Software as a Service Gives Recruitment Agencies an Online Edge

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Recruitment agencies looking to strengthen their online presence should consider a Software as a Service solution (SaaS), as online candidates expectations become increasingly costly to fulfill through bespoke development alone.

With the emergence of global job boards such as JobServe and Monster, it has become increasingly difficult for small and medium recruitment agencies to keep up with the competition and drive traffic to their own sites. As candidates become more sophisticated and more features are required, having your website developed or upgraded by hiring a web consultancy is becoming progressively more expensive.

Users have come to expect fresh content, frequent job postings and a certain level of interaction provided for example by discussion forums, regardless of the website they are browsing. So, is it all lost for smaller agencies? Not according to the companies providing Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to a growing number of SMBs.

SiteJourney Ltd (http://www.sitejourney.com) is so far the only UK provider delivering SaaS-enabled recruitment websites. SiteJourney's MD, Stephan Tual, thinks the trend toward SaaS adoption is accelerating: "Software as a Service is a no-brainer for recruitment agencies - the provider covers the site design costs and the agencies can leverage features they would otherwise never have been able to raise the budget for. There is no need for capital investment, no long term tie-ins, and of course all the upgrades come free of charge."

Earlier this year, industry experts at the SaaSCon conference estimated that the Software as a Service market would grow an average of 20 percent per year until at least 2010. While speakers often referred to Salesforce.com as the ultimate example of a successful SaaS company, even they appeared surprised at the diversity of markets in which SaaS is gaining traction: procurement (Ariba), timesheets (Journyx), project management (BaseCamp) and now recruitment with SiteJourney.

The features that come built-in the system sometimes even surpass those of a packaged recruitment software, including search engine optimization, full text resume search, auto expiration of vacancies, client access and candidate reminder alerts via either SMS or email. Because your internal recruitment software becomes tied-in your website front end, company-wide vacancies and application statistics are accessible at the click of a button.

The question is why did it take so long for SaaS to reach the shores of the website design industry. SaaS is native to the web, and the commercial Internet has slowly evolved from a group of static web brochures to become a collection of mini-web applications which often offer similar - if not identical - feature sets. Content management system, online recruitment tools, career management and discussion forums: agencies all too often hire web development companies to reinvent the wheel every time.

SaaS promises to change all this. It provides businesses with a rich set of enterprise-level features at a significantly lowered cost of entry. There is no need for the client to invest in hardware, software licenses, security, backup or networking. There is often also little need for in-house training because of the fast, now ubiquitous web GUI interfaces. It's hardly surprising the lower cost of ownership in itself is often enough for SMBs to switch to a SaaS solution.

SaaS also shields agencies from the upgrade treadmill, both in terms of hardware and software. Traditional websites need to be upgraded every three years or so just to keep up with the constantly evolving web technologies and expectations from a more sophisticated public. SaaS websites feature sets, on the other hand, are often updated on a monthly basis and at no extra cost to the client.

The SaaS revolution is heating up, and 2007 will see it on a new high, and in new markets. Can bespoke web development survive the onslaught? One thing is sure, if companies like SiteJourney have it their way, content providers such as Monster and JobServe could soon have some unanticipated competition from agile agencies gaining access to previously unaffordable technology

Key Features for Recruitment Firms:

Content management system

Create search-engine friendly content via a Word™- like editor, including multimedia and online videos. Easily build an authoritative site that will be favoured by search engine for its rich content and community-oriented features

Statistics and Google Analytics integration

Track where your users are coming from and quickly adapt your content to focus your marketing efforts on your own target markets. Analyse page navigation and modify your site structure in real time to reflect your visitor's preferences

Candidate registration, indexing, tracking and search

Engage your visitors to apply for vacancies and progressively edit their online profile. Track their applications via an easy to use web-based interface. Quickly search through thousands of resumes indexed in any format, including .pdf, .doc and .rtf.

Vacancy database administration via a web-based interface

Manage your vacancies at your convenience and reach new markets by easily adding and categorizing vacancies, specifying as much or as little information needed, such as title, description, salary range, location and meta-keywords

Auto expiration of vacancies after x days

Automatically expire jobs after a certain time period.

Candidate forums and community builder

Add a multitude of community-oriented features to your site at the click of a button. Create a 'sticky' online presence by adding forums, news comments, RSS feed syndication.

Job notifications via either SMS or email

Automatically let your users know of new vacations by letting subscribe to SMS or email notifications. Visitors can customize their notification preference and industry sectors.

Notes to editors:

About the company:

Headquartered in London, SiteJourney (http://www.sitejourney.com/) is the leading UK provider of Software as a Service (SaaS) enabled web applications. SiteJourney's unique SaaS delivery model where the division between web design, licensing and hosting costs is removed has helped dozens of SMBs gain access to web technologies previously beyond their reach. Their diverse portfolio includes the recruitment industry, consultancies, sports clubs, as well as British landmarks such the London Cutty Sark.

Existing websites can easily be upgraded to SiteJourney, allowing them to leverage a build-in content management system, ecommerce solution powered by Paypal™, extensive online recruitment tools and discussion forums.

SiteJourney's executive team is headed by Stephan Tual, MD, and Justin Dean, Director. Over the course of his career, Stephan Tual provided consulting services for over 150 prestigious companies, including BT OpenWorld, Cable & Wireless, Churchill Insurance, GMTV, the Royal Air Force and the Department of Defence. Justin Dean brings with him 15 years of management experience in the IT sector, serving as a Director for IT services firms specializing in high capacity global networks and fully redundant dot com infrastructure.

Contact:

16 City Business Centre

Lower Road

London

SE16 2XB

Tel: +44 (0) 207 394 3870

Fax: +44 (0) 207 394 3879

For additional information including logos and screenshots, please visit SiteJourney's website available at http://www.sitejourney.com/

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