Before you build – Five things you need to consider

In order to deliver a better experience for clients and candidates and stand out in a competitive market, staffing agencies are increasingly taking on a wider variety of software applications.

Using a SaaS platform like FastTrack360 to support your end-to-end recruitment process and integrating it with other solutions is the perfect way to build a technology ecosystem that works specifically for your business.

However, take care. Just as the departments within your agency need to work together to be successful, your tech needs to be well integrated for optimum performance.

FastTrack Chief Technology Officer Jason Quirk shares five things you should consider when looking to integrate your technology.


  1. What are your business requirements for the integration?

Before you look at the types of solutions available, it is important to define your business requirements for the integration – remember that you’re integrating systems to solve a business problem. Ensure you know the answers to the following questions to identify the best solution for your business;

  • What are the expected volumes to be integrated?
  • When will the data be integrated – real time, on a set time interval, triggered on a user action?
  • Are you expecting a one-way or two-way integration?
  • Have you mapped the data between the two systems based on your users’ expectations? This will help ensure your expectations are met.
  • How long do you expect this integration to be in operation? You should have a view as it will help define costs.


  1. Should you buy or build?

There are two options available to you –buying an existing integration solution or building a customised one. Each has its own set of pros and cons and you need to determine what is best for your business.

Buy (Enable /Configure)

Firstly investigate whether an integration between the platforms already exists. The platform providers may have a Marketplace of pre-built connectors you can easily enable or configure. If the platform has a partnership with an integration platform like Zapier, check out if the platforms are supported.

It’s important to note that not all integrations are created equal. If your supplier does provide an integration, assess the solution’s fit against your pre-defined business requirements. Then also consider:

  • Ongoing maintenance and management. Understand their process for maintaining the integration between the suppliers. Ask about their service guarantee and timing of maintenance outages and plans for enhancement and continued development of the integration
  • Cost. The supplier of the integration should provide a cost based on your defined requirements. This is likely to be volume based or an annual/monthly service fee

Build (Customise)

Building an integration gives you 100% control and greater flexibility. Defining your requirements is again critical and will ensure you can accurately scope, size, and cost the solution.  Additional considerations include:

  • People and skills required to build and manage the integration. Do the technology skills exist internally or are you contracting the skills into the business? Consider resources required beyond the initial build such as ongoing maintenance and further development.
  • Technology required to build an effective integration. Ensure you are building the integration in a modern technology that will service the integration for your desired timeframe. You need to do your research and understand what’s being proposed to avoid high/long-term licensing or hosting costs or an old, outdated technology being used or a solution that’s not scalable for your business needs.
  • Ongoing maintenance and management. Factor in the ongoing maintenance costs of fixing any bugs, upgrading the integration based on the suppliers of the services changing their systems, and any level of ongoing enhancement.
  • Cost. Based on the defined business requirements and agreed technology approach you should be able to define the forecasted development and ongoing hosting cost to determine if the development and ongoing maintenance is viable for the business.


  1. Technical considerations

  • Privacy and Security

Whether building or buying you need to understand the data you are storing or processing in the integration. Have you considered the following;

  • Data privacy and your regional obligations for this data?
  • Security and ensuring this data is protected to avoid any kind of data leak?
  • Where the data is hosted? Is it hosted in your region?
  • The data’s term of useful life.

It is important to have answers to all these questions as you are responsible for the data you collect directly or indirectly. Many countries are now imposing significant penalties where incidents occur around sensitive data so don’t get caught thinking it’s someone else problem, as such incidents can be seriously harmful to a company’s reputation.

  • Backup / Business Continuity Plan

No matter if you buy or build you need to consider if you are you storing any data in the integration that will require you to have a backup regime in place. Always consider how would you operate your business if the integration is offline and define a plan if it was to occur so the whole business is clear on the required actions.


  1. Implementation effort/approach

  • Implementation team

Be sure to define a plan around your implementation covering Analysis, Design\ Development, User Acceptance Testing, and Going Live. Engaging operational sponsors and subject matter experts into the project is critical to ensure you have appropriate support during and post-project

  • Longer term ownership

You should include more than one person and document the process to avoid knowledge being lost should staff move on. This is critical to the future education of new staff and supports upgrades/new releases going forward as there may be impacts to how you utilise the solution and your defined processes.


  1. Measure your return on investment

Integrations can bring great efficiency by saving time and money, but they can also be costly if incorrectly implemented. It’s recommended that you have a defined business case and return on investment to measure its success. If you don’t follow this practice, how do you know it’s working and that your spend of resources (time/money) is having the planned impact on the business?

By following this practise, you can monitor, and pivot as required to ensure the business does achieve the desired outcome.


Jason Quirk

This article was written by Jason Quirk, FastTrack Chief Technology Officer. You can connect with Jason via LinkedIn or reach out here

Get in Touch
Return to the homepage