bullhorn sWinning market share in the extremely crowded, hypercompetitive marketplace of applicant tracking system (ATS) providers has become increasingly difficult for emerging and established players alike.

Even as SaaS delivery moves from the margins to the mainstream, ostensibly cutting costs and time associated with system implementation and integration, the battle for ATS customers has created an expensive arms race to offer often specious functionalities or features to check a box on a single client’s RFP, or to offer sales more talking points as ammunition for closing contracts.

The result is that many product updates from ATS providers become more or less meaningless for most customers and clients, whose roadmap is tied more closely to creating revenue opportunities than creating real recruiting value.  Which might explain, of course, why most end users abhor their current system.

Bullhorn, however, seems to be bucking this trend with today’s announcement of S Release, a release which radically revamps – and radically improves – the recruiting experience release that’s elegant, efficient and effective. This facelift represents one of the most sweeping updates to an existing software suite to date within the HR technology industry, reimagining and redesigning the complete end user experience for the almost 300,000 recruiters at more than 10,000 clients in 150 countries currently relying on Bullhorn as their core recruitment system.

“I’ve never been prouder of any product we’ve built,” said Art Papas, founder and CEO of Bullhorn.  “It’s the fastest, most sophisticated end-to-end recruiting software solution on the market.  S release is about our customers’ speed, their performance, and their success.”

With a client base consisting almost exclusively of third party agencies and staffing firms, S Release offers an enterprise grade recruiting system that seems easily competitive with any established corporate HCM or ATS system.  This is significant because, given the inextricable intertwining of technology and recruitment in talent acquisition today, S Release seems poised to narrow the growing gap in capabilities between enterprise and third party systems.

Bullhorn has built an impressive business case behind S Release, which seems poised to level the playing field for contingency staffing and executive search firms in recruitment technology, given the company’s ubiquity in the third party space.

“S Release makes Bullhorn faster and easier to use, and answers a lot of the biggest pain points for Bullhorn customers,” said Bryan Roy, UX Team Lead at Bullhorn.  “It’s unlocked Bullhorn to be cross browser – previously, we only worked in Internet Explorer – and it’s also really increased the speed of the application while optimizing the user experience.”

S-Release Candidate List

Roy pointed to the redesigned candidate list, with a new interface “built from the ground up,” as an example of one of the best examples of this dedication to user experience – and one of the best received features, allowing inline editing of associated statuses, tags and notes without having to preview a candidate’s record or open their profile.

The candidate list (pictured) also integrates with social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, enabling visibility into a candidate’s social footprint from the candidate record, a feature which largely negates the need for end users to acquire a point solution for profile aggregation by offering this functionality directly within their ATS.

Bullhorn S Release also allows users to drag and configure columns, resize and filter displays and searches from list views, and offers the enhanced ability to create and manage tasks within the system’s workflow.

“What we’ve done is build something that’s very robust and flexible, allowing users to see the right data at the right time so that they can take the right action,” Roy said. “We’ve tried to make it incredibly easy for users to customize their experience, export data and do ad-hoc reporting, and design a user experience which minimizes clicks while maximizing workflow and efficiency.”

S Release has been in active beta for the past 3-4 months, according to Roy, having released an early version to Bullhorn clients who were interested in test driving the product’s new look and feel. “Our philosophy was to put S Release in front of real users and get as much feedback as possible so we could iterate quickly,” Roy said.  “And that feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”

According to Aravinda Rao, Sr. Marketing Manager at Bullhorn, S Release represents the culmination of nearly two years of effort since the company acquired Maxhire and Sendouts in November of 2012 and created a combined engineering team to “take the elements of the best technology from all the suites to create the best recruiting software we could offer.”

Rao noted that S Release is the new consolidated roadmap for all three systems, and this “next generation” software will be the focus of future updates and product iterations for users of all three products, although Sendouts and Maxhire will continue to have dedicated customer service and support teams.

While Bullhorn will not force users to switch systems, however, it should be a no brainer for clients looking to take their recruitment technology to the next level, a huge step up for even the most diehard Maxhire or Sendouts customer.

“For Maxhire users who are on the fence about switching to Bullhorn S Release, I’m telling you to think about your user experience.  Think about hiring recruiters in the future,” said Jason Chagnon, CEO & President of Masiello Employment Services.  “As technology constantly changes, you want a platform your recruiters can turn on, watch a video and instantly learn how to user the system.  You want a system that can actually teach your new hires to be better recruiters, and you have that with Bullhorn.  You don’t have that with Maxhire.”

Bullhorn will offer Maxhire and Sendouts users the opportunity to migrate their data to S Release for free.   Enhancing the business case for switching to the new version are some very impressive numbers: in the beta test, Bullhorn users eliminated approximately 40% of required clicks within the system, as well increasing recruiter activity by an average of more than 50% and up to a 43% increase in placements since switching to S Release.  And that last metric, at least for staffing professionals, is pretty much the bottom line – and an impressive testament to the company’s strategy.

“Bullhorn has historically built a reputation on being innovative.  But as the market leader for recruitment software, we never wanted to get a reputation for sitting back on our laurels and not pressing the envelope,” Rao said.  “S Release is a love letter to the idea of what you can do when you put your customers first and actually invest in development.  Above all, S Release is about creating the most productive workday a recruiter can have.  We didn’t just ask what we could do to make recruiters work the most efficiently, but also what our technology could do to make every one of our end users a better recruiter, too.”

Originally posted on RecruitingDaily.com.

For more information on S Release, click here.  Disclaimer: Bullhorn is a paid marketing partner of Recruiting Daily (parent company of RecruitingTools).  Recruiting Daily maintains an independent editorial function and Bullhorn did not have any feedback into this content, nor did this relationship impact or influence our coverage of this product news.

By Matt Charney

Matt serves as Chief Content Officer and Global Thought Leadership Head for Allegis Global Solutions and is a partner for RecruitingDaily the industry leading online publication for Recruiting and HR Tech. With a unique background that includes HR, blogging and social media, Matt Charney is a key influencer in recruiting and a self-described “kick-butt marketing and communications professional.”