Forty-one percent of all companies plan to buy new software in the next year, according to a promotional survey we ran of ASA Staffing World 2015 attendees. That’s a huge number, reflecting the continuing boom in staffing and recruiting, and those companies will be facing a huge decision.
Your staffing software is as fundamental to your business as an engine is to a car. It isn’t something you choose with a coin toss, and you don’t casually swap it out after a month or two. To make the right decision with confidence, it’s critical to learn as much as you can about your options.
Bond publishes an agnostic 10-step guide to software selection to help you make a smart choice. But to put you on the inside track and to finding staffing software that will drive results for your business, here are five critical questions you can ask each potential provider:
Question #1 Do you understand my company’s needs in recruiting, staffing, sales, and operations?
While most vendors can recite scripted pain points to show you a cursory understanding of your business, a good one will take it a few steps further. They might perform a thorough discovery to understand the unique processes of your business, or do a gap analysis with your input to demonstrate where your current system is underperforming and how theirs can correct deficiencies.
Question #2 Can you show me specific ways in which your software fulfils the needs of my company?
This is a simple question requiring a detailed answer, usually in the form of a demo. Demos are a great way to test drive a product and find out what a vendor really means by words like “simple” or “flexible.” This is how you’ll discover whether you’ll have to adapt to the software or if the software will adapt to you. A vendor should be able to support what they say with real client testimonials and statistical results – preferably from users whose staffing needs are similar to yours. Don’t be afraid to pump the brakes and ask for more detail.
Once you’ve seen the product in action, seek out supporting documentation like eBooks or white papers, as opposed to surface-level sales pamphlets.
Question #3 How do you ensure your software will keep up with changes in technology, the industry, and my specific needs?
You know there will be changes, and the value and usefulness of your staffing agency software will diminish if it doesn’t stay up to speed. That means you could lose business to more aggressive and up-to-date competitors, so it’s crucial each vendor addresses the following:
- Can the software company be relied on to provide updates?
- How are those updates and their value communicated to customers?
- As a customer, how can you ensure critical updates will actually be installed?
Question #4 How will you support my software at implementation, with training, and when problems arise?
Just like it’s important to have a go-to mechanic when your vehicle needs repair, having a reliable support system for your staffing software is perhaps the single most critical, yet vastly under-rated aspect of your next software choice.
To ensure the system is setup to your specific needs, ask who will be supporting your implementation and how it will be managed. To ensure you and your team will be educated effectively on how the software works, learn what to expect of both initial and ongoing training.
Seek a thorough description, too, of the kind of support they offer for general questions or when software issues arise. Ideally, they’ll tell you about a help desk or client portal that makes it easy to submit and track concerns.
Question #5 How strong is your company?
Before making a purchase as important as staffing software, you’ll want to feel confident a vendor will be alive and well for as long as you use their product (which, if you got impressive answers to the previous questions, will be a long time). Consider each of these factors:
- market longevity
- sales volume
- growth rate
- client list
- business news
When the time comes to ask hard or specific questions, don’t hesitate. There are good reasons you want answers, and the staffing company software you select will be responsible for keeping the motor of your company running. You have the right – even the obligation – to know the ins and outs of any product you’ll use to build your business.
Tough questions, vigorously pursued, will help ensure you are getting capable staffing software from a reliable vendor, and that it will be the right make and model for your specific business needs.
When you’re ready to ask those tough questions of us, request an AdaptSuite demo to take our staffing software for a spin.