Tools for Recruiters: The Complete List | The HR Tech Weekly®

Tools for Recruiters: The Complete List

Tools for Recruiters: The Complete List

If you want to see the best tools for recruiters in one place, then you’ll love this guide from Talent Hero Media.

There are over 70 free and paid tools designed to simplify your job as a recruiter.

Bonus: Don’t have time to check out all the tools? No worries. Download a free PDF version of this guide right here.

APPLICANT TRACKING SYSTEMS

BreezyHR

ATS
This newer entrant to the ATS market has already earned rave reviews from its loyal user base for its amazing customer support, smooth UI and end-to-end functionality.
BreezyHR

BrightMove Recruiting Software

ATS
One of the few ATS offerings with publicly available pricing, BrightMove is highly touted by its users as responsive to new ideas. In fact, you can suggest new features and vote for them, with the features that get the most upvotes moved into the development queue.
BrightMove Recruiting Software

Bullhorn

ATS | CRM
A staple of the ATS market, Bullhorn has many enterprise customers and large recruitment agencies as customers. It has many fans among those who use it on a daily basis but note that the price point is definitely geared towards larger customers.
Bullhorn

CATS

ATS
Used by both external recruiters and HR agencies, CATS is known for its end-to-end solution that starts with job postings and finishes with analytics on completed campaigns.
CATS

Crelate

ATS | CRM
A combination ATS and CRM, Crelate is lauded for its wide-ranging feature set, modern UI and strong customer support.
Crelate

Greenhouse

ATS
Lauded for its intuitive user interface and beautiful design, Greenhouse receives consistently positive reviews by everyone who adopts it. In addition, they have an iOS and Android app that lets you use it on the go.
Greenhouse

HireHive

ATS | CRM
A low-cost alternative ATS, HireHive excels at automatic job board posting, managing employee referrals and branded career sites.
HireHive

HiringThing

ATS
A full service solution for both external and internal recruiters, HiringThing offers best-in-class customer service and quick turnaround on new features requested by its users.
HiringThing

JobAdder

CRM | ATS
JobAdder is a CRM and ATS in one and is well known for its range of mobile apps that let you access the platform from any device.
JobAdder

Jobscience

ATS | CRM
Marketed as a sales, recruiting and back office system in one, Jobscience receives excellent reviews from the external recruiters who use it.
Jobscience

iCIMS

ATS
Founded in 1999, iCIMS is a tool that is widely used by both recruiting firms and internal recruiters. Given its longevity, it is clearly well liked by many although there are some who complain that it could use a refresh.
iCims

Lever

ATS
Considered one of the top ATS tools, Lever has features such as one-click sourcing, two-way email sync, and @-mentions that you will not find in many of their competitors.
Lever

Loxo

ATS | Sourcing | CRM
The feature that sets this ATS apart from its competitors is Loxo AI, a proprietary intelligent sourcing assistant that helps you find the top talent for your role while you spend your time elsewhere.
Loxo

OpenCATS

ATS
Although it does not have the prettiest user interface, it does have one feature that sets it apart from every other ATS on the market – it’s free. As the only open source ATS currently available, users (at least those with development backgrounds) can have direct input into new features without paying a dime.
OpenCATS

PCRecruiter

ATS | CRM
One of the earlier entrants to the ATS game, PCRecruiter, founded in 1998, receives positive reviews from its dedicated user base for its customer service and willingness to continually update the product.
PCRecruiter

Recruitee

ATS
Known for their incredible customer service (their founder replies to emails on Sundays), Recruitee takes collaborative hiring to the next level: everyone in your team from the least tech-savvy to the most nerdy can work on hiring together with this cloud-based ATS. In addition, Recruitee provides beautiful careers sites for your employer brand as well as candidate-friendly application forms that you can fully tweak.
Recruitee

Workable

ATS | Sourcing
Workable is noted for its full feature set, easy learning curve, top notch customer support and a new sourcing tool called People Search. They also offer a $50 per job per month plan for recruiters who have less burdensome hiring needs.
Workable

CONTACT FINDERS

AmazingHiring

Contact Finders
Geared exclusively towards finding technical talent, AmazingHiring scours Github, Stack Overflow and Kaggle profiles to find potential candidates, including those who do not have a LinkedIn account.
AmazingHiring

ContactOut

Contact Finders
Considered the best by some, ContactOut touts that it can find 2x more emails than the competition and given that it offers 100 free credits per day, there is not much risk to test out their claim.
ContactOut

Hiretual

Contact Finders
A free Chrome extension, Hiretual is raved about by sourcers and recruiters for its ability to consistently cut down on the time required to find talent and their contact information. It is free for 15 contacts per month before increasing to $59 per month (billed annually) for 200 contacts per month.
Hiretual

Hound by Jobjet

Contact Finders
Working only on LinkedIn, Hound will find email addresses and phone numbers but can get expensive for those who search a lot.
Hound by Jobjet

Hunter

Contact Finders
Hunter is a bit different than other email sourcing tools as it can find all available emails on a given domain and also verify emails, in addition to the features you expect from a standard contact finder.
Hunter

Lusha

Contact Finders
Limited to 5 free phone numbers and emails per month, Lusha gets positive reviews by many but you will have to pay to get full use of the product.
Lusha

Nymeria

Contact Finders
Focusing on finding emails associated with LinkedIn and Github profiles, Nymeria has two simple and reasonable pricing options – free for 300 emails per month and $9 per month for unlimited emails.
Nymeria

Prophet

Contact Finders
Prophet is a Chrome extension that allows you to visit the Twitter, Facebook or Google+ page of a person and find emails and phone numbers. It comes with 15 free credits per day and you can get more by sharing data with the community or purchasing them. Note that the company does not have a website.
Prophet

