The market for recruitment software has grown steadily over the past few years, and a growing number of companies, such as professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and mobile operator Vodafone now have their own online recruitment sites.
IT directors are likely to come under increased pressure from human resources departments and board directors to find technology to streamline the recruitment process, according to Martin Hogarth, an online recruitment specialist at Capital Consulting, which is about to publish a guide to the recruitment management software market for European organisations.
"There has been a global surge in recruitment software brought out about by internet job advertising," said Hogarth.
"There is pressure from human resources to recruit quicker and more cheaply and get better quality people. The demand is then put on the IT department to find the right solution."
Hogarth claimed that the relationship between IT and HR departments is often characterised by misunderstanding.
"HR departments are notoriously poor at selecting and implementing anything IT-related and IT teams are incredibly poor at understanding how the recruitment process works," he said.
The market for recruitment software comprises hundreds of specialist suppliers. The products help ensure that a vacancy is formally approved in an organisation; handle job applications; help managers search for candidates in a recruitment database; and track application progress.
James Holincheck, research director for human capital management applications at analyst firm Gartner, said recruitment software had the potential to save companies money. "Businesses need [recruitment software] because making the wrong hiring decisions is costly. Making the right decisions makes the business perform better," he said.
"Wrong decisions are costly because there may be fees involved in acquiring candidates from executive recruiters or headhunters. They are also costly because of the investment that may be required to make a new employee productive."
He advised IT directors to work with their HR departments and evaluate technology options if their organisation's recruitment process was not automated.
Holincheck also identified "multinational sourcing", where companies go international in their search for the best staff, and organisations assessing the effectiveness of their recruitment process according a wider range of business criteria, as key trends in the recruitment market.
This was first published in September 2004