The digital transformation has now also reached HR management in companies. This was urgently needed: after all, not only have the requirements for applicants changed in many professions, but applicant management also has to adapt to this new age.

Digitalization and work 4.0 not only have an impact on the world of work, but also on the processes involved in attracting and recruiting skilled workers. This means that highly trained engineers and developers with knowledge in five programming languages, or content marketing managers with additional qualifications in search engine optimization are rarely reached today through 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. The media mix is becoming more confusing. What’s more, hardly anyone bothers to print out their application documents in copy shops and then send them by post – after all, postage is becoming more expensive and creates considerable additional work for HR departments. In fact, today only 13 percent of the top 1,000 companies in Germany receive applications by mail.

Social media job pool

Companies have long since reached motivated young employees via alternative channels, i.e. social recruiting. Accordingly, professional online portals such as Xing or LinkedIn have long since become digital bazaars for headhunters, recruiters, and applicants. Blogs and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram are also used by both applicants and companies to attract attention to themselves. Job postings are oriented to the target groups and linked with highly aestheticized HR videos to spark the interest of applicants. And on the company’s own career portals, university graduates and trainee candidates click through professional application wizards, from registration to confirmation of receipt – and increasingly via mobile devices.

Analog piles of paper instead of digital records

The “Recruiting Trends” study on the application of the future, carried out by online career portal Monster and the Center for Human Resources Information Systems (CHRIS), reveals that companies receive the overwhelming majority of applications in digital form: around 50 percent via application form and 36 percent by e-mail. But if no suitable software for personnel management is used, many HR departments have to return to dealing with dreary analog paper processes, at least by the time they invite applicants to job interviews. Media disruptions are multiplying. Mundane cardboard folders with printed certificates, CVs, and sample work of applicants cover office shelves and drawers. Any e-mail correspondence sinks into the depths of crowded inboxes. Appointments for interviews with the representatives of the departments are still made spontaneously in passing. At the same time, interested candidates are left in the dark about the current status of the application process. E-recruiting then usually ends where files, folders, staplers, and stamp pads flood the desks in the HR department.

Digital personnel records for applicant management

There are practical alternatives: technologies that not only transparently show the entire application process, but also facilitate and accelerate the process until the applicant is ultimately hired or rejected. This is why the HR departments in many companies now work with modern digital personnel records and applicant management solutions. Electronic personnel and applicant records are created for each job candidate, and all data and documents are centrally archived and managed. Electronic workflows ensure a high degree of automation. All information about the applicant and process are always available at the points where they are needed: for example, contract templates and agreements, the professional qualifications or further detailed questions about the applicant, depending on the processing step and the access authorization.

Digital workflows from initial contact to hiring

Electronic workflows help to significantly reduce the administrative burden on staff, and templates and mail merge functions assist in correspondence with candidates. Interfaces to e-mail and calendar services help with the scheduling coordination for interviews, assessment centers, or trial days. It is also important to consider the legally compliant retention periods for the certificates and CVs of rejected applicants: documents as well as the associated personnel records must be deleted irrevocably in accordance with data protection regulations.

Based on our own project experience, we know that the digital personnel records based on our enaio® software are also successfully in use beyond applicant management, for example for salary or travel expense reports or audit-proof archiving of correspondence. Links to Office applications and HR or ERP systems are also standard here. Thus, digital personnel records can be paired with hiring or holiday workflows. In some applications, digital personnel records are used for the workflow-based technical setup of new workstations. After all, the much-discussed digital transformation in companies does not end when the applicant finally signs the contract, but ideally accompanies the new employee throughout their entire career.

»With enaio®, all documents in the electronic application record can be clearly managed and the individual stages of the work processes can be conveniently planned in the system. Learn more about our solutions for HR management.