it important that your TA and HR teams be able to track the candidate, but the referring employee may want to follow the status of the person they’ve referred, too.

Did you know that employee referral programs have shown to increase employee retention rates?

By providing existing employees transparency into the status of their referral and potential rewards, you can further instill a positive company culture. The benefits of a referral program reach across the entire talent acquisition pipeline, supported by a sophisticated, modern ATS.

Learn how to build a business case for a focused and inclusive ATS here.

10. Does talent acquisition software provide analytics? Which tools report on these metrics?

Businesses using talent acquisition software need clear recruitment analytics to justify the ROI on their HR and TA spend. Below are a few of the many metrics your applicant tracking system should provide:

  • Source of hire
  • Time to fill
  • Cost per hire
  • Candidate job satisfaction
  • Application completion rate

In addition to the metrics tracked natively by your ATS, your business can glean deeper insight into the efficiency of your recruiting process by using holistic talent acquisition software. Data is power. And when you combine analytics from a range of recruitment tools, you’re empowered to make savvy business decisions.


Are you ready to invest in new talent acquisition software (but maybe your IT team isn’t sold)? Read our Executive Guide for Evaluating New Technology to get a roadmap for clear and successful change.


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