SourceHub by SocialTalent

Contact Finders
SourceHub is a clever tool that helps you construct boolean search queries by combining synonyms for the job title, skills and location you enter.
SourceHub

CANDIDATE RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

SugarCRM

CRM
An open source and developer-friendly CRM, SugarCRM is a great solution for the recruiter who knows they need to keep better track of their contacts but does not want to break the bank.
SugarCRM

Vincere

CRM | ATS
Marketed as a combination CRM and ATS, Vincere allows you to search for and manage candidates, create fully-branded microsite job boards and post your jobs across the Internet.
Vincere

INTERVIEWING

GreenJobInterview

Interviewing
Whether it is face-to-face or one-way interviews, GreenJob offers the solutions you need for your video interviewing needs.
GreenJobInterview

Interview Mocha

Interviewing
Interview Mocha has over 1000 skills tests that you can use early in your interview process to determine which candidates have the required skills.
Interview Mocha

Interview Stream

Interviewing
Interview Stream’s Hire platform allows you to set up screening interviews using a library of questions and pre-populated media, or face-to-face live interviews.
Interview Stream

Odro

Interviewing
Odro is online meeting software for the techphobics of the world. With no downloads or installs, this tool should work well for interviews, especially those that may require screen sharing.
Odro

sparkHire

Interviewing
sparkHire has a full range of video tools to help you optimize your interview process including one-way interviews, interview evaluation, interview scheduling and a mobile app.
sparkHire

RECRUITMENT MARKETING

Beamery

Recruitment Marketing | CRM
Beamery connects to all of your other recruiting systems and gives you one system to manage and engage every candidate that touches your brand – past, present or future. They help companies nurture passive talent and build a pipeline for future roles.
Beamery

Clinch

Recruitment Marketing | CRM | Sourcing
Clinch is a robust platform that combines recruitment marketing, a CRM, employer branding, and sourcing tools in one end-to-end solution. Features include a career site and landing page builder, social and email integration and robust analytics.
Clinch

Jobvite

Recruitment Marketing | ATS
Serving a range of customer sizes from startups to enterprise customers, Jobvite offers tools that go beyond your typical ATS including Jobvite Refer (tool for sharing job openings in your employees’ networks) and Jobvite Video (on-demand video interviewing).
Jobvite

Phenom People

Recruitment Marketing

Offering many features similar to its competitors, Phenom People’s main differentiator is its unique ability to turn visitors to your career site into potential applicants even if they don’t fill out your job application.

Phenom People

SmashFly

Recruitment Marketing | CRM
SmashFly’s Total Recruitment Marketing Platform and Services proactively markets an employer brand and jobs through every recruiting channel using marketing automation technology and modern marketing practices. It empowers companies to attract the right people to their organization using the art and science of fit, enabling companies to generate leads and nurture relationships to hire faster and more cost-effectively. It is ATS-agnostic, integrating with your current system to provide a complete view into the candidate journey, from first source all the way to hire.
SmashFly

SCHEDULING

10to8

Scheduling
The free plan of this tool should be sufficient for many recruiters as it allows for 100 appointments per month and includes SMS notifications, a feature not offered at the free level by any competitors.
10to8

Calendly

Scheduling
Loved by its users for its simplicity and rock-solid integration with all popular calendars, the free version of Calendly will be sufficient for many recruiters who want a simple scheduling tool that reduces back-and-forth emails. The paid version can be integrated with additional tools you might use such as GoToMeeting and many CRMs.
Calendly

ScheduleOnce

Scheduling
This is a tool for the recruiter with more complex scheduling needs. The higher-priced tiers, while slightly expensive compared to the competition, have features such as pooled availability and master booking pages, that are ideal for environments where you will be scheduling more than just one-on-one meetings.
ScheduleOnce

SimplyBook.me

Scheduling
Known for its robust feature set, SimplyBook.me has a free tier that may be suitable for some recruiters.
SimplyBook.me

TimeTrade

Scheduling
TimeTrade invented the online appointment scheduling industry in 1999. The company’s secure, cloud-based solution meets the customer and client engagement needs of large enterprises as well as mid-size and small businesses. Thousands of companies—including 500 of the world’s top brands—rely on TimeTrade’s technology for their scheduling needs.
TimeTrade

Vyte

Scheduling
With almost all features available to free users, Vyte is an excellent option for recruiters with more basic scheduling needs.
Vyte

YouCanBook.me

Scheduling
While the free version of this software is not heavily advertised on their sign up page, it may have enough features to tide you over until you want to pay for more advanced tools such as appointment reminders, padding appointments and Zapier integration.
YouCanBook.me

SCREENING

OnboardIQ

ScreeningATS
Focusing on the hourly workforce, OnboardIQ is an ATS that helps you automate interviews, background checks and document collection.

Outmatch

Screening
Outmatch is designed to predict how candidates will perform and has tools such as job-fit assessments, behavioral interviewing, and online reference checking.
Outmatch

SkillSurvey

ScreeningSourcing
SkillSurvey is a multi-purpose tool designed to assist with referencing checking and sourcing via referrals.
SkillSurvey

Social Intelligence

Screening
Similar to a criminal background check, Social Intelligence uses a combination of technology and trained analysts to screen candidates online records for unlawful or inappropriate behavior.
Social Intelligence

Sterling Talent Solutions

Screening
Founded in 1975, Sterling Talent Solutions is a full service screening and on-boarding solution that offers plans including pre-hire background checks and drug testing and post-hire employee audits.

