Talent Management: Suite or Standalone

Talent management software combines human resources practices and information technology to facilitate recruiters and managers in providing HR functions to employees, applicants, and to the organization as a whole. Due to the widespread use of human resources software, numerous applications have been developed. Most of them can be broadly categorized into standalone software or a suite of applications. For most companies, the choice between a standalone system and a suite depends on their operations. However, there are many advantages of using a standalone human resources software system that the organization can tap into.

Simplicity

Firstly, standalone human resources software is simple to implement and easy to use. It is perfect for businesses that want to automate only some parts of their HR processes. In addition, it provides the flexibility to add-on more standalone applications at a later point as the need arises. This is better than buying a suite that comes with numerous applications that the company may not need immediately, or at all. Also, standalone human resources software is less complicated and more user-friendly.

Cost

Another advantage is the cost. Most standalone human resources software cost a lot less than a suite. In most suites, the company pays for a bunch of software that they may or may not use and they have to pay an exorbitant price for it; whereas with standalone software they pay for only what is used.

Operating Environment

A standalone human resources software can be web-based. So, the company does not have to spend additional money and resources in procuring server systems and databases.

Best-in-Breed

If desired, multiple standalone systems can be integrated to create a best-in-breed talent management system. Using this mentality, companies can connect their talent acquisition system to their HRIS, performance management, and learning system of their choice rather than relying on the functionality of one vendor.

5 Reasons Why Mega-Software Isn’t Better

The talent management industry is abuzz with new acquisitions and mergers. The hot trend is that bigger is better.  However, much like my waistline, I find that too much isn’t always a good thing.

5 Reasons Why Bigger Isn’t Better:

  1. Just because the software is listed under the same name, it  doesn’t mean that it is one system or that the integrations are fluid.
  2. Mega-software systems aren’t specialists in anything.  Instead of getting the best system, you might be settling for one that is mediocre in everything.
  3. Help at the software mega-system disappears before the ink is dry on your contract.  More often than not, your implementation is shuffled through multiple people.
    • Mandy is your recruitment specialist.  She doesn’t know anything about our HRIS or what fields map, so don’t even ask.
    • Bob is your go-to for HRIS. Bob is on the west coast and works part time.
    • Nancy can help with payroll.  Assuming Bob and Mandy have set up the previous modules correctly you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.  It’s only payroll!
    • Employee performance is handled by Amy. Amy doesn’t work at our company.  We actually acquired our employee performance system and since no one knows it, we’ve outsourced the implementation process to a third party.
    • Post implementation, their extensions will magically disappear from our phone directly and you’ll have to wander your way through our automated system for help.  Enjoy!
  4. Unless you are a mega-company, the mega-software system doesn’t care about you.  You aren’t even a bleep on their radar.
  5. Mega-software requires mega-money.  These systems have commitments to stockholders, boards, venture capitalists, etc. to fulfill their interests.  Conversely, self-sufficient companies like myStaffingPro rely on their customers.  Which means you pay our salaries, therefore we work for you and use your feedback to make improvements.

Looking for an applicant tracking system that specializes in just that?  Visit http://mystaffingpro.com to learn more about myStaffingPro applicant tracking system.

Applicant Tracking Merit Badge

It’s cookie time!  All of these years (ahem decades) later, I still think back on my Girl Scout tenure and my beautifully adorned sash with badges for first aid, money management, camping, etc.  In fun, I have created a set of requirements to earn the applicant tracking merit badge.  Enjoy!

Requirements for the Applicant Tracking Merit Badge:

  1. Explain what an applicant tracking system is and how it differs from a talent management suite.  (For assistance, read HR Term Dictionary for IT Professionals)
  2. Explain why applicant tracking is important and the benefits it provides.
  3. Explain the different delivery methods available.
  4. Describe the different pricing models and variances that could impact the final price.  (For tips, read Applicant Tracking Systems: Decipher the Pricing)
  5. Identify ten criteria for selecting an applicant tracking system. (For assistance, refer to What should an applicant tracking system do?)
  6. Outline the applicant tracking selection and implementation process.
  7. Make a list of questions that should be asked to the applicant tracking vendor during the selection process.
  8. Attend five demonstrations from applicant tracking vendors.
  9. Research three vendors and describe their differences.
  10. Spend at least eight hours using an applicant tracking system.

Applicant Tracking Laser Focus

myStaffingPro is focused on applicant tracking.  We recognize that we COULD create our own HRIS or performance management system, but the end solution would be “just ok”.  Frankly, there are already enough “just ok” talent management suites.  So rather than being everything, we are being ourselves, an applicant tracking system vendor.

BUT, that’s not all folks.  Although we don’t have our own HRIS or performance management system, we have partnered with more than 400 background, assessment, WOTC, eVerify, HRIS, learning, performance, etc. vendors.  Our expansive partner list allows companies to pick and build their best-in-class solution.  The result: end-to-end solution that meets all needs rather than settling for “just ok”.

What’s the point of all of this?

Before you jump on the “just ok” bundle bandwagon, start your buying process by defining your needs.  Make sure you go into the selection process knowing what you are looking for and what you don’t need.  For help on evaluating your recruiting needs, check out our applicant tracking evaluation toolkit.

Diagnosis: You have Applicant Tracking F.U.D.

Symptoms of F.U.D (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) in the applicant tracking system buying process include:

  • Fear of:
    • Vendor mergers and acquisitions
    • Data security and accessibility
  • Uncertainty over:
    • Change
    • Moving your information into another system and/or the cloud
    • Taking away your paper security blanket
  • Doubt in:
    • Timeline
    • Capabilities
    • Achieving a smooth transition
    • Executive and/or Hiring Manager buy in

Applicant tracking system vendors can treat F.U.D by providing:

  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies
  • Customer Reviews
  • Implementation guides
  • System documentation
  • Consulting services
  • Ongoing support
  • Uptime and usage statistics
  • Company history and insight

Do you have F.U.D?  Contact the experienced myStaffingPro sales team to receive treatment or review our F.U.D. treatment resource center.

