Demo'ing 4 ATS systems tomorrow, what questions should I be asking?

Ok all of my recruiter friends out there. From a staff aug recruiting perspective if you are looking at a new ATS systems what features and/or functionality is going to be most important to you? What big questions would you have.

Tomorrow I will be looking at 4 ATS systems the are: Bond Adapt, iCIMS,
Bullhorn and MaxHire.

Any thoughts on any of these would also be appreciated.

Thanks

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I went through this exercise earlier this year and we ultimately chose Bullhorn. Had a lot of pushback on their email, it cannot be integrated with outlook, the spell checker does not work, however the fact that it is a built in email system does have some advantages too. Make sure you ask them which hand held devices they support. That was another big problem we discovered too late, once we implemented 1/2 the recruiters in our company could no longer get their email on their handheld because Bullhorn did not support it.

I'm now with another company (IT Staffing) that has Maxhire. I personally think it's a better tool. One thing to note with Maxhire is they will be integrating TalentHook in their May release. That's a nice benefit.
One other note, we switched from ICIMS to Bullhorn because ICIMS is much more geared toward a corporate environment, not staffing. It lacks many of the time saving features and robust search tools the others may have.
Critical point Michael - Icims is a nice ATS, and Bullhorn is a nice Recruiting Software. Both firms are excellent marketers.

So many times people buy one when they needed the other. A few offerings are competent at both, but that's like a football player who can play well on offense and defense- sometimes it's a game changer, sometimes a gimmick, and almost always one side of the ball is just a little better....

Also many corps have both ATS and Recruiting Software systems running at the same time because their recruiters and their clerks are on different teams. Also I don't use the word clerk in any dispairaging sense: its very hard to be a very good clerk and without them, the world stops......






Michael Bjorklund said:
One other note, we switched from ICIMS to Bullhorn because ICIMS is much more geared toward a corporate environment, not staffing. It lacks many of the time saving features and robust search tools the others may have.
So we had the four demos, some were good some were not so good. I really liked Bond but felt like we needed more time to see what it was really capable of. I thought iCims was lacking in the presentation and I never really did get an idea what they could do. I thought Bullhorn had some great tricks and flashy tools but I really did not like that it did not integrate with Outook. Also since we will need a system that works for both corporate and staff aug recruiting I felt they did not have the capability to do that. MaxHire had great Outlook integration but also seemed very labor intensive. It also did not have automated workflow processes with was a huge disappointment for me personally. I also agreed with one of the posters that said it seemed to be geared more towards the recruiting side rather than sales. We will need a system that works as a strong sales CRM as well.

Overall I felt like Bond was the most robust system but I also think it will take the longest to get up and running with all of the customizations we would require.

Geri Kleeman said:
I read all these comments with interest. I certainly know a lot of the pluses and minuses to ATS systems. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts after your demos and continue the conversation.
Vikki it seems counter-intuitive but you may want to consider two systems, one for sales and one for ATS. It's becoming more and more practical as more systems offer robust webservices, and I imagine that you have an HRIS involved too- so you would have Sales/CRM, then the application/hire process, then post-hire into the HRIS. Again there are some systems out there that do a good job on both sides, just none of the four that you are narrowed down to. Need I add that you should not put process in front of outcome? If the situation looks like you should open up the field again, then take the time and effort to do that. Some of the Salesforce plug-ins and Avanture look pretty good for CRM, and Icims is a good ATS- see what I mean about how you can't meaningfully make a decision in 2 hours ?

I would consider pilot projects as well- when smart shoppers with complex needs work with us, they often use a demo just to make sure we are on the right planet, and then use the pilot project concept as the decision process.

Its like getting married after some speed-dating: might work sometimes, but I would not bet the future on it.







Vikki Hawkins said:
So we had the four demos, some were good some were not so good. I really liked Bond but felt like we needed more time to see what it was really capable of. I thought iCims was lacking in the presentation and I never really did get an idea what they could do. I thought Bullhorn had some great tricks and flashy tools but I really did not like that it did not integrate with Outook. Also since we will need a system that works for both corporate and staff aug recruiting I felt they did not have the capability to do that. MaxHire had great Outlook integration but also seemed very labor intensive. It also did not have automated workflow processes with was a huge disappointment for me personally. I also agreed with one of the posters that said it seemed to be geared more towards the recruiting side rather than sales. We will need a system that works as a strong sales CRM as well.

