9 Tips for Choosing the Right Recruitment Software

9 Tips for Choosing the Right Applicant Tracking System Recruitment Software


So it’s time to find a new recruitment software or a better Applicant Tracking System. Either your business has outgrown your old solution or you’ve been struggling along without one. But now you want to improve your customer service capabilities, professionalism and save time by automating some of your key recruiting business processes.

It may be that competitors are quicker to find and place candidates, or seem to pull the rabbit out of the hat every time and it’s killing your business

Choosing your software program is a BIG deal. Make the wrong choice and you are stuck with a system that doesn’t meet the needs of your business until you have the time and money to move to a new vendor. But if you follow these nine simple tips and you’ll be able to choose the system that’s best suited to your business today and in the future. Make sure you download your free checklist to make your search a little easier.

1 – Check out what previous customers say about them

Once you have a list of possible solutions, check the vendors’ websites and read testimonials or case studies about what their clients have to say about the vendor and software.

Next do a Google search for the vendor’s business name and software name to see if they appear in any of the forums. If there is anything negative make a note of it so you can do your own research to see if that complaint has been resolved or was it a genuine problem that was sorted out. All too many reviews and comparisons online are fake or constructed by competitors to steer prospective software purchasers to the desired outcome.

Once you have a short-list of possible vendors, ask them for the contact details of a couple of their clients so you can ask more in-depth questions about their experience with the software.

2 – Know what it is you want this new system to do for you

Don’t be vague about improving your systems or saving the agency time. Write down exactly how you want the Applicant Tracking System software to improve the way you work. For example, the system will allow us to use social media sites to search for possible candidates outside our internal CV database, or we want to use SMS to communicate and record communications on the system.

Once you’ve written your specifications document, keep referring back to it during the evaluation process. This list can of course be expanded and refined as you view demonstrations and maybe pick up on features that will save you bucket loads of time and money that you may not have thought of.

3 – Use a checklist

To keep track of the systems you are looking at and all their features, you’ll need a checklist or spreadsheet. As you enter features on your spreadsheet decide which ones are a must have and which are nice to have. Once you start your research you will be able to eliminate vendors that don’t offer your must have features.

4 – Difficult to leave

Some vendors ensure they handcuff their customers to the system by making it difficult or expensive to leave with encrypted data or excessive break costs. While you might think the system is perfect and you’ll never want to move, things change. Your business will change and the software market changes. You could find yourself struggling to leave because your data isn’t easily extracted and you’re up for big development costs. Choose a vendor that does not lock you in.

5 – Find out if there are any hidden costs

It’s not just at the exit stage that you could be up against some costs that you weren’t expecting. Some vendors charge high setup costs which you don’t find out about until you’ve signed up. If you don’t think you are going to be able to set up the system and import all your data, ask what it is going to cost to get the vendor to help you. Do they have a self service data import facility that they will assist you in completing – if not, what is the cost structure, per hour or per record.

6 – Continued development

Ask what enhancements the vendor has in the pipeline for future next releases. A software program can quickly be left behind in the market if the vendor isn’t continually working on R&D. If your vendor doesn’t keep up with the market you may want to move over to one that does so gauging whether they are proactive developers is important. Are they receptive to development requests or are you stuck with what you are given. Remember a smaller more agile development team is far more likely to respond to your needs than a massive organisation that has no mechanism for you to interact with the developers directly.

7 – Ask for a demo

Try before you buy. You can’t really decide on a system until you give it a test drive. Recruitment software vendors should have a full working demo system with data that you can use to check on search capabilities and fields. Some demos are self paced while others are supported by a live person. Cloud based SaaS systems by definition are easier to access for demonstration purposes and can easily be undertaken using a screen sharing webinar or hangout technology

8 – Support

This should really be number one on the list. Nothing will get you more frustrated with your choice of software if the support is sub-standard. Remember to find out how long you will expect to wait for a response to your support ticket. Ask the vendor for contact details of current users so you can gauge the response and support responsiveness. This is probably the number one consideration when choosing new software – If I get stuck, can I get help. Can I get help now ? Can I pick up the phone and talk to a human. “Your call is important to us” – really ? Then can I pick up the phone and talk to you ? The answer needs to be yes, otherwise move on and find another vendor.

9 – Application Programming Interface (API)

Make a list of all the other software programs, systems and apps you use currently and may want to use in the future so you can ensure that your new Applicant Tracking System software will integrate with them. You don’t want to set up your new recruitment system only to find that it doesn’t integrate with a program you still use. Do you need Outlook integration – or job board integration on your website. Can the vendor provide a website template for you. Can you seamlessly interface with the job board aggregators like idibu, broadbean etc This will save you lots of time removing the need to double handle data entry


Choosing the right recruitment software solution for your business can be a daunting task. If you know what you are looking for and you do your research you will make the right choice and select the system that best suits your business.

You can read more about eBoss Applicant Tracking System on our blog