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Recruitment Software Implementation: 6 Steps To Prepare

When you are looking at implementing new recruitment software into your agency, there are a number of ways your recruitment agency can prepare to ensure the implementation runs smoothly and your software users embrace your new investment.

Recruitment software implementation services differs from one software provider to another, and will generally depend on:

  • The type of recruitment software purchased
  • Installing the software on your infrastructure
  • The type and complexity of data migration
  • Configuration of the recruitment CRM
  • Any bespoke software development
  • User acceptance testing
  • Training of the software users

Most recruitment software providers will offer a implementation specialist to coordinate the requirements with you, or paid project management / implementation services. Irrespective of what implementation approach your recruitment software provider offers, below are 6 steps your agency can take to prepare for the recruitment software implementation process.

Step 1. Get The Right People Involved

As your recruitment software is used by staff across your agency, the importance of creating a dedicated project team which includes a team member from each department will ensure you have the right people involved with your recruitment software implementation. Each team member should bring their knowledge of your business, to provide input, and do not underestimate the amount of time involved to implement the software successfully into your recruitment agency.

Step 2. Know Your Business

One of first steps for the project team is to ensure that they have a good understanding of how your agency operates in the delivery of your end-to-end recruitment services, to both candidates and clients. Do not underestimate the little things. By having either your processes documented or a clear understanding within the project team, this will ensure that they are able to address your specific business requirements during each stage of the implementation process.

Step 3. Know Your Data

Data migration is not a one-size fits all service and it will depend on what your recruitment agency decides is ‘essential’ data required in your new recruitment CRM. The only individuals who really know your data are you and your staff. Spend the time to review all your data, identify what is ‘essential’ data to migrate to your new recruitment software and cleanse it. This may include removing duplicate or incomplete records, or inconsistencies in data formats, or how the data has been entered. The time spent cleansing your data up front will certainly assist with any data migration services you purchase.

Step 4. Configuration And Test

Once your recruitment CRM has been installed onto your infrastructure and your data migration is scheduled or delivered, it is time to configure your new recruitment software. Depending on the type of recruitment software purchased, you may be able to do the configuration yourself or it might involve paid, bespoke configuration or software development. Spend the time by referring back to your processes, and test the software to ensure you have identified any gaps in the configuration and setup.

Step 5. Invest In Training

Understandably, recruitment software training can be seen as an additional option (and an additional cost) and not always essential. However, software training is a hugely important element to ensuring your staff have the knowledge and skills to successfully do their role efficiently. The more your staff are trained and understand how your new recruitment software supports them doing their role better, the more it will be embraced.

Step 6. Support Your Staff

The majority of learning for any software happens outside of the formal training program, as your staff get on with their daily work. To maximise the investment from the initial training, many recruitment agencies implement a continuous learning environment which aims to support staff after the initial formal training as their staff continue to use the new recruitment software and require either additional support or refresher training as they go.

See what fellow recruiters have to say regarding the landscape for the UK & Ireland recruitment industry in 2018, download our free eBook today.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

5 Considerations For A Successful Data Migration

For any recruitment agency, data is one of your biggest assets. So when you’re looking at investing in new recruitment software one of the major considerations during the implementation stage is data migration.

So what is a data migration, why is it important and what do you need to consider when discussing data migration options with your recruitment software provider?

What Is A Data Migration?

A data migration simply refers to the transfer of data from one source into another. The complexity of a data migration depends entirely on the type of data you wish to be extracted from your existing recruitment CRM, applications or manual spreadsheets and imported into your new recruitment software.

What To Consider For A Successful Data Migration

1. What type of data migration services are available?

Data migration is not a one-size fits all service and it will depend on what your recruitment agency decides is ‘essential’ data and information required in your new recruitment CRM. Below are the two standard data migration services offered by most recruitment software providers:

Field data import from a excel spreadsheet or CSV file
The most basic data migration is an import of data from a excel spreadsheet or CSV file. This usually would contain specific candidate and client field data such as name, address, email address, phone numbers, employment preferences and associated attachments, like a CV.

This usually entails extracting data from your current recruitment software into a prescribed excel template provided by your new recruitment software provider.

Bespoke data mapping and conversion
A more complex data migration service would involve data mapping and conversion from one recruitment CRM to another. This generally would include your new recruitment software provider accessing your current recruitment software and performing a data mapping process to migrate candidate and client field data. This may include interaction and activity records, multiple compliance or vetting documents, right through to linked vacancies, timesheets and financials.

Deciding what data and information is business critical comes down to having a discussion within your business and identifying and prioritising what information will be essential to migrate. Then, you can consult with your new recruitment software provider to assess how that will impact the cost and duration of your data migration.

2. How will the data migration service be costed?

Cost is always a consideration when reviewing the type of data migration service is best for your recruitment agency. The cost of a data migration is based on what type and complexity of the data you have decided to migrate into your new recruitment software.

Most recruitment software providers will provide a fixed project cost for the data migration requirement, ranging from £850 to £1,200 per day. The project cost should include the total number of days and what stages are included like project management, data mapping, data extraction and conversion and User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

NB: Depending on your existing recruitment software provider there could also be additional cost to release or extract your current data.

3. Do you need to review and cleanse your data?

Investing in new recruitment software provides the perfect opportunity to assess and review the quality of your data, clean it and make sure you’re complying with latest data protection laws, such as the upcoming GDPR. This may include the removing of duplicate or incomplete records or inconsistencies in data formats or how the data has been entered.

Unfortunately, this is usually the task that takes the longest to undertake and you and your staff are generally the best people to know how your data should look.

4. Who should you involve in the data migration process?

The process of data migration and in particular the data cleansing should involve key team members across your business. These team members will be in the best position to advise you on what data is critical and by involving people right from the outset, you can easily achieve buy in. By spreading the tasks of reviewing and cleansing your data across a few team members, it will expedite the process and make it more thorough.

5. How long will a data migration take?

Although this is usually one of the first questions asked about data migration services, it is not simple question to answer. There are a number of factors which dictate the time frame for a data migration project, including the type of data migration service purchased, the quality of your data and how long it would take your team to review and cleanse it and the time it takes your recruitment software provider to perform the data migration service.

Data migration does not need to be a complex and exhaustive project, but it will require some dedicated time from both your team and your new software provider. This will ensure your requirements are identified, the project is costed within your budget and ultimately your data is migrated successful into your new recruitment CRM.

Over 75% of recruitment agencies in the UK & Ireland identified recruitment software as a potential new investment for 2018. To find out more insights for the year ahead, download our free eBook.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

Temporary Recruitment Software – 10 Key Features For Recruitment Agencies

Running a temporary recruitment agency or desk is fast paced and demanding. The logistics of managing often hundreds of temporary workers for a multitude of clients can be very challenging. Without a dedicated temporary recruitment CRM solution, it is nigh on impossible to provide the service your clients and candidates expect and deserve.

When it comes to temporary recruitment software, a ‘fit for purpose’ solution needs to provide specific temporary recruitment functionality that a generic or permanent software solution generally does not provide. So with this in mind we have listed some of the key functionality that will help you improve efficiency and increase your temporary placements and revenue.

1. Coding A Candidate Record

The ability to code up temporary candidates so your recruiters can easily and effectively search across their candidate pools is critical. With the right temporary recruitment CRM, you can record candidates employment preferences including willing to work geographic locations, any preferred clients, their actual and preferred industry and disciplines and desired hourly pay rate.

2. Real Time Candidate’s Availability

The ability to record, view and manage candidate’s temporary availability within seconds is the foundation of temporary recruitment. In addition, the ability to record candidate’s availability for either a 24 hour period block or customised shift patterns will ensure your recruiters have a real time view across all their candidates temporary availability.

3. Compliance/Right To Work

Arguably, one of the most challenging aspects of delivering temporary recruitment is managing the compliance requirements for candidates to ensure they are compliant before commencing a temporary role with a client. Having a recruitment CRM that can be configured for your sectors ‘right to work’ requirements assists your compliance team to effectively record, track, and manage all your candidates compliance requirements.

