HR & Employee Management Articles

Zoho Recruit – Independent Analyst Review by Eval Source

by Keean Persaud
Published on 25 February 2011

Review Methodology

This review constitutes an analysis based on a product demonstration and software review by qualified system software experts at Eval-Source The demonstration Eval-Source received from the vendor was based on their own custom vendor script, designed to validate and/or disprove vendors' claims. The script was specifically prepared to identify functionalities and form an impartial analysis and software review for an online Applicant Tracking system.

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Business Problems Addressed

Zoho Recruit is a unique module in the Zoho platform, which provides solutions for a specific industry type, namely job sourcing and recruitment. Organizations depend greatly on internal and external recruiters to find them people with specific skill sets and experience. Due to the high demand for these recruiting services, small recruitment firms are very prevalent. With so many independent recruiting firms on the market and the adoption of internal HR recruiters, business management systems have become essential so that companies can stay competitive, manage processes and collaborate effectively.

Business problems for the recruiting industry can be divided into two components: internal and external recruiting. External recruiting signifies an independent firm or staffing agency that manages different clients and fulfills their sourcing requirements. Internal recruiting refers to organizations that have a team or department on staff to fulfill the company's sourcing needs.

When looking at external recruiting, a firm must manage their candidates, clients and job orders. These three elements are core aspects of recruiting. To be effective in the field of recruiting scheduling, prioritization, collaboration and candidate management, clients and job orders must be handled with ultimate efficiency in order for the company to remain competitive and retain business. Firms must be able to access, update, categorize and schedule their clients, associated job orders and candidates accordingly, and each recruiter must have full visibility of these processes. A major challenge in recruiting is consolidating every candidate's resumes in one location and being able to access and update their information at any time. Zoho Recruit provides a solution to this problem.

When looking at internal recruiting, the client is taken out of the equation and the company must manage candidates and job orders. Candidate sourcing, resume management and scheduling are key issues that organizations must address when bringing in an internal recruitment department. Whether sourcing is internal or external, applicant tracking is the common component that must be managed and executed effectively. Zoho Recruit provides solution to both these problems

Target Market

Zoho Recruit has taken a two-tier approach towards the staffing industry. It develops an applicant tracking system for staffing agencies, independent recruiters and internal HR departments. Zoho Recruit targets staffing agencies, independent recruiters and organizations that do not have the resources and budget for on-premise solutions but that need a system for applicant tracking. Zoho Recruit caters to staffing agencies and organizations with employees in different locations that need to access, manage and collaborate/share? information under one solution. Staffing agencies that consist of 5-10 recruiters are ideal candidates for Zoho Recruit as it can provide the functionality and best practices required for this size of staffing agency through the application.

Zoho Recruit caters for companies with 200-350 employees and an internal staffing department of about 4-7 recruiters. It can also provide functionality for organizations planning to incorporate recruiting as an internal department in order to avoid agency fees and control costs.

Any independent recruiter can use Zoho Recruit as a tool with which to manage clients, candidates and job orders. The corporate version for Zoho Recruit has identical functionality to the Standard Edition but excludes the Client module. This is not required for organizations that manage their own recruiting and staffing functions.

Zoho Recruit targets organizations such as:

  • Small and Medium sized Recruiting firms
  • Companies with recruiters in many locations for collaboration and document management purposes
  • Staffing Agencies and Temp Staffing
  • Service based businesses
  • Executive Search Firms
  • Organizations looking for internal support
  • Corporate HR's

Pricing Model

Zoho Recruit consists of two simple pricing models: the Free and the Standard editions. The Applicant Tracking System for HR includes the full functionality of the Standard edition without the client module, which is used for external purposes. Add-on options include storage, Zoho Mail, Resume Parser and Resume Grabber.

The following editions are priced as follows:

| Free Edition (Add-on Storage 1GB: $3 month) (Add-on Zoho Mail: $5/Recruiter/month) (Add-on: RChili Resume Parser $6/Recruiter/month) | Up to 5 job openings No product customization capabilities Up to 5 email templates Up to 250MB storage per organization |

| Standard Edition $12/recruiter/month (Add-on Storage 1GB: $3 month) (Add-on Zoho Mail: $5/Recruiter/month) (Add-on: RChili Resume Parser $6/Recruiter/month) (Add-on: Resume Grabber - Customers get 20% off - sold separately) | Unlimited job openings Product customization Unlimited email templates Search inside candidate attachment Up to 1GB storage per organization |

Total Cost of Ownership

Eval-Source has identified 18 key areas that organizations should consider when purchasing SaaS and cloud technology. These items reflect areas that will determine the monthly cost of the subscription. The component checklist below demonstrates how Zoho Recruit fared:

| Tenancy-multi or single | Multi-tenancy | | Cloud structure-public or private | Public | | Database Licenses Subscription terms | Monthly and yearly | | Data center-online or offline | Online | | Data security standards by vertical | No specific verticals, data security at network level. See https://www.zoho.com/privacy.html for full details | | Business continuity/data recovery | Yes | | Encryption type | 128/256 bit SSL encryption | | Version release schedule | Customer feedback incorporated into new releases | | Current version released | Version 2.0 | | Session management | Yes | | Application level security | Yes | | User limits | No | | Offer data migration services | Yes (on request) | | Offer free trials/sandbox testing | Yes Upon Request | | 15. Application customizable by user | Yes (Change Logo, Time zone, Tabs, Fields, Page layout, Customer Portal Home Page, Search Layout) | | Application customizable by vendor | Yes upon customer request for additional charges | | Charge for additional space | Yes see pricing chart |

