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Employing the best people is vital for any business and lies at the heart of success. Many larger organisations will have a Personnel or Human Resources department; the function of which is to oversee recruitment and other matters relating to employee performance and welfare.

Recruiting employees can be a lengthy process, involving specialist personnel staff who will help managers to identify job requirements and source candidates to interview who match those requirements. There are also legal obligations to be aware of such as those relating to age and gender discrimination.

A person changes job as many as ten times during an average working lifetime and at any one time an organisation could have hundreds of job applications and CVs to screen. Not only is it time consuming to search manually for candidates with the necessary skill set, but it is also open to human error.

Benefits of specialist software solutions

Recruitment software, when properly deployed, has the potential to enhance organisational efficiency by providing you with a system with which to source potential candidates. It will draw up a list of potential candidates to interview, narrowing them down in terms of specific skills, experience and qualifications. It will reduce the workload for the personnel department and obviate the need for them to spend hours hand reading every single application. The software will present the most suitable candidates within a couple of minutes.

Utilising software can thus save your business money. Personnel staff will be able to spend time on more profitable projects. It also keeps the relevant records such as information on clients, candidates and job vacancies in one easily accessible central database. Recruitment software is suitable for businesses of all sizes and many programs are able to handle substantial volumes of data, making it suitable for even the largest of organisations. Some systems can even utilise social media platforms to obtain information about applicants.

Finding the right candidate

Your employees are your most important resource and finding the right person for the job is clearly essential. A human resources function must, by definition, centre all efforts upon the firm's staff. Any organisation that fails to recognise the importance of this function is unlikely to survive. A suitably focused personnel manager will thus ensure that vacancies are correctly filled and that individuals are supported and nurtured throughout their career with the firm.

Having an effective system in place to find the right talent is thus a vital element in running any successful business. While many companies continue to search for staff manually, a computerised recruitment system will offer a streamlined solution that is both cost effective and easy to manage.

Of course, hiring the right candidate is only a small part of the process. It doesn't matter how good your recruitment system is, if your staff lack motivation and are looking to move on quickly. The key to successful retention is not only to recruit the best people, but to ensure they stay with you by fostering a positive working environment.

Sarah Patton worked in personnel for many years before setting up her own consultancy. She now combines writing with advising small business on matters relating to Human Resources and recruitment software.

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