Selecting Recruiting Software

Selecting Recruiting Software If you are in the recruiting industry I do not need to tell you how competitive it is. Choosing the right staffing software may provide the competitive edge you need. A decade ago executive search systems were virtually non-existent, today there are over 100 vendors providing recruitment software ranging in price from $125,000 to $500. How do you choose the one that's right for you?

1. Your first step is to have a good idea on how you do and want to do, your recruiting. I know this statement seems strange but after listening to our clients for over twelve years describing their business and how they use our product, 'Gopher for Recruiters', I am convinced that no two recruiting business's operate or use the software in the same way. In fact I am convinced that if you took 10 of our customers put them in a room and requested that they describe their business and applicant tracking or resume database software without mentioning 'Gopher for Recruiters' many of them would not realize they are using the same recruiter software.

2. Decide on the staffing software before you buy the hardware. So many times I have seen someone buy an expensive piece of computer hardware and then start looking for software to run the business with and find that his choices are limited because of the hardware.

3. Determine the prospects of your vendor being there for you five years from now. Once you have converted or entered your recruiting data into a recruiting system you are dependent on being able to get at it or at least convert it. If your vendor goes out of business you may have serious problems in getting to your resume database. You will want to research how long they have been in business, client references and credit checks.

4. Determine what software tools were used to build the recruiting system i.e., computer language, database engines and other software tools. What you're looking for here is to make sure that your recruiting software is not dependent on some specialized software tool or vendor that may not be able to or may not want to keep up with the rapid changes in the computing industry. For my customers protection I like to put my money on Microsoft's flagship products i.e. MS WORD, MS ACCESS, EXCEL, VISUAL BASIC, SQL SERVER, WINDOWS and XP.

5. Determine the quality of the product with some bellwether questions; does the product have a demo, will the demo un-install from your computer? where and what is the size of the customer support staff? Evaluate the quality of the documentation.

6. Finally perform some simple bench marks relating to the amount of work required to perform basic recruiting tasks. Remember basic recruiting steps are performed many times a day and the time consumed mounts rapidly if the task is just a few keystrokes or clicks more:

From the point of entry to the system, how long, how many keystrokes and/or clicks does it take me to find a person picked at random based on skills, name, salary and or geography?
How long, how many keystrokes and/or clicks does it take me to get a phone number of a person from various points in the database?
How quickly can I find out the latest conversation with a client or applicant that has just called, while I am performing other tracking tasks?
From any point in the database what steps do I have to perform to search for information? Are my searches restricted to certain areas or can every field that    displays or accepts data be queried? When I do search for information and the results are displayed, can the displayed information be changed or updated or is another task or screen required for updating?
Is there ownership responsibility for the data entered into the database? Can you tell who entered a note, job order, calendar or resume?