How do You Choose from Among So Many Recruiting Tech Vendors?
The recruiting technology space is flooded with vendors. And while the number of vendors in the space aren’t as readily available as in other industries like marketing, a Capterra report in 2015 put HR tech at around 540 technology vendors with about 20% related to recruiting (ATS, job boards, etc.). If we use the same growth rates that we’ve seen in other spaces like marketing tech since 2015, then the recruiting technology landscape is likely saturated with more than a thousand tech vendors. And the number is growing.
While this growth is great for the industry, it is nearly impossible for decision-makers to, well, make a decision on what to buy. With thousands of technologies promoting dozens or even hundreds of features, it’s enough information to make your head spin. The products have all but become commodities.
But there is a way to cut through all the noise and find technologies you are looking for. And paradoxically, it has nothing to do with the technology and everything to do with the people. If you want to know which tech vendors to work with, nay, partner with, look to the people. Specifically, the people with whom you want to build a solid, long-term partnership. And here’s exactly what you should look for:
A partnership doesn’t start when you buy
Just as your love for your significant other typically starts before the day you get married, the value you derive from you recruiting technology vendor should start before the day you buy. In fact, the value should be apparent from the very first time you interact with the vendor, likely through their marketing. Let’s call this initial interaction the “first date.”
On this first date, the vendor should be providing you value in the form of recruiting best practices, case studies, and advice that will make you better at your job without the expectation of anything in return. While most recruiting technology vendors are out there trying to sell you, the best ones are laying the foundation early on for a long-term relationship through what they provide, not what they take. Again, just like a healthy relationship.
Selling or building?
Okay, now that you know what to look for when starting a relationship, what should you look for on dates two and beyond? Let’s rip a page out of a Therapy 101 book for the answer. Here are five traits you should be looking for in the salespeople of any vendor you are assessing:
- They give more than they take
- They listen. Like, they truly listen. And they listen more than they talk
- They are responsive
- They pay attention to your needs
- They customize product/discussions to your needs
What’s your experience?
Once you identify and select a vendor that cares about you and wants to partner with you for the long-term, you should see all of these traits materialize in their onboarding, in their customer service, and in their customer feedback loop. For example, do they seek your feedback about the product and your relationship? Are they willing to evolve with you? Do they continue to provide value beyond the product? Do they send you cupcakes? Well, maybe not exactly that last one, but do they go out of their way to do something special for you? Because they should.
The growth of the recruiting tech landscape isn’t likely to slow down. But choosing a recruiting tech vendor may get easier if you look to the people, not just the product, when selecting a vendor. (Although it certainly doesn’t hurt when a company gets it right on both sides.) Remember, “beauty” fades but the strength of a great partnership lasts forever.
Sarah Dunning is director of business development for Brazen, an HR technology company providing best-in-class conversational recruiting technologies. Sarah has close to a decade of experience in recruiting and advising recruiting teams on how to enhance their recruitment outputs.