If you’ve been tasked with choosing staffing software for your agency, you probably feel in over your head right now. In fact, it’d be surprising if you weren’t at least a little overwhelmed by the process. The amount of products and features in this software category makes it difficult to distinguish what’s worth your time and what’s not.
But luckily for you, buying software is actually a lot like recruiting — and not just because they both demand that you be exhaustive.
Think about it this way: If you can choose the right candidate for your clients, then you can certainly choose the right staffing software for your agency.
This article will make finding the right software simpler by providing a systematic approach to the evaluation and selection process.
Define Your Goals
Today, there are hundreds of staffing systems that integrate everything from back office processes, to sales analytics, to customer and candidate information.
Always begin a software purchase by defining your objectives and requirements. If you don’t know what your goals are, then it’s impossible to know what you’re looking for. To determine what you need from a system, consider the following questions:
- What is the business value of a new system?
- Who are your end-users, and what are their struggles?
- How can you use technology to streamline existing processes?
Don’t worry, you needn’t answer all these questions alone. Talk with each stakeholder, or form a committee with a representative from every department to ensure the new system will serve the unique needs of your users.
Staffing agencies are unique because they’re not only responsible for another company’s recruiting efforts, but must also gain those companies as clients, which requires marketing and sales expertise. It’s likely that your recruiters are interested in a system with advanced candidate search capabilities and applicant de-duplication. The sales team probably wants CRM functionality, while marketing favors lead conversion analytics.
It’s your job to pinpoint the exact reasons the company needs new recruitment software. By surveying each business unit about their processes, challenges, and requirements, you’ll be able to successfully define your business goals.
Pinpoint System Requirements
Once your goals are defined, it’s time to establish which features will help you achieve them. Based on your team’s objectives, create a list of necessary functionality. To strike a balance between thoroughness and fastidiousness, prioritize each feature. For example, you can create a scale and rank each item in terms of necessity:
- 3 = Must have feature, will not sacrifice
- 2 = Can sacrifice if necessary
- 1 = Nice to have
If any vendor is missing a level three feature, then they’re automatically eliminated. Additionally, if you evaluate two vendors that meet the mandatory criteria, you’ll have a secondary elimination method.
While determining system requirements, it’s important to familiarize yourself with industry trends. If it’s been awhile since you’ve shopped for staffing software — or if it’s your first time — you may overlook an important feature. Below are some current staffing and software trends to consider:
- Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment: Given the increasing popularity of mobile and remote workers, subscription based staffing software is becoming widely favored. In addition to being accessible on any device with an internet connection, it’s a scalable option that can grow with your agency.
- Social recruiting: A modern way to find, engage, and qualify top candidates without additional marketing expenses. Social features help recruiters track multichannel applicant interactions.
- In-house recruiting applications: Compare staffing software with human resources software for corporate recruiting.
Establish Your Budget
In order to determine a budget, it’s important to familiarize yourself with vendor pricing models. Some vendors charge per recruiting manager; others are pay per hire, and still others require you to pay per employee. Estimate your costs a few different ways so you’ll be able to compare prices regardless of the model.
Create a List of Staffing Software Vendors
Now that you have a firm list of requirements and a budget range, your list of vendors should be narrowed down to a handful. Don’t worry if vendors seem mostly the same at this point, there are additional factors that will differentiate them, such as:
- security features and accreditations;
- customer testimonials, case studies, or references;
- technical support, system training, data migration;
- upgrade policies, implementation services;
- available suites or integrations.
Eliminate any vendor that doesn’t offer the customer support, integration capabilities, or security your business needs. If you’re still not sure, consider consulting a third-party technology expert for an unbiased recommendation.
Take a Test Drive
The final step in the selection process is to go for a test drive. Demos and free trials are a great way to experience the software for yourself. Consider pilot testing the system with one team to work out any kinks before full implementation. Once you implement the solution on a small scale, you can scale adoption across the entire organization.
Treat the software buying process like the staffing process: define requirements, select potential candidates, and test their abilities. This systematic approach will ensure your staffing system is qualified for the job.
Jenna Puckett is an associate technology analyst at TechnologyAdvice. She covers topics related to project management, marketing automation, employee performance, and other emerging tech trends. Connect with her on LinkedIn.