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Ahhh this thread is a real beauty- it captures so much of what drives the "ATS" business thru illustrative comments. I'm gonna throw some ideas out here- take them for what they are worth, but they are coming from a person who has been involved with over 3000 "ATS" projects in 11 years with every kind of organization.
1) In the first place "ATS" stands for Applicant Tracking System. Clearly, many if not most people who recruiters work with (and need to "track") are not applicants.
2) People who wear the "recruiter" title can range from hardcore salespeople to order-taking clerks. Clerks work with applicants, usually generated by job-board posts.
2) All four of the named offerings are mature, offered by reliable firms, and have large numbers of satisfied customers.
3) All four of the named offerings have numbers of dissatisfied customers.
4) All four could easily consume 8 hours by themselves for a complete demonstration.
5) Doing 4 demos in one day and expecting to derive a non-superficial understanding with which to differentiate products is asking for trouble.
6) Some products "demo" much better than others.
7) Some products "work" much better than others.
8) Different Stakeholders on the Buy-side have different needs and success definitions.
9) Generally but not always, Recruiters and Clerks are interested in Tactical issues, owners and managers are interested in Strategic issues.
10) Tactical stuff; "Look and Feel", number of clicks, automation of admin functions, personal productivity metrics, "ease of use", fit with current practices (e.g. does this mean I have to stop using Outlook).
11) Strategic stuff; How is the vendor capitalized?, What happens if/when there is a change of ownership? What are the technical and security aspects?, what is the lifecycle costs? How do the costs change/scale up or down? What is involved with changes to the system? what is involved with wanted / needed integrations ?, management reports, legal compliance for hiring.
12) Vendors sell every single day, Buyers buy just once every number of years. There is information asymetry as to what is really important on both sides.
13) Computer "Matching" of candidates to roles is overrated because nothing can beat the brain of a skilled recruiter, and Clerks dont do matching (the Applicants match themselves)
14) Day to day click counts and the general area of email transaction and tracking is underrated (because end-users spend a great deal of time working with and around email)
15) Versatility is a key aspect of successful ATS/Recruiting software projects because people, business cycles, and methods change more often than realized.
16) Price and vendor cost structure are not always connected in the beginning, but they are always connected in the end. The lower the vendor's cost structure, the lower the lifecycle cost CAN be. Too low is naturally not good either.
17) People take this choice seriously and there is a real loyalty and self-identification with vendors in many cases- why ? Because the most important idea of all:
18) THIS DECISION IS NOT A PRODUCT DECISION: ITS A RELATIONSHIP DECISION ! These applications answer to sometimes complex needs, and to get the best out of any of them requires a good working relationship with the vendor. Yes, with some projects its a set it and forget it deal, but even that level requires a certain understanding between the parties. Sometimes its daily or weekly interactions with the vendor basically forever- nothing wrong or unexpected about that outcome either because success (and failure) occur both ways and everywhere in the middle.
19) Its not the last system any ongoing enterprise is going to select. ITs an evolving market. Find out how much and how easy it is to decommission and move along with any given choice.
20) Many times, there simply is NOT a "better" or "worse" choice- only questions of differences and focus that in the end will give about the same ROI to the buyer if they hold their end up and vice-versa. If you set out to buy a BMW and drive home in a Benz, or even a Chevy, it still all depends on how well the choice fits your exact situation, and that choice would hold for nobody else in specific, but hundreds of thousands of others in general.
Could you share with me who the 4 ATS systems are? I am currently looking to acquire one, also.
Just curious.. what are you using now.
My name is Ben Fuller and I'll be walking you through the Bullhorn application tomorrow. I've been doing sales at Bullhorn for over 8 years and no questions are bad one's. The link below provides some areas I'll be focusing on during our call and please don't hesitate to ask specific questions around your work flow & requirements.
Also, the following link provides a sample of our current client base within recruiting & staffing. Overall, Bullhorn's vision is to empower staffing and recruiting professionals worldwide to achieve the highest placement rates in the industry.
Lastly, I look forward to the presentation and opportunity to earn your business.
A custom home-grown system. Which has worked very well so far, but growing pains and all...
Larry Carter said:Just curious.. what are you using now.