Since its introduction in 1985 Microsoft Excel has become one of the go to applications for all manner of business / data related tasks. Straight out of the box Excel is a great tool for storing and sorting relatively uncomplicated data and with advanced knowledge Excel is capable of much more. But is it capable of effectively managing the requirements of a modern day recruitment professional?
1. Data storage, presentation and search
Excel can store a massive amount of simple data (4.3808666e+12 cells!). The quantity of data Excel can store is not the issue it is the type of data, the way data is presented and the search-ability that limits recruitment professionals.
Ideally every candidate in your database will have a CV linked to his or her profile, which will need reformatting before sending to companies. Dependent on the position they may also have other documents such as a portfolio. If you are working from Excel you will need to jump between multiple programmes and have an extremely organised filing system to avoid misplacing vital information. As new candidates register data will quickly accumulate making it increasingly difficult to find what you need, when you need it.
Create an Excel spreadsheet with several thousand populated rows and try searching / scrolling. Be prepared to wait as your computer catches up.
2. Collaboration and privacy
Companies with multiple recruiters often utlise Cloud storage applications such as DropBox to share documents. Standard Excel documents are limiting as they can only be edited by a one user at a time. Documents downloaded from Cloud storage, edited and then placed back onto the network often result in lose of data as changes from users are overwritten.
At times you may want to hide specific data from a selection of users. Within Excel you can password protect individual sheets but this is no guarantee the data is secure. A simple Google search will reveal free downloads that can bypass Excel’s password protection. A potential issue if you are using Excel to store sensitive information.
3. Data back up and recovery
As client and candidate data is integral to the success of recruitment, it is vital information is backed up regularly. Excel’s Auto-save functionality can back up data as you work but does not safeguard your data. What happens if the file corrupts or the machine you use crashes, or worse, stops working completely?
Backing up and recovering data when using Excel will require setting up a shared network or relying on more manual methods such as email and external hard drives.
4. Analytics and reporting
Advanced reporting and analytics helps recruiters make informed business decisions, they also help identify potential problem areas before they become an issue.
As a senior recruiter or team leader you may want to monitor the performance of staff on an ad hoc basis. Within a standard Excel workbook this is not possible without advanced understanding of key functions and formulas.
5. Admin and repetitive tasks
Inputting data to Excel can be a time consuming, manual process. If 20 new candidates register with your business 20 sets of data have to be input, 20 CVs have to be formatted and filed. The lack of automation within Excel can cause recurring tasks to take over a working day, ultimately reducing the number of deals closed
6. Integrations and workflow
Chances are if you use Excel to store data you will be using a word processing application to keep notes in addition to your calendar and an email application to manage communications.
The more time you switch between packages the more time you waste. As recruitment continues to evolve you will become increasingly reliant on multiple applications. This will create a disjointed and complex workflow, which will increase the likelihood of mistakes.
Excel is a great application that does have an array of uses within the world of business, however it is not cut out to manage the modern day recruitment workflow.
At HRS we develop recruitment software for recruitment professionals. Our solutions allow you to manage the entire recruitment workflow from a single, powerfully integrated system. With features including key task automation, intelligent CV parsing, social media and job board connectivity, powerful LinkedIn integration and two-way email management HRS is proven to drive efficiency and increase profitability.