Buying a Recruiting Tool? Identifying Recruiting Goals and Challenges

Kristina Martic | 8/16/2017 | Recruiting

Buying a Recruiting tool is a number one priority for many recruiters and other HR professionals in 2018. Startup or an enterprise, talent acquisition has become one of the most challenging, yet crucial, strategies necessary for every firm’s growth and development. When buying a recruiting tool, however, identifying your recruiting goals and challenges should be the very first step. This approach will make the decision about which recruiting software to buy much easier. 

Buying a Recruiting Tool? Identifying Recruiting Goals and Challenges

Buying a recruiting tool

Even though there are many different things to consider when buying a recruiting tool, there is a proven strategy that helps in making the best decision.

The very first, and in my opinion crucial, step is to clearly define your own recruiting goals and challenges. These can be things such as get more applicants through career site, find more high quality candidates, have better way of approaching passive candidates, improve hiring standardization, reduce time to hire or any other recruiting goal you may have.

In this post, I have identified some of most common recruiting goals and challenges that can be your guide for buying a recruiting software which is most likely to satisfy all your recruiting needs.

Identifying recruiting goals and challenges

Based on different stages that candidates go though, companies may have different recruiting and hiring challenges. I have identified the most common challenges based on 6 different stages of a candidate journey. Going through these stages will significantly help you in identifying what type of a recruiting tool do you need.

Challenges in the candidate awareness stage

Candidate awareness is a stage that never stops. This stage doesn’t include only communicating your job opening when you have one, but also making candidates aware of your employer brand and employer value proposition at all times. Knowing your challenges in the candidate awareness stage, make decision making about recruiting software purchase much easier.

Common challenges in the awareness stage include:

  • Spending too much time on new job ads creation
  • Inability to post jobs on multiple job boards at once
  • Not using current employees as a source of new candidates- no structured employee referral programs
  • Inability to search for, approach to passive candidates and get their contact info
  • Inability to search through existing candidate database to find high quality applicants from previous openings
  • Not using social media platforms to promote your job openings

Challenges in the candidate consideration stage

Consideration stage is the stage in which you are trying to convince candidates to consider your company or organization as a new workplace. To be able to pick the right recruiting tool, identifying recruiting goals and challenges in this stage is crucial. This is not an easy process, especially today when a lot of employers are putting much time and effort in it. The key here is to engage both passive and active candidates that have become aware of your company or an open position.

Having a good candidate engagement strategy has become extremely important in the world of HR and recruiting, especially for some hard-to-fill roles. If you don’t offer useful content, timely and engaging communication, you are likely to lose them over your competitors.

Engaging passive candidates is one of the best ways of improving your employer brand. 


Common challenges in the consideration stage include:

  • Inefficient strategy for communicating your employer brand and company culture
  • No structured social media campaigns
  • Lack of engaging and useful content for candidates
  • No candidate engagement and communication strategy
  • No structured candidate engagement email campaigns and workflows
  • No recruitment and talent community events for candidates in your talent pool

Challenges in the candidate interest stage

Do you know what are your recruiting challenges when it comes to making candidates interested in your company? Once you have made candidates aware of your company or a job opening, had them to consider you as their next employer, you want them to express the interest in your job opening and move to the next, application, stage.

Common challenges in the candidate interest stage include:

  • Poorly designed and not optimized career site
  • Career site not optimized for search engines (SEO optimization)
  • Career site lacks engaging and useful content such as team blogging
  • Complicated and not user-friendly application forms
  • Poor or slow candidate communication strategy
  • Career site not mobile-optimized

Challenges in the candidate application stage

If you don’t have many job applicants, you need a recruiting tool that offers solution to this problem. After you have moved a candidate through the previous 3 stages, the challenge becomes to turn them into applicants. It is not uncommon that, after you manage to attract candidates and convince them to consider you as a new employer, you bring them to your career site, but they never apply.

Common challenges in the candidate application stage include:

  • Complicated and not user-friendly application forms
  • Application form not mobile-optimized
  • Inability to track new visitors on your career page
  • Inability to track where the new visitors are coming from
  • Inability to track application form abandon rate and get insights on why candidates leave.

Challenges in the candidate selection stage

This stage starts at the point when you have job applicants, and ends with a new hire. That being said, there is still much work to do. At this point, you should have high-quality applicants, and you are moving to the hiring process. Unfortunately, many companies’ struggles don’t end here. Moreover, for some of them struggles start here.


Common challenges in the candidate selection stage include:

  • No centralized database of all the candidates and applicants
  • No easy way to review and triage applicants
  • Messy candidate database
  • Hard to find candidates’ profiles
  • No centralized database of rich applicant and candidate profiles
  • No streamlined candidate workflow
  • Applicants interview kits, assignments and scorecards
  • Hard to efficiently share information with other recruiting and hiring team members
  • Communication and interview scheduling is a manual and time-consuming process - no automation
  • No structured applicant email campaigns
  • Too much paperwork and spreadsheets

Challenges in the candidate hiring stage

Once you have selected a candidate, recruitment marketing and ATS usage stops. However, for companies that use solutions such as HRIS, it is important to have the ability to integrate.

Common challenges in the candidate hiring stage include:

  • Inability to integrate ATS with HRIS tools
  • Inability to integrate with employee onboarding platforms
  • Inability to integrate with employee management platforms.

Which Recruiting Software to buy?

Now that we have identified all the possible recruiting challenges an HR professional or a business owner can be facing with, let’s move to the next chapter that will help you identify a type of a recruiting software should you buy. The main goal of the following chapters is to define types of recruiting software, such as ATS and Recruitment Marketing.

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