Recruitment Website design – Traditional Software or SaaS?

When you are choosing a new recruitment website provider, you are likely to select between traditional software and software-as-a-service (SaaS). 

Cloud Computing


In the traditional definition, software is software your business buys and installs on your organisation's servers or on rented server space if you don't have your own (which is called Hosting). By contrast, SaaS software is software that you "rent" via a subscription and is centrally hosted "in the cloud" and accessed using the internet.


Among the primary benefits of traditional enterprise software is the ability to customise the software because you own it, however any modifications are likely to be chargeable. With SaaS software, customisation is typically defined to whatever tools the SaaS provider offers e.g. creating and updating new content and pages, changing the navigation and branding.

Querying and Reporting

Although traditional software has the edge in many scenarios (because you are not accessing a 'shared' database) with Recruitment websites the majority of users only require a limited set of reports. Check with any potential supplier what reports are available like Candidate Registrations, Vacancy Views/Applications and Keywords/Jobs searched on the site.


Traditional software and SaaS for the Recruitment sector are likely to offer very similar functionality as the primary requirements for most recruitment businesses are standard (faceted job search, candidate registration/career tools, API for 3rd party integrations). Have a strong idea of what you need from your website and make sure your prospective supplier offers it.

Price/Cash Flow

Cash Flow

Traditional software pricing often tends to follow this model: software licensing, software maintenance, and customisation/services.

SaaS pricing tends to follow this model: monthly fee.

Because you are purchasing software in the traditional model (rather than renting, as in the SaaS model), your initial expenses will be much, much higher, sometimes by a factor of 100 or more. The result is that initial costs for SaaS software will be considerably less than enterprise software. Gradually (typically 5 to 7 years) the total cost of ownership for SaaS and enterprise software will converge. But for SaaS offerings, that cost is spread over 7 years, instead of being front loaded into the first year.

Speed and Ease of Delivery/Upgrade

For a typical SaaS offering, the software itself is installed and ready to run the instant you sign the contract. Obviously data conversion, setup, and training has to occur in order to use the software, but installation is a non-issue. Related to that, upgrades are pushed out automatically to all customers, which means upgrades happen and with little fanfare and no effort for the user organisation. Furthermore, a SaaS offering needs no maintenance or adjusting on the part of the client.

Implementation & Testing

With a traditional system there are usually many settings and customisations set up and therefore testing becomes extremely important, to make sure the system works as designed. With SaaS offerings, the processes tend to be baked in and thus testing is often non-existent.


Traditional systems may include several days of onsite training, while SaaS offerings tend to provide online/on-demand training. Onsite training tends to provide for more in-depth dialogue of issues and may be more focused on organisation-specific needs, while on-demand training is, by definition, much more generic, of course, on-demand training is accessible any time you need it.