Want to know a sure-fire way to get an awful piece of software? Send out an RFP!
For even worst results, refuse to speak with potential vendors as part of the process!
All joking aside, I’ve been working in the recruiting and staffing industry for more than 22 years, and I’ve been helping recruiting leaders evaluate and choose ATS/CRM platforms for 10 of those years.
Since the day I started, I have consistently seen the same mistakes made by well-meaning and frustrated recruiting leaders:
Step 1: It’s time for a change
The first step is pretty harmless; the agency decides its current ATS isn’t working well for them so they decide to start reviewing other platforms.
Step 2: Shoot for the moon
The agency then builds a gigantic list of features and functions that they think they want in a new system. Often, there’s no analysis of what features they currently use or get the most from, so it’s just a huge list of various features (which all have varying degrees of value).
Step 3: Find more features
After doing demos with three, five or 10+ different systems, they get ideas of other things they think they want or need. This means the list keeps getting bigger and more demanding, often losing sight of what’s most important to them and what works best for their own recruiters.
Step 4: Compare features over value
Once they’ve got this even longer list, they go back to all the vendors with their updated list and cross-reference the list. When you’re just looking at the number of features, rather than how these features help you and your recruiters, you’re not choosing based on what software will work best for your agency.
Step 5: Pick the software with the most bells and whistles
After they’ve compared systems and had a dizzying array of demos, they decide to move forward with the vendor with the most features.
Step 6: Rinse and repeat
Since they chose software that has the most bells and whistles but isn’t fit for purpose, everyone at the agency hates the system. They let their contract run out and have to start the process all over again.
I speak with agencies that have switched ATS platforms 5-6+ times in the span of a few years because of this!
This is true in ATS/CRM software sales and every other industry as well. People mistakenly think more features automatically equals better software. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
More features actually equals:
- Longer learning curves
- Lots of clutter
- Loss in productivity
- Additional training costs
- Less joy
Aside from a few fundamentals that you need to run a recruiting desk, the number one thing you should be asking is this: “Will my recruiters actually LIKE using this software? Will they ACTUALLY use it?”
You can have all the features in the world, but if your team can’t figure it out in a few hours, and immediately see the value, all you’re left with is a feature-rich piece of crap.