Recruitment software is undoubtedly a long-term investment and something that you don’t need to change every year or two, just like a car! Being new to the industry makes it hard to make an informed decision on who offers the best free recruiting software.
Selecting a new ATS or applicant tracking system, commonly known as online recruiting software, for the organization doesn’t happen often. Traditionally, recruiting software was standalone, expensive, and difficult to implement and integrate into the existing systems. It also required high-end learning and training for the already time-strapped recruiters. But, it is really important to go with the changing technological trends and get the latest versions of the ATS.
The recruitment software available today are web-based or SAAS compliant. They can, therefore, be operated from anywhere. The managers can operate them sitting at home or even from their hotel rooms.
Check out some tips to overcome common hiring roadblocks with the help of recruiting software.
In case you are planning to upgrade, purchase, or use free recruiting software, it is recommended that you ask a series of questions from the software vendor so as to get an in-depth knowledge about the ATS and find yourself in a position to make an informed decision.
Q1. Ask about the intellectual property agreement
It may happen that the pre-built free recruitment software needs customization in order to match the existing processes of the organization. Most companies, whether they are small or large, might want to customize or add features by developing the technology in-house. In fact, many smaller firms have a fixed development budget and want to customize the software to their requirements with the vendor’s technology.
It may happen that the recruitment software vendors may allow the organization to retain the intellectual property that was developed in-house even if the customization was done with the coordination of their software. On the other hand, some vendors do the customization for the company’s software separately and then hand over the code to the organization so that it can be integrated into the actual code.
In either case, it is always a good idea to inquire about the exact specifications of the intellectual property agreement, if any.
Q2. Is the recruitment software fully scalable to handle a large number of users?
Many organizations rely completely on the demos given by the ATS vendors but the firms should understand that demos and live situations are poles apart. When a demo is organized, it uses 10-15 users or 100 users as maximum input. In a real situation, the user count can reach thousands!
Even the web recruitment software or the ones based on SAAS are not fully immune to the hurdles pertaining to the heavy volume of concurrent users. The recruitment software should be capable of scaling accordingly to user volume. So, the vendor should either provide a demo regarding the scalability of the software or be able to provide documented scalability metrics. The data can be obtained from companies of comparable size which are already using the ATS.
Also, make sure that the software is developed using the latest in line trends and developments happening across the industry.
Q3: Issues in data migration
Recruiter activity logs and candidate databases are crucial to the recruiting department of any organization. During the migration of the databases, it is of utmost importance to map the data fields correctly and accurately. It is always better to seek the guidance of a previous or existing client of the software vendor as he will be able to guide the team with appropriate tips or any consequences thereafter.
Q4: Is the recruiting software web optimized?
The recruitment software available today is equipped with a stellar user interface with a job publishing feature on the online job boards. Most of the recruiting software interacts automatically with the job boards as well as with the search engines via the API calls. All this helps with better distribution of the jobs and optimizing the content over the web so that it reaches the maximum audience organically.
It is always better to dedicate a technical person for the centralization and optimization of the job content on the company’s website as well as search engines. The technical person should possess strong SEO skills which will be helpful in job distribution as well as driving users towards the company’s job page.
Q5: Does the ATS support external application integration?
An ideal recruitment software system should have add-ons or third party API support which help it to integrate/communicate with the social media sites, sales system, marketing software, and company email services. This application integration feature is essential to develop a robust candidate database.
We cannot deny the impact of social media in the job distribution. Moreover, posting the job requirement on each and every website is a time-consuming activity. Also, it is a tiring activity to contact all the candidates regarding the interview schedules or to send the application acknowledgments. Not having these features seriously affect the candidate experience.
Also, the applicant tracking system should be able to import the candidate details from their social media profiles in case they have applied from there.
Q6: Is customer support available during and post installation?
When an organization purchases recruitment software, it not only buys the technology but the service support as well. It is important to know that the brains behind the development of the ATS actually understand the recruitment industry.
If the software is developed by a random person or if the support system is handled by a person with a non-recruitment background, how will he be able to satisfy customer queries?
Is customer support available through e-mail, live chat, call, or all three? What is the ideal response time? Also, it must be known whether the support is provided in-house or it has been outsourced to some call center.
It is a common observation that most of the recruitment software vendors charge extra for the customer support. So, the organization needs to ask about any of those hidden charges before making a purchase.
Q7: Where is the data getting stored?
It’s really important to know how and where the data is getting stored on the server. The vendor must share the location of the data center location along with the security backup plans in case of a threat or data breach. The vendors should provide clear policies on data protection, security, and storage.
Q8: Where can the recruitment software be accessed?
A majority of the recruitment software available today are cloud-based and they are indeed the best option available these days. But choosing a cloud-based service doesn’t necessarily imply that the software can be accessed from anywhere in the world. While making a decision, the company should ensure that the software is accessable remotely from any location as well as phone/laptop/tablet.
Apart from recruiters, the candidates should also be able to upload their CVs or resumes from their mobile, Dropbox or Google Drive.
Q9: How often is the recruitment software updated?
As already mentioned, purchasing a recruitment software is a once in a lifetime thing and, ideally, organizations stick with the same provider for many years. Organizations must understand that the software has to keep up well with the changing trends and technology. The ATS should be fully scalable, regularly updated, and should keep pace with the changing scenarios so that the recruiters can continue their jobs efficiently.
The vendor must disclose to the users whether the software will be updated manually or automatically.
Q10: Is the ATS user-friendly?
‘User-friendly’ is a broad term which comprises the interface, ease of navigation, response time, and many more things. First, any ATS should be designed from a non-technical person’s perspective. The interface should be clean and subtle so that anyone can easily understand the working of an ATS after having a glance at its interface. The GUI should not be confusing. All the necessary buttons should be available on the home page without creating a mess.
The software should be able to load fast and have a quick response time. This should again be checked in the demo by simulating a heavy traffic scenario. The ATS should have flexible reporting and powerful analytics so as to ensure that the easy and quick generation of reports.
Adding all the bells and whistles to the software won’t work if the software fails to achieve its original goal i.e. automating the existing recruitment processes. Before buying any software, the organization should figure out improving the efficiency of the activities that actually drive productivity. Also, the questions mentioned above should not be considered as a mandatory feature set but as a functionality directive.
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