Recruitment software is a long-term investment: most business owners shop for it only about as often as they do for a new car. But the difficult with this is that recruitment software evolves faster than you can say 'Jaguar XJ220'!
If you’re on the market for new recruitment software, it can be hard to know what questions to ask in order to get a full picture of what's on offer so you can make an informed choice.
You’ll of course have your own personal criteria to assess each provider by, but here are 10 of the most important questions to always ask vendors before you buy...
1. What’s the future of recruitment software?
You won’t need a crystal ball for this one – you just want to make sure that your recruitment software provider is already thinking about the future and how their software is going to develop in line with industry developments.
If the provider has a solid answer that you can see has the potential to compliment the plans you have for your own business, you’re off to a good start.
2. Are any of your team recruiters or ex-recruiters?
It’s important to know that the people behind the software understand the recruitment industry.
When purchasing recruitment software, you're not just buying the tech - you're buying the service support too.
Just think about it - how can a support desk help you overcome your challenges using their software if they have no experience of them themselves? This one's a no-brainer!
3. Where is my data going to be stored?
Your data is your business, so who’s going to make sure it's taken care of when you hand it over? Where’s the data centre? What security measures are there? What guarantees are there if Timmy the intern spills a glass of Dr Pepper on something important?
Reputable vendors should be able to provide clear policies on data storage and protection.
4. Where can I access the software on?
The best recruitment software is all cloud-based - but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can access it anywhere.
Double-check if you’ll be able to access it with your company’s phones and tablets before you make the call. The last thing you want is for your consultants to be out of the game when they leave the office!
5. What kind of customer support do you provide?
Is it by email, phone or both? Is support provided in-house or is it outsourced to a call centre somewhere? What hours are they open and how quickly can your consultants expect a response?
A lot of recruitment software providers charge extra for support too, so be sure to ask about any hidden charges.
6. How often is your software updated?
Ideally, you’re going to be sticking with the same provider for many years to come. How do you know this software is going to keep up with changing technology?
This industry evolves fast, and you need to know that your technology can keep up the pace with developments so your recruiters can continue to do their jobs efficiently.
Find out when the last updates were, what they included and whether users had to pay for them.
7. Is there any way for clients to suggest new features?
Okay, so you’re happy with the software – except there's this one thing that you really, really wish it could do that would make your job a lot easier. Is the vendor going to listen to your suggestions? Have they added features other users have suggested? It’s a real bonus if you know you can have a voice in the software’s development.
8. How long will it take to get me up and running?
Even if you’re not in a rush, ask this question so you have a time frame in mind and there are no surprises later. Launch dates will often vary depending on whether you’re bringing across data from another product, or if you're choosing to switch during busy periods, so make sure their schedule takes that into account.
9. What happens if I want to leave?
Recruitment software providers vary significantly in the notice periods they require as well as the way they go about returning data to clients. Find out what format they return data in to make sure it won’t be a nightmare to go elsewhere later if you need to.
10. Can you refer me to some of your clients?
Of course, a software provider isn’t likely to refer you to an unhappy customer, but it doesn’t hurt to get a third party’s opinion. Most recruitment software providers should be happy to point you in the direction of a client in your sector for a candid chat.
And if you'd like to fire some of these questions at us, click below to leave your details and a member of our team will be in touch shortly!
Ailsa is a technical writer and solutions engineer working at Instructure in London.