The software you use to run your recruitment or labour hire business makes all the difference. Sure, you can continue with manual work arounds and tedious, outdated processes, but that’s no way to do business if you want to scale your customer service. The better way as most of us know is to streamline your processes and functions with technology. There are a lot of options out there that say they do just that, only to let you down in the long-run (EntireHR is not one of them obviously). With this dilemma in mind, we’ve created a list of 5 things you should do if you want to pick the WRONG labour hire software. So you can avoid them.
Let’s get started.
1. COPY WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING
Choosing a software just because that’s what your competitors are using is a bad idea. We can’t stress that enough (Unless your competitor is using EntireHR… then it’s actually a good idea to follow suit, but we digress).
Using what your competitors are using is generally one of the worst things you can do, because your competitors are not you! And you don’t want to be like your competitors. Every time you’re talking to a client, do you say, “We’re just like our biggest competitor”?
No. Of course you don’t.
So why would you pick the same system that your competitors use?
In all seriousness though, the big reason most people copy the competition is because then they know it works. It’s a fear factor, they’re trying to pick something that “they know works”, because the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. It’s an attempt to mitigate risk.
Well, we can tell you that there’s much bigger risk.
Your competitor got suckered in by the same speech and flashy demo you had and when they got their software, it wasn’t as good as they’d hoped (they won’t admit otherwise though). Now if you buy it too, you’re both in a heap of trouble, but you’re stuck on the same contract longer than they are.
Instead of copying, the solution is to do the research yourself and find a software that is customizable to your business and your way of doing things. Which brings us to our next point.
2. GO SHOPPING WITHOUT A CRITERIA LIST
Have a set decision making criteria list, and don’t waver from it. Make the list before you start searching. Break the list into the 4 key departments of your recruitment business, normally: Sales, Recruitment, Placement & Finance. Don’t get distracted unless you find something that’s absolutely out of the box you had no idea existed. (An example of an acceptable distraction is learning that EntireHR offers a mobile app that can allow your clients and workers to easily fill out digital time sheets from their phone. Maybe you didn’t realize this was even possible. Now you do, and it’s OK to add to your criteria list.)
Beware the dazzling little bells and whistles on the interface or dashboard, or the pretty colours and formats of the reports. Because odds are that when you actually launch the systems later on after getting hooked in by some “nice to have” bonuses, you’ll quickly find that your core list of needs are suddenly is being ignored, and now business critical functions aren’t running.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t have a great looking software with bells and whistles, we’re just saying don’t get so caught up in that, that you miss the real meat of what you needed in the first place. Salespeople know what looks great usually sells, and will happily avoid discussing core requirements if you seem to be enjoying the pretty graphs.
We suggest making a “Must list” and a “Major list” and “Bonus list”. Assign a number value to each of the 3 categories and go from there. This gives you a simple way to use basic data to make the right decision and remove our human emotions from the equation (we all have them!).
Decide what you absolutely MUST Have and don’t budge from that no matter what the salesman tells you. To enforce this list, use an excel sheet to create a scorecard that you can use to grade each software you evaluate. Make sure the same person does all grading, otherwise you could be prone to different ways of evaluation. However, if you can afford it, it’s even better is if you have 2 people do the entire grading independently (this lets you triangulate better and removes bias).
This makes it easy to eliminate the software that don’t have what you need right off the bad, and then quickly choose between the remaining options based on the grades you’ve assigned. If you need a template for looking through and evaluating Recruitment and labour hire software, let us know. We have one we can give you, free of charge just ask.
3. SIGN A LONG CONTRACT
Our honest opinion is that in today’s world of subscription-based software, there’s absolutely no need to have a contract. Some companies are trying to sign customers up for a five year contracts or something like that. To be honest, we think that’s unethical. We totally get it gives some security to a company, and there’s a small argument to be made for those that ask for a short-term contract and provide a discount to do so. But there’s still too many providers that run with 3-5 contracts as the default in our opinion, especially dangerous for small business that can afford the massive payouts.
The question is WHY are they requiring a contract?
The business software needs to work, correct?
If it doesn’t work, you’re not going to use it, correct?
And if it does work, you’re going to keep using it, correct?
So, why do you need the contract? If it’s not working for you, you shouldn’t have to pay for it, you should be able to leave for something that does work and if it is working for you, you’ll gladly keep paying. We don’t believe in making people pay for something they don’t want or aren’t actually using.
Call us crazy.
