Believe it or not: Excel still most popular tool for talent acquisition


Around 40 per cent of organisations still rely on ‘MS Excel’ as a primary tool to measure and manage pre-hires.

There is a world talking about artificial intelligence, chatbots and machine learning. Conversely, there is also a world still caught in time. If we go by a survey conducted by SHRM and Career Builder, 40 per cent of organisations are still using ‘MS Excel’ as a primary tool to measure and manage pre-hires.

The survey states that only 20 per cent of surveyed organisations used the Applicant Tracking System or ATS, while recruitment software and HRIS were used by 12 per cent, each.

If we go by the survey, it proves that there is a serious lack of awareness and knowledge amongst HR when it comes to using the latest technology tools.

Around 20 per cent of those surveyed also used other metric measurements, such as CV/resumes, manual procedures (direct interviews, surveys, e-mails), Job portals, in-house analytical tools and performance data to evaluate candidates.

According to this survey, there are still around 12 per cent organisations, which are quite averse to using technology for talent acquisition. The trend seems to be quite rampant among organisations with employee strength of less than 1,000. Obviously, larger organisations are more open to using technology.

As for the extent to which technology is used for talent acquisition, the survey indicates that organisations resort to technology mostly for job/social-media posting, in career websites, internal and external database search and background checks.

Technology was least leveraged for candidate screening, evaluation, engagement and self-service.

So why is HR so technologically disabled? The study suggests that lack of awareness of existing relevant technology tools is the primary reason, followed by the inability to track Return On Investment (ROI) and budgets. Surprisingly, there were no internal bottlenecks! This implies that organisations, as a whole, were trying to find relevance and reason for using technology.

It seems all technology providers need to make efforts to bring out the relevance of technology tools in the talent acquisition space and address the customised needs of the organization. In turn, HR functions should look at building a business case around the importance and need of technology-enabled functions and also put in tools / matrices in place to track ROI.


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Prajjal Saha is the editor and publisher of HRKatha, which he founded in 2015. With nearly 25 years of experience in business journalism, writing, and editing, he is a true industry veteran who possesses a deep understanding of all facets of business, from marketing and distribution to technology and human resources. Along with his work at HRKatha, he is also the author of the Marketing White Book. Thanks to his extensive experience and expertise, he has become a trusted source of insight and analysis for professionals across a wide range of industries.