4. Client Records

Ensuring your recruiters and back office teams have the ability to record additional information on a client record is paramount. Recording agreed temporary pay and invoice rates, whether a client is a is a legal hirer for AWR, IR35 sector information is all critical for effectively delivering temporary recruitment services.

5. Recording Temporary Vacancies/Bookings

With any temporary recruitment software, a key feature is the customised functionality for entering and managing your temporary vacancies or bookings. As you know, there is additional information required compared to a entering a permanent vacancy, so you will need the ability to record the vacancies pay, charge (including NI and WTD), invoice rates, the start and end dates/times, and then view the estimated margin/markup for the temporary booking. In addition the ability to created rates cards for agreed rates, which can also be locked so changes cannot be made.

6. Search, Auto-match & Place

The speed and ability to find the right candidate for each temporary vacancy or booking is all down to having temporary specific searching and auto-matching functionality. A few temporary specific searching and auto-matching requirements are candidates with availability, willing to work within the client geographical location and whether candidate has the required experience and skills for the booking.

Once a candidate have been shortlisted the speed and ease to place and confirm the candidate with the client is crucial, so your temporary recruitment software should enable you to email or SMS the confirmations directly from the filled temporary booking.

7. Tracking Agency Workers Regulation (AWR)

As you are aware, AWR was introduced to ensure that temporary workers receive the same benefits as permanent employees after working for a period of twelve weeks at the same company and in the same position. If a client is the AWR legal hirer, having the ability to record and track the temporary workers temporary bookings and monitor the 12 week period for each placement including pre and post AWR rates is beneficial.

8. Electronic Timesheets

For each temporary vacancy or booking, an associated system generated electronic timesheet is created to enable your finance team to enter the worker’s hours once they have been worked. Once the timesheet has been processed, the worked hours and margin/markup made on the temporary booking is recorded with the option to export to your back office accounting software.

9. Client Invoicing

Being able to produce your client invoices (daily or weekly) whilst automatically including a copy of each workers approved timesheet provides efficiencies with your client invoicing process. In addition, the ability to batch invoices and export to your back office accounting software.

10. Reporting

By having temporary recruitment specific functionality in your recruitment CRM, you will be able to report across all aspects of your temporary recruitment business, including vacancy/booking activity including filled rates, predicted and processed timesheets, client temporary recruitment spend, candidate booking activity and predicted and actual temporary margin/markup. This enables you to have a helicopter view of your overall performance and identify where any process improvement is needed.

With the right features, temporary recruitment software can make your agency more efficient, easier to manage more candidates and fill more client bookings, giving you the edge over your competitors.

If you’re considering investing in new recruitment software, download our free guide and make the right choice for your agency.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

Recruitment Software vs HR Software – What’s The Difference?

Confusion often surrounds the difference between recruitment software and HR software. They both ensure the easy management of people and data and are fundamental for any business – but does this mean they are one and the same?

Both softwares are actually very different in terms of their purpose and functionality, but can work side by side to ensure the smooth running of your business. In this blog, we’ll go through what those differences are so that you can determine what each of them have to offer.

What Is HR Software?

Put simply, HR software or HRMS (human resource management system) is there to enhance the efficiency of HR teams with the easy management of employees and their data. In addition the software allows a company to plan its HR costs more effectively and convert all administrative tasks online.

What Key Functionality Does HR Software Provide?

A business’ size and requirement will largely determine what kind of HR software is used. But as a whole, the features incorporated within these tools are concerned with employees who are already part of the company, i.e. those beyond the recruitment stage. Some of the key functions include:

  • Employee onboarding requirements
  • Storage of HR policies
  • Employee employment contracts
  • Employee payroll management
  • Benefits administration
  • Employee performance, learning & development information
  • Employee absence management

What Is Recruitment Software?

In contrast to a HR platform, recruitment software is focused solely on the recruitment process and rarely encompasses functions beyond the onboarding phase. The main focus of recruitment software is to maximise all outcomes related to the recruitment and placement of a candidate into a vacancy, whilst driving efficiency through the process.

What Key Functionality Does Recruitment Software Provide?

Even within the recruitment software market there is a wide range of solutions available based on your business requirements. Below is an overview of what is on offer:

  • Record candidate information and interactions, CV and compliance documents
  • Candidate searching
  • Record prospect and acquired client information and interactions
  • Temporary and permanent vacancy recording and searching
  • Candidate tracking through the client interview to placement process
  • Temporary worker timesheet processing and client invoicing
  • Reporting and analytics

As you can now identify, the two software solutions can support your company’s overall HR services but in two completely different ways. The investment in recruitment software can provide efficiencies during the hiring/recruitment process whilst the investment in HR software or HRMS supports your wider HR and employee services.

Are you failing to get ROI from your marketing efforts? Learn how inbound marketing works and how you can get started with a marketing strategy that scalably attracts new clients and candidates to your website. Download our free eBook below.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

3 Reasons To Send Emails Through Your Recruitment CRM Software

As anyone who has faced the daunting prospect of an overflowing inbox understands all too well, we simply can’t live without email. Email is the number one source of communication, with clients and candidates, alike, and often acts as the binding contract for which you can reference.

Given the importance of email, what process can you put in place to safeguard recording what emails and information has been sent to candidate and clients? Your recruitment software is the perfect solution, below are 3 reasons why your staff should start sending emails from your recruitment software.

1. Increase Visibility

In both temporary and permanent recruitment, there are a number of staff involved in the end to end process. With this in mind the importance of sending emails to candidate and client contacts within your recruitment CRM means that every email communication sent will be recorded in the interaction log. An interaction log can be a lot easier to search than Outlook, can be accessed by any team member at any time and is formatted clearly. This reduces the chance of losing valuable information dramatically, and accelerates the process, saving valuable time for recruiters.

2. Save Time And Quality Control

By creating email templates within your recruitment CRM for commonly sent emails, your staff can save a huge amount of time as well as ensuring that communication is consistent, reliable and sets a minimum standard for quality. Template emails can also be a valuable way of training new employees across your business on what is expected of them when communicating to candidates and clients.

3. Improve Client And Candidate Experience

By saving your recruiters time and by having a more professional and consistent communication system in place, you will inevitably improve the candidate and client experience. Not only will they receive faster communication without administrative hiccups, recruiters can use the surplus time to provide a more comprehensive service to both candidates and clients.

Sending emails through your recruitment CRM is a simple and effective way to safeguard interactions and improve your daily processes. But it is just one way recruitment software can enhance your agency’s processes. To find out 5 ways it can help, read our blog.

Are you failing to get ROI from your marketing efforts? Learn how inbound marketing works and how you can get started with a marketing strategy that scalably attracts new clients and candidates to your website.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

5 Ways Recruitment Software Improves Your Processes

Successful recruitment agencies are built on ensuring that their processes are as watertight as possible. However, according to 8×8’s recent survey, over 25% of recruitment agencies’ weekly hours are spent on inefficient practices. In the majority of cases, this may be the result of a combination of factors; poor communication, human error and outdated manual administrative activities.

But it doesn’t need to be this way.

Recruitment software is designed to reduce the opportunity for human error, centralise information, data and communication. If you’re looking for reasons to make an investment in this area or have the sneaking suspicion that you’re not using your recruitment CRM to its full potential, here are 5 ways recruitment software should help to improve your processes on a daily basis:

1. Maximising Talent Pools

Most recruiters are now proactively building talent pools to stay ahead of talent requirements for their clients. Building talent pools is an effective way for recruiters to ensure a constant flow of candidates are available for temporary or permanent vacancies as they are received from their clients.

Ensuring your candidate CRM software is configured, and is fit for purpose for your agency, enables your recruiters to effectively code up candidates based on their employment preferences, skills and experience. By maximising and managing talent pools effectively in your recruitment software, you can ensure your recruiters are able to search, match and shortlist candidates quickly and present the most suitable candidates to your clients.

