Recruitment SaaS vs. Recruiting with Excel or Google Sheets: Pros and Cons

Recruitment is a time-consuming and challenging process that demands the use of resources, patience, and dedication. On average, a corporate job ad receives 250 resumes.

In addition to reviewing a large number of applications regularly, recruiters must make certain that no activity takes up too much time and that each candidate has a positive experience. To keep recruiting moving forward, hiring managers and recruiters need to employ a variety of methods and technologies.

Because of that, recruiters use methods that ease the process and make hiring faster. In general, these methods can be traditional and modern.

Although 81 percent of the C-Suite said “they would not have been able to operate effectively during the pandemic without HR technology”, a surprising number of HR professionals still rely on archaic recruitment methods.

That might be because they want to avoid investing in modern technology and employee training. Because of that, many recruiters could lack the skills and confidence to use HR software.

People often feel more comfortable with traditional methods or lack awareness of more affordable and innovative software that provides efficient features.

However, not using modern tools for recruitment could damage business and make the hiring process less efficient than it could be.

Here’s everything you should know about both approaches.

Traditional Tools for Recruitment

Most HR departments used Excel and Google Sheets to monitor their recruitment data and goals before the growth of digital transformation. Due to their ease of use and accessibility, these technologies became an essential part of the process.

Hence, professionals across various industries leveraged these tools for over 20 years for all kinds of assignments, such as creating a list of leads, planning budgets, monitoring revenues, etc. Although these were innovative programs a few decades ago, technology has come a long way ever since.

Despite this, many corporations and organizations still rely on Excel and other Microsoft Office products to run their hiring processes. Here are the benefits and downsides of using them.

Excel or Google Sheets for Recruitment

Traditional methods of tracking the recruitment process using Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheets include creating workbooks or downloading templates from the Internet. There, recruiters can add applicants’ data, application status information, resumes, interview schedules, selection process results, onboarding info, etc.

However, while these platforms offer a lot of customization options, they can be extremely complex and tedious to work with depending on the requirements and the amount of data stored.

Advantages of Using Excel in Recruitment

Here are the main benefits of using Excel in recruitment:

  • Widely Available, Affordable, and “Easy to Use” – Being so versatile, most companies and departments use Google Sheets or Excel in some form or way. This leads to most employees being able to use these applications’ basic functions without the need for any training.
  • Easily Store Large Amounts of Data – Recruiters can use Excel to store and summarize data. However, that is not scalable as users will struggle to find a specific job applicant or customer, getting lost in thousands of rows and spreadsheets.
  • Emphasize Data with Conditional Formatting – Recruiters can leverage Conditional Formatting to highlight specific values. That comes in handy when they’re discussing spreadsheets with their supervisors and teams, or when they’re generating analysis and reports.
  • Highly Customizable – This is to be taken with a grain of salt. While in theory anything is possible using Excel or Google Sheets, in practice, complex customization is out of reach for the average user and might even require a developer. Finally, while the end result might meet the requirements, highly complex sheets are likely not to be as functional as a dedicated recruitment software.

Disadvantages of Using Excel and Google Sheets in Recruitment

Here’s why these programs can’t keep up with new tech:

1. There is no Applicant Tracking System in place

A major drawback of Excel and Google Sheets is that they are not specifically designed for recruitment, meaning that they do not provide recruiters access to all the relevant tools in one spot and out of the box. These programs don’t include the Applicant Tracking System, a must for fast and data-driven recruitment. – Read more

Learn more about Recruitment Software


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