Overall I felt like Bond was the most robust system but I also think it will take the longest to get up and running with all of the customizations we would require.

Geri Kleeman said:
I read all these comments with interest. I certainly know a lot of the pluses and minuses to ATS systems. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts after your demos and continue the conversation.
Nice post by Martin. Thanks for sharing, Slouch.

Kari
Vikki,
I suggest taking a look at TargetRecruit once again since you have not made any decision since it will show you how Sales and Recruiting can work together well in a manner you will like to run your business and not dependent on what software vendors have to offer.

You can also try it out for free for 30 days and extend it further if needed.

Also look at the reviews from the staffing companies for the benefits they have received by bringing their sales and recruiting system together. Being built on Salesforce.com platform it offers one of the most flexible, robust and complete system. It has integration with online application submission, job boards, emails, resume parsing and other recruiting functionalities that you need.

http://www.salesforce.com/appexchange/detail_overview.jsp?NavCode__...

Reena


Martin H.Snyder said:
Vikki it seems counter-intuitive but you may want to consider two systems, one for sales and one for ATS. It's becoming more and more practical as more systems offer robust webservices, and I imagine that you have an HRIS involved too- so you would have Sales/CRM, then the application/hire process, then post-hire into the HRIS. Again there are some systems out there that do a good job on both sides, just none of the four that you are narrowed down to. Need I add that you should not put process in front of outcome? If the situation looks like you should open up the field again, then take the time and effort to do that. Some of the Salesforce plug-ins and Avanture look pretty good for CRM, and Icims is a good ATS- see what I mean about how you can't meaningfully make a decision in 2 hours ?

I would consider pilot projects as well- when smart shoppers with complex needs work with us, they often use a demo just to make sure we are on the right planet, and then use the pilot project concept as the decision process.

Its like getting married after some speed-dating: might work sometimes, but I would not bet the future on it.







Vikki Hawkins said:
So we had the four demos, some were good some were not so good. I really liked Bond but felt like we needed more time to see what it was really capable of. I thought iCims was lacking in the presentation and I never really did get an idea what they could do. I thought Bullhorn had some great tricks and flashy tools but I really did not like that it did not integrate with Outook. Also since we will need a system that works for both corporate and staff aug recruiting I felt they did not have the capability to do that. MaxHire had great Outlook integration but also seemed very labor intensive. It also did not have automated workflow processes with was a huge disappointment for me personally. I also agreed with one of the posters that said it seemed to be geared more towards the recruiting side rather than sales. We will need a system that works as a strong sales CRM as well.

Overall I felt like Bond was the most robust system but I also think it will take the longest to get up and running with all of the customizations we would require.

Geri Kleeman said:
I read all these comments with interest. I certainly know a lot of the pluses and minuses to ATS systems. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts after your demos and continue the conversation.
I have been following this conversation with tremendous interest as I really want to get a new system for our company. I've been here three months and a few months before I joined they went with PC Recruiter... I do NOT like it. Very clunky. I want something smooth and easy to use. We are not an enormous team, but we are growing and our clients are huge. I started asking to change to a different system on, I think, my second day.

We're a new kind of hybrid company - not really a search/contingency firm and not really an RPO, but somewhere in the middle. We do sourcing and screening for our large corporate clients. One function we absolutely must have is a client portal where our clients can log in and see only what we want them to see. This was acutally the sole reason that our founders went with PC Recruiter (they are not recruiters themselves).

SO - I had a demo with Avature and was blown away. I loved it. But then started thinking I probabably should look around a bit. I've only used huge systems (PeopleSoft) or home-grown systems (one was even still DOS based, that was fun) - or my own Excel spreadsheets for most of my contract recruiting.

MY QUESTION: Has anyone used Avature? Did you like it?
I'm going to look into some of these others as well.

