On the face of it, buying software technology for use in your recruitment business is simply a matter of matching your requirements with the most appropriate solution available. However, it is an area of some complexity, so it is wise to make sure you fully understand what options are available to you.
It’s not like buying a shiny new gadget like the latest smartphone. An ill-judged decision can cost you dearly, by impacting the productivity of staff and the efficiency of the business. On the other hand, making the right choice can pay back handsomely on the bottom line. Here are four key considerations when making technology decisions in a recruitment business.
You may need only limited functionality to perform specific tasks. It could be a single, specialised function, such as applicant tracking or accounting. Or it could be timesheets or payroll. Identify the scope of what you really need, because software with more features than necessary costs you more, adds unnecessary complexity and creates confusion.
If you are a start-up, or looking to replace a number of existing systems with a new software system capable of managing business processes end-to-end, there are two key choices.
Firstly an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution customised to meet the needs of recruitment. Generally speaking, ERP applications are ‘vanilla flavoured’, general purpose business systems that require extensive custom software development before they can be used to full effect.Custom software development of ERP and other types of systems tends to have comparatively high costs.
The second option is to integrate a specialist Line-of-Business (LoB) application that is already geared for recruitment. LoB applications are rapidly replacing ERP as the primary choice, because of the significant cost advantages that come from eliminating the need for software development. LoB applications that perform specific functions like payroll, accounting or timesheets deliver the exact functionality you need and can be integrated with one another to automate the exchange of information.
On-premise is the traditional ownership model for getting the software tools you need. You buy software and licences, install it on your hardware and then have to swallow support, maintenance and upgrade costs. Unlike property ownership, software is a depreciating asset. This all seems rather tedious and outdated now!
Online applications, otherwise known as cloud apps or SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) applications, have established the ‘new world order’, disrupting the traditional ownership model of the software market. SaaS applications offer a simple rental business model. Billing is typically monthly and falls into OPEX, and all the costs for support, maintenance and upgrading are eliminated, by including them as part of the overall service package.
SaaS now dominates the software industry. On-premise software is in decline and it is viewed, by many, as very much a legacy approach.
Technology outsourcing is now a widespread practice. High bandwidth, ‘beefed up’ internet broadband connectivity is an enabler of a wide variety of tech remote services. Much of the thinking that shapes how today’s businesses should be organised is about stripping out inefficiency and focusing on high value core business activities.
To frame this proposition more directly and in the context of recruitment, if your business is about placing temps and contractors, why put up with the distraction of running a back office?!
If there are good reasons why you wish to retain responsibility for running the back office then by all means choose the appropriate technology tools and the right mix of staff skills and get on with it. If, however, you decide that you do not need to maintain the back office in-house, then you might wish to consider opportunities to outsource.
Electing to outsource, or to give its more up to date name in the tech market – use a ‘managed service’ – enables an agency to hand off much or all back office processes to a third-party.
This is compelling. The combination of cost reduction through economy of scale, access to the right technology, and experience and expertise, delivers the back office as a service far more efficiently than a small, mid-sized or even large agency could deliver it in-house.
COVID-19 has put efficiency front and centre (What! Again?). And, in the quest for efficiency, whatever technology choices you make, you have to ask yourself: “Is it going to make my life easier and put more on the bottom line?”
In these challenging times, for ETZ customers the answer is a resounding “YES!”
To see how ETZ streamlines your back office, simply call us on 0800 311 2266 to book a demo.
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