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Recruiting Software: Total Package or Best of Breed?

How to choose the right recruiting software for your needs.

May 9, 2013
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When data-analytics company LatentView Analytics needed to hire 100 new employees last year—doubling its size in just a few months—the company knew it was time to upgrade its recruiting software system.

LatentView had been using JobScore, a social recruiting software system that recommends candidates for specific positions, but Pramad Jandhyala, the company's co-founder and director of human resources, thought the company needed a more integrated tool to meet its growth goals. So she transitioned recruiting to Salesforce.com.

"We liked JobScore, but most of our other HRIS activities were done on Salesforce," she says, referring to human resource information systems. "It just made sense to move to a single platform."

Today LatentView uses Salesforce.com's Vana HCM cloud-based recruiting tools to create configurable job postings, automatically process résumé attachments and post openings to thousands of job boards. The system's tracking reports also help Jandhyala plan for future hires based on past experiences. "We can tell which positions were hard to fill, and how many résumés we had to go through to find the right candidate," she says. "That helps me allocate the right resources and time for each recruiting effort."

And, because Vana is part of Salesforce.com, all of that recruiting data gets integrated into the company's talent management system. "It makes the recruiting process seamless," she says.

That seamless integration with an existing HRIS system is a common reason for choosing one recruiting tool over another, says Claire Schooley, a senior analyst at Forrester Research. Though it shouldn't be the only option. "It's nice to be with an all-in-one vendor, but it's hard to find one vendor that is equally strong in all areas."

And if recruiting top talent is a critical strategic goal for the company, going with your HR vendor's add-on recruiting application just to keep everything under the same roof may not be the best choice. Companies that view themselves as market leaders are more likely to extend the search to find the best-of-breed recruiting tools for their specific hiring needs, says Ray Wang principal analyst and CEO at Constellation Research Inc. "They will go with the best-of-breed tool for their market, even if it's from a different vendor," he says.

Fortunately, this is one area of HR software that having a separate vendor isn't a terrible idea, Schooley says. Unlike performance management, training or succession planning, most talent acquisition activities occur outside of the organization, and some companies may prefer not to pull external candidate data inside their firewall until they are certain they are going to hire them. "As a result, recruiting may be the easiest HR tool to keep separate."

Before choosing any tool, think about what your end goals are, says says Chris Gould, a former senior director of the talent acquisition solutions group for Aon Hewitt who now works for the consulting firm Black & Veatch. If your focus is on finding the best people, your choice may be very different than if your goal is tracking where the best candidates come from, or shortening the time to hire, he says. "When you start with what you want to accomplish, you are more likely to choose the best system for your needs."

Sarah Fister Gale is a freelance writer based in the Chicago area. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com. Follow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.

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