How Important is Recruiting Software in Determining the Success of an Executive Search Firm?

Not Very! You might find that answer surprising, considering I am the president of a recruiting software company. We have been producing recruiting software for 25 years. I have also spent 25 years as a recruiter in the very competitive Los Angeles market.

I talk to a lot of recruiters every day who are trying to decide on recruiting software. There is a variety of recruiting software products out there and it seems as if a new one pops every other day. The ERE has a running Discussion group, “Finding The Right Recruiting Software”, where recruiters can ask questions and get advice from each others regarding recruiting software. I get emailed discussions daily from this group and almost every time someone mentions software that I have never heard of.

I get the feeling that many of these recruiters I talk to every day are on the wrong track. They are looking for the secret potion that will turn either themselves or their firm into a super star of the recruiting industry with the slickest resume database and applicant tracking features around.

I maintain that if you take a good recruiter or recruiting firm and make them use bad recruiting software, they are still going to be successful. Conversely if Recruitment IT you take a bad recruiting firm and make them use good recruiting software they are still going to be a bad recruiter or recruiting firm.

When I was still recruiting during the day and writing software at night I worked elbow to elbow with fellow recruiters. I used to criticize the recruiter who was always fussing with the computer and their files. Do you know why? I’m guessing you think it is because I am so arrogant that I did not want to listen to anyone else’s ideas. You are wrong, although I do like my own ideas! The real reason, however, was that I knew this recruiter was never going to be successful and we would lose money. Time after time, year after year for 15 years, I found that the recruiters who focused on the recruiting tool and gimmicks rather than execution failed. Someone once told me that Vince Lombardi, a very successful football coach, had only about 6 plays. The success was all in the execution!

The recruiter who focuses on the execution of the client and applicant call and is always thinking of ways to improve the call is going to be successful. How you identify this type of recruiter is the subject for another article.

So, why have I spent half of my life writing recruiting software and trying to make it better? Because I love my work and the creativity of it and I know I can give a really good recruiter an edge. I know the recruiting firm will be successful with or without me but I can make a difference. I truly enjoy working with successful people and the rewards and appreciation mean so much more to me.

What makes good recruiting software? This depends on the recruiter or recruiting firm and their business model. There are a number of good recruiting software packages but fundamentally the software must be extremely easy to use, it has to focus on the execution of the client or applicant call and it has to gather information through, what I like to call, the natural process of recruiting. If the software gathers information naturally and easily it will feed into the critical element of recruiting, marketing!


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