During this week’s HoW talent webinar, Giles was once again joined by Dave Walstow, Client Services Director and recruitment marketing expert from Creed Communications to explore the key steps recruitment teams should consider when purchasing new recruitment technology.
Giles and Dave discussed:
How to source potential suppliers
How to make sure you get the most from tech evaluation and product demos
How to identify the right supplier for your organisation
Which questions to ask to ensure you buy with confidence - the devil’s in the detail
Top tips for negotiating the best deal
Recruitment technology is a busy market. There are so many different providers available with over 50 different ATS providers in the UK alone. Add this to the chatbots, video interviewing platforms, assessment providers, psychometric test providers, the list goes on. All these tools are valuable but how do we know which ones we need, which are a right fit for our organisation and ultimately, how do we know we are getting a good deal?
It is essential to understand the specific challenges you are looking to solve with a piece of recruitment technology - before you start the evaluation process itself. That may sound obvious but ultimately technology is an enabler, it's not a solution in itself so you need to make sure that before you even start going out to market or thinking ‘what do we need’, that you understand and fix the basics first. If you have a broken process and you bring it online with a piece of tech, it's just going to be an online broken process so take the opportunity to review and improve your processes.
If you have an existing ATS or other recruitment technology in place already and you feel that it’s not working for you, don't just throw it out. Engage with the supplier and explain what isn’t working and ask for a product and process review. It may be that your process has moved on so the ATS or other product is no longer set up in the right way - so engage with your supplier first and give them the opportunity to work with you to see if the existing platform can meet your requirements.
Consider your Return on Investment
Before you go out to market, think about what your return on investment is likely to be. With the technology that you purchase, is it going to help you be more proactive in recruiting hard to fill roles? Is it going to give you a wider reach of candidates and improve diversity?
If it’s an employee referral program, will that result in cost saving or better hires who stay longer with the organisation? Will the new technology enable me to recruit at pace, more efficiently and reduce my agency spend? With this level of consideration and understanding, how the project fits with the strategic objectives of the business and how it contributes to the bottom line will help initially to get sign off and also then ensure you can demonstrate the return on investment in the future.
What is the best way to get started with a search for new recruitment tech?
Talk to contacts who have an objective view of the technology you are looking for. At Creed, we see lots of different ATS providers across our client base so if our clients are looking for a new provider, we can provide a shortlist of vendors that we know have the functionality they are looking for, that provide great support and are good value for money.
Also look to your own networks for recommendations. If you are part of the In-House Recruitment Network, The Forum for In-House Recruitment Managers (The Firm), HR Market etc then people in Talent Acquisition and Recruitment all are able to connect and share their challenges and feedback of different providers who have helped them overcome these issues.
Also consider if you are in a specific sector, for example Healthcare, Education or Retail, look at what your competitors are using because some recruitment technology will lend itself better to certain sectors and sizes of organisations than others.
What questions should you ask to get the most out of a product demonstration?
Share your key objectives with prospective suppliers and ask how they will help you to achieve your goals. When you get into the demonstration stage, think about your own recruitment process and share with them the whole process, or specific scenarios, and ask them to demo based on your specific process, not what they want to show you.
Ask lots of questions around your own process and challenge the provider to make sure you see just how the technology would work in your own business.
Think about the relationship with the supplier - this is sometimes overlooked but ask yourself:
Is this an organisation I can actually work with?
Do I like the culture of the business?
Will this tech provider work in partnership with me or will they try to upsell me at every opportunity?
These are all key considerations and are areas that should be established at an early stage.
What questions should I ask around service and support?
It is important to understand what the implementation process looks like and if this process is managed for you with an Implementation Manager, or if you are required to configure and test the technology yourself.
Consider your requirements for training. Is this included as part of the package, and especially in this virtual world, how is the training delivered, who will deliver it, and who has access to training and supporting materials?
Post implementation, do you have access to a helpdesk for any questions or support and are there limits to the amount of support you will get? Ask who the support is provided to. Is it just the recruitment team or will Hiring Managers and candidates receive support too? Ideally you will have a dedicated point of contact which is usually a Client Success Manager who will work with you on a strategic level to ensure you are achieving your return on investment.
Also, check if future upgrades and enhancements are included as standard in your agreement. If you want to make tweaks and changes to your platform, are there any limits and will you be charged for changes?
Before you commit just take a step back and really challenge yourself: does it solve my specific challenges? There is some beautiful looking technology out there, but you really need to ensure it meets your business’ needs. Can you establish a partnership with the vendor and has the communication been clear and transparent throughout your relationship so far?
Make sure you take up references from existing clients, establish the credentials of the provider and do not forget to ask those all-important security questions.
Selecting the right recruitment tech for your organisation may feel like a daunting task but thinking ahead, doing your research and asking the right questions will ensure you select the right provider for you and will ultimately lead to a successful implementation and roll out.
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