There are now dozens of recruitment software systems available on the market. With so many to choose from, how do you know that you are investing in the right system that can grow alongside and supplement your business?

We have been developing and supplying itris to the recruitment industry since 1998. I have been involved in that process, working with some of the most successful agencies in the UK and Europe since 2011. What I have learnt over that time is that every agency is unique. They all have varying requirements and different processes. This is largely down to the fact that recruitment is a very diverse industry, covering 1000s of job types, split across permanent, contract and temporary placements. Recruitment software, generally, is an off-the-shelf product, with certain systems targeting specific areas of recruitment, whether that is perm and contract or temp focused.

There are several areas you need to consider when reviewing the recruitment software market, but I am going to focus on the three I feel are the most important:

1. Planning: It sounds cliché, but the old adage of ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’ is hugely relevant for this process. Whether you are a start-up looking to review the recruitment software market for the first time or you have gone through a similar process before, I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to plan as much as you can. Ideally, you want a system that does 100% of what you need it do, but realistically that is not going to happen unless you develop the system in-house, but lets not go there. The best scenario is finding a system that meets 85-90% of your initial requirements, and a software supplier that is prepared to work going forward. In terms of timescales, we find the sales process from an agency initially getting in touch to choosing to go with itris is just over 2 months on average. Within that range, some agencies decide within a matter of weeks, others take considerably longer, but two months I would say is a good median. Choosing your next system is a big decision for any size agency and should not be rushed.

2. Cost: Like with the majority of products and services, the general rule with recruitment software is that the cost is reflective of the level of functionality within the system. The size of your business will also largely dictate how much you are going to pay. All suppliers will charge on a per-consultant basis. Some offer the option of paying a one-off license fee with small ongoing support costs and nearly all suppliers will offer a monthly rental pricing module. That aside, there are several other costs you may need to consider such as: Set-up, Data Migration, Training, Third Party Integrations and Bespoke Development. Identifying a realistic budget is important and will help to manage your expectations. Another key element to keep an eye on is the length of the proposed contract. You do not want to be caught in a situation where your current system is no longer meeting your requirements, leaving you cemented with them for a prolonged period. Would you sign a five year phone contract?

3. Consultant buy-in: Your consultants are your most valuable asset. They are your sales team, and they are going to be the ones using the system on a daily basis. It is therefore crucial that the team buys into what you are trying to achieve. A good strategy is to involve multiple stakeholders through the process. Remember that the majority of your consultants will have worked at alternative agencies previously, using different systems, which in itself can act as a valuable tool when researching systems to review.

I’ve only touched on a few areas here, and I hope I have got you thinking. If you wanted to read further, we have put together a complete guide to reviewing recruitment software. Click here to download.