Why is there a picture of Play-Doh on this post?? Follow iCIMS client John Leech on Twitter and ask him!
“Great meeting with iCIMS Customer Advisory Council. Love seeing vendors paying attention to their customers. It shows!!” – Jason Averbook, Twitter: September 22, 2009
Well, we literally just wrapped up iCIMS’ annual Customer Advisory Council (CAC) and the notes I didn’t get to write down are still swirling around my head at about a mile a minute. I wanted to share some of my observations from this year’s CAC (held at iCIMS’ corporate headquarters in NJ, with entertainment in NYC) while the feedback is fresh in my mind.
First – a quick rundown of iCIMS’ CAC. Each year, about 25 of our customers across different verticals get together for roundtable discussions, iCIMS presentations (on our customer service strategy, our technology and product roadmap, and overall corporate vision) and client success stories presented by the customers themselves. We often bring in industry experts as well; this year Jason Averbook from Knowledge Infusion presented his views on HR Technology (more on that later).
We usually have a theme for the annual event and this year’s was Beyond the ATS, which covered using iCIMS’ technology as more than an applicant tracking system as well as on taking the platform’s capabilities beyond domestic recruitment and deploying the system internationally. (Last year’s theme: recruiting a new generation and adopting Web 2.0 in talent acquisition.)
One of my favorite parts about this year’s CAC was the global representation. Our attendees and client companies have the map covered, with visitors flying in from the Netherlands, China, Mexico, & Canada and client companies supporting recruitment anywhere from India to Luxumborg; Romania to Costa Rica. (Many of our international visitors had never been to New York City and literally ran to do some shopping in Times Square after dinner!)
The international representation was truly perfect for a lot of our discussions this week, which ranged from learning more about data privacy laws outside of the US, to translating career portals and employment forms into different languages for a positive candidate experience, to ensuring clients have access to talk to other customers who have “been there, done that” when it comes to international iCIMS deployments. Almost all clients agreed on a few best practices for these types of global roll-outs:
- Whenever possible, go for a phased approach. Learn from your roadblocks and apply those findings towards your next phase. Each country obviously has differences that need to be considered, but even more specifically – your own organization’s global divisions have differences that need to be embraced during these rollouts. Going one-by-one helps ensure each of those areas get the dedicated resources necessary to get the job done well.
- Give yourself plenty of time to deploy internationally. Then add extra time onto that for padding. Almost all of our customers who were given internal direction to get a full global implementation finished very aggressively said they wished they’d had more time to breathe, digest what they were doing & analyze their progress so they could fix issues along the way.
- Training, training, training. iCIMS has always been a huge supporter of end-user training (we give 5 free training sessions every week!), but customers hammered at this point and how important it was to visit international locations to train end users and the local system admin. Many clients noticed that locations that received on-site training and education about iCIMS’ platform and the company’s overall recruiting process fared much better than those who opted for basic web training.
There were tons of other lessons learned at this year’s CAC, but I’ll save those for another post. (Specifically: holistic HR strategies…outside the marketing speak.) Additional CAC posts will be coming soon from some iCIMS clients so stay tuned.
Special thanks to all iCIMS CAC attendees, to our hostess with the mostess Katie Walsh, as well as to all of our clients who readily share feedback with us about our product, customer support, and more. We wouldn’t be where we are as an organization without you and hope you’ll continue to share.