Weirdly

Screening
Weirdly offers a customisable quiz to rank candidates against your ideal fit. It can act as a stand-alone, light-ATS or be integrated into your current recruitment process.
Weirdly

SOURCING

Broadbean

Sourcing
Broadbean is a straightforward job distribution and sourcing tool that focuses on doing a few tasks really well.

Crystal

Sourcing
Crystal scours the Internet for every piece of information on your candidates and coaches you on how to write emails that are tailored to their communication style. This ensures that the people you find for your client are more likely to respond.
Crystal

Entelo

Sourcing
The Entelo platform uses big data, predictive analytics and social signals to help recruiting organizations find, qualify and engage talent.
Entelo

Headreach

Sourcing
Officially marketed as a LinkedIn-based lead generation tool, Headreach can also be used effectively to find the emails and social profiles of potential candidates.
Headreach

Hello Talent

Sourcing
This sourcing tool allows you to build talent pools collaboratively that can then be sent straight to your ATS. Best of all, it is free for 2 pools.
Hello Talent

HireKeep

Sourcing
Post your job on HireKeep and their algorithm will determine which candidates meet the “affinity threshold” to match with your company. The software will even schedule interviews with those who have matched.
HireKeep

HiringSolved

Sourcing
HiringSolved offers features that are not common in sourcing tools including Diversity Search (a tool to help increase workplace diversity), Scan (automatic updating of outdated records in your ATS and CRM) and Verticals (algorithms designed to find candidates in specific industries).
HiringSolved

Ideal

Sourcing
Typical sourcing tools force recruiters to do tedious, time-consuming tasks such as resume screening and keyword-based searches. Ideal uses artificial intelligence to automate sourcing, resume screening, initial candidate outreach and even interview scheduling.
Ideal

Joblyon

Sourcing | ATS
Joblyon has a strong focus on on creating beautiful job postings that will be readily shared on social media.
Joblyon

Leoforce

Sourcing
Their flagship product, Arya, uses artificial intelligence to identify talent that not only has the right skills but also is aligned with the corporate culture.
Leoforce

Recruit’em

Sourcing
Recruit’em is a powerful free search tool that lets you use Google to search for profiles across various platforms including LinkedIn.
Recruit'em

Simppler

Sourcing
Calling themselves a “data driven employee referral platform”, Simppler helps employees of a company find candidates for open positions within their own networks.
Simppler

Talemetry

Sourcing | CRM
Talemetry integrates with your ATS and allows you to post job ads, source candidates, build talent pipelines and manage candidate relationships in a single platform.
Talemetry

TextRecruit

Sourcing | CRM
TextRecruit lets you manage communications with your candidates over text, increasing interaction rates significantly.
TextRecruit

OTHER

Boomerang

Other
Boomerang allows you to schedule emails to be sent later and reminds you about old emails that you have archived, ensuring that you never forget to respond to a candidate or client.
Boomerang

Data Miner

Other | Sourcing
A data scraping tool like Data Miner can be used in many powerful ways by a recruiter. For example, if you need Javascript developers, you can find a list of conference attendees for a Javascript conference, scrape the data and upload it to your CRM or ATS.
Data Miner

IFTTT

Other
Although not specifically geared towards the recruiting market, IFTTT lets you create “applets” that combine different services together. For example, you can get an e-mail notification when a LinkedIn contact changes jobs.
IFTTT

Populate

Other
Populate keeps headcount data in one place so that managers and stakeholders can review and approve headcount or budget changes and you can review your analytics to help with your comprehensive HR strategy.
Populate

Zapier

Other
Calling themselves “automation for busy people”, Zapier lets you move data between web apps automatically (perhaps a recruitment marketing platform and ATS), saving you time and ensuring data integrity.
Zapier
Bonus: Don’t have time to check out all the tools? No worries. Download a free PDF version of this guide right here.

Source: Tools for Recruiters: The Complete List | Talent Hero Media

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Keeping your finger to the pulse: HR’s digital solutions for 2017

Keeping your finger to the pulse: HR’s digital solutions for 2017

Keeping your finger to the pulse: HR’s digital solutions for 2017

It’s quite surprising how many company’s HR departments haven’t yet joined the digital revolution. These companies seem to think that how it was done is fine and has worked perfectly well in the past, so why bother updating anything?

The thing is that often the people in HR feel differently, with 70 to 80% of their time spent on low-value administrative tasks. I feel that’s shameful, particularly as a huge amount of that work can be automatized and digitized. This would allow HR to be massively more productive and play a more strategic role in the company by creating new opportunities, learning methods and more for their companies.

If you agree with me, consider embracing these digital solutions.

Peer to peer recognition

Often a big part of the modern HR department is validating the newer employees, who are in many ways far more demanding than previous generations. That can be taxing for both managers and the HR department to do.

A good solution that has recently come out is Tapmyback. The idea here is to allow people to recognize each other’s work, so that people are no longer looking to management alone to validate what they’re doing.

This will make it far more likely that your employees will receive the recognition they need, while freeing up the HR department to concentrate on offering opportunities for staff to grow and excel.

Non-traditional reviews

Many people do not like to be reviews. And that’s not really that strange, is it? For that reason, OrangeHRM is a good go-to product, as it makes reviewing a far more effective and less stressful affair, where people don’t have to sit in front of their manager but can instead read the process online.

It can, in fact, do far more than that including track time off, help with recruitment and offer training suggestions – which are all very useful services to automate. The good news is that there is a 30 day free trail so that your company can see if it’s suitable.

