Self-developed software vs standard software in recruitment; a comment
Many companies ask themselves the question whether to use a proven external e-recruitment software or to develop an own applicant tracking system (ATS). An own proprietary development would then obviously be tailor-made. Though you have to be aware whether your know-how and resources are big enough for this.
Do not underestimate cost and complexity
Many of those who prefer a self-made solution underestimate the cost of development and the arising complexity of the project. The expenditure of time can rarely be captured in days or weeks but rather in months. Concerning the workload you have to calculate not only the IT specialist(s) but probably also a dedicated full-time project manager and maybe other process participants who are acquainted with the HR processes and are able to specify them for development. The timeline and the quality of the result are usually hard to plan ahead.
Once there is a solution you have to consider maintenance and further development to follow the technological evolution which blocks further ressources. Additionally you have to calculate the training of your employees who will use the tool and their potential needs for changes. The scalability of the application will soon be challenged when the company grows or the number of applicants rises.
Standard software brings many advantages
The acquisition of standard software, e.g. an ATS to cover their own e-recruitment processes, is an interesting alternative for those companies who do not employ a whole team of IT developers in house. The advantages are easily visible:
- The system is ready to use immediately or after a short time only. A longer preparation phase is rarely necessary.
- The cost of implementation and the thereby connected risks are much smaller than with self-developed software. Usually there are pre-installation costs for an eventual migration of data and employee trainings, afterwards you face the monthly license fees. Nowadays most of the systems are monthly cancellable and the financial risk is low.
- Every provider checks their applicant tracking software before they bring it to the market. Additionally you can get opinions and first impressions of the software by talking to reference customers.
- Regular updates and improvements are done by the software provider and do not have to be calculated at the cost side. The systems are further developed following the needs of the market.
- If the customer chooses a SaaS model he does not even have to bear the cost for their own server architecture. The hosting and data security are then under the responsibility of the provider.
According to our opinion you should not only consider the cost factor but also the long-term benefits for the company. Existing field-tested solutions offer a high flexibility for covering internal processes. Keep in mind that when complexity rises self-developed software needs more resources which then possibly have to be taken from the core business. What do you think? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.