Can the Suite Compete? What Every Recruiter Needs to Know

Revisiting the Age Old Best-of-Breed vs. Suite Debate

Enterprise technology buyers have been avidly engaged in this discussion for over a decade. Here’s where the road divides. Should you purchase an entire software suite, even if you only need one or two areas of functionality, because it claims to connect all of your other business systems easily? Or, do you turn to best-of-breed vendors that focus on delivering high-quality solutions in a single arena, so you only have to buy the systems you need? These are the first questions that you should answer as the decision-making process, key considerations, and requirements are very different for both suites and best-of-breed providers.

As a best-of-breed recruiting platform, Jobvite has a strong point of view on the topic and we want to share the pro’s and con’s of each path and give you some important things to consider as you begin your journey to find the right recruiting solution for your business.

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Let’s first get into agreement on a core set of assumptions. Recruiting tasks are extremely specific in nature and are highly tailored to each company’s process. Even more importantly, recruiters are not HR generalists; they don’t care about benefits and payroll—they simply want automated, efficient process workflow, so they can quickly and efficiently find and hire the best candidates. And, they have the pressure of meeting quotas, just like salespeople, so the stress on recruiting professionals is immense.

So, recruiting technologies need to make a recruiter’s job easier. It should be dynamic and innovative, fully leveraging emerging technologies like social networking, mobile, and analytics. And it should intuitively function the way recruiters work.

Who does this the best--the suites or best-of-breed solutions? Here are some words of wisdom to keep in mind when considering your options.

What’s Missing from the Suite Spot?

  • Recruiting Expertise:

Most suite-based HR systems are compiled to serve the needs of HR professionals. But recruiters are not HR professionals. They are focused exclusively on recruiting-building talent pools, managing quotas and candidate pipelines, understanding the unique qualifications of each requisition, chasing hiring managers for approvals, closing in-demand candidates quickly, and more. Because the suites aren’t exclusively focused on the daily life of a recruiter, they lack the expertise needed to build a solution that meets all of their needs.

  • Innovation Mindset:

The acquisition frenzy of many industry giants has turned former technology pioneers into technology management companies. Gone is the focus on development and creativity. They’re not making technology anymore, they’re just managing the piles of it they’ve amassed over time and cleaning up spaghetti code on the back end. Not surprisingly, a lot of bright engineers jump ship after acquisitions—so don’t expect much ongoing innovation from big suite vendors.

  • Real integration:

Suite vendors often promise full integration and cohesiveness, but much of this is hype. Most of today’s suites are messy on the backend because they are cobbled together from multiple acquisitions and acquired products aren’t necessarily integrated products. In fact, everything from developers to partners to supply chains will tangle when companies and products meld. Remember, acquisitions happen for financial reasons, not because Company A’s products were destined to be with Company B’s. Truly integrated products are designed to work well from the get-go.

  • Customer Service:

Big-time suite vendors have a lot on their plates. In adding on other software systems , they seek a more “complete” product offering, but the casualty in the equation is the customer. The bigger the company gets, and the more complex the bundle, the less likely it is that end users receive quality support, regular product updates, and so on. Another item to consider is that most customer support reps at suite companies work with various HR products and best-of-breed vendors only work with one--a recruiting platform.

What-Every-Recruiter-Needs-to-KnowWhat Makes Best-of-Breed the Best Choice?

  • Laser Focus:

There is a noticeable difference between companies that are dedicated to serving one user--really understanding their challenges, goals, processes, and how to make them heroes in their organizations--and those that are serving many audiences. Best-of-breed software vendors eat, sleep, and breathe recruiting every day, giving them a much deeper, more nuanced grasp of who they are building solutions for.

  • Holistic Thinkers:

Most of the HR suites focus exclusively on a recruiter’s experience and neglect to build out robust and easy-to-use functionality for candidates and hiring teams who are obviously equally as important in the process. This is critical because if the candidate experience isn’t amazing, then quality talent will not click the “apply” button and if it’s difcult for the hiring team to approve requisitions and submit interview feedback, then it can dramatically increase the time to hire. Best-of-breed vendors think about every role in the entire recruiting process and design experiences that are easy, frictionless, and responsive.





  • Agile Innovation:

Because of this laser focus, best-of-breed providers are constantly seeking new ideas that will make the life of a recruiter easier and that helps propel innovation. And, because bureaucracy is held to a minimum, the best ones are put on roadmaps, resourced, built, and deployed much faster than any suite can possibly move. This is important for recruiters, who are typically engaged in a race to reach the best candidates first.

  • True Connectivity:

Most best-of-breed recruiting software providers all have one thing in common--they build their entire solution one cohesive platform that is purpose-built to work seamlessly as a single piece of software. And, we all have strong integrations and robust APIs that snap right into other technologies including HRIS systems, making data transfer and synchronization easy and real-time.

  • Customer-Centered:

Best-of-breed providers focus on designing, delivering, supporting, and maintaining specialized products of exceptional quality, and that means always listening to customers. Best-of-breed vendors solicit feedback and respond to customer needs and feature requests--and roll out updates more frequently. That’s how they compete—not by keeping customers dangling on end-of-life products.

What Path is Right for You?

As one of the first big decisions in your buying journey, the suite vs. best-of-breed conundrum is one that you should take with great care as it definitely represents a fork in the road, in terms of what vendors you evaluate. Plainly, we believe that.

Forward-thinking organizations that are committed to recruiting--with talent at the core of the business--naturally turn to best-of-breed providers.

To learn more about Jobvite’s Platform, visit

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