Tools Tools Tools!

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Everyone wants to have the best tools for their teams. 

From recruitment marketing to applicant tracking systems, and from social search to employee engagement, there’s a tool for everything in the Human Resources tech landscape.

In fact, last fall, over 800 different companies exhibited unique products at the annual HR Tech Conference in Chicago and those exhibitors still barely scratch the surface of all of the tools available. 

It can be tempting to spend all day, every day simply evaluating the latest, cool tools. That isn’t tenable as a long term solution though, and it’s important to make your way through this process methodically.

I’ve been right there, and I’m hoping that my experience can help you out.

Here are 4 things to think about as you evaluate and add HR tools to your process.

1. The most important thing going in is to know your process and your problems.

Take time to map out the steps of your recruiting system and figure out what currently works for you and your team and where a new tool would fit in. It’s important to have an up-to-date picture of what tools you already have access to, how they fit together, and where something new might add value.

As the oracle at Delphi said, “Know thyself.” Know what your process is, what integrations you need, and what business problems need to be solved. Don’t waste your time with a demonstration for something that you don’t actually need.

2. Find the tools

I recommend following social channels or blogs like EREmedia and RecruitingDaily. TalentTech Labs also releases a Talent Acquisition Technology Ecosystem quarterly, and they provide comprehensive overviews of almost every tool on the market.

Focus on tools that will fill in your gaps and do your research from there. Then, use tools like G2Crowd and CompareMatch to compare tools and narrow down what you the tools you actually want to take the time to demo. That’s right – there are tools to pick the best tools!

3. Demo the tools!

This is the fun part. Schedule a demo with a salesperson, but be prepared going into the call with things you need to know.

For example, I recently evaluated several talent aggregators, including Entelo, HiringSolved, AmazingHiring, Aevy, Connectifier, Hiretual, GetTalent, and HumanPredictions – tools that search the open web to find candidates, then aggregate them in a user-friendly, searchable database.

In addition to basic information about pricing and licensing, it’s important to know exactly what you’ll get out of a new tool.

Here are the things I needed to know when I went to comparison shop for talent aggregators:

  • Where do you find your candidates?
  • How can I search your database?
  • Can I write my own Boolean string?
  • Can I filter your database by keyword, available contact information, or city?
  • How can I contact these candidates?
  • Is there a limit to how many email addresses I can access per month, and if so, is it prohibitively low?
  • Do you integrate with my Applicant Tracking System or email?
  • Can I track what I do with my own business intelligence software?
  • How cumbersome will it be for me to get information out of your system and into mine? It’s important to balance the effort of running this tool with the added value of having it.
  • How easy is it to use this tool collaboratively?
  • Does everyone who gets value out of it need to have their own license, or can you easily share information outside of it?

After I’ve answered all of these questions, I can come to the important conclusion: how does this tool add value? I already know the business problem I need to solve, and having these answers lets me determine which tool or combination of tools will work best. The next step with tools that I think will work best is to then work through a short, free or discounted trial.

4. Test it out and choose!

At Objective Paradigm, we love to test and iterate everything.

The market is absolutely flooded with tools and new products emerge almost daily. It’s difficult to keep your head above the water in this pool and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the hundreds of options that are out there. That’s why comparing tools to each other and to what our team can accomplish without them is an integral part of our tool review process.

We keep track of where we find candidates and where they end up, and have spreadsheets with notes about what we liked and didn’t like about every tool we considered – even tools we decided against using. This way, we make sure that when we commit to a new tool, we know exactly what kind of value it will add, and we’re sure that it isn’t solving a problem that we don’t actually have.

If it isn’t broken, we’re not going to fix it. If it does add value though, we won’t hesitate to make sure that we arm our team with the best HR tools on the market.


Sarah Goldberg

Sarah Goldberg, Senior Sourcing & Research Specialist at Objective Paradigm, thrives on leveraging data, research, and a little bit of magic to find the right candidates, processes, and tools for her clients. For more from Sarah and the SourceOps Team at OP, follow SourceOps – Talent Sourcing & Research.

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