No matter whether you are starting a recruitment business or have an existing agency if you are planning to implement new system then there are a number of things that you should consider.

Here are our Top 5 things to consider when implementing new systems;

1. No system “is the business”

You should think about your business in terms of why it exists and the processes you would need to have in place in order for it to run as smoothly and successfully as possible. Many people get caught up in thinking that a “system” will automatically deliver an advantage over their competition and while some systems have the potential to do so – if you and your staff do not actually learn how to use a system then it is unlikely to offer you any long lasting benefit. A system should complement a business, not the other way around.

2. Deal with Vendors who truly understand your business

This does not necessarily mean that only vendors who have actually been in Recruitment are the best ones to deal with but certainly you should have a confidence that the vendors that you decide to deal with actually seem to know not only your business but the industry in general. If you feel that you seem to know more than them (and they are not demonstrating a genuine intention to learn about your business) then potentially they are not the right fit.

3. Try to Eliminate as much Paperwork as possible

New systems should be able to streamline your business – good examples are where there are no disconnects between you advertising a job (on your website and/or a Job Board) and an applicant appearing in your database. Similarly, registration and onboarding processes should be able to be done online – eliminating the need for hard copy forms, resumes, licence copies etc.

In saying this, do not get caught in the trap that a candidate registration process should automatically code up a person in your database. The reason why you would not want this is simple – most systems will parse candidates’ resumes and so are available to search on. If you are then asking a candidate to “keyword” their application (eg assign position, skill type keywords – such as Boilermaker and MIG welding skills) you are seriously wasting your (and the candidate’s time).

Keywords/Tags should always be used to validate a record – eg a candidate who has the keywords “Boilermaker” and “MIG Welding” should mean three things;

  1. They have been a “Boilermaker – MIG Welder” before
  2. They want to be a “Boilermaker – MIG Welder” again in the future
  3. You (or one of your colleagues) would want to place them as a “Boilermaker – MIG Welder” in the future

The only way that point 3 can be applied is if someone within your business has spoken to/interviewed the candidate and come to that decision. So, clearly, adding in a massive list of keywords that a candidate can select (where the keywords are used to validate a person) may not be an appropriate approach for your business.

4. Yes, your business is unique but your vendor should not need to custom build anything

It is not uncommon, particularly for larger corporate businesses, that there is a lot of talk about “building a solution”. Notwithstanding that there will be some customisation and options, in most cases if you are dealing with a vendor where there seems to be a large upfront cost to “build” then you’d want to question why.

Cost aside, do you really want a bespoke solution for your business? Bespoke solutions are universally difficult over the long term and usually leave both parties wishing they hadn’t implemented it.

5. Make sure you (and your team) learn how to use the System

This is probably the most crucial part of implementing a new system – the learning curve it takes to get fully up to speed on the system.

There are not any tricks that will make sure that everyone knows everything there is to know about the system but engaging with the vendor to get training is a good way. In doing this, you should ensure that one or more of your team will be the in-house go to people to ask questions about the system – that way you will save additional training costs.