The rise of social recruiting, software and online tools is rapidly changing the HR landscape and how recruiting is done. While there is no single factor that’s driving the rapid pace, finding qualified candidates with the correct skillset for the job is a motivator.

However, despite the skills gap in the marketplace, the hiring process has become increasingly competitive in our healthy economy. That means hiring professionals can’t seem to find the candidates with the skills they need to fill a role, while at the same time facing heavy competition for available talent. This is where technology comes in.

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We’re seeing an increased reliance on social media and an upgrade in HR systems. Overall, hiring professionals are relying on technology to source more candidates, and are using multiple platforms to improve the hiring process. Here’s a breakdown of how HR professionals are using technology to hire the best candidates for the job.

Posting Across Multiple Job Boards

Today’s HR professionals are relying heavily on job boards to source talent and manage the hiring process. According to our 2017 Survey of Small Business Hiring Challenges, 78% of HR professionals use online job boards, and 93% post jobs on more than one board.

However, hiring professionals are also struggling to manage the technology they’re using. Seventy-nine percent said they find it challenging to post to multiple job boards. There’s also the question of which job boards to use to find the most qualified candidates for the job. In a saturated marketplace with multiple tools to choose from, 79% of respondents said it’s challenging to identify those ideal job boards.

Finding Qualified Candidates

Finding qualified candidates to fill open roles continues to be a challenge for HR professionals. In addition to intense competition for top talent, a skills gap among candidates continues to be a challenge for 84% of HR professionals who participated in the survey. Respondents reported seeing a skills shortage in their applicants when monitoring the issue over a 12-month period.

Reaching out to more passive candidates could help alleviate the hiring challenge by identifying the needed skills in potential employees. Passive candidates are often interested in learning about open positions, even if they’re not actively looking to leave their jobs. In fact, 89% of talent said being contacted by a hiring professional could prompt them to quickly accept an offer. Using social professional networks helps connect both passive and active candidates with hiring professionals. Research also shows that social professional networks are the #1 source of quality hires, followed by internet job boards and employee referrals.

Using Social Media in Tandem with Job Postings

Posting on multiple job boards isn’t the only way hiring professionals are finding candidates and managing the hiring process. Social media networking is also driving the hiring process as more recruiters are leveraging it in tandem with job boards. Ninety-two percent of hiring professionals surveyed said they used social media platforms during the hiring process. Specifically, 87% of hiring professionals report they use LinkedIn to find more candidates.

Another way social media helps in the recruiting process is by raising brand awareness. According to AdWeek, 74% of hiring professionals are specifically using social networks to attract talent through branding and awareness. However, they’re not simply looking at what people are posting on social media. Hiring professionals are also checking to see how long an employee has worked with a company and what mutual connections they share to make an introduction.

Leveraging Software to Help Recruit

In addition to an increase in the use of social media tools, hiring professionals are increasingly using software to help in the recruiting process, with research showing there is room for growth in the types of software HR departments may be using. For example, Bersin by Deloitte found that 47% of companies have HR software that is over seven years old.

Upgrading HR software and systems could make a big impact on a business’s bottom line. Companies with newly-upgraded HR systems see cost savings of 22% per employee. HR professionals appear to be taking note and pushing to update their systems. Research from Gartner found spending on cloud-based HR software is growing faster than spending on installed or on-premises HR software. Cloud-based HR software will be 50% or more of total HR technology spending by 2017.

A Focus on Automating Tasks

It’s unsurprising that technology is driving trends in human resources, but how it’s being used continues to evolve. As more hiring professionals look to leverage the latest tools or update their HR software and systems, we could see a rise in how it automates the recruiting process and continues to shape the industry. And today’s technology and online tools can now be leveraged affordably, making them more accessible for small businesses, including those that may be exploring HR software for the first time.

Automating tasks is appealing to recruiters and hiring professionals looking to alleviate everyday office challenges and stresses. Among those surveyed, 84% wish they had more automation and less paperwork to deal with on an ongoing basis. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that using HR software has led to a reported improvement over previous methods. Only 48% use any type of specific software: HR, ATS or job posting – and 55% use basic office tools.

Simplifying Recruitment and Hiring with WorkConnect

Fortunately, technology providers that specialize in recruitment and hiring have introduced new solutions, services and tools that can help companies meet these goals. With intuitive job posting and candidate management processes, these tools, such as WorkConnect by SAP, reduce the stress of the hiring process. Recruiters can reach multiple job boards, track and manage candidates, and easily collaborate on team feedback, all from a single tool. Using tools that support effective recruiting and efficient applicant management, companies can attract the right talent for the right positions at the right time.

Simon Bouchez is CEO of Multiposting, an SAP company. Follow Simon on Twitter at @SimonBouchez.