When a new recruitment CRM or applicant tracking system enters the market, it's often supported by an over-the-top marketing budget and outrageous claims of transforming your business overnight.
The truth of the matter is that it's often far too easy to get caught up in the initial buzz surrounding a shiny new product whilst losing sight of the features that are actually going to make you and your colleagues more productive.
Firstly, it's worth noting here that a number of new products released to the market are often funded in part by some form of initial investment or venture capital. Software providers in this situation often find themselves under great pressure to start delivering a return to investors as soon as the product is released and the most effective way to capture the attention of your target audience is in the form of exuberant marketing claims - You know the type I'm referring to:
"Unparalleled features and support..."
"Let's you make more money..."
Now, to re-balance the scales here, I'm not suggesting that there's anything wrong with such claims if they are indeed 100% true (Hint: Most of them aren't), however these often serve no other purpose other than to distract potential buyers from more important questions relating to the core functionality of a system and it's often too late to change your mind once you've signed that 24 month contract with the provider in question.
What Features Actually Make a Difference to Recruiter Efficiency?
Clean, Intuitive, and Well Designed User Experience
From a usability point-of-view, this is key. The interface is what guides you through the system and if this is poorly designed, too simplistic or too complicated, your overall efficiency will suffer. The user interface should be clear, concise and should require very little explanation in terms of the navigation and layout of the information being displayed.
Fast and Efficient Searching of Data
Online recruitment software should provide you with fast access to your data with minimal effort. As a recruiter you are ultimately interested in four key areas; Clients, Candidates, Vacancies and Placements. These entities form the basis of your entire business and each of these have the potential to interact with each other at some stage in the recruitment process. If your software does not allow you access these items quickly then your overall efficiency is going to suffer.
Candidate CV Parsing to Minimise Manual Data Entry
One aspect of recruiting which can be a cause of much frustration is the time it can take to input candidate data and create a candidate profile. In addition to the time it takes, you should also consider the cost to your business; how much does it cost if you're spending up to 20% of your working day manually inserting candidate data? Over the course of the year, the cost of this process can be quite alarming which makes in-built CV parsing a must for any recruitment software solution you consider.
Bulk Email, SMS Messaging & Fully Customisable Email Templates
Communicating with potential candidates is a vital part of the recruitment process. The number of candidates in your talent pool can vary depending on how established you or your recruitment company are but you can be fairly certain that this talent pool will only grow as time goes by. As the number of potential candidates increases so does the effort involved in reaching them. Whilst manually typing out and sending an email to a few individuals may be a fairly quick and painless task at the start, this becomes increasingly time-consuming once the number of candidates you need to communicate with grows. Any potential recruitment software solution should offer some form of email template capability which will allow you to create customisable email content for different types of communication throughout the recruitment process.
Configurable Candidate Matching
How do you quickly identify potential candidates for a vacancy? Most online recruitment software solutions offer some form or CV search capabilities based on keywords but is that always enough to identify the right candidate for a vacancy? The answer is most likely no. The fact is that parsing CVs for keywords or phrases does not always provide you with accurate enough results as there are often a number of other attributes to consider when matching potential candidates to a vacancy. Because of this, you should look for recruitment software that provides matching functionality based on a candidates overall profile and not just keywords contained in their CV.
Outbound Email Synchronisation
You know the story - You've gone to visit a client for the day and receive an email from another one of your candidates on your smartphone. You reply to the candidate but find it tedious to now login to your recruitment CRM to record what you sent by using the painful copy/paste feature on your phone so you forget about the email and it doesn't get recorded. Over time, this is going to make it harder and harder to keep track of important information and so you need to look for a recruitment software solution that also provides the ability to log your outgoing emails against the contact in your database automatically. That way, everything you send is recorded for future reference.