Field Discovery: Submittable

Online application systems - there are countless entries in the field with offerings from mobile integration to automated screening to reporting and on and on. I'm not here to advocate for any system over another, selection of a talent acquisition management (TAM) system is something that an organization needs to make based on the factors most critical to them. With my current employer, we selected our current TAM based on our enterprise-wide HRIS and the fact that the application system was part of a larger contract - it made fiscal sense, it didn't require a significant increase in headcount, the training time for HR was minimal and in the end the TAM does what we need it to do.

There may be bells and whistle that I wish it had, some of which are coming in future upgrades, and other components that I might prefer operated differently. But it's by no means the least effective system I've used and it does have its share of merits.

TAMs and there implementations are something I've found myself entrenched in for most of my career - I've been a part of developing and rolling out homegrown platforms, been in the muck of implementing off the shelf packages, and played roles in the push to move forward with enterprise systems (most recently with current employer). I've seen amazing TAMs and awful ones; I have pretty strong opinions about what I think is necessary and what isn't. But, at the end of the day it all comes down to needs, wants, dollars, and resources.

To digress for a moment... people have hobbies. Some folks play in rec leagues, others scrapbook, I have friends that play competitive bubble dome hockey - point is, most people have something they like to do when they're not tied up with the things they need to do. My hobby is that I founded and run a literary journal. We've published fiction and nonfiction and poetry from all sorts of writers, some well-known, others not so much. The journal's been featured by ESPN the Magazine and other such places - the thing is, to run a literary journal you need content.

When I started accepting submissions for the journal some five years ago, I did so by email. Day after day my inbox was flooded with virus riddled .doc files; this went on for years until I discovered a newish website (late 2010) called SubMishMash. SubMishMash positioned itself as a platform for journals (big and small) to accept online submissions, track data, brand their submissions page, and all kinds of other things that were the epitome of awesome. It was revolutionary and it was free (their pricing was based on size, number of submissions monthly, etc.). We jumped on board and never looked back.

In the last 12 months SubMishMash has made some changes, the first being their name: it's now Submittable. The second, they've expanded their services and one of the new areas they've moved into is the online application business. Now, while Submittable isn't a solution I could use in my current role, it is one that I wish had been around seven or eight years ago when I was with a different organization. It's clean lined, it's efficient, and it allows for easy branding.

More than that, it has a simple user interface on both ends - something that's critical when you're trying to get applicants in the door and then get them to where they need to be.

Submittable isn't vanilla though, it has its share of shiny value-adding extras as well, it comes with the ability to export data (to upload to an HRIS or other database), it is designed for mobile, it has strong analytics and reporting tools, it requires low tech knowledge (as in almost none), it has social media broadcasting integration, it's secure (and PCI compliant), and it exists in the cloud. Though best of all, it's ridiculously cost efficient (and there are no long-term contracts, it's a month-to-month relationship the employer can end at any time) with solutions ranging from FREE to $149 per month all of which include multi-file resumes (portfolios), video resumes, real-time data, and social media listings.

I'd encourage anyone in the talent acquisition business to check it out and at least see what this innovative company is up to (if nothing else, it'll get you thinking about what works and what doesn't with your current TAM solution), and while it may not be the perfect solution for everyone, it's pretty close to it if you're operating in a small business, nonprofit, or start-up environment with limited time, people and money.

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2 Responses to “Field Discovery: Submittable”

  1. Love Submittable! These folks really care about there customers and their UI is excellent. Very easy to use and very affordable. Love seeing others like yourself tapping into this innovation. Cheers!

  2. Nathan - thanks for the comment, I agree that the user interface is outstanding and my interactions with Michael and the rest of the team (on the journal side) have been top notch (and I wouldn't expect anything different on the TAM side of the shop).