5 Steps For Maximising Your Recruitment Software Demo

In the 2017 LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends report it was advised, if money weren’t a constraint, 39% of recruitment leaders would invest in new technology and 38% would invest in better sourcing tools. Despite these statistics we often hear from new clients that they have previously rushed through the sales process with previous recruitment software providers without giving it the time that it requires. This can lead to buying recruitment software that lacks business critical functionality and, ultimately, becomes the wrong investment for your business.

Arguably, the most critical point of the sales process is getting the most out of your recruitment software demonstrations with potential providers. Recruitment software demonstrations allow you to see in real time how the recruitment CRM software works and whether the software has the right functionality for your business.

This 5 step guide aims to provide you with the knowledge of how to prepare before, and what to expect during the software demo process to maximise its value to ensure that you’re confident when it comes to making a buying decision.

Step 1 – Create A Steering Committee

The first step involves creating a steering committee including ‘subject matter experts’ from each department or business function. Each committee member can add in-detail value to the discussion on what functionality is essential within their department, function or user group.

What Is The Steering Committee Responsible For?
The steering committee is responsible for collating all your business, operational and user requirements so you have all the information you need before assessing the recruitment software market. This is vital because without knowing what you need, it will be impossible to recognise which software will be a valuable investment. They will also be responsible for making a shortlist of suitable software solutions and partners; attending demos, and providing feedback to your business during the sales process.

Step 2 – Shortlist Recruitment Software Providers

By understanding your specific business requirements and what functionality your business and users require, your steering committee will be able to shortlist a number of recruitment software providers with solutions that should be fit for purpose for your business.

When you commence engaging with recruitment software providers, as well as looking at the software’s functionality, you should also be assessing how they will work with you as a partner.

Potential recruitment software providers should:

  • Ask detailed information about your business processes, your specific sector, and what has taken you to market for a new recruitment software solution.
  • Provide a transparent picture of the software’s functionality and honestly advise you if it is the “right fit” for your business.
  • Provide transparent costs for any software configuration, software implementation, data migration, software training, and any additional renewing annual costs for licences or software upgrades.

If the provider isn’t forthcoming with any of the above information, you may want to question whether this is the provider for your business.

Would you like know what you should expect from your recruitment software provider?  Take a read of our blog.

Step 3 – Schedule The Software Demo

Before scheduling the first demo, your steering committee should clearly articulate to each recruitment software provider what your essential and nonessential functional requirements are. This will assist the recruitment software providers prepare and target the demos to your business requirements.

Step 4 – Request More Demos

The average recruitment software demo usually lasts 45mins. If you haven’t seen all the functionality you need to make a decision with confidence, then schedule another demo. The majority of reputable recruitment software providers will provide as many demos as you need to make a decision. During each demo, it is best to involve the relevant subject matter expert who will be using the software on a daily basis.

NB: Note down the important features during the demos (regardless of whether they seem small or obvious) and never assume all software functionality works the same way.

Step 5 – Evaluate

Once you are happy that you have all the information you need to weigh up the pros and cons of each recruitment software solution and provider, it’s time to assess and evaluate your options.

To help make the decision:

  • Obtain a quote outlining the investment cost (initial and recurring) from each software provider.
  • Shortlist the recruitment software providers based on cost, functionality and service/partnership approach.
  • Request a reference from each recruitment software provider or request their client testimonials (usually on their website).

A software demo is only one step within the buying process. Download our free step-by-step recruitment software buying guide and make the right choice for your recruitment agency.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

How Will GDPR Impact Recruitment Agencies?

There’s no doubt that you will have heard of the GDPR changes that come into effect as of 25th May 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU).

By now, you will be aware that you need to start preparing for the new regulations immediately in time to safeguard your business against the increased maximum fine. In May 2018, the fine increases to €20 million or 4% of global turnover (whichever is greater).

Unless you are adept at deciphering a 88 page legal document filled with countless “articles” and “clauses”, you may not feel completely confident in what the best plan of action is for your agency. So, let’s strip it back and clarify the key “highlights” of what GDPR means for recruitment agencies and how it may impact you on a day-to-day basis.

NB: This list is not exhaustive as GDPR will affect all agencies differently. Do your research to ensure your business processes comply with the new regulations. For 12 steps to take now, take a look at Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)’s free guide.