I’m Like Forget You

According to the recent Bersin Study “Talent Acquisition Systems 2011: Market Realities, Implementation Examples and Solution Provider Profiles” only 42% of respondents will renew their talent acquisition system contract.  Of the remaining respondents, 26% were unsure and 32% said no.

Why?

  • Usability
  • Implementation time
  • Partnership relationship/integration issues
  • Configurability

What do you think about your talent acquisition system?

Our software, myStaffingPro applicant tracking system, has a 95% customer retention rate.  Find out why myStaffingPro is the applicant tracking system of choice for more than 450 companies by visiting http://mystaffingpro.com.

10 Tips for Buying an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Before you sign on the dotted line, do your research to make sure that you are getting exactly what you bargained for.  Below I’ve outlined my 10 tips to buying an applicant tracking system (ATS).

  1. Don’t believe the hype!  Spending millions in marketing might make a particular system popular, but it doesn’t always make it the best.  Wade through the marketing promises and get your hands dirty evaluating the system for yourself.
  2. Schedule multiple demos with the applicant tracking vendor.  On the first call, walk through the high level demo.  On the second call, ask the vendor to walk through a series of scenarios so that you can see how the software actually works in the manner that you will use it.  (Thank you #TChat for this tip!)
  3. Perception isn’t always reality.  Be wary of a demo on PowerPoint!
  4. Run a Google search for complaints from users and applicants.  You might be surprised at what you find.
  5. Find out the vendor’s background.  How long has the company been around?  Did they build the ATS or acquire it?  How are they funded? Is their applicant tracking system a whim product that was created to fill a gap, or it is truly a system that will meet your needs.
  6. Ask around!  Expand your reference search beyond the beautiful list that the salesperson provides to you.  Check out their customer list online and/or on social networks and ask to speak with someone outside of the list.
  7. Consider your sources. The magazine, website, or social platform that plugs XYZ vendor as the best system available while displaying their life size ad might not be the best resource.  Instead, visit their career site to see who they are actually using.
  8. Analyze your pricing quote to prevent surprises in the future.  Watch out for hidden fees or additional features that were padded into your quote to jack up the price.  For more information, read our guide to applicant tracking pricing.
  9. Annoy customer services.  Does the vendor boast that they have excellent customer service?  Challenge them!  Test their responsiveness and assistance.  If their customer service stinks now, do you really think it will improve once they get your money?
  10. You know what’s best for you.  No one understands your needs and your process like you to. Make sure you go into the selection process knowing what you are looking for and what you don’t need. For help on evaluating your needs, check out our applicant tracking evaluation toolkit.

Preparing your Staff for a New Applicant Tracking System

Congratulations, you’ve purchased a new ATS!  Besides your recruiters, who will care?   Well, as it turns out, everyone!  Before you get ambushed with questions, prepare your staff by answering these FAQs.

Executives

  • How will this help the bottom line?
  • How long has this vendor been in business?  Are they stable?

Legal

  • What are applicants completing, answering, and/or agreeing to?
  • What is the contract?  What are we agreeing to?
  • How is the data being stored?
  • Is this company legit?

IT

  • What hardware and/or software is required?
  • How secure is the data?
  • What is their disaster recovery plan?

Marketing

  • How does this affect our website?
  • How will this influence our search engine optimization (SEO)?
  • Can the jobs be posted on our social media profiles?
  • Can we incorporate branding into the online application process?

Hiring Managers

  • Will the hiring process change?
  • Will it be easier to hire someone?
  • How much paperwork do I have to do?
  • How soon can the person I select start?

Internal Employees

  • How do I apply for an internal job?
  • What is the URL again?
  • How do I refer someone to an opening?
  • Are we going to change any policies?

Selecting an applicant tracking vendor is just one small part of the implementation puzzle.  Before you buy, ask your applicant tracking vendor for resources to address each department’s need.   Like a good scout, be prepared.

The BEST Applicant Tracking System

Throughout the web, I continuously see the question “who is the best applicant tracking system“.   Instead of going completely sales/marketing on them, I always try to respond “it depends”! Although myStaffingPro is FABULOUS, (sorry, couldn’t help myself) we are not the perfect solution for everyone.  If there were one magic solution, then there wouldn’t be over 100 vendors in the applicant tracking marketplace.  Rather asking a blanket “who is the best” question, dig deep and ask yourself:

  • What are my goals?
  • What is my hiring process?
  • What do I need in the online application process and the backend/user interface?
  • What should this software do?
  • What I am currently doing manually that could be automated with technology?
  • What are my global,language, and legal requirements?
  • Who needs access to our recruiting and hiring process information?
  • What roles do other members of the company take in the hiring process?
  • What budget do I have?
  • What is my timeline?
  • Do I want an installed version or hosted solution?
  • Which vendors should the ATS integrate with? (Social networks, job boards, HRIS, background, behavioral assessment, etc.)

As I mentioned above, myStaffingPro is not an ideal solution for everyone. For example, myStaffingPro is not the ideal for staffing companies that need billing capabilities or customers that require Sino-Tibetan and Semitic languages.  Although we have clients at every end of the spectrum, our “sweet” spot consists of small to midsized companies who are looking for a flexible applicant tracking system at a modest price.  If you don’t know what you’re looking for, I would suggest downloading our applicant tracking evaluation toolkit to get you started.

I wish you the best of luck in your purchase process!