Why recruitment software needs to be user-friendly
One day we had a little surprise in our mailbox. Capterra told us that we’d made it to the top 10 of their Top 20 Most User-friendly ATS (Applicant Tracking Software)!
This means a lot. Not only because Capterra recognizes us! But also because they recognize us for what we’re aiming for — “user-friendly.”
Most of the on-going competitions are about having killer features, or who can get their hands on the hottest technology. Why do we care about “user-friendly”?
Back in the days, we were knee-deep in the hiring chaos. We desperately needed some sort of structure around this hiring thing. We found a bunch of software, but couldn’t figure out any of them. They were too expensive, or too hard to use (imagine working with computers in the 90s). So we opted for building our own recruitment software. (With hindsight, it’s expensive and hard on our side. But it’s all worth it. And it’s another story for another time). We decided early on that we would make Recruitee all about “user-friendly.” Because we, as the first users of Recruitee, as well as the users later on, are…
Everyone who has hired can feel the pressure. “Where is that goddamn file?” “The interview is today?” “Who has emailed that candidate?” “What did they say again?” The constant switching between mailboxes/calendars/folders/spreadsheets is killing. A ridiculous amount of your time is spent on retrieving scattered information. Ending this nightmare was the first thing we did. The solution is overviews — one overview for every section in Recruitee. Before you dive into the details, you have a clear picture of what’s going on. When you dive into the details, you can access every data within three clicks. No time is wasted on finding the information, it’s well spent on processing the information.
Living in the 21st century.
We’re living in the age of touch screen, intuitive design, and clean aesthetics. Yet, there is software that looks like computer interface in the 90s. It even requires training before you can click on anything! Frankly, we’re shocked. We remind each other every day that no matter how complicated Recruitee would become, we are going to make it intuitive. Clean interface, useful tooltips. As soon as users are in the software’s environment, they know where to go, and what to do. Not spending 30 minutes finding a button, and definitely not doing that after a week of training.
We might have the same problem with hiring, but our context and approaches are different. Can you imagine using software that doesn’t allow you to adjust to your own hiring workflow? No. That’s bad. We fix this by making many things customizable in Recruitee: from careers sites, hiring workflow, screening questions, to hiring roles. It’s a tightrope between enough flexibility and too much flexibility. How do we find the sweet spot? We talk with users, early and often. We spot the behavioral patterns and decide where the line should be. Catering to individuals’ hiring needs is a co-creation process, not a dictation of how to hire.
Users hire in teams, with each team member plays different hiring roles throughout the process. Recruitment software must be something everybody can work together with, from a junior to a CEO. The silver bullet? Develop every feature from a beginner’s angle. Feedback from new users is integrated into each development sprint. Each pixel must be so simple that users can understand at a glance, not having to contact their tech department to decipher the software every time they want to do anything.
Users want to have their hiring problem solved. End of story. Our features are only valid as long as users use them. Once we realized this, there is no going back. We dodge the chase after fads in recruitment software development. Again, by talking with users daily, we assess the needs for key features and focus on making them happen. Users like it that their problems are being heard and worked on. We like it that Recruitee becomes more useful after each update. It’s the goal of building the software, after all. Not because it’s cool and shiny, but because it helps us all hire better.
Users want to have their problem solved. Together with other problems connected to that problem. That means outside the software, and into everything around it. So we create plenty of resources for hiring, write about ways to improve your hiring, along with other content aiming to help you hire better. For example, this video:
“Recruitment software needs to be user-friendly” is a straightforward common sense. But it often becomes secondary to feature requests. Thanks Capterra for putting the spotlight on user-friendliness again! Let us all remember our starting point, and why we need recruitment software, at all.
Originally published at recruitee.com on July 27, 2016.