Conducting feature comparisons is an important step in any talent software evaluation process. But experienced buyers not only keep their checklist of features, they also ensure they select software that will grow and adapt with them in an ever-changing recruiting environment.
How do you know for certain your next recruiting software will evolve with your needs? By using a request for proposal (RFP) to evaluate your short list of providers. Here’s what a software RFP is, how to use one during your selection process, and an RFP template to help you get started.
What is a Recruiting Software RFP?
Recruiting software selection is no easy task, since it’s software that the whole company will use. After all, hiring is a collaborative process requiring many stakeholders to use and engage with the system. A recruiting RFP ensures you choose a software that meets your criteria, as well as the criteria of many other teams across the organization, from integrations to security and compliance requirements. In short, an RFP should cover the requirements that matter most to your team.
What requirements to include in a Recruiting Software RFP?
There is no shortage of items to evaluate when researching the best solution for your company, but our framework of evaluation tips and instructions is a good place to start.
1) Focus on results when building your recruiting RFP
Why are you evaluating new software? To do more with limited resources? To improve integrations with other software that you use? Never get hung up on one feature. Instead, focus on how features and usability come together to help you move the needle on your hiring goals.
Core areas to evaluate for results include:
- Reporting capabilities
- Automation features and services
- Support you’ll receive to reach your goals
2) Remember other key stakeholders in the recruiting and HR process
Since hiring is so collaborative, it’s important to evaluate how engaged your company is with your existing recruiting software. Are hiring managers able to see metrics and can you forecast for your company to reach future hiring goals? Ensuring you have software that allows you to export data into other systems and pivot results when necessary will ensure you’re set up to present regularly on hiring results.
Core areas to evaluate for usability include:
- Job management
3) Get proof points
Dig deep and understand what metrics your recruiting team needs to move to be successful. Is it an ability to source top talent internally instead of outsourcing too much to agencies? Is it the ability to nurture quality talent to ensure they come to work for you? Personalizing your recruiting approach can make a big difference. Ensure you have a custom solution that’s tailored to your growth needs.
Core areas to evaluate for proof points include:
- Candidate management
- Security and compliance requirements
Sample ATS + CRM RFP questions for talent acquisition
Candidate Management Question To Ask
- Candidate Relationship Management: Ensure there is an easy way to see all candidates and track and filter candidates by stage, source, and archive reason. The better you can note, the more efficient your team can pivot and source strong talent when needed.
- Sourcing & Nurturing: Requiring an ATS and CRM in one ensures you are set up to hire and recruit all in one system. Recent data shows that 71% of recruiters are looking for an all-in-one solution after COVID-19. Look at browser extensions and email marketing options in every solution you research.
- Applicant Tracking: Can you clearly see where applicants are coming from? Make sure you’re able to prevent duplicate records and take bulk actions like changing candidate stage, owner, and more for multiple candidates at once.
- Internal Mobility: Look for out-of-the-box, private career site functionality that requires employee authentication to access, as well as automatic tracking of internal applicants for reporting purposes.
- Referrals: Can you make it as easy as possible for employees to submit referrals with a browser extension, referral links for social media, and more? Look for automation and easy tracking.
- Scheduling: The less time you have to spend juggling calendars, the better. Self-scheduling features, email templates, time zone support, and interview RSVPs are the bare minimum.
- Interviewing: Look for a dedicated, configurable pipeline to manage each stage of the interview process, as well as the ability to build interview kits and serve them to interviewers. Bonus if you can hide feedback until all interviewers submit to prevent bias.
- Offer Management: With more and more interviewing done remotely, be sure your recruiting software integrates with electronic signature providers. Look for configurable, multi-step workflows that automatically route offer letters through your process.
Job Management Question Topics
- Requisition Management: Requisition is such a collaborative process with your hiring managers, so make sure they’re set up for success with customizable requisition forms and workflows, as well as built-in reporting to help track headcount goals.
- Job Advertising: Your recruiting software should empower you to take the guesswork out of which job boards are performing strongest. Look for posting templates, approval workflows, and one-click job description approvals via email.
- Agency Portal: Make it easy for your talent team to work with outside agencies with an out-of-the-box portal for approved agencies to submit candidates for review. You should also be able to automatically track agency submissions, including dates and times.
- Career Site: Ensure your career site makes the most impact with a customizable page hosted by your recruiting software. Supported features should include single page application, apply with LinkedIn, custom success page, and tracking pixels.
Reporting Requirement Question Topics
- Reporting: The basics shouldn’t be basic. Look for pre-built reports with interactive visuals on key metrics, all in a single view, including forecast metrics, benchmarks, and sourcing. Reports should be easy to export and save.
- Advanced Analytics: If your team needs to go deep, make sure you can customize reports with calculations, fields, and alerts in addition to the built-in reporting. Also look for analyst services and sync to business intelligence systems like Domo, Tableau, etc.
Integration and Automation Requirement Questions to Ask
- Integrations: Look for integrations with the tools you use most across your hiring process. If the recruiting software doesn’t offer it pre-built, check for the ability to create custom integrations for any tool with an open API.
- Automation & Intelligence: Automation is the backbone of 21st-century talent acquisition. Scrutinize how the recruiting software you’re considering uses automation at each stage of the hiring funnel to speed up repetitive tasks and free up your team’s time.
- API: You can’t make the switch to a new recruiting software without the support of your development team. Make sure your top choices have developer tools to generate, permission, and manage API credentials for custom integrations.
Security and Compliance Requirement Questions
- Security: The last thing you want is for your company to make the news for a security breach. Ensure you can keep candidates’ data safe with role-based access controls, permission for sensitive data, single sign on, encryption, SOC 2 Compliance, and more.
- Compliance: Compliance is critical for all company sizes, but especially if you’re recruiting globally. Look for GDPR compliance, EEO/OFCCP compliance, data anonymization, and features like data protection that can help you stay compliant.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI): Your recruiting software is a critical tool for hitting DEI goals. Ensure you’ve got the features you need, such as diversity surveys, interview feedback visibility, language localization, and diversity reports.
Services and Support RFP Requirements
- Professional Services: Your relationship with your recruiting software provider should be a true partnership. Know what to expect during implementation with details about methodology, data migration, track record, and implementation support.
- Customer Support: The right recruiting software will continue to support your company as you grow. Make sure you’re familiar with customer support details such as response time SLAs, real time status monitoring and notifications, and feature roll out plans.
- Customer Success: Will the software provider meet with you on a regular basis to review business impact? Make sure you get ongoing support, implementation tune-ups, and customer success features like access to solutions architecture consultations.
Free ATS + CRM RFP template
For a complete ATS and CRM all-in-one RFP template, please use Lever’s RFP excel template available for download here.