What's Next for Recruiting Software?

Recruiting software has evolved significantly in the last ten years. As we've gone from spreadsheets and hard copies of resumes to automated applicant tracking; mobile, social, and video capabilities; and even predictive analytics, the fact is that innovation has been the only constant in HR and recruiting technology. Advancements in HR software have reshaped the day-to-day activities of HR professionals, allowing them to spend less time on manual processes and more time on attracting and hiring great talent for their organizations. Recruiters now play much more strategic roles in their companies, and having the right technology is one of the keys to success in their new capacities.

Just as tech-minded consumers anxiously await announcements from Apple, savvy HR pros are constantly looking for the latest tools and technologies that will give them an edge in today's competitive job market.

So, what will the next big technology breakthrough be, and how can you make sure you're prepared to utilize it at your organization?

PaaS Is the New SaaS

The first generation of automation within the HR world was Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). These Web-based platforms became top options for companies because they offered smoother implementations along with faster, better software upgrades and superior customer support. For HR professionals, this meant more intuitive products, better customer experiences, and access to features that addressed the needs of modern job seekers, like social recruiting, video screening, and mobile accessibility.

Many HR professionals now utilize solutions that offer specialized capabilities, but this can lead to working with several disparate sets of data.

The push toward Platform-as-a Service (PaaS) is driven by the desire for simplicity in user-friendly design and data management. What that means for recruiters is the ability to leverage only one interface to access data from several HR systems for all phases of the hiring process, including job distribution, background checks, assessments – even homegrown solutions. Similar to how Apple's app store acts as a platform for apps of all kinds to be marketed, organized, and stored, PaaS allows for HR solutions to be brought into one centralized location. PaaS opens a gateway to bring additional HR tools into the fold with efficiency and ease through pre-built integrations and provides a home base for all of these solutions in one common, simple user interface (UI).

Another benefit of PaaS is flexibility. Companies can essentially "test and flex" their talent acquisition software recipes. Connected solutions can be easily swapped if and when your business needs change or grow.

A Foundation for Innovation

While the time and money HR teams will save leveraging a PaaS platform is an immediate benefit, what the future of PaaS holds is the truly exciting part. Think of PaaS as the solid foundation of a new home. It's simple, stable, and acts as the base of a beautiful structure waiting to be built. Aside from the unity that PaaS brings to a diverse set of recruiting technologies, the structure makes it easier to build and introduce new software technology into an existing ecosystem of products that work well in tandem.

Information technology research company Gartner reports that the PaaS segment has shown the most impressive growth across the entire enterprise software market over the past year, and it appears that its influence is already palpable in the field of HR. The future of PaaS opens up the software platform to outside developers to build onto the solution for their unique business needs. Just as consumer-focused developers are constantly releasing apps to make each aspect of our everyday lives more efficient, there will be plenty of runway for innovative solutions tailored to the needs of HR professionals. Some of the most progressive HR teams are already leveraging PaaS in this fashion.

Just as Apple's B2C app store and Salesforce's B2B AppExchange allowed these companies to emerge as dominant players within their respective markets, the introduction of the PaaS model offers the same opportunity within the talent acquisition industry. The next big HR software trend is a platform flexible enough to adapt to your company's recruiting needs. PaaS provides access to seamless integrations for all the talent acquisition solutions your company will need, and it will eventually enable you to analyze all of your company's hiring data in one consolidated view. With all of this data, the true potential of HR departments can be unleashed. Recruiting teams will no longer be seen as cost centers, but as strategic business partners that provide insights into their companies' most important assets: people.

Susan Vitale is the Chief Marketing Officer at iCIMS, a leading provider of talent acquisition solutions that help businesses win the war for top talent.