So it’s time to find a recruitment software or a better Applicant Tracking System. Either your business has outgrown your old solution, you’ve been struggling along without one or you are setting up a new recruitment agency. But now you want to improve your customer service capabilities, professionalism and save time by automating some of your key recruiting processes.
Choosing your software program is a big deal. Make the wrong choice and you are stuck with a system that doesn't meet the needs of your business until you have the time and money to move to a new vendor. But if you follow these 8 simple tips, you'll be able to choose the system that's best suited to your business today and in the future.
1 – Check out what previous customers say about them
Once you have a list of possible solutions, check the vendors’ websites and read testimonials or case studies about what their clients have to say about them.
Next do a Google search for the vendor’s business name and software name to see if they appear in any of the forums. If there is anything negative make a note of it so you can do your own research to see if that complaint has been resolved or was it a genuine problem that was sorted out. All too many reviews and comparisons online are fake or constructed by competitors to steer prospective purchasers to their desired outcome.
2 – Know what it is you want this new system to do for you
Don’t be vague about improving your systems or saving the agency time. Write down exactly how you want the Applicant Tracking System software to improve the way you work. For example, the system will allow us to use SMS to communicate and record communications on the system or it will issue automated PDF invoices.
Once you’ve written your specifications document, keep referring back to it during the evaluation process.
3 – Difficult to leave
Some vendors ensure they handcuff their customers to the system by making it difficult or expensive to leave with encrypted data or excessive break costs. While you might think the system is perfect and you’ll never want to move, things change. Your business will change and the software market changes. You could find yourself struggling to leave because your data isn’t easily extracted and you’re up for big development costs. Choose a vendor that does not lock you in.
4 – Find out if there are any hidden costs
It’s not just at the exit stage that you could be up against some costs that you weren’t expecting. Some vendors charge high setup costs which you don’t find out about until you’ve signed up. If you don’t think you are going to be able to set up the system and import all your data, ask what it is going to cost to get the vendor to help you. Do they have a self service data import facility that they will assist you in completing – if not, what is the cost structure, per hour or per record.
5 – Continued development
Ask what enhancements the vendor has in the pipeline for future next releases. A software program can quickly be left behind in the market if the vendor isn’t continually working on R&D. If your vendor doesn’t keep up with the market you may want to move over to one that does so gauging whether they are proactive developers is important. Are they receptive to development requests or are you stuck with what you are given. Ask and find out.
6 – Ask for a demo
Try before you buy. You can’t really decide on a system until you give it a test drive. Recruitment software vendors should have a full working demo system with data that you can use to check on search capabilities and fields. Some demos are self paced while others are supported by a live person. Cloud based SaaS systems by definition are easier to access for demonstration purposes and can easily be undertaken using a screen sharing webinar or hangout technology. Try our Flo demo here.
7 – Support
This should really be number one on the list. Nothing will get you more frustrated with your choice of software if the support is sub-standard. Remember to find out how long you will expect to wait for a response to your support ticket. If I get stuck, can I get help? Can I get help now? Can I pick up the phone and talk to someone?
8 – Application Programming Interface (API)
Make a list of all the other software programs, systems and apps you use currently and may want to use in the future so you can ensure that your new Applicant Tracking System software will integrate with them. You don’t want to set up your new recruitment system only to find that it doesn’t integrate with a program you still use. Do you need Outlook integration – or job board integration on your website? Can the vendor provide a website template for you? This will save you lots of time removing the need to double handle data entry.