THanks!
Karen,
Avature has similar concept of bringing CRM and recruiting together. Take a look at TargetRecruit as part of your evaluation process.

http://www.salesforce.com/appexchange/detail_overview.jsp?NavCode__...

Reena


Karen Stevens said:
I have been following this conversation with tremendous interest as I really want to get a new system for our company. I've been here three months and a few months before I joined they went with PC Recruiter... I do NOT like it. Very clunky. I want something smooth and easy to use. We are not an enormous team, but we are growing and our clients are huge. I started asking to change to a different system on, I think, my second day.

We're a new kind of hybrid company - not really a search/contingency firm and not really an RPO, but somewhere in the middle. We do sourcing and screening for our large corporate clients. One function we absolutely must have is a client portal where our clients can log in and see only what we want them to see. This was acutally the sole reason that our founders went with PC Recruiter (they are not recruiters themselves).

SO - I had a demo with Avature and was blown away. I loved it. But then started thinking I probabably should look around a bit. I've only used huge systems (PeopleSoft) or home-grown systems (one was even still DOS based, that was fun) - or my own Excel spreadsheets for most of my contract recruiting.

MY QUESTION: Has anyone used Avature? Did you like it?
I'm going to look into some of these others as well.

THanks!
Avature looks nice my concern with them is that they have not been around very long. I just wondered if they have the resources to support their software.


Karen Stevens said:
I have been following this conversation with tremendous interest as I really want to get a new system for our company. I've been here three months and a few months before I joined they went with PC Recruiter... I do NOT like it. Very clunky. I want something smooth and easy to use. We are not an enormous team, but we are growing and our clients are huge. I started asking to change to a different system on, I think, my second day.

We're a new kind of hybrid company - not really a search/contingency firm and not really an RPO, but somewhere in the middle. We do sourcing and screening for our large corporate clients. One function we absolutely must have is a client portal where our clients can log in and see only what we want them to see. This was acutally the sole reason that our founders went with PC Recruiter (they are not recruiters themselves).

SO - I had a demo with Avature and was blown away. I loved it. But then started thinking I probabably should look around a bit. I've only used huge systems (PeopleSoft) or home-grown systems (one was even still DOS based, that was fun) - or my own Excel spreadsheets for most of my contract recruiting.

MY QUESTION: Has anyone used Avature? Did you like it?
I'm going to look into some of these others as well.

THanks!
yeah - that was one of my concerns as well. Everything else looks fantastic, though. I guess someone has to be their first clients. :)

Vikki Hawkins said:
Avature looks nice my concern with them is that they have not been around very long. I just wondered if they have the resources to support their software.


Karen Stevens said:
I have been following this conversation with tremendous interest as I really want to get a new system for our company. I've been here three months and a few months before I joined they went with PC Recruiter... I do NOT like it. Very clunky. I want something smooth and easy to use. We are not an enormous team, but we are growing and our clients are huge. I started asking to change to a different system on, I think, my second day.

We're a new kind of hybrid company - not really a search/contingency firm and not really an RPO, but somewhere in the middle. We do sourcing and screening for our large corporate clients. One function we absolutely must have is a client portal where our clients can log in and see only what we want them to see. This was acutally the sole reason that our founders went with PC Recruiter (they are not recruiters themselves).

SO - I had a demo with Avature and was blown away. I loved it. But then started thinking I probabably should look around a bit. I've only used huge systems (PeopleSoft) or home-grown systems (one was even still DOS based, that was fun) - or my own Excel spreadsheets for most of my contract recruiting.

MY QUESTION: Has anyone used Avature? Did you like it?
I'm going to look into some of these others as well.

THanks!
Can the ATS...
automatically respond to each applicant, thanking them for their submission.
notify each applicant of other openings they may be qualified for, based on keyword matching
after an initial screen, notify each applicant if she/he is still being considered
if still being considered, follow-up with a reasonable estimate of when they might be contacted
notify all applicants once the position has been filled

yes, I've been talking to Gerry Crispin - a job opening is also a marketing opportunity. It doesn't take much to create a positive experience for job seekers. The typical ATS black hole does just the opposite. So, while assessing all of the time saving, cool features and capabilities to eliminate 98% of the resumes instantly, see what they can do to humanize the process.

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