Just a short time ago I had written a blog article which was sort of a “rant” about all the acronyms being used to simply say “staffing software” Acronyms like CRM, CMS, ATS, and even HR. It was good to get all that frustration out of my system.
However, in the last couple of weeks I have been having second thoughts. I think what may be happening with all these acronyms is that staffing software developers may be trying to use some new terms, with appropriate acronyms, to express succinctly just what staffing software is, and what it does. After all, the phrase “staffing software” does not tell you very much. Software to facilitate staffing a hospital, factory, warehouse?
Considering the complexity and comprehensiveness of today’s “Staffing Software”, those words do seem to be quite limited.
So, what about the new phrases with their tidy acronyms? Any help? Is any one of them better that the other? It does seem that we cannot continue to use all of them to refer to the same thing. The following is a search for an answer.
CRM or Client Relationship Management is certainly helpful because any good staffing software would be a vehicle to manage those critical relationships. This term would also indicate managing from the initial prospect stage, through the initial negotiations, the agreements, monitoring, supervision, documentation, contract expansion, re-negotiations etc. All would fall under the acronym of CRM, Client Relationship management.
But CRM is only part of the job of most staffing software accomplishes every day. They also recruit, screen, hire, train, and supervise both core staff and many contract employees. Do you need another software system to do all of that?
What about software like ATS or Applicant Tracking System?
ATS does tell you more about what staffing software does. An “Applicant” is, obviously, a person who has applied for some position and a system to track them would certainly make sense.
It would include all the necessary tracking throughout the entire process from initial application, skill assessment, screening, WOTC eligibility, E-Verify, and all the necessary documentation required by governmental agencies, and client and agency requirements and documentation as well .
The complete applicant onboarding process would include any health and 401k benefits, salary, vacation, sickness and maternity leave, etc. Tracking Applicants is a complex process, and today it is especially so.
So, we now have a Client Relationship Management System (CRM), and an Applicant Tracking System (ATS); so, what is missing?
With a core staff and lots of contract employees, a staffing company will absolutely need an efficient HR or Human Resource management software.
There are just too many details of each employee’s ongoing reality. It is also legally dangerous not to have a detailed and instantly available employee database. Information that is timely is critical to good management.
So, the acronym HR or Human Resources software could also tell you a lot more about what the software does than the phrase, “staffing software”. You not only get the idea of a software for hiring and onboarding people (staffing), but also the idea of ongoing management of employees.
Every staffing company today needs a good HR department with good HR software as much or more than any other type of company.
But like the other acronyms (CRM and ATS) HR software also leaves out a lot of what good staffing software does every day.
It is interesting that not one of these three communicates the idea of an integrated payroll system which most “staffing software” products include.
The last of the acronyms that have been used in place of “staffing software” is CMS or Content Management System. At first glance, CMS looks worse than the others in that, in one sense, it tells you nothing. So, although CRM, ATM, and HR software gives a partial idea of what a staffing software does, CMS says nothing. Or does it?
There is one key letter in CMS that includes everything in the other three. That letter is “C” and stands for “Content”. The phrase Staffing Software may tell you very little about what it actually does but a “Content Management System” tells you everything, It is not simply a Client Relationship Management (CRM) software or an ATS or HR software. It manages content; all of it!
CMS is first, a system, and the system is largely a software that is programmed (systematized) to manage, and management begins with organization, i.e. putting every piece of data in its proper place, where it is also secure, so it can be instantly retrieved in a variety of formats to ensure informed management decisions, to ensure compliance with all federal, state, and local regulatory agencies, keep clients and employees informed, and a host of many other daily demands.
CMS is a system that manages “content”. Whether the content is about sales prospects, clients, applicants, employees, HR issues, client location hazards, withholding tax jurisdictions, compliance & training documentation, health care eligibility, WOTC, E-Verify, family leave eligibility, FFCRA rules, accounts receivable, W2’s, work history and a whole lot more!.
Therefore, if I were to choose a new name to replace “staffing software”, I would choose “a CMS for staffing companies”.