Look around you. Life can be a comedy of errors, as well as a good boost of comedic relief.

What does this have to do with Human Resources? With staffing? With recruiting? In short, everything! Recruiting and technology are bedfellows… an undeniable fact of the 21st century. Social media, job boards, job aggregators, resume banks, and mobile have altered our industry forever through the use of technology, but sometimes, I just want to stand up and say, “It’s the same face, doesn’t anybody notice?”

Then The Phone Rings

How many times, have you been contacted by a savvy salesperson to be told there’s a new “greatest thing” which just hit the market and you need to have it? If you’re like me, sometimes it feelsHR teams hire smarter with smartsearch. like a feedback loop in my ears. As a CTO of a leading SaaS provider of Human Resource and staffing solutions, I could be tarred and feathered for suggesting this, but every new trend is really not new and sometimes, it doesn’t live up to the hype. Likewise, trends in recruiting come and go, and then come back again with slightly new packaging. Fifteen years ago, it was “Artificial Intelligence,” now it’s “Semantic Search.”

Further, even if the hype is “all that,” ask before you sign-up for anything new. But, who should you ask? Start with your current vendors. Your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a source you should be able to trust. You do trust them, right? If not, perhaps it’s time for a new system, but that’s another conversation. In the instance of when a good working relationship exists, your ATS provider should serve as a great resource for information. I can’t count how many times a client has called up to say, “I signed up for this service,” only to hear their disappointment when I remind them they already have this feature available for free. If only they had checked with us first. Point-in-case. One client signed up for a very expensive mobile-site development project. He had forgotten our many emails and announcements regarding the no-cost or low-cost mobile options for career centers which they already had, but didn’t use. Worse still, a few clients purchased products or services that didn’t come close to what was promised by the vendor.

Spread The Love

As a CTO, I have the advantage of talking to thousands of recruiters and hundreds of companies, learning what works and what does not work for them. I enjoy sharing what I have learned with anyone who cares. It makes my day when a client calls and asks, “Before I sign up with this new wonder-product, what do you think?” Regardless of whom your vendor is, I’m guessing they will be eager to share their hard-earned knowledge with you. But human nature being what it is always making sure you follow the money. If they recommend a product, ask this question, “Do you get a finder’s fee or commission if I sign up with this other company you are recommending?” If they do, that doesn’t mean they’re not being truthful, but it is good to know if they benefit from your choice. Being a SaaS company, my organization’s policy is to decline finder-fees. We only recommend companies and services we believe in.

So, next time you’re considering purchasing HR software, I recommend that you ask your vendors for their input before you make that plunge into the next big thing. Most people love to share their knowledge and hopefully, you have vendors who treat you more like a partner than a source of income.