Succeeding As A Vendor in Recruitment

Having operated at the intersection of recruitment, technology and marketing; I am fortunate enough to be regularly asked to review and evaluate new tools and services intended to produce a more effective workflow for recruiters, generate cost efficiency, further support revenue and profit growth, or a combination of thereof.
This quick post is not intended to list companies and their services exhaustively, though I am happy to do that if you think you might benefit from it (just leave me a comment below) in subsequent write-ups.
Whether it is a cloud-based CRM, a video-interviewing platform, a self-assessment / competency tool, etc; the main question vendors are looking to have answered is whether their products will be a hit with recruiters.There are certainly a few intrinsic features that will facilitate adoption and take up of new technologies in the recruitment industry. From my experience reviewing very similar products, the key features that seem to make some more appealing than others are:

  • Pricing model– if you want a big chunk of cash for the implementation, be ready to justify it before any gains have been realised.
  • Snazziness- Of course we want to pick up on the sexiest, most usable platforms. This helps a lot with internal adoption and “sell”
  • Roll out “weight”– Do I need to integrate this with other systems? Does it stand alone? do I need to give more user id’s and passwords and educate consultants on yet another service?

Any others you can think of? All of those factors are going to have an influence, for sure. At the same time, given that recruiters have different processes, go to market model, specialty, etc; many of the services they choose will produce different levels of success. So like the good economist that I studied to be , the answer to the vendors’ questions on whether or not they will achieve market success is: “It Depends”. Allow me, nevertheless to hypothesize as to how vendors can dramatically increase the probability of success; success defined as the service experiencing accelerated growth that in the long term (years) is reflected in a material (40-50%?) market share:

“Independently of uniqueness, technology prowess or actual stand alone benefits, the likelihood of product success is highly correlated to its ability to embed into the current or desired recruitment workflow”.

For argument sake, let me pick on video interviewing; I know there are different angles and features that make video interviewing offerings vary, but please give me some latitude on this. I have heard from detractors who believe this service is simply not helpful, as well as people who have relayed interesting case studies.
The more thought vendors put into how their technology will improve the recruiting process, the higher the probability that the technology’s benefits will clearly and quickly show. I believe that as a vendor, you can  increase the chances of your solution embedding into the current recruitment workflow by:

  • Understanding  your (potential) client’s business, their specialties, the niche segments on how they make their money
  • Getting a view on how your customers’s workflows are evolving, what are their priorities and pain points
  • Draw the most comprehensive view of your customer’s state of technology. This is the ground where you want to plant your system.
  • Demonstrate in practical terms how your service quickly blends into your recruiter’s processes, whether it is via a web service, common log-ins, frames (which have evolved a lot since the rise of social media sites), etc.
  • Show the immediate and longer term benefits of your technology to the overall process. Remember to worry less about features and focus on the tangible up-sides

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