I was wondering what everyone looks for in their recruiting software and applicant management solutions- what are the most important features for you?

Just to start the conversation, here are a list of features I think are critical for Recruiting Software:

- Simplifies and promotes collaboration between hiring managers and recruiters.
- Dead simple set up and full online access.
- Doesn't have a ton of useless bells and whistles- makes it simpler, not more complicated.

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Something easy to use, affordable, hosted, fast, reliable
Love your pic!
Buyer beware on perceived simplicity. The devil is in the details on this decision. First, many products appear to be easy to use and they may be easy to learn, but ask yourself how many clicks you need to make to parse resumes, add contacts and track activities. Second, don't ask yourself what your business needs today (though tempting), but instead ask what it's going to need when the market comes back later this year or next. Buying a low end, cheap solution keeps your business from growing because it doesn't enhance the way you do business. It reinforces bad habits. More sophisticated solutions push you to be a more effective recruiting executive because they give you more information to work with and their tracking and measurement capabilities are far superior. This is especially true if your firm has multiple recruiters. Third, most of the major products purport to be Internet-based. Ask the right questions. Is there software that needs to run on your PC? Do you need to keep Microsoft Exchange or Outlook running? Can you run the software on multiple devices and from any location, or are you chained to your laptop? These costs and inconveniences add up, especially if you need IT staff. They are not free, and all of a sudden the low cost solution you were buying is close in cost to the best product in the market. I remember several years ago when my wife and I were shopping for a new car. It came down to the Toyota Highlander vs. The Lexus RX350. The difference was $10K in price. Since we keep cars for at least 10 years, I encouraged her to get the Lexus. She chose the Highlander and regretted it ever since. Her statement to friends of ours over dinner a couple of weekends ago was telling, "I live in my car, I am kicking myself every day." You live in your recruiting software every day, and the difference between the car example and choosing a great product is this - a great product over a good one can easily improve your productivity to help you get a minimum of 3 more placements every year per recruiter. That far exceeds the cost of any perceived price difference in the software and the payback is there in weeks.
Joe makes some great points here and I concur, the devil is always in the details when evaluating technology. . My simple comments here is that simple doesn’t necessarily mean cheap! And, like Joe implies – you get what you pay for!

First, I want to disclose that I work for a recruiting software company. Our goal is to make simple software. We sell to corporate clients, mainly small and medium sized businesses (for now). When we refer to simple, we are referring to improvements to the user experience that enable people to be more productive. Simple, to us, means easy to use. For example, we have built the most advanced resume parsing engine on the market and we are releasing a feature in a couple of weeks that will allow users to drag and drop documents and even email into our web-based platform. Until recently, the technology was not quite there to pull this off. This simple feature will make life easier for our users.

If software is easy to use, more users will choose to use the system thereby increasing adoption and ultimately your ability to capture accurate metrics. With more accurate metrics, measurement is more insightful. When software is too complicated for hiring managers and other critical users to adopt easily, they tend to work around software nullifying the validity of any analytical data captured.

Joe brings up another great point about web-based software. Make sure you are buying a native SaaS application not an ASP or an on-premise application. Simple and SaaS are converging quickly. SaaS applications are available from any computer or any device—any time, anywhere. Because most people are familiar with using the Internet to find what they need, SaaS apps tend to have high adoption rates, with a lower learning curve. Additionally, SaaS applications are subscription based. No license fees mean lower initial costs. Having the application provider manage the your infrastructure means lower costs for hardware, software, and the people needed to manage your system.

Recently, I have seen a couple of free applicant tracking systems and even seen a free open source ATS. Having complete demos of many and having seen the screen shots of the others, I can tell you that Joe is right. You get what you pay for. And, we are not talking the difference between a Toyota and a Lexus.

We write a blog about simple software here.
http://www.newtonondemand.com/blog/




Joe Cordo said:
Buyer beware on perceived simplicity. The devil is in the details on this decision. First, many products appear to be easy to use and they may be easy to learn, but ask yourself how many clicks you need to make to parse resumes, add contacts and track activities. Second, don't ask yourself what your business needs today (though tempting), but instead ask what it's going to need when the market comes back later this year or next. Buying a low end, cheap solution keeps your business from growing because it doesn't enhance the way you do business. It reinforces bad habits. More sophisticated solutions push you to be a more effective recruiting executive because they give you more information to work with and their tracking and measurement capabilities are far superior. This is especially true if your firm has multiple recruiters. Third, most of the major products purport to be Internet-based. Ask the right questions. Is there software that needs to run on your PC? Do you need to keep Microsoft Exchange or Outlook running? Can you run the software on multiple devices and from any location, or are you chained to your laptop? These costs and inconveniences add up, especially if you need IT staff. They are not free, and all of a sudden the low cost solution you were buying is close in cost to the best product in the market. I remember several years ago when my wife and I were shopping for a new car. It came down to the Toyota Highlander vs. The Lexus RX350. The difference was $10K in price. Since we keep cars for at least 10 years, I encouraged her to get the Lexus. She chose the Highlander and regretted it ever since. Her statement to friends of ours over dinner a couple of weekends ago was telling, "I live in my car, I am kicking myself every day." You live in your recruiting software every day, and the difference between the car example and choosing a great product is this - a great product over a good one can easily improve your productivity to help you get a minimum of 3 more placements every year per recruiter. That far exceeds the cost of any perceived price difference in the software and the payback is there in weeks.

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