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Building Your Own Recruiting Software is A Fools Errand

When your leadership in your recruiting organization tell you that you’re going to be building your own recruiting software.

But it’s “proprietary” and gives us market differentiation with our logo on it, and we can resell it… “We are the experts, we can do this better”…

Those leaders will not be leading 5 years from now and they will have wasted tens of millions of dollars, a decade of opportunity cost, and will watch the majority of their recruiters walk out the door. Trust me. I have seen this happen literally hundreds of times over the the last seven years. Not one single time over seven years has it ended well.

If it were a good idea, surely there would be at least one recruiting organization who had created a revolutionary software product???

But hey, what do I know…..

What about building on top of Salesforce or another CRM

Whether you attempt to have something built by a consulting web development shop or build it entirely in-house by hiring back-end and front-end engineers and machine learning and AI engineers and data scientists, product managers, etc. conceptually either option will ultimately lead down the same path.  Building enterprise software is akin to “shaving a yak.”

That includes building sourcing automation, and candidate engagement or candidate enablement solutions.  These are core recruiting activities. My main argument is that technological innovation moves so fast in the open market that it is impossible for a recruiting agency, RPO or executive search firm to build a software product that outperforms the open marketplace. It is a fool’s errand.

Also, in my opinion building on top of an existing database is the worst possible option. Just ask Robert Half recruiters after almost a lost decade, they are still struggling with “customizing salesforce” to do what they need and they have UNLIMITED resources.  This was supposed to be the easiest option for them to get “their own custom ATS + CRM.” Now it is SUPER old and they’ve invested too much to stop now…..

A recruiting team with their own software is going to be at a major disadvantage and waste a lot of time and resources trying to maintain something that builds technical debt immediately, and doesn’t have the open market pressures to polish it on a daily basis.

The velocity of innovation in the open market moves so fast that a new product launch today is late and already falling behind.  In a modern world now with AI and machine learning sourcing solutions, can you afford to fall years behind?

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