Resume analyzers

One of the biggest tasks you’ve got to do in the HR department is to manage resumes. Fortunately, that’s gotten a lot easier today with the resume parsers. These will go through piles or resumes, looking for keywords and key skills that you need and discarding the huge pile of useless crap that often comes with it.

In fact, they’ve become such a common occurrence that resume writing services are completely ready for them. And so, you won’t actually miss out on any of the good resumes while cutting down on the time that hiring new personal consumes substantially.

Social media recruiting

Here’s a surprising statistic 73% of 18 to 34 year olds have found their job through social media. That means that if you’re not yet trying to recruit though these platforms, you really are missing out on a huge slice of the younger market out there (and though there is something to be said for experience, diversity is useful too).

For that reason, make certain that you start using services like linkedin to get the word out there that you’re looking. Only in that way can you be sure that you’ll find the right person for the position that you’re looking for.

Online educational resources

Another great new technological wave that every HR department should introduce is the one taking place in online education. For example, there are now dozens of online courses that are available for free or only a little money at such places as EdX.

These offer you a great opportunity to both offer your employees a chance to boost their skill set, while cutting down on costs as well as travel time for them to get those skills.

In fact, some companies have taken to offering employees a certain time during their day or week where they can study these courses, all while never leaving the office. In this way, they can get on with learning without forcing their companies to find ways to work around their absence as they’re still there in case of emergencies.

Last words

In truth, it surprises me that companies would ever think HR isn’t ready for the digital age. There are huge gains to be made in the HR department by coming in to the 21st century. And the great thing is that the more effective your HR department functions, the easier it is for them to help the rest of your company get a head and upgrade their skillset.

And that matters. After all, the modern world is changing ever more rapidly and it’s vital for any company that their workers are changing and improving along with it. Otherwise you might just find that your company’s skillset ends up obsolete.

There really is no recovering from that.

Sylvia Giltner, Blogger, Artist, Student

Technology and art are a big part of my life, and I enjoy integrating them into everything I do. — Sylvia Giltner


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4 Ways Technology Is Changing Recruiting

4 Ways Technology Is Changing Recruiting

VR

Interest in HR tech has never been higher. According to CB Insights, there were over 350 deals and approximately $1.96B invested in HR tech startups in 2016 alone.

Today’s workplaces are being transformed by technology. HR tech specifically is automating and streamlining manual HR practices to become more efficient, cost-effective, and high-performing.

Here are four promising applications of technology that are helping to solve the biggest challenges in recruiting and hiring.

AI for recruiting

Industry statistics estimate 75 percent of resumes received for a role are screened out. This adds up to the hundreds of hours a recruiter wastes reading unqualified resumes per year.

As one of recruiting’s biggest bottlenecks, resume screening is in dire need of better tools to help recruiters manage their time more effectively.

This is why AI for recruiting is the biggest topic in HR tech right now. AI and recruiting are a natural fit because AI requires a lot of data to learn and large companies often have millions of resumes in their ATS.

Recruiting software that uses artificial intelligence can automate the screening process by learning the experience, skills, and qualifications required for the job and then shortlisting, ranking, and grading new candidates who match the requirements (e.g., from A to D).

This type of AI recruiting software can also be used to source candidates from external databases such as Indeed and CareerBuilder or find previous candidates in your existing ATS database by applying the same learning ability to match candidates to an open req.

By automating the manual processes of resume screening and candidate matching, companies who use AI recruiting software have reduced their screening costs by 75%.

Automation for candidate scheduling and outreach

According to SHRM, the average time to fill is 41 days. With LinkedIn reporting hiring volume is up 11% this year but only 26% of recruiting teams growing in headcount, interest in recruitment automation is only getting get stronger.

Today more than ever, finding top talent will depend on a recruiter’s ability to intelligently automate their workflow.

Recruitment automation can enhance a human recruiter’s capabilities in multiple ways. Low hanging fruit include automating your candidate outreach with tools that allow you to auto-email and auto-text interview requests to candidates your screening tool identifies as good matches (e.g., all candidates graded as an A).

These outreach automation tools help recruiters reduce their time to fill by integrating with major email and calendar providers and automatically finding time slots when the candidate and the interviewer are all free to meet.

VR for job testing and training

Another technology getting a lot of attention is Virtual reality (VR). VR is a realistic simulation of a three-dimensional environment that you control with your body movements.

A survey by Universum found that while 3% of people use VR currently, about 30% think that it will transform their workplace in the next ten years.

The most promising applications for VR in HR are candidate testing and training. Employers can use VR technology to create more realistic job tests to assess a candidate’s skills and personality. For example, a realistic simulation that tests a candidate’s social skills and problem solving abilities when dealing with an unhappy customer.

A survey by Korn Ferry found that 39% of employers state new hires leave within their first year because the role was not what they expected. VR could be an intriguing tool to help reduce employee turnover by provide candidates with a more realistic preview of what a day on the job would look like and get a better sense of the company culture.

The same technology can be used during new hires’ onboarding and training process. High-stakes environments such as hospital trauma bays are already employing VR technology to train residents.  

Wearable tech for engagement and productivity

According to Deloitte, one of 2017’s biggest HR trends is employee engagement. To help improve engagement and productivity, employers are starting to use wearable tech that tracks employees’ behaviors to learn more about how they communicate and interact at work.

Wearable tech such as digital employee badges are being used by companies such as as Microsoft and the Boston Consulting Group to track employees’ physical office movements, who they talk to, and the amount of time they spend talking to others.

These types of wearable tech collects data to provide employers insights to help optimize their physical office spaces, understand their employees’ communication styles, and manage team dynamics. The hope is these insights can help managers identify their employees’ needs and re-organize teams for better collaboration.

