Choosing a Sourcing Platform
Late last year I had a status update on LinkedIn that my business recently implemented SalesForce.com as our sourcing platform. Prior to that I wrote an unpublished article about the frustrations of not having a reasonably affordable solution. I didn’t end up publishing it because by the end of it all I realised that I had not really come up with a solution and it was literally a haphazard string of thoughts cobbled together into one semi-coherent rant.
Actual photo half way through my initial draft.
I’ve summarised portions of it to help put things into perspective.
I’ve re-written this section more times than I care to remember in the hope of keeping it short and succinct. The final iteration is as follows:
“It is so frustrating that there are no reasonably affordable solutions based in the cloud that is catered specifically for sourcing. I’ve done plenty of test driving and demos with numerous vendors however to no avail.”
There is simply not enough demand for this type of product. Let’s face it, the sourcing teams that are active today in Australia are far and few between. No vendor is going to dedicate time and money into developing a solution for a highly specialised industry with customised needs without charging contractor rates. Why? Because they literally are spending additional resources on building-on or customising a system for each and everyone of their customers. This is on top of the inconvenient fact that the general consensus in the industry regarding the definition of sourcing is so blatantly vague that there is no overarching defining aspect worth focusing on that isn’t already covered by a plethora of readily available recruitment management systems (RMS) or applicant tracking systems (ATS).
Sure we’ll provide you with an awesome sourcing platform, just so long as you cover my monthly salary and the rest of my team… indefinitely. Image: mrcolinlim via flikr
There is no one size fits all as it really depends on your own sourcing and reporting needs. One thing I would suggest if you embark on this endeavour is have a plan of what you want first. A lot of vendors will sell you how awesome their product is and what functionalities they have. That’s great but few will sit down with you and ask what it is you actually need. This probably has to do with the fact that the majority of their clients are generally either internal HR teams or recruitment agencies – they all have common needs. The questions I asked myself when I went out looking were:
- What is at stake here – Do we actually need this system?
- How will our business function with and without this system in the short, medium and long term?
- What type of sourcing do we do – Active or passive? Proactive or reactive?
- What type of information do we capture – Is it in a single format?
- How much are we looking to invest – What are the monthly costs?
- What are the must-have’s and like-to-have’s?
- Is it scalable – Does the platform support a team of 2-5, 10-15, 20+?
- Does it only become a cost-effective solution if there is a minimal amount of people on the team?
- Is it cloud based – Would you prefer if you can access it wherever you have an internet connection?
- How easy is it for you to migrate your data – What are you currently using and is it compatible?
- How much support is provided – Are they familiar with the common issues of the sourcing/recruiting industry or do they just provide general technical support?
- How much time do we have to implement this and to iron out the creases?
- What reports do you need to generate? Does the system support them?
Next week I’ll cover the reasons why we ended up with SalesForce.com as well running through the pros and cons of having a customisable CRM.
If you’ve been through the task of implementing a new ATS/RMS system, what factors did you consider? Share your thoughts in the comments below.