As a recruitment business owner, your recruitment CRM can be the indispensable tool that gives you oversight and insight into your business; or an ongoing source of pain – yes, those massive software subscription bills and constant complaints from your consultants. So if you’re in the second boat, it’s probably time to move on to a new system. But we all know that moving to a new system isn’t going to be a walk in the park: even the best planned and executed transition will throw up unexpected disruptions.

However, the amount of disruption that moving causes is entirely up to you. No two companies are alike, so the specific goals that you want to achieve by moving to a new system will vary from business to business. But having spoken with a huge variety of recruitment businesses, I see three common objectives that you’ll probably identify with if you’re planning to switch systems:

1/ “The first move is the only move I’ll make.”

You don’t want to have to switch systems if you don’t have to, right? Moving to a new CRM/ATS without knowing what you’re getting can be an absolutely nightmare – I’ve heard enough horror stories from recruiters to attest to that. Changing systems is something recruitment companies should only do when they know they’ve found one that will work for them.

2/ “I’m in it for the long-term.”

Recruitment business owners are looking for a system they can use not just for now, but for the long run. This also means the software vendor they’re working with has to be fast-moving and flexible enough to react to market and regulatory changes. Consider the upcoming changes caused by the EU’s GDPR legislation: what will your recruitment software vendor be doing to help you stay compliant and safeguard your business from the risk of a €20m fine?

3/ “I want my consultants to get up to speed quickly.”

Everyone needs to learn how to use the system, as fast as possible. Consultants come and go, so for the smarter companies, a system that is intuitive enough for new starters to get their head around the system easily is a must. So in addition to a good system, you need to make sure that your new software provider cares about its customers and puts its money where its mouth is in the form of a decent Support department.

So how can you make sure that you achieve all these goals? In my experience running the Customer Success team at Vincere, I’ve handed implementations for recruitment firms located all over the world. These are the 3 golden rules that need to be followed when switching recruitment CRM/ATS:

1.Do your research

What happens if you don’t? You find yourself moving to another new system a few months later, and face the same disruption all over again.

If you’re looking at a CRM/ATS that offers a free trial, take it. And don’t just take the trial: test the **** out of the system during your trial. Make sure that all of your business’ crucial processes are compatible with the new system.

If you’re considering a system which doesn’t offer a trial, red flag: why can’t you try before you buy? Research is even more important if you’re brave enough to look at systems that don’t offer a trial. Don’t just rely on what the Sales Rep is telling you. Trawl online review sites to find out how others have found the system. If possible, speak to people – preferably working at businesses like yours – who use it.

Trial or no trial, you shouldn’t just be focusing on what the system can do right now. Find out what their plans for the future: ask about both the immediate product roadmap and the company’s general approach to product updates. It might look great at the moment, but bear in mind that you’re choosing a system that your whole business will be relying on for the next five years, not just for now.

Vincere’s trial users who spend more time exploring the system benefit in two main ways once they become customers. First, they’re significantly less likely to move to a new system after making the jump from trial users to paid users. Second, after they become customers, all of their users register significantly higher levels of activity inside Vincere. & as recruiters, we all know that the more activities you have, the more placements you’ll make.

2.Invest in Training

What happens if you don’t? You’re back to where you started: with a system that your team hates to use and doesn’t give you what you need.

In 2017, there’s something that feels wrong about paying to be taught to use software. You use a plethora of different software on computers, tablets and phones, and you didn’t need training for those. You use Gmail, LinkedIn and Asana and you’re doing just fine without any training. So your new recruitment system will be a cakewalk after you’ve played around with a few buttons and figured out how to add a new Candidate into the system, right?

Wrong. Really, really wrong.

Your recruitment CRM should be the most complex piece of software that you regularly use. Complexity brings depth, and with depth come the insights that allow you to drive positive changes in your business. However, your system will only be able to give you detailed Analytics and total visibility into your team’s operations if the right information is being put into the system, in the right place, at the right time. The chances are that you won’t be able to figure this out yourself, and trying to do so is more likely to result in you smashing your head against a wall in frustration than mastering your system. So save yourself the stress and make the investment in training: it’ll repay with serious interest.

How do we know this? Let the numbers speak for themselves: Vincere’s customers who invest in training see higher system usage than those that don’t; they make more placements and generate more revenue per user; and they’re significantly more likely to see their team grow in the six months after moving across to Vincere.

3. Make sure someone ‘owns’ the system

What happens if you don’t? Your move across takes longer and your business doesn’t have the system know-how to keep your team members, current and future, up to speed with what needs to be done to get the most out of the system.

In the short term, moving to a new CRM/ATS is a hassle. You’ve got to find the one that’s right for you, move your data across, train your team and get through the difficult post-training period where you’re still getting to grips with exactly how everything works. There’s inevitably going to be a temporary drop off in productivity. While having a dedicated internal project owner doesn’t entirely prevent this, it can dramatically reduce these impacts and bring big rewards in the long run.

During the data migration and onboarding stage, having one person who deals with everything prevents roadblocks being formed by different people having different information. Once you’re fully onboarded, having someone in-house who knows your system well enough to deal with day-to-day questions is far more efficient than each member of your team reaching out to the customer support team every time they’re unsure about something.

Specifically, having one person as the point person for anything system-related means that all questions go through one source, and all answers come back through one source. If one person doesn’t know how to do something with the system, a single system manager makes sure that everyone gets the answer. And if you’ve got someone in-house who knows your system well enough to train new employees how to use it, you’re taking away reasons for that person not to start contributing to the business as early as possible. Learning new software can make starting a new job hard; and it’s a lot harder if you can’t get the answers you need from someone who’s in the same office as you.

About Sam Collier

Having graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Law, Sam previously produced global conferences in mobile games and international tax reporting. Today, he runs the Customer Success squad at Vincere. He makes sure users get fast, informative responses and maximum ROI out of their investment in their recruitment CRM/ATS. The word on the street is Vincere’s customer support is legendary.

Connect with Sam here on LinkedIn.

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