In the future, wearable tech may be used in the recruiting process to provide insights into a candidate’s personality and emotions during a pre-screen or interview.

About the Author:

Ji-A Min, Head Data Scientist at Ideal

Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal, software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate time-consuming, repetitive tasks and quickly move top candidates through the recruiting funnel.

Ideal’s AI can instantly screen and shortlist new candidates, uncover strong past candidates that are a great fit for a new role, and initiate candidate contact – all within your existing ATS. Learn more at Ideal.com.

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The Rise of the Multi-Interface HR Application

The Rise of the Multi-Interface HR Application

The move to allowing users to interact where they already are, be that chat, calendars or email is especially relevant to HR applications.

Like project management (Trello, Basecamp) and customer service tools (Intercom, Zendesk), HR tech has been part of the next wave of a hyper focus on user experience to create the next generation of applications.

HR applications have two distinct constituents: primary users like hiring and personnel teams, and the rest of the company’s employees who are generally irregular users. Perhaps when they’re booking leave or participating in an interview for a new team member.

This creates both friction and a training challenge for the second group to get the most out of applications. No matter how intuitive a UI is, a user still must switch mental context and understand the language and mechanics.

Mobile apps were the new revolution in enabling users to interact with applications and services. However, creating another dedicated interface for applications didn’t really solve this context switching problem. User’s just don’t download or use apps for services they user sporadically.

This is why we’re starting to see the next generation of UX innovation happen outside of dedicated applications.

Slack is the most high profile crucible for this kind of innovation in the enterprise world. Slack is an app that employees will install on the phone so they can use it wherever they are. They’re already in Slack both on desktop and mobile so there is minimal context switching. And it supports the kinds of ‘chat and click’ interactions that allow relatively complex features to be access with a guided user experience.

Applications like Lever are expanding the collaboration hiring functionality into Slack. Team members who are already in Slack can easily interact, comment and support the hiring process without switching to another application. GoCo provide absence reporting and management from within Slack.

Calendars are now revealing themselves as the next interface to enterprise applications, especially in HR. So much of HR workflow is schedule based that users can’t avoid taking decisions without referring to their own or their colleagues’ schedules. Use of calendar APIs rather than read-only ICS feeds turn calendars into real-time integration points rather than delayed reporting tools.

Anton Roe, CTO of MHR who have been delivering HR software for over 20 years, said: “We’re seeing a dramatic shift in focus away from HR departments and directly on the employees themselves. The consumerisation of enterprise software and the efficiencies gained from empowering employees to perform personal HR operations requires a new approach to building software.”

With recruitment platforms connected to employees calendars, prospective members of interview panels no longer have to maintain availability in an application. They just keep their calendar up to date and this is automatically reflected to the hiring manager or the candidate when an interview time is selected.

Booking holiday becomes as simple as an employee creating an event in their calendar. That’s where they’re making the decision about when they want to take holiday. Creating the required holiday can trigger the authorization flows so the manager can approve wherever they are, be that email or via a Slack interaction.

Performance management meetings can be automatically tracked, changes responded to and follow ups triggered. All by the HR application automatically monitoring users calendars, not relying on users to keep the application updated.

Roe goes on to say “HR systems today need to have the employee front and centre and must require minimal training. Leveraging chat systems and native interfaces like calendars provide people with natural user experiences that just work wherever they are.”

Chat and calendars represent the next vanguard of application interactions. They are native to computing be that mobile, desktop, car, smart home or otherwise and are already core to users’ workflows. The most successful applications of the next few years will leverage their pervasiveness and commonality to take computing where people are.

About the Author:

Adam Bird, CEO and Founder at Cronofy

Adam Bird is Founder and CEO of Cronofy, the unified calendar API. He’s a highly technical and experienced technology entrepreneur with a passion for continuous improvement that pervades every aspect of his life.

Adam can be shortly described as a technical founder and problem solver with track record of success. Expert post rationaliser.

Entrepreneur and developer with previous success as co-founder of Esendex.

Husband, father & wannabe rock guitarist as time allows. A lover of cycling and craft beer but he never really got on with having a beard for that hipster hat-trick.

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SaaS Economics, Competitive Moats, And Interrogatory Configuration | In Full Bloom

Written by Naomi Bloom | Originally published at In Full Bloom on October 22, 2016.  

[You may also enjoy the Firing Line with Bill Kutik® episode on this.]

warren-buffett-castle-and-moat-metaphor-by-ben-bartlett

There’s been a lot of discussion across the enterprise IT and financial analyst community about the long term economic viability of the SaaS business model. And the enterprise IT community continues to debate the merits of the various flavors of SaaS architectural and infrastructural models. These discussions have ranged over the:

  • fundamentals of profitability in enterprise software;
  • reality that many to most so-called SaaS vendors (both faux and “Blooming”) are not yet profitable;
  • landrush by SaaS vendors to grab market share and to grow as rapidly as possible;
  • spending by SaaS vendors of sometimes huge sums on customer acquisition against a revenue recognition requirement that expenses those acquisition costs on the front end but only allows revenue recognition over the life of the contract; and
  • much more.

If the economic viability of your so-called true or faux SaaS vendors matters to you — and well it should — read on.

When you contemplate further the economics, significant future profitability appears to emerge for those vendors which are able to meet the following challenges:

  1. Reduce dramatically the cost of customer acquisition, from marketing to sales to contract signing;
  2. Reduce dramatically each customer’s time to production and, therefore, time to revenue for the vendor;
  3. Reduce dramatically each customer’s ongoing implementation costs and time as they take up innovation delivered by their vendor and revisit existing capabilities as their organizational needs evolve and change;
  4. Maintain very high customer satisfaction rates — see #3;
  5. Maintain very high customer retention rates, which I do believe are related to but are not the equivalent of very high customer satisfaction rates; and
  6. Achieve very low operational costs and error rates.