2. Improving The Candidate Experience

As any recruiter knows, when you’re managing hundreds of candidates at any one time, it is almost impossible to provide the “perfect candidate experience” for each and every person. There are times (hopefully not too often) when a high quality candidate will slip through the net because you failed to keep in touch or provide the correct information when requested. Human error will always occur and a bad candidate experience can damage your agency in the long term as well as the short term.

By reducing the time spent on manual and administrative tasks, your recruiters can devote more time nurturing the human connection and provide an outstanding service to their candidates. For example, creating email and SMS templates within your recruitment CRM for all commonly used communications for your front, middle and back office teams can ensure candidates receive consistent and accurate information when it matters.

3. Optimising The Recruitment Process

Recruitment software can streamline your internal processes, making for a more efficient candidate and client experience. All interaction with candidates and clients can be recorded in one place to minimise the risk of those awkward, ‘Sorry, who did you last talk to?’ conversations, while the entire process from CV to interview to placement can be tracked with ease. This allows you to measure the cost and performance of your recruitment process and make the necessary tweaks to stay ahead of your competitors.

4. Centralising Administration

Recruitment software relegates shuffling papers to the past, allowing you to record all candidate and client information digitally as well as compliance documents, CVs and terms of business. Centralising your administrative output allows for processes to be learned and implemented uniformly across your agency so no important documents are misplaced. Managing administrative tasks outside of your recruitment CRM manually should be a task from the past, so cut out the paper trail and you’ll cut down on time spent on administration.

5. Boosting Visibility

Recruitment software can store data such as the source of your candidates, your hiring velocity, the cost per hire and conversion rates, just to cite a few. Using your recruitment software to help you understand and analyse your data will enable you to make strategic decisions, hone your processes to perfection and identify where any further investments need to be made. The right software can also ensure your costs are visible too, giving you the power to monitor, benchmark and report on costs throughout the recruitment journey.

Are you in need of a comprehensive guide to buying new recruitment software? Download our free eBook and make a choice with confidence.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

 

5 Tips To Encourage Recruiters To Use Your Recruitment CRM Software

It doesn’t matter how comprehensive your recruitment CRM software is – if your recruitment consultants don’t use it in a consistent way (or at all) it won’t be a worthwhile investment. So, if your real problem is that your recruiters are not using your recruitment CRM at all, or in different ways, what are the top tips to help educate and motivate your recruiters?

1. Explain and sell the benefits

As your recruitment teams grow, it becomes more essential that your recruiters record and manage data effectively within your recruitment CRM.

With more candidates, clients and jobs to manage, the key benefit is that they will be able to bill more on a daily basis. If all your recruiters are using your recruitment software in a consistent manner, they will be able communicate more effectively with clients and candidates, search and present candidates to clients more quickly and track their monthly placements and billings.

2. Provide recruitment software training

By providing your recruiters the foundational knowledge, tips and tricks to make the most of your recruitment software, they will be able to see the benefits that it can make to their daily activity.

We always recommend comprehensive, role specific training as it targets the exact training for them to perform their role. When they can understand how they can use your recruitment CRM to its full potential, it will ensure that they reduce time on administration tasks and more time speaking to candidates and clients.

To find out more about recruitment software training – read our blog.

3. Show them the money

Nothing will encourage recruiters more than seeing quantifiable results. Most recruitment software solutions have the functionality to track your recruiters efficiency in terms of output – for example – candidates and jobs registered, CV’s sent and placements made.

By showing your recruiters the quantifiable numbers of efficiency, comparing a CRM-savvy recruiter compared with a CRM amateur, you should be able to convince them that by embracing technology, they can earn bigger commission every month.

4. Knowledge sharing

It is natural that in all teams, there will be technologically gifted recruiters who understand the benefit of software and grasp how it works very quickly, and those who don’t.

Not everyone learns in the same way and many recruiters can be put off by a classroom environment or through online classes. Recruitment CRM tips and tricks can be a lot easier to digest when it comes from colleagues or as they work on a daily basis. Perhaps organise a monthly meeting where tips, tricks and new features are shared by team members so all your recruiters have the opportunity to learn from their peers.

5. Target and reward

The majority of recruitment consultants thrive on competition and only need a target to aim for to feel motivated. Others can be encouraged by “the gold at the end of the rainbow”. Using a simple target and reward system can vastly improve recruiters’ efficiency and maximise your recruitment software.

By encouraging your recruiters to embrace your current recruitment software and use it to its full potential, your recruitment agency’s bottom line and their individual commissions can benefit.

 

Are you in need of a comprehensive guide to buying new recruitment software? Download our free Ebook and make a choice with confidence.
The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

5 Intermediate Boolean Search Operators For Recruiters

Every year, there are new, innovative developments within recruitment, whether it’s Google For Jobs, AI in recruitment or how to leverage the new social media platform to find better candidates. Consequently, it is very easy to become inundated with ideas about the “next big thing” and never actually implement new tactics to improve your day-to-day sourcing activity.

Boolean search has been around for a long time for a reason. By learning how to build relevant search strings, you can leverage your recruitment CRM software, and most search engines, to find skilled and qualified candidates quickly.

If you are are new to boolean search, get up to speed with boolean search in recruitment and learn the basic boolean search operators.

To supplement the basics of boolean search, here’s our guide to 5 intermediate boolean search operators that can help you optimise your search strings for even better candidate resourcing results.

1. Tilde (~)

The tilde (~) is perhaps one of the most underrated boolean search operators but it can be incredibly useful to either expand or reduce your search results, depending on how your choose to use it.

In essence, the tilde (~) will include synonyms of the keyword used with it. For example a search such as ~jobs would include phrases such as jobs, roles, vacancies, openings etc. Or a search for ~CV would include CV, Curriculum Vitae, Resume, Portfolio.

It can also be used to reduce search results when used in conjunction with the NOT function or (-). For example:

~CV “Software Developer” -Jobs -Template

Boolean search Tilde
This search includes any synonyms of the word CV with the exact phrase Software Developer, and excludes the terms Jobs and Template.

Result: Three out of top four results were candidate CVs.

2. NEAR

The near function is better known as a proximity search operator and allows you to search for related terms that appear near to each other i.e. within 1-10 words and in any order. For example, if you wanted to find results for administration that appeared near finance, you could search:

~CV Finance NEAR Admin* -Jobs -template

Boolean search NEAR

This will produce results of synonyms relating to CV with the words Finance within 1-10 words of Admin*, excluding jobs and template.

3. Filetype:

Specifying the filetype: in a search will often narrow down your search results considerably but can be a quick fire method of finding those elusive CV documents you’re looking for. For example:

~CV finance AND Manager Filetype: pdf -Template

Filetype 1

This search, although quite broad, did return four CVs on the first page of Google’s results. By having a look at what format your candidates give you their CVs, you can determine what filetype would be a valuable search for you. Some examples include:
pdf
doc
rtf
xls
txt

4. & 5.  Site: & Inurl:

The site: and Inurl: search operators, also known as an x-ray search, allows you to search for particular skills within a specific site or URL. This is particularly useful for more niche websites such as github and stackoverflow for software developers, for example.

site:github.com developer AND London

Boolean Search Site and Inurl

The key to x-ray search is to know which sites your candidates will appear on specifically.

To get valuable results from Boolean search takes a little bit of trial and error but by practicing with different search operators and using the most relevant search terms, you can build specific search strings for every job vacancy.

Are you in need of a comprehensive guide to buying recruitment software? Download our free eBook and make the right choice for your recruitment agency.
The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

Why Invest In Recruitment Software Training?

Whether you are implementing new recruitment software, training new staff or refresher training, the investment in providing your staff with the adequate recruitment software training is paramount. As well as ensuring your staff know how to use the software to do their job, it also ensures your recruitment agency continues to maximise the ROI with your recruitment software.

Understandably, recruitment software training can be seen as an optional cost i.e. not essential. But without equipping your staff with the right training to do the job, how can you expect their output to be sufficient, let alone exceptional? So let’s assess what training is on the market and how you can make the right choice for your recruitment agency.

What Type Of Recruitment Software Training Is Available?

