The Devaluation of Quality

The Devaluation of Quality

13:18 11 July in Applicant Tracking Systems, Customer Service, HR Technology, Human Business, Innovation, Staffing, Technology
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Don’t Let “Commoditization” In The ATS Arena Corrode The Software’s Value

In the growing Applicant Tracking Software arena, we’ve increasingly seen software providers with not only insufficient resources to be responsive to their customers, but we’ve also seen a lack of competence in the technology. We view this as “commoditization” of the ATS business.

As a prospective buyer, you need to ask yourself a few questions and consider if you’re getting real value and real quality for your precious budget.

Do You Get What You Pay For?

It’s not an age-old maxim for nothing. Pricing models in the ATS business have been cheapened to undercut competition as the field grows and more new products are brought to market. But commodity-style products rarely deliver better value, and often come with “hidden costs” not unlike the “bait & switch” marketing tactics used to draw in buyers with promises of lower prices.

A low-end “best” deal is not necessarily the deal you want. Price negotiation can corrode value (do you really think a customer who’s paying a too-good-to-be-true price for a service is getting the same kind of care and attention?). What’s of ultimate importance is that you’re working with reputable, more experienced providers who understand your needs inside and out.

In other words, in the long run, the least expensive solution is usually not the most cost-effective one.

Consultant or Commodity?

An ideal software service provider should act as a business partner or consultant rather than a mere provider of a product.

What you need is a company who offers you confidence that your requirements will be met and your concerns considered. Just as importantly, you want people who will work with you on product improvement and development before you’re forced to seek out alternatives. A “commodity” provider just doesn’t have the insights or agility—not to mention skills, time and inclination—to do that.

Are You Using it, or Losing it?

ATS technology is dynamic and evolving—and simply doesn’t work without motivated users. User adoption and ongoing education as upgrades are rolled out are critical to its success. No matter how great the software is, If your people aren’t USING the software to the full extent of its functionality, you may find yourself in a counterproductive “garbage in/ garbage out” scenario.

Smaller, more intuitive and focused providers can ensure your users are taking full advantage of your software’s capabilities and advances.

Had Enough of the RFP Game?

With companies going “fishing” through RFPs with strictly the lowest price in mind, the process becomes severely compromised—and the RFP itself is often a real waste of everyone’s time. Overall value through the strength of capabilities and customer care trumps a small price tag every time.

The “commoditization” problem has long been apparent in the ATS marketplace. You owe it to yourself and your company to make sure you’re getting maximum value—and excellent service—from your provider.

 

Photo courtesy of Sustainable Economies Law Center.

Doug Coull

dfc@aps2k.com

Doug Coull is the founder and CEO of APS, Inc., maker of SmartSearch talent acquisition and staffing management software. Doug founded APS in 1986 after a successful management career in the contract engineering industry. Under Doug’s leadership and unique perspective on the development and user adoption of software and technology, APS pioneered the resume scanning based system as a new approach to digital candidate management. In the ensuing years, APS continues to reign as one of the industry’s most innovative software developers in the field of HR technology. APS currently services customers on five continents, serving both corporate human resources, as well as the staffing industry. Doug attended Augustana College and the University of Minnesota. He’s the father of two sons and is an avid automobile enthusiast. Doug lives in North San Diego County, California.

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