Get a quick primer on what Darwin does,
how it does it and what it costs... but please
do call or drop an email to talk through your
question in person.
There's so much to think about when buying a
recruitment software system, so use our handy
checklist to make sure you've thought of everything.
For newer agencies, here's a quick primer
on the end-to-end recruitment process
used by the more experienced agencies
to double-check against your own process.
Recruitment Software Guide
- What type of System
- Recruitment Strategy
- Data Location & Accessibility
- Key Functionality
- Service & Support
- Costs v ROI
- Choice of Provider
What kind of recruitment system do we need?
Needs and wants in recruitment are 2 very different things.
Do we need a web-based 'cloud' system? or should we go desktop? and do we need a server?
In a perfect world you want your agency to run fast and flawlessly, generating the optimal amount of fees per recruiter each and every month. And you've seen some bright shiny features like global mailshots, mobile apps, and linkedIn integration which all look like they could help you to achieve that.
BUT... you've also probably had firsthand experience in previous agencies of how that dream of a 'recruitment cash machine' is yet to be perfected! So you need to choose a system carefully.
And as for any journey, you're going to need to work out your destination before you plan your route and set out. So let's get a blank piece of paper and start at the beginning, with your Strategy.
Define your Recruitment Strategy
Discuss with colleagues and partners, and define:
- # Where you are now
- # Where you want to be in 3 years from now
- # What you will need to get you there
Note the emphasis on the word 'define' , ie. WRITE YOUR STRATEGY DOWN
e.g. "Over the next 36 months we want to grow the business from 2 recruiters to 6 generating £12k fees each per month, and put 2 new desks on sectors [X] & [Y] in Manchester and London."
Once you've got that vision written down, you can start to understand:
- Where & how you are going to find your Clients
- Where & how you are going to find your Candidates
- If you will be predominately on the road (therefore requiring a web based system) or using a telephone in an office (therefore needing a desktop system)
You are now starting to understand the Nice to have's you would like, and the Must have's that you will need.
Where does my data need to be located?
The previous question about where you will be working from will have answered the question about mobility. If you are going to be office based, you don't necessarily need your data based "in the cloud".
However there are some very good reasons for data being stored offsite:
- # If you've got recruiters in different locations or offices they can access the system
- # You don't have to purchase and maintain an expensive server
- # No need to take inhouse data backups
NOTE: You can now get desktop recruitment systems that store their data in the cloud (like Darwin) so there is no real difference between cloud or desktop recruitment software anymore.
In fact the desktop "smart client" gives you more benefits as they have a richer interface rather than the flat web browser interfaces of the online web applications. They can also interact with locally installed applications like Microsoft Office.
So if mobile access to your data is a 'Nice to have' rather than a 'Must have', push it lower down your list of requirements for now.
Key functionality for your Recruiters
Now you've got a feel for what you might need, fill in the following.
Note: only put 'Must Have' when you absolutely require it to achieve the recruitment strategy you defined earlier !
|NICE to have||MUST Have||unnecessary|
|Customise fields and layout to preferences|
|Store candidate data and CV's|
|Have data backed up|
|Integrate with Outlook|
|Integrate with Exchange|
|Auto-process to recruitment database|
|Search of candidate records & notes|
|Keyword search inside inside CV's|
|Attach emails to records and search them|
|Shortlist from Search|
|Batch email shortlist|
|Import LinkedIn CV|
|Integrate with Twitter/Facebook|
|Show jobs on my website|
|Process applications straight into database|
|Post jobs out to our job boards|
|Send out mass email to entire database|
Mission critical systems need Supporting.
Every system looks great when you're choosing it. But there may be times when you need to resolve teething issues or sort a problem.
As your business is heavily reliant on the recruitment system (and its Provider) you'll need to be able to get hold of someone quickly, either by submitting an online support ticket or by calling a Support Engineer on the phone.
So it is VITAL that you give some thought to:
- # WHERE in the world the provider is located relational to your recruiters, specifically the Time zone. [note: UK agencies choosing US providers may not be able to get assistance until after 2pm in the working day. This is quite common.]
- # If for any reason you CAN'T get hold of your provider, what would be the cost to your business...
Loss of your Data?
Loss of a Placement?
Loss of a Fee?
Loss of a Client?
Loss of your Reputation?Closure of your Business?
ASSESS THE RISKS PROPERLY BEFORE MAKING A DECISION.
The REAL Costs of Recruitment Systems
On the face it it System A costs [X] and System B costs [Y].
It's important to differentiate not only IF a recruitment solution does what you want, but HOW it does it.
For example, all recruitment CRM packages need to lookup a particular record and add notes to it. But it takes 5 clicks and 10 seconds to open each record, your recruitment process is not going to gain much momentum... and opportunities will slip by your consultants without them noticing.
This 'micro' time can add up into many hours when calculated over the month.
eg. If you have 3 recruiters using a recruitment system that takes 30 seconds to perform a Search rather than 10 seconds, and they are performing 10 searches an hour, the total time wasted by your agency could be equivalent to SEVERAL MAN DAYS A MONTH.
Calculation: 20 seconds x3 consultants x10 searches per hour x8 hours per day x21 days a month = 100,800 seconds (or 1680 mins or 28 hours a month)
And as you already know, if your Consultants don't buy into the system because they can't get results from it they simply won't use it... and you've wasted your time, effort and hard-earned money.
Will we be in good hands?
Putting your agency's data into a mission critical system is not a decision to be taken lightly.
But to minimize the risk:
- 1. No matter how great the system looks, only choose a recruitment software provider that has been in business for more than 3 years. It's a well known fact that most new businesses go under in the first 3 years, so you don't want your provider taking you down with them. Go with an older more established company with a track record. [ Darwin has been going 7 years ]
- 2. You can judge a person by the company they keep. Choose a company with heavyweight well-financed partners. [ Darwin partner with Microsoft who helped build and test their software in their labs ]
- 3. Don't be shy - get testimonials and reference customers to talk to. [ Read Darwin's reviews ]