Fundamentals
This is the a foundation course that trains user on the software’s core functionality, features, navigation and search options. This type of training course is generally delivered first and becomes the foundation for the additional training packages.

Role Based Training
Role specific software training packages are designed to target the right training to the right people within your business. Most recruitment software companies provide a range of role based training packages to ensure your training spend is optimised. This could include 360° permanent or temporary recruitment, compliance and payroll processing and client invoicing.

Train The Trainer
A Train the Trainer program is recommended if you have a dedicated in-house trainer or subject matter expert that can deliver new employee or refresher software training to your staff. This type of training program is delivered to empower your in-house trainer with the knowledge across all functionality of your recruitment software solution. There is an initial cost upfront to have your dedicated trainer trained across all the software’s functionality, but there will be a cost saving over a period of time as new staff join or existing staff require refresher training.

What Type Of Training Delivery Models Are Available?

Onsite Instructor Led Training
This type of training is facilitated by a trainer onsite within a classroom and group setting. Despite its additional cost, classroom based training remains very popular due to having in-person contact with each staff member.. Generally, the travel cost and expenses are paid for by you, the agency.

Online Instructor Led Training
This type of training is facilitated by an instructor who is offsite and the training is delivered in an online setting. The benefits of online are that you will save on the cost of the trainer travel and accommodation and the training can be delivered to multiple offices, in domestic or international locations simultaneously. So, if your agency has an international presence or branches across the UK, the training can remain consistent across the company.

Implementing A Continuous Learning Environment

The majority of learning for any software happens during their daily working hours as consultants using it everyday will inevitably get more confident with the software and attempt more complicated actions.. To maximise efficiency with the software, many recruitment agencies implement a continuous learning environment which aims to support and advance recruiters’ skills as and when they require.

An effective continuous learning plan includes a mix of formal, informal, and on-the-job training options. This is critical for staff that have attended a formal training program as the adaption of what has been learnt in a formal setting into their day to day work is generally when questions will arise or side by side coaching is required. By training your staff sufficiently and providing a continuous learning environment you should expect to see improvements across the board, from efficiency in daily tasks right through to your bottom line.

Are you needing a more comprehensive guide to buying new recruitment software? Download our free eBook below and make the right choice for your business.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

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

What Is Boolean Search In Recruitment?

Boolean search in recruitment is not a modern concept. In fact, as a recruiter, it is probably something you use everyday without even realising it. The laws of Boolean search were invented by English Mathematician George Boole in The Mathematical Analysis of Logic (1847) and have become a fundamental building block for all digital devices. It is an astonishing thought but, without his laws, Google would never have existed in the way we know it today. That is why Google paid its own special tribute in 2015 to mark Boole’s 200th birthday, demonstrating how his laws work:

Google Boolean Animation

But before losing yourself in the never ending animation, let’s explain what Boolean search is in recruitment and how it is used effectively.

What Is Boolean Search In Recruitment?

Boolean search in recruitment is the act of leveraging large databases, such as your recruitment CRM, LinkedIn, Indeed, or for Google to perform specific searches in order to find relevant candidates quickly. Using Boole’s laws, recruiters can refine their search results in a number of ways which can be particularly effective for finding a range of active and passive candidates for your open vacancies.

Once you have exhausted your standard CV and profile searches, conducting more specific Boolean searches can be a dynamic alternative that may unearth hidden talent that isn’t easily accessible through common search function.

Boolean literate recruiters can perform incredibly complicated search strings to meet your every job requirement. Below is a real life example of a search string constructed to search for a Senior Financial Analyst:

Analy* NEAR Financ* AND (Retail* OR e-commerce OR ecommerce) AND budget* AND Plan* AND forecast* AND risk* AND Excel AND (PowerPoint OR “Power Point” OR Tableau OR SAP) AND (Access OR SQL OR “BO” OR “Business Objects”)

Although this looks complicated, by breaking it down into its individual operators, it only utilises the 6 basic operators in a Boolean search. So what are they?

The 6 Basic Boolean Search Operators For Recruiters

1. AND

The AND operator is used when you want to include two (or multiple) criteria in your Boolean search. The AND operator is generally used to narrow your search results. By inputting a search for Recruitment AND Manager, you are requesting results with both Recruitment and Manager in it.

2. OR

With the OR operator, you are requesting the search you want to see multiple entries in the results, and used to expand your Boolean search results.  So a search for Recruitment OR Manager will return any results containing Recruitment and any results containing Manager. It can be useful when different words to say the same thing, for example, Recruitment AND (Manager OR Consultant OR Agent OR Advisor)

3. NOT

As you can probably estimate, the NOT operator is used to exclude specific requirements. You can also use the minus symbol followed by your unwanted term (without leaving a space between both). An example is:
(Recruitment AND Manager) NOT Consultant
(Recruitment AND Manager) -Consultant

4. Brackets ()

Brackets are used in a very similar way to the rules of the BODMAS acronym that you might still remember from your high school maths lesson. The important rule being that the calculation inside the brackets always comes first. In Boolean search, it is similar in that, the section inside the brackets always takes priority over the other elements.

For example; when you enter Recruitment AND Manager OR Consultant, are you asking the search to prioritise Recruitment AND Manager or Manager OR Consultant? By using brackets, you can easily explain to the search engine how you want the search string to be read. So the search becomes: Recruitment AND (Manager OR Consultant). This search string will return any results with Recruitment Manager and any results with Recruitment Consultant.

5. Quotations “”

Quotations are used to search for an exact phrase. By adding quotations around two or more words, you are telling the search to treat it as one keyword. Therefore a search including “Recruitment Manager” would only return results with that exact phrase in the body of the text. Quotations are only used if you are 100% certain of the exact phrase you’re looking for.

6. Asterisk *

The asterisk function is usually used to widen your search. For example if you wanted to do a search for anything related to Admin, use admin* and the search will return results like; administrator, administration, administer, administered. By inputting the stem of the word with an asterisk afterwards, you’re telling the search to include all words related to that stem.

How To Apply The 6 Basic Boolean Search Operators 

Why not now try and create your own Boolean searches within your recruitment CRM, LinkedIn, job boards like Indeed and Monster or in Google. By practicing and becoming Boolean literate and combining the basic rules of Boolean search, you can perform searches that would otherwise seem impossible, saving you time in searching through thousands of CVs and providing you with more targeted and relevant results.

Now that you know the basics of Boolean search, learn 5 intermediate Boolean search operators to build even better search strings.

 

Are you thinking of investing in new recruitment software for your recruitment agency? Download our free step-by-step buying guide today.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

6 Signs You Need New Recruitment Software

We’ve all had that same feeling coming out of a Quarterly Review Meeting when placements are seeming to stagnate and the same old reasons arise such as:

“It’s such a candidate driven market at the moment”
“Maybe it’s Brexit worries”
“It’s just that time of year”

But is that really the answer? Granted, recruitment does happen in cycles and these reasons might be part of the problem but, sooner or later, you may begin to question whether the technology you have is up to the challenge of a competitive market. But how to tell?

Here’s 6 signs for identifying whether you need new recruitment software.

1. Your consultants complain about how much time they waste on admin tasks

As a recruiter, time is precious. So it’s no surprise that they want to spend the majority of it as efficiently as possible, whether it’s meeting prospective clients or preparing candidates for an upcoming interview. For this to happen, you need an easy-to-use recruitment software that can streamline administrative processes and support consultants’ daily activities. Ask your recruiters how much time in a week they devote to recruitment and administration respectively and record the average.

2. You keep getting caught out on compliance

The consequences of not effectively ensure all your temporary workers compliance is completed can be catastrophic. For example, temporary recruitment for nurses requires an extensive amount of documents and candidates must be 100% compliant before they begin any employment, for obvious reasons. Once your recruitment software is configured correctly, it will provide you with a better tool to ensure your temporary candidates get compliant and remain compliant, taking the responsibility away from manual tracking and reducing the risk of mistakes or candidates working and not being fully compliant.

