A recent report from Techworld showed that an ever increasing number of HR departments are now using internet-based SaaS systems (Software as a Service) – as opposed to hosting software themselves.
For many people in HR, the fact that you don’t need to involve IT functions in specifying your needs and managing the implementation, is a major blessing in itself.
More importantly, there are many cost advantages (direct and indirect) to having a SaaS solution in place and increasingly we are seeing this with HR Systems, Applicant Tracking Systems, Payroll Systems etc.
However, Techworld also published some research about three years ago that showed that the rate of adoption of technology in HR in the UK was far greater than it was in Germany. The main reason given for this was that the UK was more closely tied to USA vendors and didn’t have language barriers and localisation issues to worry about.
So, with the increasing prevalence of HR systems being adopted, HR Aspects Magazine asked whether there are lessons to be learned.
We spoke to Chris Keeling, Managing Director and founder of Jobtrain Solutions. Jobtrain provide Applicant Tracking Systems across the UK and overseas – but are based out of their head office in Knutsford, North West England.
Chris commented “The good news for the continued deployment of SaaS in Britain is that there is now a really vibrant base of UK providers who are innovative and understanding of the UK market”.
Chris continued to explain that it can be frustrating for UK vendors to lose out to the US big players when there are clear issues with how their systems are adapted – or not – for the UK market.
He added: “A key area that users do not always take into account, is the lack of influence that they end up having over the direction of development and the changes that they want to see to their own system”.
Having your software development team ‘close to home’ can be critical to your project’s success.
This may seem obvious to those of us who have experience with recruitment software. Even if knowledge of recruitment is fairly thin, I think we would all understand the difficulties of dealing with a supplier who has an office based in San Francisco, support in the Pacific Rim and operating in time zones some seven hours or more difference to the UK.
We asked Chris about this issue and he told us: “Time zones can be a real problem. If support and development are distanced from the customer then it can easily take up to 24 hours before the supplier even sees the problem, let alone starts to tackle it.
That is no good when a client has a resourcing team geared up to hit deadlines. We keep all of our system developers, account managers and support team in the same building here in Cheshire”.
“We think it helps our internal communication and also how responsive we can be to our client needs and we have found that this has enabled us to have a positive effect on their recruitment programme”.
Therefore if you are in an HR department that is looking to acquire some new software to support your business activity, then it may be worth considering where you really need to go for help.