What Does GDPR Mean For Recruitment Agencies?

Contrary to what some articles are insinuating – GDPR does not mean wholesale changes to your business model and certainly won’t be the end of recruitment! In reality, if your agency is complying with the current Data Protection Act (DPA), the majority of your approach will assist you well under the new laws.

However, there are some significant changes and they revolve around your recruitment agency being more transparent to your candidates about how you collect, store and use their data. The most important points include:

  1. Separate consent must now be sought for separate processing activities (such as, for example, when a candidate has put his or her details forward for one vacancy and these are then used for an unrelated purpose).
  2. Implied consent (that may come from the terms and conditions laid out by a job board) is not enough as personal data cannot now be shared on that basis.
  3. All candidate submissions must be submitted to a valid role and they have to have been contacted by the recruiter and given the vacancy details before the CV is sent.
  4. You will have direct responsibility for your own compliance with the GDPR and must be able to demonstrate a paper trail of compliance in your records.

So how will these changes impact your agency and what changes do you need to put in place to become compliant?

How Will GDPR Impact Recruitment Agencies?

The first action to take is to document your current processes. This means identifying how you collect, store and use candidates’ data as part of the recruitment/hiring process. Mapping out your registration/application process will allow you to identify where consent needs to be attained, and what information you must provide to the candidate. For example, under the new laws, you must set out the purposes for which the data is going to be processed, how it will be retained, and must state the right to have personal data deleted or rectified.

In the past, many recruiters were able to be very independent in their methods of using personal data but the new regulations reduce this grey area. By documenting your processes, you will be able to see how your recruiters operate. giving you the opportunity to systemise your operations under a more diligent methodology.

The act of “speccing” candidates will also come under further scrutiny within the new regulations. GDPR mandates that the sharing of personal data cannot be on a basis of implied consent, such as from a job board, and must come directly from the candidate. This may impact some recruitment processes but best practice dictates that you should always wait for a candidate’s permission before “speccing” their CV.

Data Management
Having a centralised system that handles all of your candidate and client data is imperative under GDPR. It will be more challenging to ensure compliance to the upcoming regulations if your data is being stored in multiple applications such as Excel, Word, Outlook and/or a recruitment CRM. By handling your data collection process in one place, you and your recruiters can monitor how data is being collected, stored and used without ambiguity. This will give you the clarity you need to make the appropriate changes.

This is vital for GDPR because agencies must be able to provide the “paper trail” that documents the onboarding and data processes. So, as well as changing how you onboard candidates, you will need to make sure your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or recruitment software is used to record the required activity. For example, you will need to be able to show when candidates were onboarded, what information was given, what consent was acquired and how the data was used.

The most fundamental impact for all agencies will be in updating their documentation, both internally and externally. The internal documents by which you induct new staff members will need to be free of ambiguity and current staff must be aware of any changes to their daily activity. External documents such as onboarding contracts and policies will also need to reviewed and revised to meet the increased demand for stipulating consent and how the data will be used.

To manage the delivery of these requirements, it may be necessary to appoint a Data Protection Officer or consult legal professionals because, ultimately, getting your recruitment agency “over-prepared” is worth the investment.


In summary GDPR provides recruitment agencies the impetus to clarify their internal processes and become more transparent to their candidate with how there information will be processed and used. By preparing your agency now and making the necessary changes, you can ensure your agency and recruitment consultants comply with the upcoming regulations.

Need More Information On GDPR For Your Recruitment Agency?

Take a read of our other informative GDPR blogs:

  • A need to know guide which provides the answers to the 8 most frequently searched questions in Google about GDPR.
  • A GDPR compliance toolkit including the best online GDPR resources including some specifically for the recruitment industry.

Request our free GDPR eBook below for more detailed information on GDPR and how to centralise your data management all within one recruitment CRM system.

gdpr recruitment agency

Diversity In The Workplace: What Recruiters Need To Know

A recent Forbes Insights survey of more than 300 senior executives revealed that companies’ top two priorities for diversity and inclusion are; the recruitment of diverse employees (65%) and the retention of diverse talent (44%). Given these statistics, it stands to reason that top recruiters and agencies should not only be aware of their clients’ increasing diversity strategies but are in a unique position to advise on its growing importance.