3. Recruitment consultants are using Excel to recruit

Excel is a fantastic resource in its own right for myriad reasons but, by recording data outside of your recruitment CRM, your recruitment consultants can, in effect, render the searching, reporting and analysis functions of your software ineffective. The most common reasons why this happens are:

  • Consultants haven’t had adequate training to use the software
  • Consultants don’t recognise the importance of storing all of your data in one system
  • Your recruitment software isn’t configured correctly

Two of these reasons are relatively simple to fix. However, if your software isn’t configured correctly, recruiters will always find a way to speed up their daily processes in an effort to hit their targets, even if that means bypassing the software. If this is happening with more than one recruitment consultant, its time to review your software’s configuration / functionality.

4. The majority of your placements are “reactive recruitment”

By relying on recruitment software solely as a database, you cannot effectively track and nurture passive candidates – making your primary source of recruitment activity reactive. This usually equates to a desperate rush on job boards and LinkedIn to see how quickly new candidates can be found, registered and presented to the client. With effective recruitment software, you should be able to search your existing talent pools and use your recruitment CRM as the first port of call for any new vacancy. These candidates are already registered and trust your agency to be proactive with discussing roles with them. This not only has the advantage of being quicker but also allows you to provide a slicker candidate experience.

5. Your CRM is a dusty library rather than a bustling resource

As well as aiding your consultants with speed-of-hire, your recruitment CRM should contribute as a valuable resource for tracking, monitoring and nurturing client relationships. If your recruitment consultants only use the software as a digital filing cabinet for storing information, either your team isn’t maximising its functionality or it is time to review whether your current solution is right for you.

6.You don’t have a clear picture of how your team is performing

If your data isn’t clean or your recruitment software isn’t being used correctly, the searching and reporting tools will also be fruitless. If you can’t see how your team is performing, it is impossible to identify trends within your agency and trends within your sector. If you cannot benefit from your recruitment software, you either need to change your processes or recognise whether your current solution is the right fit for your business model.

Thinking about investing in new recruitment software? Download our complete guide and feel prepared to make the right decision.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

Recruitment Software Costs Explained

When you’re in the market for recruitment software, it can very difficult to get an honest breakdown of how much the total cost may be when comparing different recruitment software solutions and providers. Recruitment software needs to satisfy various business models and because of that, there are a range of options and associated costs to take into consideration.

So, to help your recruitment agency budget or disentangle some of the mystery surrounding recruitment software costs (not just software licences), here’s a brief guide to the range of products and services on the market.

Software / Database Installation

£550 – £4,500 (one-off cost)

As with any comprehensive software solution, you will need to consider whether your recruitment software will be installed and hosted either as a cloud-based or on-premise solution.

On-premise software is installed locally on your company server and the application on your user’s computers.

Cloud-based software, also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), is hosted on the/a provider’s server and accessed through the internet.

The software/database installation is generally a one-off cost per database instance. Both hosting models have their advantages, see our cloud vs desktop in recruitment software blog for more information.

With cloud-based (SaaS) hosted software, you will also need to factor in additional monthly, or yearly, charges for the service.

Recruitment Software Licence

Generally, most recruitment software providers will offer at least one or a combination of the following recruitment software licence models:

Outright Purchase Model

£650 – £1,300 per licence

With this model, you purchase each recruitment software licence outright in the beginning with the total cost outlay in year 1 and most providers will offer a discount when a bulk number of licences are purchased at once.

Rental Model

£50 – £125 per licence per month

With this model, the recruitment software licence cost is paid monthly and is spread over a longer period of time. The licences are never owned by the recruitment agency and sometimes can be more expensive than an outright purchase model.

If you are a start-up recruitment agency, this model can be beneficial because it allows you to avoid a large, upfront cash outlay in year 1 and assist with managing cash flow.

Rental to Purchase Model

Some recruitment software providers offer a rental to purchase recruitment licence model. This means there’s no large initial cash outlay in year 1, the recruitment agency knows the total cost to own the licence/s as the rental period is determined upfront (generally for a 12 – 36 months).

When you’re weighing up recruitment software costs, it is easy to become too focused on the license fees and not consider the additional costs that come with even the cheapest of license fees. These separate costs often depend on the size of your agency and your own business model.

Helpdesk Support

£185 – £250 per active recruitment software licence per annum

Helpdesk support is an important service offered by all recruitment software providers. Helpdesk support packages can offer a range of technical or functional support or a combination of both, including telephone and email support.

Technology Partners / Third Party Software Integration

£350 – £3,000 (one-off purchase)

Most large recruitment software providers have a range of technology partners that offer direct integration with their recruitment software. Technology partners can range from back office payroll or account software, job posting distribution, SMS text messaging to business intelligence platforms.

Depending on the third-party software integration and the recruitment software provider, there can be additional helpdesk support costs for each software integration.

Data Migration & Import Services

£850 – £1,200 per day

The total cost of data migration and import is based on what type of data needs to be exported, what recruitment software the data is being exported from, the complexity of the data structure and the import into the new recruitment software.

Most recruitment software providers will provide a fixed project cost of the data migration and import requirement, which includes project scoping, data mapping, data extraction and conversion and User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Depending on your current recruitment software provider there could also be additional charges to release your data.

Implementation Services

£0 – £2,000 per day

Recruitment software implementation requires close collaboration with your business to ensure the implementation is delivered successfully and on time. The range of implementation services vary from recruitment software providers, from a free charge for basic implementation services or a per day rate for implementation project management and business consultancy services.

Training Services

£850 – £2,100 per day

The investment in training your teams during the software implementation process is critical to ensure you and your teams make the most of your new recruitment software and its integration into your business.

Most recruitment software providers charge for training services such as:
• Individual client onsite or online training courses (capped at the number of delegated that can attend each course)
• Open online courses (multiple client users attending)
• Access to user manuals or a knowledge centre

 

Choosing the right recruitment software for your agency is difficult enough without knowing essential costs. It’s better to know up front how much you need to budget for to calculate and maximise ROI.

Are you needing a comprehensive guide to buying new recruitment software? Download our free eBook below and make the right choice for your recruitment agency.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

 

Do Startup Recruitment Agencies Really Need Recruitment Software?

Established recruitment agencies are fully aware of the benefits of investing in the right recruitment software, which supports all facets of their business activity, delivery and performance. However, when you’re starting up a recruitment agency, with a considered focus on start-up costs or reducing overhead, many find it difficult to justify the costs of a quality recruitment software, and, instead, rely on Excel spreadsheets and various free-to-use tools.

So, are there major differences between established agencies and start-ups and does this impact the need for a recruitment software solution?

Start-up Agency vs Established Agency: What’s the difference?

On the face of it, it might seem that there a whole host of differences between established and start-up recruitment agencies due to the gulf in size, both in staff numbers and turnover. However, the differences can seemingly be boiled down to two primary points which can affect the decision to invest in recruitment software; internal communication and confidence.

Internal Communications & Visibility 

As a start-up, communication between 1 and 2 staff members can be a lot more straightforward as it is much easier to assess performance and service delivery and react quickly to issues before they become major problems. In larger established recruitment agencies, this can be impossible to manage without the aid of an effective recruitment CRM software.

Confidence

At start-up agencies, it is difficult to have complete confidence in your clients because you are often striving to prove your worth and recruiting from job to job. So, by cutting out the cost of recruitment software, you may be thinking that for the short term you can survive that bit longer. According to Sonovate, however, 2017 is predicted to be a “goldmine for recruitment agencies” and the perfect time to start your business. With UK job boards having witnesses a 31% increase in applications, 2017 is the time to invest with confidence. By getting to grips with the right recruitment software early on, you can offer a more streamlined service to both your clients and candidates.

Start-up Agency vs Established Agency: What’s the same?

