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How to Build a Recruitment Tech Stack: A Comprehensive Guide

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Recruitment needs to look beyond the surface level. This applies not only to your candidates, your contracts, or your business plans but also to your technology.

We’re talking about your “tech stack”: the collection of technology tools and systems you use. They’re added to meet a business goal or address a pain point.

What is a recruitment tech stack?

In recent years, the use of tech stacks has surged in popularity among businesses across industries. In the context of a recruitment agency, a tech stack refers to a combination of software tools designed to aid in the recruiting process - including but not limited to applicant tracking system (ATS), client relationship management (CRM), etc.

Thanks to the ability to automate various steps in the recruiting process, a tech stack allows staffing agencies to significantly ramp up their operation efficiency - and scale up the size of their business.


Why should recruitment agencies build tech stack?

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, staffing agencies need to find ways to stand out from the crowd. One recommended solution is to invest in the latest technologies. By building a recruitment tech stack, recruiters have the chance to triumph over their rivals - by streamlining their daily processes and improving the candidate experience.

Thanks to the ability to automate various steps in the recruiting process (e.g: applicant tracking, scheduling interviews), a tech stack allows staffing agencies to significantly ramp up their operation efficiency - and scale up the size of their business. In addition, it also enables the team to keep track of their progress and performance, hence laying the foundation for business analytics and development.


Challenges of building and running tech stack

There’s more than meets the eye in any tech stack. This is especially true for recruitment businesses, where you might be using five or more tools: a CRM, website, analytics dashboards, timesheets, invoicing, and others.

You might look at it as a beautiful structure - like the fraction of an iceberg jutting out of the ocean. But the underside of that same structure has some lurking threats that could sink you. You don’t want your rec firm to go the way of the Titanic.

The problem is that tech stacks grow over time.

With the explosion of SaaS tech, plus short-sighted planning, it’s a little too easy to add on more and more. Eventually, what helped the business starts to hurt the business.

It’s time to take an honest look at your tech stack. Here’s a deep dive touring some of the dangers lurking below.

The first facet to examine: is your TCO.

True Cost of Ownership

There’s the price of a tech stack, and then there’s the True Cost of Ownership (TCO).

It’s not just the price you paid when you signed the dotted line on your contract. The TCO comprises all ongoing and associated system expenses.

This covers a lot of territories: from implementation to management to add-on costs. All that, plus salary costs for your staff, plus the need to ‘babysit’ it, and then any costs for downtime, maintenance, and upgrades.

Over the tech’s lifecycle, it adds up to more than just a bit of money.

Integration & Customization Nightmares

“Customizing” your tech stack is great, but it’s all on you.

First, you have to assign people to implement any integrations. These projects can drag on, stealing time and money from other priorities.

Then your “customized” tech stack is of the product roadmap. Your system will be excluded from further upgrades and development.

Compliance Timebombs

Data privacy is non-negotiable, especially when you’re dealing with thousands of candidates’ personal information daily.

With every new tool added to your tech stack, you have more hidden places for data to collect.

Each is one more “drawer” to clear out when it comes to any GDPR or data privacy requests.

For example, an old candidate might put in a “right to be forgotten” request. Your admin team might think they’ve cleared it up by removing this candidate’s info from the CRM/ATS. But what if they miss the same data hidden in your candidate portal? Or your video interviewing platform? Or your website?

Clearing up this clutter isn’t just an admin headache: it’s a danger to compliance.

Misaligned Contract Dates

Maybe you signed up for a recruitment CRM two years ago. Then you got some integrations: an online timesheet tool a year ago, and an analytics dashboard six months ago.

What if you want to change vendors?

You can’t. Once the contracts are signed, you’re locked in. With mismatched contract end dates, you’ll have a hard time escaping this mess. Watch out for the danger of paying for what you don’t need.

Separate Training & Support

Multiple vendors also mean multiple training & onboarding processes.

And it doesn’t stop there: now you’re worried about several overlapping release cycles and keeping track of different customer support portals.

When it comes to integrations, the “vendor blame game” is real. Be careful that you don’t run into a vendor who’s quick to sell, but slow to support.

Ever-Growing Admin Team

Tech relies on people. Much as you might try to automate, you’ll need admin and IT support to keep the system running.

Consider the personnel costs involved in propping up your growing tech stack.

Siloed Data & Reporting

With different tech tools, data gets trapped in isolated pockets across the system. It won’t be long before you’re resorting to manual data entry and spreadsheet wrangling.

For example, maybe you run a Temp desk. You want to know how many Temps are starting or finishing in a given time, and check up on redeployment analytics. It will take ages for your back office to pull these stats just by using spreadsheets.

If it gets to that point, can you even trust your data? No matter how reliable your team is, human error will compound itself until your reports are next to useless.

The result? Excel Hell.

All of the points above - from integration nightmares to deadly data - add to your tech stack’s TCO. Together they create an unnavigable “iceberg” tech stack that only gets in the way of business progress.

It’s not just the money that’s at stake, but the time, energy, and uncertainty involved in trying to work with disparate systems.

When was the last time you took an honest look at your tech stack? You might be afraid to - it’s dark and deep down there.

Dealing with tech stacks can be intimidating. But where there are dangers, there are also opportunities.

Not sure how your recruitment tech stacks up? Take our 90-second audit.


Which tools should recruiters include in the tech stack?

To attract top talent, it’s necessary to start with a collection of recruitment tech stack tools. From applicant tracking systems to candidate sourcing tools, a wide range of software is available to help recruiters find and recruit the best candidates.

Applicant tracking system

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) has become very common among recruitment agencies in recent years. An ATS helps recruiters keep track of job applications, CVs, and interview schedules, making it easy to keep track of candidates throughout the recruiting process.

Candidate sourcing tool

A candidate sourcing tool helps you find potential candidates that match your specific recruiting criteria. This provides a very solid solution to finding passive candidates - who may not be actively searching for a new job but would be interested in your open positions.


Chatbots are designed to automate the initial screening process - by initiating conversations with candidates and pre-qualifying them for open roles. Additionally, Chatbots enable recruiters to engage with candidates on a personal level and answer any questions they may have about the job.

Job postings

Posting on job boards is still one of the most effective ways to reach candidates. This will allow you to reach a wide audience of potential candidates and give you a place to post your open positions.

Instead of manually posting each job, consider using an automation tool that can remotely post to multiple job boards all at once.


3 things to consider before choosing a tech stack

Adopting a recruitment technology stack provides a good starting point for streamlining your recruiting process and improving candidate quality. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, think about implementing assessments in your recruiting process. When assessing a prospective candidate, evaluate whether or not various alternatives for standardized tests can help you determine which candidate's skills can be transferred, as you'll want to find out about their skills in a pinch.

Second, consider whether you need remote-friendly solutions. If remote recruiting is part of your strategy, you'll need to make sure your tech stack can accommodate that. With more and more organizations working remotely, it's important to choose tech stack solutions accessible from anywhere. Choose tools that allow candidates to complete applications and assessments online.

Finally, think about your budget. There's a wide range of pricing options for recruitment technology, so you'll need to decide what you're willing to spend. By taking the time to consider these factors, you can ensure that you choose the right tech stack for your company's needs.


Final thoughts

Building a recruitment tech stack is not as difficult as it may seem. You can easily build an effective system for your agency using the recommendations in this article. Just remember to tailor the system to your specific needs and always test it before implementing it.