10 questions to help you choose the best back-office technology for your contractor management agency.
Back-office support is critical to the smooth running of your recruitment business. When comparing different systems, ask the following questions to ensure you find one that fulfils all your needs.
Question 1: Does it come with IT support?
A system that has back-up support in the rare instance that something ‘goes wrong’ is a much better option than one without. The support team will know what integrations you have and will likely have helped you choose the best ones for your needs, so they will much more quickly and easily be able to sort out any glitches. Choose a provider that believes their reputation hinges on the seamless running of what they put in place: in essence, your success is their success.
Question 2: Is it flexible and scalable?
A solution that is as bespoke as possible means you won’t be paying for features you may never use. If you land several new clients simultaneously, each with major contracts to fill, can the system scale easily?
Whatever sales pitches come your way, make sure you compare apples with apples.
Question 3: Is it specialist enough?
Not all backends are the same. As a recruiter, look for a system that incorporates essential functions like onboarding, contracts, timesheets, invoicing, payroll and reporting. Find out if the provider has other clients in the same niche as you – this is a solid indicator that they will understand your needs and not give you a general solution.
Question 4: Is it easy to use?
The best systems are designed ‘intuitively’ so they’re simple to understand and use because the steps and design are in a logical sequence. The more quickly you can grasp how it functions, the more efficiently you can begin working. An efficient backend solution will reduce your workload, not add steps.
Question 5: How is your data stored?
The choice is generally cloud-based or ‘on prem’, which means on your premises via your own computers and servers. The ‘cloud’ means off your premises via a remote third-party server. Cloud-based solutions offer you the ability to work remotely and offer considerable savings because you don’t have to buy extra hardware.
Question 6: Is it fully integrated?
An integrated system means that all different components can communicate seamlessly with one another via APIs (or ‘application programming interface: essentially, a special piece of code that lets different programs ‘talk to’ and ‘understand’ each other). Without integration, you may have programs that run independently but can’t pull data into each other, meaning you may have to, for example, spend time inputting data into each system.
A good support team will not only be able to ensure your back-office tech is fully integrated but they will also be able to advise you what existing software will work and what will not. If you have old or ‘legacy’ software already, be sure to tell your consulting SaaS team. If you’re just starting your recruitment company, it’s best to ask for a consultation before you buy any programs yourself: this way, you don’t waste money on a program that isn’t compatible with what you really need.
Question 7: How secure is it?
As a recruiter, you’ll be dealing with confidential and sensitive information. Ask your provider how secure your data will be in this system and how they handle any breaches or lost data.
Question 8: How stable is it?
A system that is full of glitches, stops for long periods of time for updates or needs regular maintenance will be frustrating and impinge on your ability to work efficiently. Consider how long your provider has been in business, how many long-standing clients they have and what their overall reputation is: if they have longevity, they likely provide a dependable service.
Question 9: Is it affordable?
SaaS providers (software as a service, in which you pay a monthly, quarterly or annual premium for access to a collection of integrated programs) are often more cost-effective than a DIY solution in which you buy, install and troubleshoot various unintegrated computer programs yourself. Furthermore, a good provider will ensure that you are not ‘over serviced’ or paying for functionality that you don’t need and never use.
Question 10: Does it offer a unified working environment?
The best systems allow your staff to work as individuals but also as a team. Ensure that granting access to the system is easy and that staff can use what they need without complicated permissions but without compromising security.