It seems evident that, for the most part, the processes of running a successful agency remain consistent, whether you’re managing a start-up or a large well established agency:

  • Managing client business development
  • Managing candidate applications and pipelines
  • Recording client and candidate interactions
  • Vacancy management
  • Recording interview activity
  • Managing temporary, contract and permanent placements
  • Candidate compliance and on boarding
  • Temporary timesheet processing
  • Client invoicing

These activities can be managed to a certain degree if you are running a start-up agency single-handedly and you have a meticulous work ethic. But, as soon as your work is reliant on a team of people, it is essential to have a centralised system that can manage, record and automate processes and analyse performance to enable you, and your team, to continue recruiting effectively. Here’s just some areas that start-ups can particularly benefit from by having the right recruitment software.

Client Management

  • Record client interactions, meetings and proposals
  • Produce and send email marketing campaigns
  • Map prospective client markets by analysing trends
  • View client vacancy activity and spend

Candidate Management

  • Record candidates and job applications
  • Record candidate interactions
  • Search across candidate pipelines
  • Manage CV, compliance and on boarding documents

Vacancy Management

  • Record and manage temporary, contract and permanent vacancies
  • Record and track candidate applications
  • Track candidate/client interviews
  • Record candidate placements and speed of hire

Finance

  • Process temporary worker timesheets
  • Client invoicing
  • Track permanent placement and temporary margin revenue

Strategy

  • Gain an oversight of the agency’s projected/actual revenue
  • Manage a visual overview of your agency’s performance and activity
  • Utilise data to make strategic decisions with confidence
  • Identify new strengths, weaknesses and opportunities

The investment in suitable recruitment software allows you to devote your time to managing your business, servicing your clients and candidates and reduces the time spent on administration and dual data entry into multiple sources.

By tracking and viewing your agency’s performance, not only can you monitor specific consultants and service delivery, you can also make predictions and strategic decisions based on your current performance. This can allow your start-up agency to react quickly to a change in the market or take advantage of new opportunities within your sector.

Building a successful recruitment agency is never easy, but partnering with a recruitment software solution that scales with your business is a crucial investment that should be made sooner rather than later.

Are you needing a comprehensive guide to buying new recruitment software? Download our free eBook below and make the right choice for your recruitment agency.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

What To Expect From Your Recruitment Software Provider

We have the opportunity to speak to a large range of clients each day who are at different stages of the process of sourcing new recruitment software for their recruitment agency. Getting the most from your recruitment software is a two-way partnership between your agency and your recruitment software provider but it helps to know what to expect.

Below are the 4 most common problems clients express to us with their current recruitment software provider that has taken them to market.

1. “Small Fish in a Big Pond” Customer Service

It is paramount to focus on assessing any new recruitment software’s functionality, but it is also paramount to take into account the size of the recruitment software provider you’re partnering with, and their approach to ongoing customer service. A lot of clients believe that a quality recruitment software CRM is only linked to one of the global recruitment software brands, which is not always the case. 

When dealing with some of the global recruitment software brands, some clients advised they felt being a”small fish in a big pond”, competing for attention with their larger clients and receiving a poor customer experience.

2. Mis-sold Functionality

A particular bug bear in the technology market is the regularity with which sales teams over promise the capabilities of their software, with functionality often being misrepresented or even mis-sold throughout the sales process.

3. Lack of Helpdesk Support

There will be instances where problems occurs or you have questions regarding the software’s functionality. To tackle this, you need an expert to understand the issue, provide a solution or give advice on how to resolve it. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, helpdesk support might be an additional premium for which you hadn’t budgeted for. In other cases, the customer service and delay in fixing the problem may cost your recruitment agency valuable time and money.

4. Hidden Costs 

Many low cost recruitment software solutions offer inexpensive licence plans or packages, but within this often hides additional or hidden costs. Cheaper software packages will frequently charge a premium with software installation and setup, ongoing software updates, additional modules/software functionality or helpdesk support.

Finding the Right Recruitment Software Provider 

To avoid these problems, you’re looking for an open and consultative approach from your new software provider, right at the beginning. If both parties commit to put in the time required during the sales process, your recruitment agency can reap the benefits in the long term.

Your software provider should:

  • Ask detailed information about your agency, your specific sector and what has taken you to market for a new recruitment software solution.
  • Understand your business objectives, strategy and future goals and how recruitment software can help support them.
  • Provide a transparent picture of the software’s functionality and honestly advise you if it is the “right fit” for your agency.
  • Provide as many demos as you need to assess the software’s functionality first-hand, so you are equipped to make a decision whether it is the right solution for your agency. We suggest you form a steering committee with staff from different departments represented, who can address the most important issues that affect them.
  • Provide detailed information regarding their helpdesk support packages and options.
  • Inform of their post-sales and implementation customer service offering, including account management to assist you as your business grows.
  • Inform of any additional costs for implementation, training, data migration or any renewing annual costs for licences or software upgrades.

The decision to change your recruitment software can take a little more time than you anticipate, but if you spend that time effectively, you can ensure your agency doesn’t suffer in the long term. Don’t settle for a recruitment software provider that isn’t dedicated to finding the right solution for your business strategy and growth plans.

For more recruitment insights, download our free eBook, 7 Secrets of Successful Recruitment Agencies.

7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies free ebook download

How To Maximise ROI From Your Recruitment Software

Quality recruitment software is a crucial component to all recruitment agencies from startups to multinationals across all industry sectors. In fact 75% of recruitment professionals utilise recruiting or applicant tracking software (ATS) as part of their day-to-day work [1] and 94% of those professionals say that their recruitment software or ATS had a positive impact on delivering their recruitment services.

Not only is recruitment management software clearly an integral part of any recruitment agency or internal staffing operation, it’s also a considered investment. Depending on the pricing structure, your software license may cost a monthly fee of roughly £50 – £100 per user, or a one off cost of up to £250 – £1,000 per licence [2].

As a potentially significant spend of your budget, it’s vital you ensure you’re getting the maximum ROI from the ATS or recruitment software you’ve purchased or are considering purchasing. To help you evaluate your current or prospective recruitment software, we’ve put together some key considerations to make sure you are actually getting the most from your software.

1. Before You Buy

Know your business

While this might seem like an obvious point, you’d be surprised how many recruitment agencies fail to evaluate how their business actually operates or even how new recruitment software could solve existing process issues, increase productivity or have a positive impact to their bottom line.

Understanding your business processes inside and out is critical when choosing software that’s “the right fit”. Unfortunately there isn’t a definite answer when asking what “the right fit” is, it’s completely subjective. Deciding what’s right for you is relative to the pain points your software users face day-in day-out, and most importantly what’s right for you is determined by the specific plans and requirements for your business.

If price is a decision factor, it’s more than likely you’re considering going with the cheaper option now while you’re still growing and looking to save capital. But have you stopped to consider those options that are perhaps slightly out of your budget range? Paying that little bit extra when initially investing in quality recruitment software will certainly pay dividends when you’re reaping much larger savings in the long term.

Know your recruitment software supplier

Ultimately, when it comes to your software you should be investing in a partner not a supplier. If you’re looking to rapidly grow your recruitment agency from a SME into a much larger organisation, then an out of the box software solution that doesn’t scale with your growth plans is a short-sighted investment.

Discussing the scalability of your prospective software is one of the most crucial conversations you need to have with software suppliers, combined with how their software can integrate into your technology ecosystem. If the features, functionality and pricing don’t support your growth plans, consider partnering with a different supplier.

Enticing software features that have caught your eye and even tempted you to purchase are basically gimmicks if those features don’t actually add any tangible value to you business. Don’t fall into trap of the software sales cycle and take enticing functionality at face value, simply ask if those features really matter to your staff and your business.

2. Preparation

Establish new operational processes

Successful recruitment software implementation starts with preparation. Understanding how your recruiting software is going to integrate into your business is one thing, it’s even more important to redefine and map your new operating procedures and processes. Use this as an opportunity to evaluate existing processes and divine some new processes that will help not only better configure your new ATS or recruitment CRM software, but potentially streamline your operations in general.

By defining new operational processes on how exactly your new ATS or recruitment CRM will integrate into your staff’s day-to-day work is a critical success factor to ensure all your staff utilise the software to its full potential.

