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Quote of the Day

"Work and love; these are the basics. Without them there is neurosis."

- Theodor Reik

Back to the Basics, Part Three

(June 15, 2009)
Over the past two weeks, we saw the importance of utilizing HR software that focuses on Customer Service and Configurability. As our five part series "Back-to-the-Basics" continues, we will discuss the importance of Security/Speed, Ease-of-Use, & the convenience of a Single Platform. This weeks' installment concentrates on finding a platform that focuses on being both fast and responsive to your company's needs. Everyone has felt the frustration of working with slow software that "times out" and freezes in the midst of important work. The solution? Find a vendor that has proven success in being both fast & secure. Data security and overall system availability are vital components to any successful HR software system. This segment will explain what a vendor should provide to comply with these pertinent needs as well as how to find them.

Often times, a platform will rely on other third party technology partnerships that focus on data catching and delivery services or data compression and SSL off-loading tools. This basically means that an outside vendor can transform the information to pass quicker and easier than normal data transfer. These partnerships can focus on a multitude of aspects within your platform, but for the purpose of this article, we'll focus on Hosting (security) and Delivery (speed & responsiveness). When it comes to security, your vendor should provide state-of-the-art safeguards for your companies' data. Look for a vendor that offers off-site Tape Vaulting services. This ensures the data is offline and out-of-reach in order to protect against natural disasters, utility outrages, viruses, worms, internal technology failures, and human errors.

If your vendor decides to get this protection from a third-party, take a look at their track record. Are they known for their experience, security, and speed? A good platform vendor will provide this information for you. Another important security feature is the ability for each company to have their own, unique, password protected database. Essential features might include user session time-outs, auto-bumping duplicate users, e-Signature authentication, as well as field level & data export encryption (protecting information you may have entered). Not only should your network be secure, but it should be fast and responsive 24/7/365. Some attributes to look for would include support by redundant power circuits, Uninterruptible Power Supply systems, and routers that provide instant and autonomous Internet connectivity. Basically, you want a vendor that has several different back-up plans and routes to ensure the delivery of your data in a timely manner. These qualities are usually good indicators that a platform is fast, secure, and available.

If your company is functioning internationally, there might be a few additional components to consider. Look for a platform that has experience in supporting clients throughout the world. Usually these vendors will be familiar with addressing your companies needs and its' compliance requirements when dealing with international recruiting. Some noteworthy qualities might include being Safe Harbor Certified, as well as having a firm knowledge of the European Union's requirements on international data. However a vendor does it, the important thing is that proactive steps are taken to ensure the speed and reliability of the software from any location around the world.

DC Prep Case Study
DC Prep, a public Charter School dedicated to changing public education in Washington DC, had plans to expand from one school to ten in just 7 years. As they began the process they wondered: Could a Talent Platform be flexible enough to support the unique task of not only recruiting the educators, but also recruiting, registering and managing the students? In order to meet the increasing demand for an alternative to the education offered by the District's struggling public schools, DC Prep intended to expand their Charter School academic program to encompass 10 campuses across the city. This would mean extending their education program to over 3,000 preschool, elementary and middle school students over the next decade.

The challenge faced by the school's founders was how to register and accurately track future students, without taking away from the important day-to-day task of educating today's students. The pre existing process of collecting student information manually, and entering it onto Excel spread sheets was no longer viable across DC Prep's expanding campuses. This process was always slow-moving and often not the safest way to store students' private information. They needed a solution flexible enough to fill multiple grade levels in various locations, and that could report the results accurately for per-pupil funding purposes. In addition, they needed a platform that was secure enough to store important information for each of their students.

A platform stepped up to the challenge, and configured a student enrollment portal for DC Prep where families could search and apply for openings at the school's growing network of campuses by grade level and location. Twenty-four hour online access allowed families to submit enrollment data even after the school day ends, and even for school locations that weren't scheduled to open until the following school year. In a charter system where schools must accept every student that applies, a fast and secure platform ensured that no student's enrollment forms were ever lost, and that applicants could be considered on a first-come first-served basis.

About iCIMS:
iCIMS, the third-largest provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) talent acquisition solutions along with Taleo (NASDAQ: TLEO) and Kenexa (NASDAQ: KNXA), is an Inc. 500 honoree focused on solving corporate business issues through the implementation of easy-to-use web-based software solutions. iCIMS' Talent Platform, the industry's premier Talent Platform, enables organizations to manage their entire talent lifecycle from applicant tracking through onboarding and beyond through a single web-based application. With more than 700 clients worldwide, iCIMS is one of the largest and fastest-growing talent management system providers in the space. With the belief that a product is only as strong as the service behind it, iCIMS is committed to our ongoing pursuit of 100% customer satisfaction. This dedication to customer support and satisfaction has helped iCIMS maintain a near-perfect 97% client retention rate since 2003.

Our dedicated Customer Support teams lead the industry, receiving a perfect 4.0 out of 4.0 in a recent independent study, as well as a 9.5 out of 10 on our latest customer satisfaction survey. From hosting and migration services to Best Practices and consulting engagements, iCIMS provides the value-added support that many competing solution providers simply cannot offer. To learn more about how iCIMS can help your organization, visit or view a free online demo of the iCIMS Talent Platform at

Back to Basis, The Series
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

Colleen Gildea

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