Uptime is a term used to describe how long a system remains functional and accessible. Uptime is enjoyable–you get what you expect when you want it. Downtime is the opposite–you don’t get what you expect when you want it.
In the first days of PokemonGo, many users were aghast to find their new pastime–at once hip and nerdy–was inaccessible due to its mass popularity. The servers couldn’t handle the traffic. And so for four hours PokemonGo hipnerds suffered through downtime.
Now this is excusable for a new release that encounters unexpected popularity. In fact, the downtime probably helped PokemonGo…
Brah 1: “Brah, PokemonGo is sooo populah that it broke the servers, brah.”
Brah 2: “Whahh, brah? What’s PokemahGah? I’m gahna download it, brah.”
Brah 1: “Dooo it, brah!”
That’s all fine and good for an app meant to distract and entertain the masses, but you and your HR brahs don’t want downtime when working with hiring software. You want your software to meet your expectations when you need it. Downtime is not acceptable.
Uptime For HR Software
HR Software vendors aren’t dealing with millions of round-the-clock users obsessed with the fun and competition of hiring talent. Recruiters don’t have to “catch ‘em all”, they just need to catch the right ones for the right positions. So maintaining uptime for users shouldn’t be such a huge challenge. But curiously enough, for some, it is.
When HR professionals contact ExactHire about our applicant tracking system or employee onboarding software, they ask a lot of questions. And right they should, as an informed buyer more often than not results in a happy customer. However, one question that is rarely asked is something like, “So what can I expect in terms of this solution’s uptime and downtime?”
You see, even a buyer who asks all the right feature and benefit related questions–and gets all the right answers–will find herself beyond disappointed if that well-vetted solution is constantly crashing or inaccessible. Frequent downtime means HR cannot access information on applicants, cannot communicate, and is essentially dead in the water. This is the risk of going with HR technology that looks pretty and works well, but frequently fails to work at all.
This is not to say that a solution should not have any downtime. In fact, it’s often necessary to schedule downtime in order to perform system maintenance and updates–that’s the beauty of SaaS solutions, you are constantly receiving the best that the vendor can offer in features and functionality. The problem, however, is that many vendors do not always schedule their downtime.
The HR Software Vendor’s Role
Unscheduled downtime is likely the result of one or two things:
- A lazy/careless/ungrateful vendor
- Inadequacies in vendor hardware or software
Oh, and maybe an earthquake or another Act of God, but that’s understandable. God has his own rules.
It’s probably safe to say that most organizations don’t want to do business with a lazy/careless/ungrateful vendor. And they certainly don’t want to invest in inadequate software that runs on questionable hardware. So why do HR professionals fail to ask about uptime and downtime when it comes to making a buying decision?
I think it goes back to expectation. We expect that 100% uptime is a given. Even though we all have gone through the annoyance (rage?) of losing a cell phone signal or dropping the stream from the season finale of Game of Thrones right when Cersei Lannister is prepared to exact her revenge on the High Sparrow and the House of Tyrell!
Ah the rage! And yet, we still expect 100% uptime.
100% HR Software Uptime
Fortunately, striving for 100% uptime is not a fool’s errand. By employing competent software developers and using stable hardware, vendors can go a long way toward ensuring 100% uptime. And when maintenance or updates are required, a proactive support team that notifies users of upcoming downtime is a must. Lastly, when those competent software developers are also committed to user satisfaction, updates and maintenance can often be planned for weekends or evenings in order to avoid downtime that negatively impacts users.
At ExactHire, our goal is to continually fulfill the expectations of our clients. Maximizing the uptime of our solutions is vital to this. In addition to our professional, committed staff in software development and client support, we utilize multiple servers and real-time data replication to provide system redundancy, limiting downtime. And when downtime is required, we’ll schedule it and you’ll know about it–but you probably won’t notice it.
So if you are currently researching HR solutions, check us out. And as you look at other vendors ask them about uptime and look for signs that backup their claims. You’ll be a better informed buyer and, ultimately, a happier customer.
Now excuse me. I’ve got some Pokemon to catch.
Feature Image Credit: pokemon-go-crash-189560 by Nintendo (contact)