Data

Another critical success factor that will ensure you maximise you ROI is your data. Firstly take the time to ensure your data is cleansed before it is imported into your new recruiting software. Secondly know how your data needs to be entered and captured throughout the software to assist your software users with real time searching and reporting. We recommend you spend time with your software users and senior management team to understand their requirements as this will provide a road map on how your data needs to be entered and maintained in your new ATS or recruitment software. Remember the golden rule; garbage in garbage out (GIGO)

Invest in training

Ensure your staff are properly trained and up-to-date on the features and functionality of your new ATS or recruiting software. With the everyday stresses and challenges in the industry, it can be all too easy to let training take a back seat and focus on hitting KPIs and sales targets. That’s why it’s crucial your staff fully understand the capabilities of the software they’re using day in day out to stop them picking up bad habits, duplicating work or simply wasting valuable time. If your business doesn’t have an internal trainer, appoint one and make sure you identify the specific training requirements for all of your different software user groups to ensure that everyone knows how to use the software to perform their duties.

Arrange regular training and consultation with your supplier on your recruiting software’s full capabilities so that you, your staff and your key stakeholders are fully aware of the systems possibilities and limitations.

3. Post Go Live

Review and feedback

Once you have implemented your new recruitment software and trained your staff, make sure that you are consistently reviewing and auditing your staff’s knowledge and understanding of how they are using your software and your new processes. Use this as a valuable opportunity to not only evaluate individual staff members but gather valuable feedback from them on any issues they’ve experienced regarding the software’s functionality, reporting or searching capability.

Support

As part of your partnership with your recruitment software supplier you should expect and take advantage of the expert support they provide. If you don’t have a dedicated account manager, get in touch with your supplier’s helpdesk support team for any questions or queries you might have. If however you find your support tickets aren’t being dealt with in a timely manner, it might be worth reconsidering your recruitment software supplier.

Relationship

Stay close to your recruitment software supplier. Quality software should be seen as an ongoing partnership with your supplier, as your business grows your supplier should always be there to help you at every juncture. Keep your supplier up to date with your business growth plans, give them regular feedback you’ve gathered from your software users and suggest software improvements. Likewise if your supplier has a software user committee, try and join it. A customer centric supplier will embrace your feedback and will always be looking to improve their software.

 

At the end of the day it’s down to you to make sure you maximise your ROI from your recruitment software, but hopefully we’ve helped and given you an idea of what to look out for when sourcing and partnering with a recruitment software supplier.

Are you interested in learning from other recruitment professionals how they manage and grow their successful agency? Download our free eBook today.

7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies free ebook download

What is Open Source Recruitment Software & How Does it Compare?

If you are currently in the market for new recruitment software or an applicant tracking system (ATS) you might come across open source recruitment software as part of your research.  One of the questions we come across within our industry is, what is open source recruitment software and how does it compare to a commercial solution? So let’s explore what open source recruitment software is, and how it compares.

Open Source Recruitment Software

Is typically a low cost (or free) licensing offering which is built on open source software where the source code is made available to the purchaser to develop within.

Pros

  • Minimal licensing fees. Nine times out of ten times, open source recruitment software is an inexpensive offering compared to a commercial solution.
  • Independence. Open source recruitment software is developed using open source software by a community of independent developers.
  • Hands-on exploration. You’re able to explore and understand the software in detail, and make your own development changes.
  • Easy to manage. Anyone can fix bugs and make the software better without waiting for a new software release.

Cons

  • Maintenance charges. Whilst licensing fees are minimal, the cost (time and resources) associated with developing the software may well end up being higher.
  • Limited documentation. As there is not just one person developing the software the access to detailed functionally documentation is limited.
  • Learning curve. Since you’ll be responsible for the software yourself, you’ll probably end up needing to hire a software developer to maintain and develop your software.
  • Confusion over users/compatibility. Parallel developments are ongoing, so users may be confused as to which version is compatible with their software.
  • Sudden death.  The software often comes to a halt and some times disappear because software developers fight, quit or simply lose interest.
  • No guarantee of support. Should something go wrong, nobody is obligated to help you as it is community based. Generally any support is offered through an online forum.

 Commercial Recruitment Software

Is a higher cost licensing offering, licences are purchased directly with a recruitment software provider. The source code is closed, and is developed and maintained by the software provider.

Pros

  • Quicker response times to fixing bugs. With a dedicated development team behind the software, you’ll often receive a quicker turn-a-round to fixing bugs or problems.
  • New releases and updates. You may not be able to develop the software yourself, but you will know when updates are coming – unlike with open source recruitment software, which can change without any notice.
  • Ongoing support assistance. A commercial solution provider usually provides a range of support services (telephone and online) to assist you and your software users.
  • Better documentation. You will have access to thorough and detailed software functionality documentation.
  • Dedicated training. With open source recruitment software you’re generally left to figure out how the software works yourself. With a commercial solution you have access to a team of experienced software trainers with the knowledge of their product.

Cons

  • Cost. Often, it’s more expensive and is a larger investment (upfront and reoccurring).
  • Software Development. You will need to wait for the software provider to release new software functionality updates or pay to have bespoke development done.
  • Tie-in. Once you have purchased your recruitment software, if you decide it is not the right software for your business, changing to another software solution again could be cost prohibitive or you may be contracted for a lengthy period of time.

 What’s the Verdict?

It really depends on what functionality you require from your recruitment software if that is basic or more comprehensive, the importance you place on recruitment software within your business, your budget, and what access you have to a software developer to maintain and develop your open source recruitment software.

Cards on the table: we at Eclipse Software obviously believe in a commercial solution. We believe that our recruitment software provides you the solution to work more efficiently without having to worry about maintaining and developing your recruitment software, so that gives you more time to focus on what you do best, managing and growing your business.

However we recognise there is a place for open source software within the recruitment industry, like WordPress. This is why we have chosen to develop an open source WordPress plugin as part of our web integration products.

We listened to our clients and understood that whilst the security of a stable and well supported recruitment software is paramount for supporting their business, the capability to develop and customise their website often requires the ability to have an open source product that will connect their website with their Eclipse recruitment software.

Websites are often developed by an external web design agency who have the necessary skillset to further develop an open source product.  For this reason we opted to provide a web integration solution that works brilliantly out of the box, offers the stability and backing of any commercial product whilst maintaining the open source flexibility.


Buying the right recruitment software solution is crucial for any  business, learn how to get it right by downloading our free recruitment software buying guide eBook.

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ATS vs CRM: Which Recruitment Software is Right for You?

If you are currently reviewing new recruitment software for your business, you will know there is a wide range of software solutions available in today’s market ranging from ATS, recruitment CRM, recruitment software and RMS, but how do you know which one is right for your business, or are they all the same?

The global recruitment software market is currently growing and expected to reach over US$2 billion by 2018. With hundreds of recruitment software providers in the market all promoting different product offerings and awash with acronyms, it can seem quite overwhelming. So to help you, we are going to provide some assistance to clarify some of the acronyms and types of products in the market today.

ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

An ATS is recruitment software enabling a company to manage their staffing and hiring requirements with the following key functionality.

  • Vacancy recording and searching
  • Job ad posting and recording of candidate applications
  • Record candidate information and interactions, CV and compliance documents
  • Candidate searching
  • Applicant tracking through the interview to hiring process
  • Website and HR software integration
  • Reporting
  • Generally a browser-based software application

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

A CRM is software that enables a company to record, track and manage their business relationships (customer/client) with the following key functionality.

  • Record prospect and acquired customer information
  • Record and track customer interactions
  • Record and track customer meetings, demonstrations and presentations
  • Customer marketing activity
  • Reporting
  • Browser-based or on-premise applications

Recruitment CRM, Recruitment Software or RMS (Recruitment Management System)

The above three combine the functionality of an ATS and CRM into one recruitment software solution, with the following key functionality.

  • Record prospect and acquired customer information
  • Record and track customer interactions
  • Record and track customer meetings, demonstrations and presentations
  • Customer marketing activity
  • Record candidate information and interactions, CV and compliance documents
  • Candidate searching
  • Vacancy recording and searching
  • Job ad posting and recording of candidate applications
  • Candidate tracking through the customer interview to placement process
  • Website and third software integration
  • Reporting
  • Browser-based or on-premise applications

Even within the Recruitment CRM, Recruitment Software or RMS market there is a wide range of solutions available based on your recruitment agencies requirements, below is an overview of the markets offering.

