BrightMove’s Latest ATS Version Offers Lots for Little

Brightmove logoIn the world of recruiting technology, there’s not much difference in the core functions of one ATS from another. All of them need to receive, parse, store, track, and retrieve candidate information. If they can’t do that much, use Excel and a filing cabinet.

So where these systems differ is in how well, how fast they perform these functions and how easy they make it on recruiters and hiring managers to use them. Then come the features everyone uses like job req approvals, posting, redistribution, candidate ranking, EEO tracking, and the features some people use like calendaring and CRM for relationship building, talent pool creation, third-party vendor integration for background checking and assessments and so on.

In 2010, even the free ATS’s (think MrTed’s SmartRecruiters or Zoho Recruit) offer many or most of those features. So why would anyone pay for a recruiting management system?

I can think of a few. And so has BrightMove, which last month released the latest version of its ATS. The company doesn’t attract a whole lot of attention, probably because it’s been focused on staffing and on the smaller end of the corporate market.

Don’t let that fool you into thinking BrightMove isn’t right on top of things. The new release is heavy into social media, offers a comfortable level of work process customization, and emphasizes analytics to a degree that rivals that of enterprise systems. The other front-of-the-class features include a background prospecting tool for staffing and RPO firms that matches hot prospects to advertised jobs on corporate sites and on-click candidate research.

BrightMove screen shotI took an hour-long demo Friday with BrightMove founder and CEO Dave Webb, and COO Mike Brandt, who drove. There was plenty to like about the new version and plenty of reasons for even a small shop to come up with the modest monthly fee. (As with all SaaS HR technology, pricing is per user and varies. But figure on around $100 a month with discounts for volume and contracts.)

But what especially impressed me were the analytics. I can’t imagine any recruiting operation that wouldn’t benefit from knowing which source provided the most number of placed candidates. Then layer on the cost of acquiring those candidates and compare it to all the other sources.

Useful? I think so. Even more though would be to do that same analysis by candidate skills. In the first analysis, I would expect Monster and CareerBuilder to yield the greatest number of candidates and placements. That’s just a function of their reach. But let me narrow that down to specific skills and I might just find that referrals from other placed candidates is an even better bet.

“We really opened this up, ” Brandt said. Not every manager or agency owner is going to need or want to do the same kind of deep diving into the data that I might (I actually find it fun), but BrightMove makes it possible for them to do as much as they need. As Brandt said, analyzing the data in various ways makes it possible to “come up with a new way” of focusing the business.

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“This is where we really feel like, man … we can really help them make a difference in what they are doing,” Brandt added.

Were the analytics the only gee-whiz feature, BrightMove would certainly be worth trying out, especially since you can do that for free without giving up what you have now. However, the social media tools aren’t to be overlooked.

BrightMove has job posting and candidate research features specifically for social media. The company has correctly read the interest in reaching the denizens of those sites, even though there’s only faint evidence at this point to show social media recruiting is as effective as, say, posting to a job board. (Before you write those nasty comments, go read the Source of Hire study study just released by Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler).

Nevertheless, the service is there and it can be used for reaching passive candidates and building profiles of candidates.

Being small, BrightMove clearly is trying harder. The company brought out a version of the ATS for RPOs which it brands BrightMove Quantify. That’s the one Brandt demoed. There are also flavors for staffing and corporate recruiters.

Because it’s small and getting notice can be a challenge, BrightMove announced a couple months ago that it would credit back 25 percent of the month’s fee to any customer unhappy with the support and service they get. BrightMove has also been forming partnerships, most recently integrating TalentHook’s spidering capabilities into the ATS.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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