Written by: Jonathan Lacroix
Choosing the correct Talent Acquisition system can be challenging, especially for small and mid-sized companies. It often is going from a paper process with spreadsheets, to the cloud using a SaaS vendor. When asked why they chose this particular vendor, the room usually goes quiet, or maybe one of the team members had once used that system at a previous company. Having used a system previously doesn’t necessarily make it the right product for your organization.
The sales process, if done correctly, can be very complex. Sales representatives can be clever at selling you on the idea that their product is the best fit and can do it all for you. If you do not have a planned and structured approach to your evaluation process, you may sign on the dotted line and not be selecting the correct system for your specific needs. Once that contract is signed, it’s nearly impossible to change your mind once you start realizing that what you bought into won’t deliver.
There are many ways you can avoid making the wrong software vendor selection:
- Understand the systems capabilities and get these in writing. I would recommend that you ask all the questions you need in an RFI or RFP, and get those answers in writing.
- Perform a scripted demonstration. Software vendors all have standard demonstrations they use which highlight the best features of the product. The challenge is these may not be what is most important to you. Ask the vendor to demonstrate the product based on a script provided by you. This script should include the critical process requirements for your organization and should show you how the product meets the requirement as written in the RFP. Having all vendors execute the same script provides a consistent approach when evaluating multiple vendor products.
- Free trial period. Some vendors may offer free trial periods of their products, and that may give you access to their Product Support Team (employees that don’t have a financial incentive in getting you to sign). During this trial, ask them all the same questions you asked your Sales Rep. Are you getting the same answers? Hopefully yes, but if you don’t, it might be a good indicator to look elsewhere.
Some other features you may evaluate when selecting your vendor:
- Will they provide you with a Branded Careers Website? What happens if you make changes to your website? Will you have to pay extra to have your Branded Careers Website updated as well?
- Do they have the ability and technology to easily push out your jobs to external Job Boards? Will there be hidden costs associated to that?
- Is getting your jobs on Social Media sites a priority for you organization? If it is, the vendor should be prepared and ready to deliver on social connection. This might be another trap for more money from you. Don’t be shy, and ask!
- Does the vendor offer Reporting and Analytics as part of their software? How easy is it to build and create custom reports using that system? Do you need hours and hours of training to get a report built?
- How easy is it to make slight modifications to your system? It could be as simple as adding a new entry to a dropdown menu, but if you have to jump through hoops to get that done, or have to pay them extra to get it done, that might be a warning signal.
- Are integrations between systems easy to create? HR systems become more powerful when they talk to each other. If you have all this data in one system, wouldn’t it be great if that data easily flowed back into your HRIS, and possibly vice versa? Manual data entry opens you up to possible mistakes and errors, a seamless integration can potentially remove that from the equation.
Fast growing companies have ever evolving needs, so when asking your questions, also try to think ahead. What might work for you today might change in a year or two from now. You’re the customer, and they want your business, so don’t be shy and get the answers you need to make an informed decision!
If this sounds overwhelming to you or your organization, using HRchitect and our Secure Selection Methodology will help you select the right Talent Acquisition System for your organization. Our End-to-End HCM Consulting services can assist your organization with everything from selection to implementation and even post go live support.
Jonathan is a Senior HCM Consultant with the HRchitect Consulting team. He has 10 years of experience with the Oracle TBE Cloud Service. From support, technical account manager, system administrator, and implementation consulting, he brings many years of experience working with companies of all sizes across all industries.