Front and Middle Office Solutions
– Temporary recruitment functionality only
– Permanent recruitment functionality only
– Combined permanent and temporary recruitment functionally

Back Office Solutions
– Temporary worker timesheet processing
– Temporary and permanent client invoicing

End-to-End Fully Integrated Solutions
– Combined permanent and temporary recruitment functionally
– Temporary worker timesheet processing
– Temporary and permanent invoicing

So Which Recruitment Software is Right for You?

An ATS is an ideal investment if you are an in-house recruitment function or if you already have a CRM and back office software and not requiring a full integration between all your software solutions. ATS software is generally less expensive than a Recruitment CRM, but so is the functionality to deliver both temporary and/or permanent recruitment services.

A Recruitment CRM is a larger investment, but you get a lot more functionality for your investment. Your staff only have to work within one solution and if you invest in a fully integrated recruitment CRM, you will have comprehensive functionality that facilitates the entire recruitment-to-invoice process for temporary and permanent recruitment. So depending on your budget, what functionality your business requires, and if your business objective is to drive productivity by having all your data and functionality within one solution, the investment will certainly pay off.

To assist you with deciding on the right recruitment software for your business, we suggest you take some time and answer the following questions:

– Why are you looking for new software?
– What does your current software not provide?
– What is essential and non-essential functionality for your new software?
– Do you need your software to support future growth plans?
– What is your budget (upfront and recurring)?

Discover how the right recruitment software is only one of the 7 Secrets of Successful Recruitment Agencies. Download your free eBook below.

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Cloud vs Desktop in Recruitment Software

Even outside of the realm of recruitment software, there are a number of misconceptions about what it means to be ‘in the cloud’ and the advantages that may come with such a lofty position.

“In the Cloud” “Cloud Software” “Cloud Solutions” “The Cloud might be the single most misunderstood technical-term-cum-marketing-buzzword of this decade. Before we can have any kind of sensible comparison between Cloud and Desktop based recruitment systems, we need to clarify what being “in the cloud” actually means… and what it doesn’t.

#1 Cloud as a Platform

There is a common misconception that “Cloud-based” software refers to browser-based software, and the Cloud vs Desktop debate often transforms into a debate over the relative merits of desktop applications versus increasingly popular in-browser apps.  This is an interesting debate in its own right, however, at its heart is the misconception that –

Browser based software = cloud
Desktop based software = not on the cloud

THIS IS FALSE

Both browser based and native desktop recruitment applications are equally capable of interacting with a cloud-based infrastructure in much the same way that you could argue that both are equally capable of being hosted on your own on premise IT infrastructure.  There’s absolutely no reason you have to sacrifice the benefits of desktop recruitment software in order to take advantage of ‘the cloud’.  The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

In fact, using a desktop application has many advantages over browser based recruitment software – desktop applications are often faster, more powerful and more stable than in-browser apps, which have to render your management interface through a different application like Chrome or Internet Explorer.  For similar reasons, desktop applications tend to be more secure, which is a key consideration if you’re routinely processing the sensitive sort of personal data related to the recruitment process.

That’s not to say that there is no advantage to browser-based recruitment apps.  In general, you can expect a browser based solution to ‘just work’ (don’t quote us on that) without having to install and configure the application on each workstation.  This means that browser based recruitment software has the potential to save the IT department a lot of installation headaches, it often makes licensing a bit easier to manage, and gives you a bit more flexibility to work from anywhere without too much messing around.

It’s also worth mentioning that – while there’s no technical reason for this to be the case – browser based recruitment software is often a lot more modern-looking and attractive than a typical desktop solution – probably because the UI can be built up in a similar fashion to a webpage.  The modern looking appearance can be seductive, luring many companies to choose inferior browser-based apps over more suitable desktop recruitment software solutions.

#2 Cloud as a Licensing Model

Another popular tangent that creeps into the Cloud vs Desktop debate is:

Cloud = Subscription
Desktop = One off cost

FALSE AGAIN

Again, this is a crucial misconception – more than that, this is a false dichotomy that assumes that Cloud and Desktop sit in opposition to each other, which we have just established is not the case.  In general, you can expect to see software which is hosted “in the cloud” to use a SAAS subscription model, but this is equally applicable to both desktop and so-called “web-based” software.  Many recruitment manager packages and CRM solutions deploy a desktop application provided on a rental basis.  This licensing model is not exclusive to browser-based packages.

#3 Cloud as Hosting Location

The premise here is:

Cloud = The IT infrastructure, database and backups are hosted by an external provider in a remote datacentre (in the cloud)

In-house = Your IT department installs, administrates and maintains the hardware to host your databases, manage your backups, compliance and security.

TRUE

What characterises a recruitment management solution as being “cloud based” is the use of remote datacentres, as opposed to purchasing, installing, maintaining your own breezy roomful of whirring servers.

So, with that in mind, let’s explore the pros and cons of these two different approaches.

 

internal-hosting-recruitment

Cloud Hosted Recruitment Management Software

Pros

Cloud recruitment software is initially cheaper than hosting in-house. Rather than paying a lump sum up front (and ongoing salary for the IT staff), you’re typically paying monthly costs, which is a great solution for those with a smaller budget or waiting for the new financial year.

If you’re expecting your company to grow and you’re looking for flexibility, a cloud solution allows you to scale with relative ease.

If time is of the essence for your company, cloud software can be helpful. Installation is quick and IT services are managed externally, meaning you can get on with your work without anyone interrupting to update or maintain the software – great for companies with few employees who lack the knowledge or struggle to find time to do this.

A cloud solution also means that you’ve outsourced having to worry about local storage data, backup and recovery services, and data protection regulation and compliance is someone else’s problem.

Cons

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows behind the cloud, though. If you opt for a cloud-based solution, extra subscriptions for when your business grows will induce extra costs.   You can often find yourself locked in to lengthy contracts where you end up ultimately paying many multiples of the equivalent one-time fee.  If your provider decides to up their fees on a whim – they can.  You’ll always be dependent on the cloud provider.

Cloud software may also have its disadvantages if your company deals with incredibly sensitive data. It may be more secure to store your data on a less, ‘publicly accessible’ network. There are also some legal nuances here if you are storing data concerning EU nationals on servers outside of the EU, so check with your legal advisors before taking the plunge.

Remember, if you’re also paying for your desktop or browser-based application in a SAAS-type model, cloud hosting is often a separate consideration and a separate bill.

Recruitment Software Hosted On Premise

Pros

In theory this usually a onetime investment (IT staff, on-going hardware maintenance, hardware upgrades, software licensing and data protection compliance notwithstanding).

You also have full control; over the restrictions, monitoring, integration, managing your data, customising the development – the full works! The ball is entirely in your court here.  If something goes wrong with your network connection, you aren’t stuck behind support tickets trying to get an answer, you can speak to the relevant IT staff  and find out what’s going on.

If you’re in a company that handles incredibly sensitive data, then self-hosting might be ideal for you as security is potentially greater than cloud. There’s less of a danger and less worry of breaching data protection laws.  That said, the onus for security and data protection is on you.

In the event that your in house hardware is in the same location as your recruitment team, you’re able to access the system without an internet connection. If you’re hard at work and the internet temporarily stops, you’re still able to continue working.

Cons

Although a onetime investment is convenient in some respects, its upfront cost is often more than a cloud software subscription as aspects like hardware, installation etc. may also be considered.

Additionally, you’ll need IT staff or outsourced IT suppliers that are skilled and knowledgeable enough that they can maintain and manage your in house infrastructure.

What’s the verdict?

Ultimately, the choice is entirely yours. It really depends on what your business priorities are, what your short and long term requirements are, and how a cloud or desktop solution will support your business growth.

Download our free eBook below and discover the 7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies.

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