The reason having a diverse workplace has become a global aspiration of modern organisations is not solely based on social morality and brand awareness, it is also based on evidence that it increases productivity and revenue. A 2015 Mckinsey study showed that:

“In the United Kingdom, greater gender diversity on the senior-executive team corresponded to the highest performance uplift in our data set: for every 10 percent increase in gender diversity, Earnings Before Interest & Taxes (EBIT) rose by 3.5 percent.”

By having a plethora of cultures, experiences and different perspectives in the workplace, organisations are reaping the benefits in terms of creativity and productivity. To gain a broad understanding of the issues involved and how diversity is being implemented across the globe, let’s focus on what D & I means and which companies are leading the charge.

What Is Diversity & Inclusion In The Workplace?

Breaking it down, diversity refers to the mutual respect and appreciation of different groups of people including ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, education, religion and age. Inclusion is the process of creating a strategy that encourages all groups to have a voice and giving equal and ample opportunity for any individual to develop in the workplace.

Who Is Doing Diversity Well?

The National Football League (NFL)

The Rooney Rule was introduced in 2003 and aimed to increase racial diversity within the coaching ranks because, although 70% of players were black, only 6% of coaches were held by minorities. The rule stipulates that for any open position, the organisation has to interview at least one minority candidate. Despite taking some criticism, there’s no doubt that it has had a positive impact. By just 2006, the share of minority coaches had risen to 22%.

Perhaps the biggest success of the Rooney Rule is the fact that it has been adopted and evolved by many companies including Facebook, Pinterest and even the Pentagon.

British Airways (BA)

After conducting a survey in 2014, which revealed that 63% of women said they were deterred from becoming a pilot at a young age, British Airways launched the Future Pilot Programme – a cadet training facility aimed at bringing more female pilots and experienced employees into its ranks. As a result, in 2016, they recruited a record number of pilots.

Captain Stephen Riley commented, “We’re extremely proud that we have more female pilots than ever before, and we are continuing our recruitment campaign to encourage more women to apply to fly commercial aircraft.”

Although the number of female pilots in the UK is still low, at 6%, it does stand at double the global average of 3%. This campaign has also paved the way for other airlines to implement similar strategies such as Virgin Atlantic’s Future Flyers Programme, which launched earlier this year.

Female Pilot Diversity

Ernst & Young (EY)

EY are currently ranked no. 1 for Diversityinc.com’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity, having appeared in the top 5 for the last 8 years. This award is primarily based on the ability to recruit, onboard, develop and retain talented individuals. Amongst other initiatives, EY became the first professional services firm to equalise paid parental leave. This means that both fathers and mothers are now eligible for up to 16 weeks of fully paid leave.

EY has also established the Neurodiversity Account Support program which aims to develop and provide employment opportunities to people who have neurological conditions such as Asperger’s and Tourette’s Syndrome, whilst at the same time improving client service delivery. There are currently 300 people in this function in US and EY and planning to expand it globally in 2017.


Like many of their social media and tech counterparts, Pinterest have been criticised for their lack of diversity, particularly within senior roles. So, in 2016, they decided to take the brave step in announcing their D&I goals. These included:

  • Increase hiring rates for full-time engineering roles to 30% female.
  • Increase hiring rates for full-time engineers to 8% underrepresented ethnic backgrounds.
  • Increase hiring rates for non-engineering roles to 12% underrepresented ethnic backgrounds.
  • Implement a Rooney Rule-type requirement where at least one person from an underrepresented background and one female candidate is interviewed for every open leadership position.

By laying bare their goals, achievements and shortcomings, they have held themselves accountable for improving diversity within the tech industry.

What Can Recruiters Learn?

Since 65% of senior executives believe the responsibility for implementing diversity and inclusion programs falls on HR, it should be a priority for recruiters to understand these issues, provide support and offer solutions to the problems faced in implementing and meeting D&I goals. By considering diversity and inclusion, recruiters can position themselves as trusted advisors and become more involved with their clients’ hiring process.

Do you want your recruiters to become exceptional rather than just great? Download your free guide on the components you need to improve your recruitment team.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team