4. FORGET TO ASK ABOUT SUPPORT TERMS
Software without good support is like a good burger without fries and a Coke! When you’re shopping for a new system, make sure the software comes with high-quality and comprehensive support. Or at least support that is customizable to what you need and want. If you’re tech savvy and can do a lot yourself, great! But, for the rest of us, we want to make sure there’s someone there when we make a phone call, if we really need it.
Software providers should offer things like 99% uptime guarantees and 24/7 emergency service. Look into the fine details and ask what is included and what is not included with your support package. Is support included in the overall license? If not, how much is it? When does it kick in? What’s the guarantees on commitment? What do their current clients say about support (probably the biggest clue). Will you be charged for support when you are merely emailing in a bug (believe it or not I’ve seen it in contracts before).
Ask lots of questions, so you know what you’re getting. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a burger and no fries and Coke!
5. ASSUME THE IMPLEMENTATION WILL BE DONE FOR YOU
The last thing to make sure you’re taking into account is the track record and ability your software provider has to get you up and running. You will need their help, and you will also need to put in more effort than you think. Most people greatly over-estimate their ability to get work done, and this is twice as true when it comes to implementing software. I repeat, this is an issue every company has (yes even software companies). When you implement software for your own business over more than a month, it quickly falls off the last priority of everyone in the actual business, unless you make an active effort otherwise. Because we have customers to take care of and things to do!
This is notoriously an area of struggle for software suppliers, who are often great at building and selling their software, but not so much at getting it running with a new client. It’s why a lot of major providers completely outsource that function to third parties (looking at you Salesforce!). This is has both pros and cons, and probably a discussion point all on it’s own.
Why is this the case? Well it’s important to note, when you are looking at a software demo, you’re looking at the finished product. And the finished product looks great! It has data in it, it’s been configured properly, it’s users have been trained to perfection and the automations are all running seamlessly in the background. If the finished product was a racecar, you’d be looking at it about cross the finish line in first place, after smoking the competition, champagne already on ice ready to go, who wouldn’t want to be in that car!
But, for you to get that racecar to the podium first you need to buy the chassis, then you need the tires, the seats and of course the steering wheel. Finally the car is built! But then you need to have a driver trained to drive the car. That takes a while, and then he has to practice, a lot, and keep himself fit as well. At the same time, the racetrack needs to be analysed for the best route given the environment and take account for multiple weather conditions. The pit crew needs to be trained as a group to do those crazy fast pit stops. As you can see there’s a lot of moving parts! All this takes a lot of hard work, training, practice, repetition and most importantly – time.
Now imagine you’re doing that process by yourself for the first time. Ouch. Compare that with doing it with an F1 team of over 20 years’ experience guiding you and provide resources at the right time? That’s the difference with a great software onboarding process.
Now back to software, it’s important to keep in mind that the more “complete” a software is, the more complex the process is, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing for you as the customer. At EntireHR, we guarantee to have you transitioned to the new software and up and running within a specific amount of time, or your license fee is free until you’re up.
So, if you’re in the market, ask your provider what they need from you to guarantee you’ll go live on the date you want. You’ll get them excited as a dream client with this question! Additionally, since this will be near the time of signing something (hopefully not one of those massive contracts), you can ask to talk with a recently implemented customer, similar to your size and scope. You can also ask for a visual chart, rollout roadmap or guide of milestones to expect. Most software companies (in fact all good ones) use some sort of rollout map internally, and with some tweaking will be happy to share. Finally, ask them for their guarantee. If they won’t guarantee you will go live, what can they guarantee. If it’s nothing, then that’s another red flag, even bigger if you’re signing a contract. As it shows their commitment to you actually being able to using the software functionality is very low.
Some simple questions to ask, but if you skip this step you’ll often end up stuck with a half-way implemented software, an empty checking account and a non-responsive software salesperson at the end of the day.
And as a final warning, if the salesperson seems super confident about the implementation being “easy” but hasn’t really asked many questions then that’s always a red flag for me. There’s a HUGE difference between being confident in your teams ability to implementing by following a proven process and saying “yes, yes, yes” to a client’s questions to get them to sign the dotted line. As always, ask for examples if possible.
If you want to pick the WRONG software for your labour hire business, make sure you follow the five bullet points above. However, If you want to pick the RIGHT software for your company, learn from the mistakes others have made and follow the below 5 steps:
- Don’t follow your competitors blindly
- Make a criteria list and stick to it
- Don’t sign long contracts
- Ask lots of questions about support
- Get commitment to a solid implementation process
If you have any questions about picking the right recruitment and labour hire software for your business (and yes it does really depend upon your business!) we’re always happy to answer any questions you have at EntireHR.