When building a business case for modernization, staffing firms often find themselves in a conundrum. Is it better to stick with the devil you know—legacy technology that’s been cobbled together and customized to the nth degree—or to forge into the unknown in search of tech-fueled business optimization? 

Keep up or catch up

Workforce buyer and talent trends give us a glimpse into the demands your audiences will put upon your agency as you seek out the best staffing company software for your needs. 

The consolidation of staffing suppliers is the most used workforce strategy among enterprise firms, says Staffing Industry Analysts, with 61% already taking the initiative to cut down and another 35% planning to do so in the next few years. And companies that fail to provide an engaging candidate experience will find their employer brand—and talent pipeline—rapidly eroding. 

To stand out in a crowded market, your staffing tech stack must not only uncover operational efficiencies but also deliver innovation and cultural differentiation. Is your staffing company software up to the task? 

The telltale signs of legacy tech risk

The damaging effects of overly rigid, outdated, and cobbled-together tech stacks build up over time. Just a few include: 

  • Unstable technology: Every update breaks some feature or functionality and you never know what it will be
  • Undue risk: Poorly vetted third-party APIs expose your operations to privacy, security, and reliability issues 
  • Unable to change: Entrenched code and inflationary integrations limit your flexibility, boxing you in with high barriers to change 

Don’t jump out of the frying pan right into the fire

When evaluating a platform rollout or change, automation and digitization are just the tip of the iceberg. Staffing companies ready to level up must contend with a wide selection of software vendors, all making claims that their tech is “future proof.” 

But as you are sitting in demos, you start to think “sure it looks good now, but what’s it like to use this every day? What if my recruiters hate it? What if it breaks every time they release an update?” 

How to spot bad legacy staffing software before you buy it

Since it’s not always obvious at first glance what might come back and bite you later, here are some tips to help you avoid investing in software that will contribute to unwieldy technical debt. At Senegal Software, we’re always fully transparent about our development and support processes, and we love it when potential customers want to get into the nitty gritty. 

1. Ask lots of questions about third-party integrations

Software vendors integrate with third-party providers to enhance functionality. However, when your staffing software platform is loaded up with third-party APIs, it starts to hurt the overall user experience and makes it less stable.. 

It can also dramatically increase your cost per user, as you’re obligated to pay for additional licenses to get all the features you want. For example, if your staffing CRM or platform integrates with DocuSign, you usually end up paying for a Docusign license as well. 

Questions to ask: 

  • How many APIs do you use? 
  • Why do you integrate with some providers but not others? 
  • Which of your functions were built in-house vs. developed by a third party?
  • How do you vet third-party providers? 

2. Learn how the platform was built and what keeps it running behind the scenes. 

You can tell a lot about how secure and stable a software platform is by looking “under the hood” to see what’s holding it all together. The key here is to avoid buying any staffing tech that needs yarn and chewing gum to keep it going. 

Questions to ask: 

  • How much of the functionalities in your platform were developed in-house vs added by acquiring another software company? 
  • Where are your servers? Are they co-located?
  • How often do you release updates on your software? 
  • What is the typical percentage increase for service calls after you release a new update?

3. Find out what customer service is really like with potential staffing software partners. 

During the sales process, everyone claims their customer service is amazing and a top priority. But we all know the reality is different. Is the customer service email account a black hole? Is it impossible to find a live human to solve your problems? Good customer service is hard to verify before you’ve signed a contract and gotten to experience it first-hand. 

Here are a few tips on how to pressure test a staffing CRM, ATS, or full lifecycle platform vendors’ customer service function without already being a customer:

  • Ask for a demo of how their customer service works and what their average resolution time is. 
  • Ask if they have in-app chat for customer service and what ticketing system they use. 
  • Look at review sites like TrustPilot and at what current and former clients say about their customer service. While you’re at it, check out our customer reviews
  • Reach out to your contacts in the staffing industry and ask for their opinion on the vendor you’re considering.

Don’t fall into the legacy staffing tech trap

Whether you’re taking the first leap from Excel or you’re looking to change or optimize your existing staffing software tech stack, you don’t want to get stuck with software that’s destined to leave a bad legacy. 

At Senegal Software, we’re working hard to become the only core staffing software you’ll need, with a powerful core built on full lifecycle integration, configuration, and built-in functionality. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A structured evaluation process gets you off on the right start in finding tech built around meeting your needs, tech like we’re building and delivering today.

If you want to learn more about this topic or talk more broadly about your tech strategy for your staffing business, contact us. We’d love to hear from you.

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