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Staffing software should combine form and function

Michael Isinger Products & Technology, Staffing

Technology is only as helpful as how it's applied. When Bentley University tested software systems in a usability lab, researchers found even the most intelligent and experienced individuals were frustrated by complicated interfaces, according to strategy + business. No matter how good staffing professionals are at their job, they need information tools that assist them in their daily activities through well-designed and visually appealing interfaces offering the features necessary for success.

Form
Nobody wants to work with an eye-sore. While the features offered by an information system are critical to ROI, so is the technology's ability encourage use through simplicity and appealing design.

Too many redundant features can burden mobile software users. Too many redundant features can burden mobile software users.

A major advantage of using software created specifically for staffing activities is it streamlines functionality to the essentials. Instead of customizing general CRM or ERP software to remove useless features that would get in the way of normal activities, employees can start with a solution made for them.

Staffing software should be intuitive. Decision-makers want to find systems that allow employees to sit down and begin working. Automated walkthroughs are excellent introductory materials, while auto-workflows keep daily tasks moving at a brisk pace. Workers can use candidate profiles with empty fields to create consistent and easy-to-compare records. Dashboards should also greet users with the most pressing matters first, making it easier to plan out workdays.

When working with a streamlined talent management software system, looks do matter. The International Customer Management Institute shared results from a Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab study that found 45 percent of users felt an online site's appearance was a prime indicator of its credibility.

The look of an interface not only creates a first impression regarding its helpfulness, but design elements such as color-coding and focus points can be important components of completing tasks. Visually appealing displays of data through helpful dashboards can help employees understand trends or spot outliers. This is particularly true when trying to turn candidates into datasets. Visualization of information and tasks prevents users from overlooking skills or other important attributes.

Business software is an important tool for professional success, but that doesn't mean it can't be enjoyable to work with. A Technology Advice survey discovered 70 percent of workers believed software with engagement features like gamification would improve their daily performance. Staffing software can display hard figures for activities so companies can create goals for collaboration or competition.

Most sales agents like to strive to be the top earners, while other staffing professionals prefer to pool results to see their success as a team. Using a software system that demonstrates results over any given time period allows companies to create challenges and tasks employees may find interesting and rewarding.

Function
Finding a software solution that offers the most necessary functions is dependent on a company knowing what it wants and needs from performance. There are a few consistent features most staffing organizations can profit from, including automation, integration and mobility.

"Technology should simplify normal responsibilities."

Technology should simplify normal responsibilities, and one way to do this is to move back-office tasks to automated routines. Automation not only helps employees perform tasks by providing warnings or alerts for when actions must be taken, certain data processes can be programmed to function on their own.

Automated marketing campaigns are often an effective way for staffing companies to reach candidates. Staffing Industry Analysts reported marketing automation can increase the number of leads reached through efficient procedures. Most systems offering this feature also collect data from campaigns on a variety of channels to measure the quality of leads and strategies. Once marketing teams properly implement the system, they can set it and capture the results.

Meanwhile, prioritizing integration during initial software implementation is an important step to ensure new tools work with existing best practices. A staffing company must carefully evaluate what works about a current information system and where improvements are necessary. This not only helps find software systems with only the necessary features, but helps stakeholders recognize which data is most important for staffing needs.

Once a company finds a solution that works with its infrastructure, the software itself should integrate data to create a complete picture of staffing needs, candidate skills and available resources. When details are consistent, it makes it simpler to compare and contrast during decision-making. Smartsearch features should allow users to find particular information within consolidated data.

Staffing software should also be convenient. Cloud-deployed mobile solutions allow employees to reference information and update records no matter where they are.

It's almost a certainty that workers use mobile devices in their personal lives. Diginomica suggested staffing software should have consumer level quality when it comes to design and performance. Before selecting a software solution, managers should discuss technology preferences and expectations with employees to help find a product as helpful as the smart devices they already use.