Solution Analysis

Organizations should be aware of the type of software selected for their recruiting and human resources requirements as they vary greatly in this space. When selecting a recruiting and human resources software application, organizations should be alert to what types of requirements are actually needed and differentiate between "must haves" and "wants". Most importantly, they should ascertain whether the software solves the business problems it should.

Figure 1.

Functional Modules

Zoho Recruit consists of seven modules: Candidate Sourcing, Resume Management, Job Requisition Management, Client and Contact Management, Business Process Automation, Calendar/Event Tracking and possibly three add-on modules of Zoho Mail, Resume Grabber and R-Chili Resume Parser.

In order to gain a better understanding of ZOHO Recruit, we will analyze each module's functional capability. A brief description details the functional capabilities and key features found within these modules:

Candidate Sourcing: This module allows the organization to gather resumes from multiple sources and manage them from a single place. Being able to search candidates specific to job requirements simplifies the overall sourcing process, making them easier to reach and manage.

The Candidate Sourcing module includes convenient features like embedding of resume forms, creation of hotlists, bulk candidate import/export, mass mailing functionality and candidate status tracking. These features allow the recruiter to track the entire lifecycle of the recruiting process specific to each candidate. Having the functionality to create a hotlist enables companies to prioritize the urgency of positions. Once a position is categorized as "hot", recruiters can take action to quickly fill the position by sourcing new candidates or create a mass mailing list that matches specific candidates to an opportunity.

Resume Management: The Resume Management module allows for effective management of resumes including gathering, scheduling interviews and enables users to add notes and log capabilities.

A major problem that organizations face is how to collect resume information. Zoho Recruit solves this by enabling a web-form to be created on the user's website, which is directly inputted into the Recruit application. Zoho provides the source code for this operation so that companies with limited IT personnel can easily automate this process. Candidates can be tagged to facilitate specific categorization.

The flexibility of Zoho Recruit allows for interview scheduling, candidate activity logging, alert notifications, candidate locking and creation of candidate history, encompassing all changes made to the resume and status updates as they occur. Zoho Recruit makes Onboarding easy. You can quickly convert the selected candidates to employees and make them productive members of your organization. Once converted, the employee details are automatically added to Zoho People, where you can track the employee's progress, leave details, training details, etc.

Job Requisition Management: This module manages all aspects of the job order within Recruit. Typical functions for this module include creation and publishing of job openings and document management. Job orders can be customized to specific criteria stipulated by the hiring manager or client and published to a user's website. Once the web-form captures that information, it becomes available for use within Recruit. Requisitions allow any supporting documentation from the client, notes or attachments to be appended to the file.

Client and Contact Management: As the name implies, this module manages clients and client contacts. The Client Contact module also serves as a document management area in which companies can attach any documentation specific to a client in terms of contracts and other necessary documents, such as supplier regulations, service level agreements or compliance based documents. A central repository for client information companies can tag and categorize their information and export data in the form of Excel, CSV, TSV etc. files for back up purposes or to create additional reports.

Zoho CRM Integration bridges the gap between Sales and Recruiting. Zoho CRM helps to Identify and acquire your customers - from creating leads to converting them to business opportunities and finally to signing them - and getting paid! Once the right Clients and Client contacts are identified for the organization, the recruitment process is handled by Zoho Recruit. For more details refer to: http://www.zoho.com/recruit/applicant-tracking-system-with-crm.html

Business Process Automation: This module allows organizations to customize their business processes within Zoho Recruit. A major problem Recruit solves is the automation of disparate workflows that are often duplicated throughout an organization. The drag and drop capability, ability to customize fields, custom status, creation of workflows, mail alerts and logo customization are tools used to automate and manage workflows.

Calendar and Events Tracking : This module enables recruiters to track candidates and employees by roles, job openings, colleagues and active and locked candidates and provides an overview of all occurring events and interviews according to statuses that are created. Employees can check the status of colleagues within this module, which proves especially useful when recruiters are based in different locations and employees are not familiar with one another.

Figure 2.

R-Chili Resume Parser (Optional add-on module): The R-Chili Resume Parser further automates Zoho Recruit and is available for the Free and Standard editions. When receiving resumes from many different sources, the formats are often unusable and gathering specific information becomes difficult. R-Chili Resume Grabber aggregates multiple candidate specific details from these sources and seamlessly integrates them to Zoho Recruit. Fields can be mapped automatically once they are setup and can accept DOC, DOCX, PDF, RTF TXT and HTML formats. This option reduces manual entry and allows for organizational efficiency thanks to its centralized database.

