Costly, labor-intensive human capital is a burden on business overhead expenses.funnel-pm For example, hires that don’t work out add additional expenses. A report published by The Center for American Progress states that it costs 20 percent of a worker’s salary to replace that worker. Therefore, an efficient hiring process that secures the right worker who becomes an engaged business asset is an essential component of the HR cost-containment equation.

Process Improvement Reduces Costs

Process improvement, which should be applied to all areas of HR management, is critical for maintaining exceptional quality in business operations. Process improvement reduces human errors and duplicate procedures that are inherent to manual processing and tracking of job applicants. Automation is a time-proven way to ensure that certain processes are performed uniformly according to standards that give the most cost-effective outcomes. Automation can reduce, time and errors, and increase efficiency and adaptability. According to, using technology, such as application tracking software, to automate recruitment functions can result in more than 50 percent cost and time savings. 

Applicant Tracking Trends

However, Applicant Tracking Software, Buyer Trend Analysis, a study published by Software Advice, LLC., reports that many businesses lag behind in applying automation to the process of applicant tracking. The study showed that businesses want to have more efficient and effective hiring processes:

  • Over 90 percent of businesses in the study manually track applicants via spreadsheets, paper and email.
  • Less than 50 percent use applicant tracking software.
  • Of those who use applicant tracking software, over 90 percent did so because of a self-identified need for increased efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Over 95 percent of manual trackers want to be more efficient and effective.
  • 82 percent preferred online access for applicant tracking, while 1 percent preferred on site location. 17 percent were undecided.

Spotlight on Healthcare

According to the 2013 HealthcareSource HR Initiatives Survey, when asked “What new technology are you planning to adopt in 2013/2014,” only 21 percent of survey respondents said they planned to implement an applicant tracking system, down from 28 percent in 2012. This low percentage is likely due to the fact that many healthcare organizations already have an applicant tracking system in place, not necessarily that they aren’t interested in implementing one. 

One of the reasons healthcare organizations have to rely on applicant tracking software is due to the industry’s high volume of applicants. Healthcare, the largest industry in the U.S., has a robust job market. The Brookings Institute reports that healthcare jobs have continued to increase despite the recession, having added 2.6 million jobs within the past 10 years. The Society for Human Resource Management says that the turnover rate in healthcare is 20 percent. If any industry needs accuracy and efficiency in tracking job applicants, healthcare is it. The aging U.S. population, combined with physician and nursing shortages and a growing necessity for high-quality care, create a demand for strategies that use applicant tracking software to improve recruitment outcomes.

Cast a Broad Net

Today’s complicated workforce also poses multiple recruitment challenges. For example, the change in how to locate qualified candidates who are a good fit for your corporate objectives and culture has made the process more complex. In the Software Advice study, the majority of respondents used online job boards, and company websites, but social media also had a significant presence. 29 out of 140 recruiter-respondents used LinkedIn, and 10 percent used other social media platforms. The inclusion of social media in the recruiting mix poses an additional need for speed, accuracy, cost, and time savings to help businesses evaluate and maximize return on investment in social media recruiting campaigns. Social media has fast proven itself to be a useful tool for job recruiting. According to Mashable, applicants recruited via social media are more likely to be hired, and social media hires also have a high job retention rate.

Using social media in your recruitment process also sends the message to employees and candidates that the organization is progressive. “Healthcare has to adapt to the new generation and show that it’s progressive,” says Jodi Weiss, Talent acquisition Projects Lead at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. “Candidates want to know that they are joining a progressive organization. Generation Y, for example, is used to having things sent quickly and an immediate response. We’ve also used electronic onboarding through our applicant tracking system for a few years now, and it’s been a huge time saver for us.”

What do these Trends Mean?

Applicant tracking software makes it possible for employers to accurately obtain applicant information from multiple sources. The data gathered using applicant tracking software allows companies to identify areas of top performance so that they can accurately evaluate and optimize recruitment outcomes.

Perhaps one of the most important benefits of applicant tracking software is that it puts employers in control of the data generated by employee recruiting and work trajectories in a way that is both static and real-time. As the recruiting landscape expands to embrace alternative recruiting strategies, healthcare organizations will need to have the ability to efficiently capture top job candidates’ information online in order to remain competitive.

Are you interested in learning more about applicant tracking systems for healthcare? 

About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.