Strategic Human Resource Management for Recruiting and Hiring

As the American economy continues to rebound from the Great Recession, companies are placing great value on the strategic recruiting and hiring of employees. In many ways, the hiring process is easier than ever because of the technology available to HR professionals. But in other ways, technology has made the recruiting and hiring process more complex. How can HR professionals harness technology to improve the hiring process? What strategies and tools can they employ to successfully identify the best talent in the vast and rapidly changing job market?

Trends in the Hiring Process

When an employer begins the process of filling a position, it can be incredibly complicated because there are so many possible paths to take. Today’s HR professionals are using online job boards, applicant tracking systems (ATS) and even outside recruiters to find the people needed to fill positions.

The Hiring Process Is Taking Longer

In 2010, the average interview process took 13 days. In 2014, it took 23 days. According to a study from the employment site Glassdoor, the average interview process in the United States took nearly 23 days in 2014, up from about 13 days in 2010. Why is this the case?

Economic Turmoil Due to the Recession

Perhaps the biggest reason is the recession. With many companies recovering from the economic wringer, many are being more careful with their hiring. A mistake can lead to months of falling behind with productivity goals.

Furthermore, the recession left as many as 15.7 million Americans unemployed. Many job postings attract far more applicants than expected, which can make narrowing down candidates far more difficult.

More Screening Methods

Employers are also requiring more comprehensive hiring processes. Sample work, IQ tests, personality tests and drug tests have all gained in popularity. Each of these screening methods adds more time to the process before a final hiring decision can be made.

Workplace Culture in the Spotlight

With trends in workplace culture constantly in the news, companies are more considerate about finding new employees who will be a good fit. More companies are having candidates interview with several people to ensure that the hiring decision helps the entire team.

Online Job Postings

Today’s job search involves scouring a multitude of job boards and forums to find the perfect opportunity. This isn’t just difficult for job applicants, but it’s also difficult for recruiters and HR professionals who must spread the word. Companies must ensure that job openings are posted to the right places where they will be seen by great talent.

Social media has also emerged as a popular place for recruiting and spreading the word about job postings. The practice, referred to as social recruiting, will only become more common. Seventy-three percent of recruiters increased investment in social recruiting in 2014 according to a Jobvite recruiting survey. With professional social networks like LinkedIn becoming more popular, it is easier for recruiters to target potential candidates via social networking.

Applicant Tracking Systems

Although the hiring process has grown more complex, solutions are available for HR professionals. Applicant tracking systems can help keep the entire recruiting process organized, from job posting to hiring decision.

What Are Applicant Tracking Systems?

An ATS is a software application that handles all of a company’s recruiting needs in an organized fashion. An ATS may be an actual piece of software or it may be available on the Internet to authorized users. These systems are similar to customer relationship management systems and are highly filterable. They often allow for automatic job posting, resume searching and even automatic responding.

ATS Benefits

Effective use of an ATS can help make recruitment much less of a headache. This can help HR professionals place more of their efforts in endeavors other than hiring. An ATS can help save both money and time. An ATS can also help HR professionals cut through the clutter of the job market and find the best potential candidates for their job openings. Companies then have more flexibility to focus on what really matters in the hiring process rather than the paperwork and logistics.

Growth of ATS Use90% of large companies use applicant tracking systems.

A Wall Street Journal article estimated that 90 percent of large companies use applicant tracking systems. This is a huge change from years ago before the systems existed. An ATS may seem expensive, but it is becoming more affordable for smaller companies. Cloud-based and web-only applications are options with lower costs, making this technology accessible for all employers.

ATS Products

There are countless ATS products available to companies. Many corporations develop their own ATS, especially larger organizations. Here are a few of the most popular products.


A 2014 survey by employer branding firm OnGig found that Oracle’s Taleo software is far and away the most popular applicant tracking system. With 54 percent of the market, Taleo is the most widely used system. While it began as a CD-based software suite, Taleo now has full integration with the cloud. Taleo offers a variety of services from planning to onboarding. There are also several levels of services, so companies of all sizes can afford Taleo. However, some companies prefer other products that are more accessible.


Tabbed by OnGig as “best for startups,” Jobvite tries to provide a forward-looking ATS. Jobvite specializes in employee referrals and video interviews. Jobvite is a standalone application; it doesn’t have Taleo’s suite. But with the ability to connect with more than 300 social media sites, Jobvite is well-suited for the future growth of social recruiting.


Launched in 1999, iCims remains one of the most easy-to-use ATS products on the market. While less robust than Taleo, iCims offers a three-product suite of talent acquisition solutions.  Both HR professionals and job applicants like the user interface. However, many features are at an extra cost, so iCims might not be best for smaller or growing businesses.

The Future of Recruiting and Hiring

It’s imperative that current and future HR professionals fully understand the rapidly changing nature of strategic human resource management. At Concordia University Texas, learning about best practices in recruiting and hiring is a major focus of the Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management. The fully online program can lead to a successful career in human resources. Learn more today!

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