Ein weißes Gebäude mit gebogenen Fenstern und blauem Himme.A white building with curved windows against a blue sky, showcasing efficient applicant management.

5 September 2017

Recruiting and Applicant
Management in the Digital Age

The demands placed on applicants have changed in many professions, especially with regard to digitalization. The digital transformation has now also arrived in companies’ HR management. And this is urgently necessary, as digital applicant management needs to be established.

Challenges in digital recruiting

Digitalization and Work 4.0 are not only having an impact on the world of work, but also on the processes involved in recruiting and recruiting specialists by recruiters. This means that top-qualified personnel, such as specialized engineers, developers with knowledge of five programming languages or content marketing managers with additional qualifications in search engine optimization, are rarely found today. Especially not via conventional job advertisements in the career supplements and online portals of daily newspapers.

There are more and more opportunities for applicants and companies to find each other. However, the media mix is becoming more confusing. Even more so today, hardly anyone bothers to print out their application documents in copy stores and then send them by post. Fortunately – because analog application folders mean a considerable amount of extra work for HR departments and recruitment. In fact, only 13 percent of the top 1,000 companies in Germany currently receive applications by post.

Digital personnel files in applicant management

Because there are practical alternatives – technologies that map the entire application process transparently. They also make the recruiting process easier and faster in the long term, right up to the final hiring or rejection of the applicant. HR departments in many companies now work with modern digital personnel files and applicant management solutions. Electronic personnel and applicant files are created for each job candidate. All data and documents are archived and managed centrally. Electronic workflows ensure a high degree of automation. All information about the applicant and the process is available at the points where the recruiter needs it at any time: for example, contract templates and agreements, professional qualifications or other detailed questions about the applicant, depending on the processing step and access authorization. This makes the recruitment process considerably easier and takes the pressure off the recruiter.

Applicant management faces new challenges

The number of digital channels through which potential candidates are actively approached or apply independently is constantly increasing. Social media in particular offers variable entry points into the application process and new ways of employer branding. In order for HR departments to maintain an overview, applicant management systems are required that can be used to centrally control the application process. This is the only way to make the right choice from a multilateral pool of applicants.

The right software for your digital applicant management

Candidate tools need to offer multiple functions to provide real support for HR departments. They must…

  • enable clear management of the applicant pool.
  • provide evaluations of application procedures.
  • enable centralized correspondence.
  • ensure GDPR-compliant storage of application documents.

Digital recruiting via social media

Companies are increasingly reaching motivated young talent via alternative channels – keyword: social recruiting. In many companies, it is already an integral part of digital applicant management. Accordingly, professional online portals such as Xing or LinkedIn have developed into digital bazaars for headhunters, recruiters and applicants. Blogs and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are also used by both applicants and recruiters to draw attention to themselves. Job advertisements are thus placed in a more target group-oriented manner and linked to highly aestheticized HR videos in order to increase applicant interest. On the company’s own career portals, university graduates and prospective trainees click their way through professional application wizards, from registration to confirmation of receipt – mainly via mobile devices.

Where applicant management is still analog

However, with the invitation to a job interview at the latest, many HR departments are back to the dreary analog applicant file if no suitable software is used for personnel management. Media disruptions are multiplying. Sober folders with printed certificates, CVs and samples of applicants’ work plaster office shelves and drawers. All e-mail correspondence is lost in the depths of overcrowded inboxes. Appointments for job interviews with representatives of the specialist departments are still made spontaneously on the spur of the moment. At the same time, prospective job applicants are left in the dark about the current status of the application process. Digital applicant management then usually ends where folders, folders, staplers and ink pads flood the desks in the HR department. The death of any digital recruiting process.

Workflows from initial contact to hiring – this is how digital recruiting works

Electronic workflows help to significantly reduce the administrative workload for recruiters, while templates and mail merge functions assist with correspondence with candidates. Interfaces to e-mail and calendar services support the coordination of appointments for job interviews, assessment centers or trial days. It is also important to take into account the legally compliant retention periods for references and CVs of rejected applicants: Documents and the associated personnel files are irrevocably deleted in accordance with data protection regulations.

From our own project experience, we know that digital personnel files based on our enaio® software are also used successfully beyond applicant management. This applies, for example, to salary or travel expense reports or the audit-proof archiving of correspondence. Links to Office applications and HR or ERP systems are also standard here. For example, digital personnel files can be linked to recruitment or vacation workflows. In some cases, digital personnel files are used for the workflow-supported technical setup of new workstations. After all, the much-vaunted digital transformation in companies does not just end when the applicant’s contract is finally signed – in the best-case scenario, it also accompanies the new employee throughout their entire employment.

With enaio®, all documents in the electronic applicant file can be clearly managed and the individual stages of the work processes can be conveniently planned in the system. Find out more about our solutions for personnel management.

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