What is front-office?

Corporate News | 09.13.2022

Staffing agencies are under increasing pressure to hire the right candidate, at the right time and for the right job, in an increasingly short timeframe and by completing quality talent acquisition. To fulfil this mission, now more than ever, it is crucial that they have state-of-the-art, cloud-based, artificial intelligence-based digital front-office tools designed by IT companies specialising in the staffing industry.

Front-office is defined as a set of HR tools that enables: a careers page for talent attraction, screening and analysis of incoming resumes, remote interviews for pre-selecting applicants and placing, or hiring, the right profile for the client.

The first component of the front-office module is undoubtedly the careers page, or ‘Work with us’. This must contain:

  1. a section with the list of job advertisements, easily filtered, geolocated, indexed by Google, republished through multiposting tools by the recruiter and shareable on social networks by the candidates themselves, to attract more and more “active” profiles in the job search;
  2. a spontaneous application form for “passive” candidates, where they are not asked to describe their profile, but simply to fill in drop-down menus divided into a few distinct sections (personal data, work experience and acceptance of privacy) and to upload their CVs in various available formats (then analyzed by an automatic pre-screening semantic engine), which allows for complete profiles from the moment of acquisition, and, at the same time, is structured in a single registration step, to increase the application conversion rate;
  3. a login section where, in addition to the recruiter, the candidate can access a personal area to manage his/her resume and profile autonomously, in order to keep it always up-to-date and to stay up to date on selection processes and positions published by recruiters.

At the same time, the career page, just as Ngage, ATS and CRM for staffing organizations by Arca24, proposes, must be fully integrated within the corporate site and have as its strategic objective the strengthening of employer branding: a built-in page, where the proposed working environment can be described with text and graphics that are consistent with the rest of the site, creates engagement and attracts the most demanding candidates, often the passive ones, who are more difficult to win over. Since today’s passive candidates may be active tomorrow, if the company’s talent pool is nurtured early on, the overall time-to-hire may also be reduced.

In addition to an attractive and effective career page, it is crucial to use tools for automatically screening resumes and ranking the most suitable candidates.

For any open job position, whatever the role being recruited, whatever the company size or the client for whom the profile is placed, the primary requirements are always the distance to the workplace and the professional skills of the candidate. The modalities change, but the sheer number of CVs from which to choose the best ones and the multiple selection steps are common challenges that can slow down and complicate the process if carried out in a traditional, manual manner.

For a quick and successful pre-selection, it is essential to have a semantic engine based on artificial intelligence, such as the one developed by the Arca24 team: the engine reads the text of the job advertisement (title and description), extracts the required professional titles and skills and returns useful tags to be compared with those identified in the CVs. In both cases, it carries out a logical analysis of the text and associates professional title and competence/task performed (e.g., if it reads “balance sheets”, it attributes the tag “accountant”).

The semantic search works in combination with the full-text search, but offering an added value: a real concept analysis, specifically verticalized on the world of work and for each individual job sector, with a library of about 1,480 job titles and over 20,000 professional competences. On the basis of this screening, as well as by distance on the basis of geolocation, candidates are sorted by percentage of compatibility on the job offer in a fully automatic manner, saving the recruiter from having to read all incoming CVs in full, and not only that: it excludes totally unsuitable candidates and includes all CVs from the talent pool in the process, in order to be able to propose itself even to candidates defined as passive and reach them before the competition. Furthermore, the CV parsing and CV matching tool powered by Arca24 crosses job advertisements and resumes in 6 different languages.

After the pre-selection stage, advanced front-office tools allow real selection without wasting time; whereas previously all tests and candidate interviews took place in person, today there are:

  • video resumes, which allow the candidate to present himself/herself in a video and make his/her profile more attractive;
  • killer questions, i.e., written multiple-choice questionnaires where the recruiter sets the question, provides a series of answers and sets the response time as well as a score for automatic sorting of candidates, where the best one is immediately flagged;
  • automated video interviews to exclude already less suitable candidates and avoid an in-person interview;
  • hard skills tests for assessing technical and professional skills (e.g., language proficiency and Microsoft Office tests);
  • soft skills tests for assessing the candidate’s psychological profile, information on whether it is suitable for the job on offer.

Arca24 integrates these tools into Ngage to offer a 360-degree candidate assessment that can be shared with the client, which keeps the level of customer and candidate engagement high. Furthermore, the “(pre-)interview” of candidates performed by the machine allows the recruiter to reduce the time-to-hire on a given selection.

Returning to the topic of sharing information with the client, Arca has designed two tools integrated in its software for staffing agencies:

  • the rapid sharing of the candidate’s entire profile with CV and attached evaluations, via email links;
  • the candidate’s summary, i.e., a presentation of single candidates or multiple profiles customizable to the client’s needs with the addition of test results or video interviews, which leaves the recruiter free to decide whether to keep the candidate’s contact details available or to obscure them. The candidate’s summary can also be shared with the client by e-mail via a link.

In both cases, the client receiving the profile can make a comment directly via the link, without needing to have a reserved area in the software, the sender is immediately notified and the comment is automatically saved in the candidate’s profile, linked to the process in question. There will be no need for a phone call or further contact with the client, the process will be shortened and the candidate shortlist will be reached quickly. Last but not least, in the software Ngage by Arca24, all candidate’s summaries will remain as a history available to the client within his/her personal area, a private area to which the recruiter can send the client the access with one click, making him/her more informed and involved in the selection process.

Adopting a user-friendly front-office module with integrated selection tools simplifies, optimizes and tracks daily work: the machine saves low added-value work and allows the recruiter to concentrate on the “human” part of the job, on fast and above all qualitative selection activity.

Some data show that more and more HR specialists have made and are making this choice. In support of this topic, a survey by SIA, the global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions, carried out on 46 European staffing agencies at the end of 2021, reported that in the following 12 months, between 70% and 80% of those would have used integrated HR tools, sourcing automation tools, the publication of jobs online and skills tests with a very high percentage of between 90% and 100%. Quite simply, more than 50% would have used front-office software for 95% of their day-to-day business, suggesting a significant increase in the current year 2022, at the expense of less cutting-edge tools and more traditional methods.


Arca24 is an HR Tech Factory specialised in the development of cloud software for the human resources sector.

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Reference product

Ngage – Staffing Agency Software

Ngage (ATS+CRM) is a solution developed to support staffing and employment agencies throughout the entire production cycle. It optimizes and digitalize the processes of talent acquisition, customer relationship and administrative management.