Your Recruiting Database Could Cost You Placements

Good technology adds efficiency and eases business pain. If your recruiting software isn’t doing that for you and your team, then chances are, you need a different solution. So how can you tell if it’s time to pitch your old recruiting database? Well, for starters, ask yourself these questions:

  • “Do I often feel like I’m lost in my current ATS, even though I’ve had it for a while?”
  • “Are there too many features that I never use and don’t need?”
  • “Is my system clunky and confusing?”
  • “Am I overpaying for a system that is more complex than I want it to be?”
  • “Have I created time-consuming workarounds to compensate for unintuitive or poor features?”
  • “Is the customer service lacking?”
  • And most importantly, “Am I wasting my money and/or recruiting time?”

You don’t want to overpay for features you don’t need and won’t use. But at the same time, you need enough power to make your life easier and an intuitive system that doesn’t give you headaches when you use it (and yes, using a paper-clipped-together system of sticky notes and excel spreadsheets does count as a headache-causer!).

A Guide to Selecting Software That Fits Your Needs

So what do you do now that you’ve realized you might need new recruiting database software? Where do you start your shopping process?

A review site, such as Capterra or SoftwareAdvice, will help you quickly and easily narrow down your search and make it painless to compare recruiting databases side by side. And thankfully, those wonderful users who left detailed reviews have saved you the trouble of trying out each software package yourself!

When you’ve narrowed down your search to just a few likely contenders, it’s time to make phone calls and start comparing the software directly to your firm’s needs. We found ERE’s excellent article, “The 17 Things To Think About Before Picking An Applicant Tracking System,” to be a great starting point. This list will help you evaluate potential recruiting software packages with your needs in mind:

  • Does the primary company profile of the software match your own company profile? For example, Top Echelon’s Big Biller is geared towards small-to-medium sized recruiting firms. Some software is made for in-house recruiters who need HR functionality, and still others are intended for enterprise-sized recruiting firms.
  • Will it be easy for you and your team to use with minimal training? This includes both the initial switch of your data to the new system and the ongoing learning curve as your team adapts. Ask for a demo, and if you’re intrigued, sign up for a free trial so you can click around and get a personal feel for it.
  • Is the candidate side of the experience good? This is key! You won’t attract applicants if their side of the software is unfriendly or unresponsive.
  • Can the software post to job boards, social media sites, and you own website easily? Again, you want a solution that will make your life easier, not one that takes 5 minutes of your time per job opening to post in all the necessary spots.
  • How good is the search and matching functionality? You will need to see a very good demo and/or run your own tests during your free trial period to figure this out. Reading reviews should also help you determine this.
  • Is the customer support team friendly, helpful, and responsive? If not, don’t go near that software! Eventually, you’ll have a problem that will require tech support, and you don’t want to be dealing with lag time and terse, unhelpful responses when you’re in a crunch.
  • How strong is the reporting tool? Find out what it reports on, and if the tool is configurable for your firm’s needs.
  • Is the software available through a cloud-based web portal, or do you actually have to download it? With a cloud product, updates and fixes are usually done behind the scenes and don’t require any work on your part.
  • Is the vendor financially viable? Find out how long the vendor has been in business. You don’t want to pick a software and import all your data just to have the vendor close it’s doors!
  • How easily does the recruiting database integrate with other systems and software? At minimum, you will want the software to integrate easily with your own website. Also, does the customer support team help you set this up, or do you have to do it yourself?
  • How quickly does the software perform? Again, demos and reviews will help you here, but they are no substitute for a live trial performed by you.
  • Where is the data stored and “owned”? How easily will you be able to get your data back out again, should you need to? Find out the format in which your records will come back to you.
  • Are references available? This goes beyond just customer reviews. Can you talk to an actual real, live user of the software and ask questions?

Additonally, we’d like to add a few points of our own:

  • Does the vendor offer training for all users, and does it cost extra? A good software vendor should offer training baked into the cost of the software itself. After all, it doesn’t matter how good the product is if you and your team don’t understand how to use the functionality.
  • Is the software a total recruiting ecosystem, or does it just offer a CRM or ATS? You will likely be happier with a total ecosystem that does some of the guesswork for you. For example, Top Echelon’s Big Biller is an ATS and recruiting CRM that integrates with your website through a job board plug-in and offers a posting subscription for job boards as well. It also integrates with Top Echelon’s split-placement Network, should you choose to apply for membership.
  • Does the software offer free updates? Most monthly, cloud-based subscription software services do, but some downloadable solutions do not. These ongoing costs are important to consider in conjunction with the up-front cost.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, you probably don’t want the shiniest, most expensive, all-the-bells-and-whistles recruiting database software. You just want something that works well for you and your team and makes your life easier.

Please contact us if you’re interested in a free 30 day trial of Top Echelon’s Big Biller – no credit card required!