Doing all of this at the same time produces IMO the secret sauce of true SaaS economics and, in doing so, creates an enormous competitive moat for vendors who can’t achieve this. Enter Interrogatory Configuration, my recommended approach to creating this moat and the really important and related benefits for both vendor and customer.

Interrogatory Configuration (yes, I know that’s lousy branding, but I’ve never claimed to be a clever marketeer) addresses the first three challenges very directly and has a positive impact on the last three. That’s why I’ve been pushing these ideas — some would say harping on them — since long before the beginning of SaaS in HR technology. Frankly, I was pushing these ideas from the late 80’s, long before they were possible to execute as they require very specific architectural foundations which, until recently, did not exist within enterprise HRM software.

So what is interrogatory configuration? Interrogatory configuration is easy to explain but VERY difficult to do, at least for complex HRM software. Basically it’s a piece of software (think TurboTax) which poses questions to the client ‘s business analyst (who could be a 3rd party, including the vendor’s implementation services person or that of a certified partner), provides a context for those questions along with the implications of selecting from among the available answers (e.g. explaining what types of organizational structures use what types of position to job relationships and why), and then, based on the selections made (and all such are of course effective-dated and subject to inheritance where appropriate), it does the configuration of the base application without manual intervention of any kind. Interestingly, Google filed a patent for a VERY limited example of this in 1997, which was awarded in 2001, in which they make clear that you can’t do this unless the underlying architecture, the software to be thus configured, is composed of objects that can be manipulated dynamically.

Highly configurable, metadata-driven, definitionally developed, true HCM SaaS is a wonderful thing. But even in configuration, all of the available choices have to be analyzed, selected, tested and implemented, individually and in combination with other choices. And this must be done with care and a deep knowledge of the downstream implications of various configurations, not only during the initial implementation but also every time business needs change, software upgrades are applied (even when applied as SaaS mostly opt-in updates), regulatory rules appear and/or change, including retroactively, new executives bring new perspectives, etc.

More Talmudic than Socratic, this question/answer dialogue continues, with each exchange doing one set of configurations while setting up the next set, until the customer has implemented fully the set of capabilities/business rules/coding structures/workflows/etc. that will be their implemented software as of the selected effective date. An interrogatory configurator is designed to work prospectively, so that you can see how a partially to fully configured application will look and behave before committing those configurations to take effect. For those configurations that are permitted to be changed retroactively, with the attendant retroactive processing once they are approved for implementation, the interrogatory configurator is also intended to work retroactively.

Without interrogatory configuration, every time those hand-done configurations must be changed, all those choices must be re-evaluated against the needed changes, and then new choices made, tested and implemented. Furthermore, the implications of each configuration change for downstream processes must be analyzed and actions taken to at least inform users of those implications. So, while we may be able to eliminate most of the programming implementation work by having great configuration tools delivered with our HRM software, without interrogatory configuration we have by no means reduced the business analyst time, effort and expertise needed to keep things running properly. And great HRM business analysts are really scarce, perhaps even more so than great HRM software developers.

Now imagine that the interrogatory configurator is an integral part of the marketing to sales cycle, allowing for a high degree of self-provisioning, at least for less complex organizations (notice I didn’t say small or quote headcount). And even for the most complex organizations, imagine how much configuration could be done with data gleaned during the sales cycle so that a usefully configured application could become a sales cycle tool which blends seamlessly into the actual implementation once agreements are signed. To the extent that SaaS vendors proceed down this path, the whole dynamic of the sales to implementation processes, not to mention the role, staffing and economics of the systems integrators (SIs), are changed substantially, to the benefit of both the customer and the SaaS vendor.

Customer satisfaction and retention rates are driven by many factors, from having wonderful and useful product capabilities to having a very sticky user experience, and there’s a lot of room here for unique approaches by different vendors and/or for different market segments. Running a brilliant operating environment means building tools for everything from provisioning to payroll scheduling, tools which cannot be bought “off the shelf” and which are themselves complex applications. So one thing I advise all buyers to consider is how far along their proposed SaaS vendor is in having industrialized every aspect of operations, for much of which you must have the right SaaS architecture in the first place.

When I see cost comparisons between on-prem and true SaaS, it’s almost always done on a TCO basis from an IT cost perspective.  But that doesn’t value not only having new functionality but also having it delivered almost continuously. It doesn’t value how much more effective vendors can be in meeting customer needs by aggregating data on feature usability and usage so as to inform their product roadmaps. And it certainly doesn’t value the ability of true SaaS vendors to aggregate benchmarking data which can then be fed right back into their interrogatory configurator, if they’ve got one, and into the analytics-rich, decision-making capabilities of their applications. So there’s a lot more here to consider than just TCO unless your business is so stagnant that you really don’t want or need agility or innovation from your systems.

There are SaaS vendors in our space that have architectures which can’t scale operationally, SaaS vendors which don’t have great operational tools, SaaS vendors whose agility is more about fixes than innovation, and so on. But I think we have some good to great SaaS vendors which will be quite profitable (or already are) because they’ve approached this new business model with the right stuff. And I would add that prospects/customers should be running for the exits from any SaaS (or so-called SaaS) vendor which isn’t well down the path of being able to meet successfully my six challenges above.