E-Grabber Resume Parser (Optional add on module): This module is sold separately and is only available with the Standard Edition. However, customers receive a 20% discount when combined with Zoho Recruit. E-Grabber Resume Parser is a resume data entry tool. It automates data entry tasks such as name, postal code, email, phone number etc and creates a new record in the database. E-Grabber can capture information from multiple formats and sources such as job boards, attachments, folders etc. and can enter information directly into the CRM system.

Zoho Mail Add-On (Optional add-on module): The Zoho Mail add-on allows organizations to fetch emails from Zoho Mail to Zoho Recruit, view emails pertaining to candidates and interviews through the Recruit interface, share email and user drop-down lists and view all reply options, as the communication between Mail and Recruit is bidirectional. Zoho Recruit doesn't restrict you from emailing your candidates, clients and clients contacts from other e-mail systems. You can send/receive emails not only with Zoho Mail client, but also from other email Clients like Gmail, Yahoo, etc.

Figure 3.

While the Activities Stream is not a module, it provides additional functionality to allow role-based user sign-on that enables multiple levels of system security. Additionally, users can browse all candidate and client information, view all job openings, view active candidates, check colleague information and schedule candidate interviews.

Additional features include mass mailing list creation to notify potential candidates of open opportunities, data export capabilities in the form of ZIP files, creation of logs and history for candidates, interviews and clients, advanced search capabilities by allowing users to select specific search criteria, tagging for organizational categorization for candidates, clients and job orders, charting to see open job orders in a graphical format, and auditing - which allows a history to be captured for all activities and tasks within the software.

Technical Specifications

Zoho Recruit integrates to Zoho Mail, Zoho CRM, any POP email services such as Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail etc. Google Apps, Corp-Corp, Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet and any other system through its REST API. Upcoming version plan to include social media integration and other major Job Board like LinkedIn, Indeed and Simplyhired.

Client and Contact data can be exported directly from Zoho CRM into recruit so that double data entry is eliminated. Since the data flow is bidirectional, customers may also access from the ZOHO CRM or Recruit application. This works the same way for Zoho Writer, Sheet and Mail.

Zoho Recruit also features integration with Corp-Corp. This service is sold separately but can be bundled with your monthly subscription. For special offers refer to http://www.zoho.com/recruit/post-jobs-corp.html This feature allows the creation of a job posting and candidates are then provided based on requirements. The user pays for retrieval of identified candidates.

Google Apps Integration

In order to keep data protected Zoho offers 128/256-bit SSL data encryption. To further secure data, multiple intrusion detection and intrusion prevention measures are included on the Zoho servers. The Zoho network security strategy also incorporated a secured sliced down operating system that minimizes vulnerabilities and offers virus scanning when importing from extraneous programs.

  • Single application sign on using Google Apps
  • Access to Google Contacts, Users and Calendar information in a centralized place
  • Import of Google Contacts into Zoho Recruit
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Executive Search Firms
  • The use of Google Calendar and Appointments to track events and interviews

Network Security

Zoho Recruit is available from the Google Apps Marketplace as an add-on to Google Apps. Google Apps integration allows for the following features:

Quick Glance Specifications

| Web browser optimization | Internet Explorer 7+, Firefox (2+), Google Chrome and Safari Flash Player for Charts | | APIs provided | Provides REST API's, which allow developers to design push or pull data to and from applications. The open API also enables other services to be integrated to Recruit | | Safe harbour compliant | Yes, both American and European | | Business continuity/redundancy | Distributed SaaS grid architecture. Network, cooling, power redundancy, and Internet failovers and geo mirroring at off-site locations are part of security practices. |

Conclusion

Zoho Recruit offers small organizations an effective tool with which to automate and customize their business processes without a large price tag or expensive system management costs. Zoho Recruit is a comprehensive applicant tracking system that incorporates the functionality of candidate sourcing, resume management, job requisition management, client and contact management and calendar event tracking for internal and external recruiters.

By compounding/combining disparate tasks into one application, it solves many of the pain points typically experienced by smaller companies and internal HR departments. Zoho Recruit includes integration to Zoho Mail, Zoho CRM and Google Apps. This integration offers recruiting and applicant management capabilities to extend suite functionality. A single point of entry/entry point for entering/keying in client information and one interface with which to interact for scheduling, applicant tracking, client interaction, and contact management is a beneficial feature for all users as it greatly simplifies application usage.

Zoho Recruit is tool that internal and external recruiters can use in their organization that will implement best practices and enhance business processes. Because of the array of functionality for applicant tracking, Zoho Recruit will help staffing agencies and hr departments become more efficient and automate many manual processes. The ability to consolidate and manage resumes and candidates with collaborative functionality in one application is a major benefit of Zoho Recruit. The deliver model of Zoho Recruit is also ideal for the size of staffing agency or company it caters for. It offers a low cost of entry without a major need of IT resources and upfront investment for a software system.

Whether you are an independent recruiter, a staffing agency or an organization with an internal recruiting department, Zoho Recruit can offer an applicant tracking system to manage candidates, clients and job orders effectively.

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