our blog gets recruiters thinking

Here at Barclay Jones I am super busy helping recruiters review and update their recruitment software, which emphasises our belief that 2015 is the year of the CRM!

Interestingly though, most of the recruitment leaders I come across are never likely to actually interact daily with the system they are investing in - and this can cause issues. 

For many of you a recruitment software demo will be the first chance for you to cast your eye over and assess the many rec tech products out there. I have sat through a lot of recruitment software demonstrations both online and face to face with clients. I wanted to share some tips on how to get the most out of this process, invest your precious time wisely and to prevent a mis-purchase.

Demo Planning

There are a huge number of Recruitment specific CRM systems out there so it is inevitable that as part of your selection process you will look at demoing perhaps up to 10 CRM systems. Give yourself a strict deadline for the demonstration phase and stick to it. Produce and distribute an agenda to everyone involved detailing exactly what you want covering off in your session. Finally create a feedback form based on your requirements and get all attendees (discussed below) to complete after each demo so you have a structured review document that you can refer back to. The last thing you want is to go through all of the demonstrations and then realise you can’t even remember which system did what! It soon becomes a blur of buttons / cloud / dashboards / parsing…

Assemble Your Team

Ultimately you’re the one who will be signing off the purchase for this CRM so you should of course be involved in the process. In reality though, will you be using the system yourself? Assemble a team of users from across your business who will use the crm system on a daily basis. Their input will help to drive out the business requirements which will form the basis of your decision process when reviewing the demos. It will also help with the change management piece also getting users involved from the outset.  (Health warning – keep the group “tight” – too many cooks can really create project creep and prolong this important phase.)

The Demo Itself

The time has come, you’ve assembled your team of reviewers and have a clear understanding of what you want your shiny new CRM to do. Now is the chance to see the system in action and measure it against your requirements. Most of the sales people I work with are really passionate about their recruitment software and want to take you on the test drive of your life.  Make sure that the demonstration is about you and your business needs. Use your agenda to focus the demonstration on the features and functionality which are of benefit to you and not just the features the sales person wants to show you.

Something to think about though: you may no longer be the expert on recruitment process.  Times have changed, software is light years ahead of the last purchase you made, candidates and clients think and behave differently.  So be sure to let the sales teams show you their tricks and judge the software on how it could transform your business for the better, not just update your server tech!

Post Demo

After the demo make sure feedback is gathered quickly. You will no doubt have a number of demos to come so getting your feedback completed early will avoid any confusion at a later date. If there were any questions raised, make sure these are documented and followed up with the Supplier. Get a copy of their roadmap so you can see any possible future developments planned which may resolve any concerns or lack of features. For many of you this may be the first time you have looked at a new crm system for a number of years. 

If you need advice or help with your CRM software, we're running a workshop at #recnet with UK Recruiter so you can see us in person!

Sign up for this free event on October 8th here.

 (Thanks to APSCo for publishing this blog)

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  1. Hi Matt, thank you for posting this article.

    For start-up agencies, typical CRM considerations are:

    - Features available out of the box (are they actually in the product or only in the demo?)
    - Workflows (is the system geared for all the typical recruitment agency workflows?)
    - Cost (setup, training, ongoing and hidden costs including cancellation charges?)
    - Usability (how quickly will users learn the system and find the relevant information?)
    - Flexibility (can the system grow with the business and support key customisations?)
    - Availability (is he CRM always on and data backups happen daily?)
    - Security (can users have different permission levels, controlled centrally?)
    - Mobility (can the CRM be accessed on the road and on multiple devices?)
    - Service (what happens when you need support? What is included/excluded?)
    - Updates (does your subscription return continuous value, through free updates?)
    - Location (can the CRM move from the Cloud to a local server in the future?)
    - Credibility (who is the supplier? Do they have a good track record? Service levels/SLA?)
    - Data ownership (if using a Cloud CRM, will I have access to a copy of my data?)

    As for established agencies with dozens or even hundreds of users, the considerations are typically same, in addition to a strong emphasis on the following aspects:

    - Customisations (is the system 100% customisable, possibly even offering an SDK/API?)
    - Migrations (what is the quality of the data migration process from current to new CRM?)
    - Integrations (will the system "speak" with mid and back-office systems and 3rd parties?)
    - Reporting & Auditing (will Management & Operations be able to track performance?)
    - Maintenance (how are updates delivered? Will these be fully tested and versioned?)
    - Infrastructure Management (how Human/Technical resource-intensive is the CRM?)
    - Account Management (are you just being sold licenses or establishing a relationship?)

    As Matt says, too often it's the number of available options which makes it confusing. Take your time, go through your multiple options to qualify or exclude and book a demo with each provider which you have identified, where you will shortlist and then possibly make a decision or go through a second round of presentations.

    Francisco Janes

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