Information Systems in the Hiring Cycle

Hi folks, Cathal here from Wilson’s Warriors. In our intro post I mentioned that I’d be exploring how information systems are used by firms when hiring staff among other things. Our overarching theme for this whole blog is looking at how IS effect business decisions and a clear example of this is the hiring cycle. When you think of a business decision, usually it’s external decisions that come to mind like capital allocation or marketing, and we’ll explore these in detail too don’t worry, but the one that caught my eye off the bat was how a business hires.

From multinational to corner shop one of the most important decisions a business makes is who they pay and this has been formalised somewhat into a hiring cycle, depicted below by Lee (2007) and Holm (2012). The hiring cycle has seen tremendous change large in part to the use of information systems especially in the early stages where applications are numerous and resources devoted to those applications are low.

Recruiting process (Lee 2007; Holm 2012)

As an aspiring summer intern this year in finance or tech (it’s not going very well if anyone reads this I’d love a job), I’ve been somewhat exposed to the machine that is the corporate hiring cycle albeit a simplified version to get interns in the door. While applying to various firms I noticed that the first hurdle presented to applicants arrives long before even speaking to a representative from the firm: an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). An ATS is is an IS designed to support each task of the recruiting process (Eckhardt, 2014) and a common implementation of this is a software that scans resumes. It is common practise today to have the first pair of eyes to see your CV be a computer program, one designed to look for keywords related to the firm as well as more quantifiable data like what grades you have. The parameters are set by HR to pick out resumes that best fit the role. It is seen as a more objective approach to the initial applicant phase however human biases always worm their way in. It is not uncommon for the parameters to specify that only resumes that contain certain universities will be accepted as an example.

This is only one example of an IS in the hiring cycle and there are certainly far more complicated and comprehensive systems out there, this was just the first one that I had personal experience with. In my coming blog posts I’ll try and go deeper in the hiring cycle and hopefully discuss the use Information Systems have in the human behaviour behind hiring.


  1. Holm AB (2012) E-recruitment: towards an ubiquitous recruitment process and candidate relationship management. Z Personalforschung 26(3):241–259
  2. Lee I (2007) An architecture for a next-generation holistic e-recruiting system. Commun ACM 50(7):81–85
  3. Eckhardt A, Laumer S, Maier C, Weitzel T (2014) The transformation of people, processes, and IT in e-recruiting: insights from an eight-year case study of a German media corporation. Empl Relat 36(4):415–431

A Group of TCD College students investigating how information systems have changed the business decision making landscape