Can recruiting software help with gig and contingent recruiting?

Saturday, January 03, 2015

As an owner of a small business, you’ll grow increasingly familiar with the hiring process as your company gains traction. Employees come and go for many reasons, and streamlining the onboarding process will help you immensely when you routinely find yourself looking to fill empty positions. Recruiting software is a crucial help in making the hiring process more efficient and saving you and your new prospective staff members time.

An employment option gaining significant traction in the past decade is enlisting the services of independent contractors. Also known as “gig workers”, these workers can be especially helpful for businesses that frequently offer short-term positions, such as seasonal work or project based employment. Gig work is especially popular with Gen Z and others new to the workforce for the work-life balance that contracted work can offer, meaning there are large pools of applicants to search through.

So, the question comes naturally, can these modern efficiencies be merged? Can recruiting software be of use with more specific and limited positions that gig economy workers are likely to fill? Because any business making use of both of these services may be seeking the answers to these questions, this article will focus on breaking down both services, how they can conflict, and how they can work together harmoniously.

Why recruiting gig workers can be troublesome

Any business owner can tell you that quality employees often take time to develop and hit their stride. Typically, this isn’t a problem, as employees are a long term investment and a training period is expected and prepared for.

But what about taking on independent contractors who are hired temporarily? If your season of need or project is limited in time frame, then not only are you in a rush to hire someone on, but they also may not perform their best by the end of the project. Both of these issues can lead to contingent recruiting being seen as more of a “gamble”, and riskier than training a pre-established employee for the job.

In summary, to take full advantage of contingent workers, employers need to be able to either:

  • Find and hire quality contractors (quickly) who can perform the job from the onset of hiring, or
  • Be able to train contingent workers within a limited timeframe

How recruitment software can help

Recruiting software is a broad term that generally means any software that assists in completing any of the many tasks involved with hiring new employees. This software often uses machine-learning (ML) algorithms to help in the search, allowing those with relevant skills to come to the forefront of your page, which makes them immediately desirable for employers who have little time to weed through applicants that don’t match. However, time saving is just one bonus to taking advantage of recruitment software.

Here are some tasks that recruitment software can do for you:

  • Search for and attract potential candidates
  • Present job expectations, duties, and necessary training
  • Screen applications
  • Host collaboration between a hiring team
  • Track, organize and update the statuses of candidates
  • Send out job offers

So how does this software transfer over to finding and hiring contingent workers?

Recruiting software can automate and streamline the more mundane and tedious tasks of hiring contingent employees, allowing you and your hire time more time to both assess prospective hires thoroughly and use precious hiring time to catch them up to speed about the task or complete any small training business specific training that needs to occur.

With contingent hiring, every moment counts, so having modern recruitment software free up your time and complete tasks in the background can be crucial to making the right hires.

How Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) tools can help

CRM software assists employers in constructing a talent pool and then assessing the best candidates from the group.

Specifically, CRM can perform and automate these tasks:

  • Host virtual career fairs
  • Take advantage of robust AI for talent acquisition
  • Perform email and text campaigns
  • Host interviews and allow prospective hires to leave video messages detailing their resume

And in regards to hiring contingent employees, CRM is especially useful as it’s able to:

  • Retain previous employees hiring profiles and contact information in the event their services may be needed again for projects or seasonal work
  • Create detailed job profiles that increase the likelihood that potential hires are qualified and ready to get right to work upon signing on

How Applicant Tracking Solutions (ATS) can help

ATS is another software that can be useful in making recruitment software especially applicable to contingent hiring.

ATS software can:

  • Seek and retain candidates globally
    • This is especially useful for contingent hiring, as many independent contractors work online
  • Identify and prevent “bottlenecking”
    • Bottlenecking happens when you have too many applicants, creating a counterproductive situation which makes quality applicants harder to find
  • Create “single-click” applications
    • Streamline and simplify potentially dense and complicated job listings to increase applications

Contingent Workforce Management software

The previous software discussed is made for broad recruiting and finding part-time/full time employees, but has tools to hire independent contractors and fill seasonal positions. However, there is recruitment software explicitly made for hiring contingent workers. These softwares can:

  • Attract and retain quality contract workers and notify both you and previous hires when a new job is posted that would be a good fit or is within their skill level and availability
  • Quickly find applicants for challenging to fill positions
  • Retain profiles of all contingent workers in easy-to-navigate spreadsheets
  • Allow employers to create detailed project profiles that contractors can apply for
  • Allow contractors to create profiles detailing their skills, availability, and compensation conditions
  • Take advantage of social media to create advertising campaigns and find applicants

Schedule seasonal work and projects

Modern recruiting software allows you to create job positions and project profiles ahead of time and schedule not only when they’re made available for applicants, but also when they’re no longer needed. For businesses in need of routine seasonal staffing, you can make position profiles just once and then reuse them automatically every year after making small changes and updates.

Streamline data storage

Recruitment software allows hiring teams to no longer sift through boxes of applications and employee papers. No more worrying about losing files, securing data, or missing key info that you need to make decisions.

These programs keep data secure, accessible, and user-friendly so your team doesn’t waste time playing catch up. Additionally, having all pertinent information localized and easily accessible will increase collaboration between your hiring crew and allow everyone to be updated and on the same page.

Improve candidate experience

The recruitment experience is your prospective employee’s first impression of your business: make sure it’s good! A good first impression will help you reel in quality contractors and make them feel like a part of the team and proud to work alongside your company, promoting productivity and the chances they’ll work for you again later down the line.

Additionally, these softwares also allow for customization to boost applicant morale and get contractors excited about working with you. Simple cosmetic changes like using your company colors in the softwares design and having your logo present on the homepage of position profiles can go a long way in creating interest and respect from applicants while also growing your employer brand.

And, of course, including links to your business website or business mission statement on job postings can also promote a sense of pride and encourage applicants to take their applications seriously.


A large benefit of using recruiting software is its ability to merge seamlessly and securely with your payroll, HR, and managerial software. Rather than having to transfer sensitive employee information upon hiring by hand or through potentially risky data transfers, this software can automatically update your other software with new information securely and quickly.

The faster payroll can get access to a new contract worker's information, specifically their tax information within a W-9 form, the sooner they can get to work on keeping track of their compensation to send that employee a 1099 form at the end of the year.

Similarly, the sooner management can acquire the contingent employee’s paperwork and get through the hiring process, the sooner the contractor can begin work.

In conclusion

Recruitment software isn’t made ineffective due to contingent hiring needs. On the contrary, recruitment software can be an effective and crucial tool in finding quality contractors and matching them with specific and time sensitive positions or projects.

Furthermore, recruiting software automates tedious and time consuming tasks that the hiring process produces, broadly speaking. For employers, every hour counts when desperate to find talent to fulfill urgent tasks. For independent contractors, every hour is also precious, as every hour wasted in being unable to apply for positions is an hour lost of work that they can’t make back.

The future of work seems to lie in gigs. In the modern workforce, potential employees (especially independent contractors) have started to rely upon hiring software and online databases to find jobs. Therefore, it’s in every business’s best interest to meet these applicants where they’re at and use recruitment solutions to make the hiring process as streamlined as possible.

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