The #2 Rated Applicant Tracking System?

Most days I receive email from HRTech vendors who find SelectSoftware and want their solution listed on the site. Some are amazing solutions that we’ve somehow missed previously. Some are clearly not a good fit. And, some simply illuminate the challenges of buying HRTech! This was one of those such emails.

A few weeks ago I got this email from a vendor who wanted to be on the site (all identifying info is de-identified, I have no interest in calling them out):

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I always look at these messages and try to respond quickly out of respect for the people building our next generation of HRTech companies. I also want to be efficient and so will do 2 mins of research on the company so that the next best step is accomplished as fast as possible.

In this case, I realized the company had 5 employees and was based in a far off land. I responded thanks for reaching out, but do you mind sharing your revenue or customer count. I saw they had 5 employees, and I don’t feel comfortable recommending software to our audience that doesn’t meet a minimum scale threshold (maybe we’ll have a section in the future for the earliest stages of startups, but we have too much work to do before that happens).

I never heard back. My guess is the answer to “what’s your scale” was “very small.” But, that’s not what I found so interesting here.

The Point Of This Post

If you read the email that was sent to me, this 5-person ATS based in a far off land is the #2 rated ATS on Capterra! How is this possible? Well, they have ~50 five-star reviews. To be honest, I’m surprised this small a company has 50 customers…but I’m not going to dig into how they got these reviews.

In fact, I probably don’t need to educate anyone about the validity of online reviews. We’ve all been offered money to leave reviews, and of course, are familiar with the many hacks we can use to adjust our company’s Glassdoor reviews.

That said, I found this email exchange very inspiring and so wanted to write about it. I started SelectSoftware because 1) it’s hard to buy HRTech and 2) the content that exists online is amazingly misleading. This random company (and not the actual best ATS’s out there) was ranked #2?

By the way, I hadn’t heard of ANY of the top 20 companies “ranked” by this crowd review site. That’s just SCARY. How many thousands of practitioners are being misled every month by this list?

My personal takeaway here is to always understand who is telling you what, and why (clearly I have an incentive to share my thoughts on how expert, unbiased reviews are better than pay-to-play crowd reviews).

I hope this is a useful anecdote as you build your skillset of buying excellent business software to propel your organization :)

This post originally appeared on SelectSoftware's blog where we write about the latest in HRTech.

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