This post was written in partnership with ROC, UNIT4’s preferred HR and Payroll implementation partner.

HR technology and recruitment software enable organisations to manage their greatest asset: people. Combined, the two can create a powerful central hub of employee data but, despite this, there appears to be a disconnect between the two systems in many businesses.

ROC logo‘We’re still seeing organisations approach recruitment software – the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – as an add-on. HR and payroll systems are invested in readily, but the ATS appears to be either an after-thought or is not even a consideration for some decision makers.’
Rob Cells – Managing Consultant, ROC

The benefits of HR and recruitment technology

A quality HR system should support and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of key HR functions. From tracking an employee’s training to managing holiday requests, the system’s easily accessible data, analytics and autonomous workflow should ensure smooth processes for HR teams.  Similarly, an ATS should harbour employee details garnered through the application process, such as qualifications and references. When a candidate accepts a job offer, this data should be transferred seamlessly from the Applicant Tracking System to the HR system.

‘The key is ensuring that both your HR and recruitment systems can integrate with one another. Whether you purchase an all-in-one solution or procure a separate ATS, the systems must be able to ‘talk’ to one another. Most reputable Application Tracking Systems should integrate with HR systems as standard.’

The pain points when technology can’t integrate

Imagine an organisation within which all recruitment activity is managed manually, with applications tracked in Excel. When a successful applicant is appointed, their data must be manually loaded into the existing HR system. The resulting pain points may seem obvious but they’re common: data and actions are duplicated; time and resources are wasted; the data is vulnerable to inaccuracies and human error.

‘This kind of situation can result in huge losses of time, resources and staff motivation for an organisation. For a truly integrated and streamlined process, recruitment technology cannot be ignored.’

In addition to smoothing the link between recruitment and employment, an Applicant Tracking System can offer value in terms of candidate attraction. A branded careers site can strengthen an employer’s brand, whilst a straightforward online application ensures candidates don’t abandon the process midway. For organisations looking to grow or maintain their reputation in a competitive sphere, recruiting the right talent is essential. Moreover, the reporting function within an Applicant Tracking System should offer invaluable insight regarding recruitment spend, candidate sourcing and ROI; vital figures for making informed decisions about an organisation’s recruitment strategy in the longer term.

‘Organisations need to be thinking at a more strategic level about how an Applicant Tracking System can bring benefit. Beyond the measurable time to hire and cost per vacancy figures, what does an online recruitment system offer an organisation in terms of candidate engagement and talent attraction? Is this worth investing in? For many organisations, the answer is “yes”.’

Integration is essential

By combining a manual recruitment process with an HR system – or by having two systems that cannot connect with one another – organisations are risking time, money and accuracy. Recruitment software needs to be considered in tandem with the purchase of an HR system, as opposed to being a post-script. Ultimately, integration is key to ensuring a smooth synergy from hire right up to retire.

‘Approaching the implementation of either system should not hold fear for the customer. Integrating two complementary systems, such as UNIT4 Recruitment and the Agresso HR suite will result in a joined up process. The benefits from such a combination are difficult to ignore.’

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About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.