The bottom line. Reducing dramatically the elapsed time, complexity and cost of HRM software sales and implementation, not to mention ongoing configuration, is an important enough response to the six challenges above for HRM SaaS vendors and BPO providers — and creates a big enough competitive moat — to justify building interrogatory configurators. Doing this requires having the right underlying software architecture, one which enables effective-dated configuration without writing any procedural code. It also requires the product’s designers to know and be able to express the patterns of good practice in a whole range of HRM areas, from organizational designs to hiring practices, and the good practice combinations of same. And there’s an enhanced opportunity here for incorporating all manner of exogenous data, from salary surveys and hiring patterns to commentary on which organizational designs are common in specific industries — and why. If your vendors aren’t pretty far along on this, it may be too late for them to get started — or their underlying architectures just won’t support this. And if you’re a prospect for new HR technology, be sure to find out if your short list vendors are far enough down this path to ensure that they will remain viable and that your needs will be met. I’d also you’ll watch my Firing Line with Bill Kutik® episode on this.

About the Author:

naomi_bloom_400x400

Naomi Bloom is a leading independent voice, business and platform strategic advisor, market influencer, blogger and speaker about enterprise HR technology and outsourcing. After many years acting as a change agent and HRM delivery systems strategist/coach for global corporate clients and as a consultant on business strategy and product/service design to several generations of HRM software vendors and HR outsourcing providers, Ms. Bloom now limits her consulting practice to strategic advisory roles with vendors whose management and products are market movers and as a provider of competitive insight and due diligence to the investment community. Naomi built the only vendor-neutral HRM domain model and application architecture “starter kits.” Licensed across the industry from 1995 through 2013, Naomi’s IP has been considered to be not only the state-of-the-art but also a primary contributor to many of today’s best practices in HRM enterprise software.

Naomi is a formidable advocate for the HRM and HRM delivery system end-user community, focused entirely on achieving breakthroughs in organizational performance outcomes through effective HRM enabled by great HR technology. She is well-published, to include via her blog InFullBloom.us and is a much sought after, compensated speaker/author for her thought leadership, presentation effectiveness, clarity of vision, and humorous delivery. Naomi has been a general session speaker at the annual HR Technology Conference since its inception in 1989, a main stage speaker since its 2nd year at HR Tech World Congress, and is the author of Human Resource Management and Information Technology: Achieving a Strategic Partnership, which was published in 1984. In 1995, Ms. Bloom’s industry contributions were recognized with IHRIM’s Summit Award, and in 2011, Naomi became a Fellow of the Human Resource Policy Institute at Boston University. Ms. Bloom is a member of The Enterprise Irregulars and founder/chairman of The Brazen Hussies of HR tech.

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Source: SaaS Economics, Competitive Moats, And Interrogatory Configuration | In Full Bloom

Why recruitment software needs to be user-friendly • Recruitee Blog

One day Recruitee had a little surprise in the mailbox. Capterra told us that we’d made it to the top 10 of their Top 20 Most User-friendly ATS (Applicant Tracking Software)!

This means a lot. Not only because Capterra recognizes us! But also because they recognize us for what we’re aiming for – “user-friendly.”

Most of the on-going competitions are about having killer features, or who can get their hands on the hottest technology. Why do we care about “user-friendly”?

Back in the days, we were knee-deep in the hiring chaos. We desperately needed some sort of structure around this hiring thing. We found a bunch of software, but couldn’t figure out any of them. They were too expensive, or too hard to use (imagine working with computers in the 90s). So we opted for building our own recruitment software. (With hindsight, it’s expensive and hard on our side. But it’s all worth it. And it’s another story for another time). We decided early on that we would make Recruitee all about “user-friendly.” Because we, as the first users of Recruitee, as well as the users later on, are…

Busy.

Everyone who has hired can feel the pressure. “Where is that goddamn file?” “The interview is today?” “Who has emailed that candidate?” “What did they say again?” The constant switching between mailboxes/calendars/folders/spreadsheets is killing. A ridiculous amount of your time is spent on retrieving scattered information. Ending this nightmare was the first thing we did. The solution is overviews – one overview for every section in Recruitee. Before you dive into the details, you have a clear picture of what’s going on. When you dive into the details, you can access every data within three clicks. No time is wasted on finding the information, it’s well spent on processing the information.

Living in the 21st century.

We’re living in the age of touch screen, intuitive design, and clean aesthetics. Yet, there is software that looks like computer interface in the 90s. It even requires training before you can click on anything! Frankly, we’re shocked. We remind each other every day that no matter how complicated Recruitee would become, we are going to make it intuitive. Clean interface, useful tooltips. As soon as users are in the software’s environment, they know where to go, and what to do. Not spending 30 minutes finding a button, and definitely not doing that after a week of training.

Unique.

We might have the same problem with hiring, but our context and approaches are different. Can you imagine using software that doesn’t allow you to adjust to your own hiring workflow? No. That’s bad. We fix this by making many things customizable in Recruitee: from careers sites, hiring workflow, screening questions, to hiring roles. It’s a tightrope between enough flexibility and too much flexibility. How do we find the sweet spot? We talk with users, early and often. We spot the behavioral patterns and decide where the line should be. Catering to individuals’ hiring needs is a co-creation process, not a dictation of how to hire.

Collaborating.

Users hire in teams, with each team member plays different hiring roles throughout the process. Recruitment software must be something everybody can work together with, from a junior to a CEO. The silver bullet? Develop every feature from a beginner’s angle. Feedback from new users is integrated into each development sprint. Each pixel must be so simple that users can understand at a glance, not having to contact their tech department to decipher the software every time they want to do anything.

Problem-centered.

Users want to have their hiring problem solved. End of story. Our features are only valid as long as users use them. Once we realized this, there is no going back. We dodge the chase after fads in recruitment software development. Again, by talking with users daily, we assess the needs for key features and focus on making them happen. Users like it that their problems are being heard and worked on. We like it that Recruitee becomes more useful after each update. It’s the goal of building the software, after all. Not because it’s cool and shiny, but because it helps us all hire better.

Hungry.

Users want to have their problem solved. Together with other problems connected to that problem. That means outside the software, and into everything around it. So we create plenty of resources for hiring, write about ways to improve your hiring, along with other content aiming to help you hire better. For example, this video:

“Recruitment software needs to be user-friendly” is a straightforward common sense. But it often becomes secondary to feature requests. Thanks Capterra for putting the spotlight on user-friendliness again! Let us all remember our starting point, and why we need recruitment software, at all.

SaaS HCM and Traditional HCM

Today we look at traditional or On Premise HCM Applications like PeopleSoft HCM and also at SaaS or On Demand HCM like Workday.

Are you wondering why I choose to name PS and Workday here from a plethora of On Premise and On Demand HCM applications available ? Well there is a reason and the reason happens to be these two inspiring and gritty gentlemen who found Workday in 2005-2006. The duo David Duffeild and Aneel Bhusri were part of the PeopleSoft leadership team who witnessed the takeover of PeopleSoft in 2004 (David was a founder of the erstwhile PeopleSoft).

And what would I do if I had to face a similar situation, maybe lick my wounds in private and turn bitter but no sir, that was not what the duo did, they created a top notch ERP again and this time it has an additional dimension to it, it was cloud enabled, in other words it was an On Demand or a SaaS application.

I salute the never say die spirit of Workday.

So what does SaaS mean?

Software as a Service simply means a software that is hosted and made available to the customers by the vendor over the Internet.

Software as a Service simply means a software that the vendor has hosted on cloud and lets you use it over the Internet, so in a way you rent a software hosted on the vendor’s infrastructure instead of buying the software and then installing and hosting it on your servers as in traditional software models. Along with you many other users/organisations also avail of the same software and use it without bumping into each other’s space, think of a mail service like Gmail or Yahoo! (but with a fee), you do not download or install anything, just type in the URL, create an account for yourself and get started. And in the case of traditional software when the vendor rolls out a new version of the application, it is up to the customer to work and upgrade to the newer version but in the case of a SaaS application, the vendor upgrades the application hosted on his cloud and the new version is rolled out to all subscribing customers.

When you implement an On Premise software application (another name for traditional software models) you buy the software license and then pay an Annual Maintenance Cost i.e. AMC to retain rights to use the software, in an On Demand software (another name for SaaS) you pay a monthly fee and a fee for any services that you may avail of from the vendor.

An On Premise software can be customised to a large extent by your development or consulting teams depending on your business needs whereas On Demand software cannot be customised by you as you are renting the software and this software is owned by the vendor and shared by many others, so the customisation route is not possible here. So you have to adapt to the functionality offered by the SaaS tool and you cannot adapt it to suit your business needs.

As you can see there are tradeoffs against both the models.

Bhuvanapriya RaoA busy productive day keeps me upbeat and happy. – Bhuvana Rao


Source: SaaS HCM and Traditional HCM – HCM SIMPLIFIED

‘Next Generation’ recruitment technology start-up CandidateID going live

Hire Faster, Higher Quality

Disruptive ‘next generation’ recruitment technology start-up, CandidateID is going live to the market on 1st September 2016. CandidateID is innovative talent generation management software that promises to deliver the most accurate insights available for individual candidates in a company’s recruitment database. Founded by Scot McRae and Adam Gordon, CandidateID was recognised earlier this year as a company of significant scale potential.

Supported since March 2016 by Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Start-up Unit, CandidateID will be building a team of thirty in Scotland over the next twelve months in what will prove to be another exciting technology development for Scotland’s growing tech scene. CandidateID has been working on a private beta basis with a number of the world’s leading employers, and has assembled an advisory board which includes international recruitment leaders at Aviva, Barclays, Philips, Quintiles, Telefonica and Carillion.

CandidateID aims to improve quality of hire and reduce time and cost-per-hire. The software allows organisations to both create and communicate regularly with talent pools, as well as generate key individual candidate insights so recruiters know exactly who to talk to first whenever a vacancy arises.  The product’s candidate scoring system, the ‘IDScore’, allows unique insights that identify the candidate’s level of interest in new job opportunities, and means the hiring company can reach out to high quality, ‘hire-ready’ candidates.

Scot McRaeScot McRae is Managing Director of marketing automation experts McRae & Co who work with Spartan Solutions, Spoonfed, Iceptope and Jumpstart and Co-Founder of CandidateID. Scot said, “Candidate behaviour has changed and how candidates process important decisions is continuously evolving. CandidateID allows companies to adapt to these changes and approach candidates in a different way. Rather than casting a wide net, the unique scoring system allows recruiters to identify and target the candidates that are highly engaged with their content and the best fit for their organisation.”

Adam GordonAdam Gordon is Co-Founder of CandidateID and Managing Director of talent generation experts Social Media Search, whose clients include Thermo Fisher Scientific, Grant Thornton, Weetabix and Webhelp. Adam said, “CandidateID takes some of the very best thinking from sales and marketing and applies it to recruitment seamlessly. I’ve always said recruitment is a sales and marketing discipline and it’s now being proven. The thing that fascinates me most about CandidateID is its ability to score individual candidates’ engagement in real time so recruitment teams know precisely who to talk to first when the vacancy comes live.”


Further information or interview requests can be directed to Emma Baxter (emmabaxter@socialmediasearch.co.uk)

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