So, finally the Chameleon recruitment software review is finished.  It’s been a bit manic, so apologies, but I wanted to make sure we covered as much as possible before publishing.  Our thanks to Chameleon who assisted us, providing a demo login and answering any questions we had.  Comments and ratings are now open for Chameleon, so if you’ve used it before, we’d love to hear your experiences.

Login

On successfully entering your Chameleoni login, you’re presented with a Dashboard with tips and upsells / cross-sells for other Chameleon services – website services, enhancements to the basic package, links to purchase extra licenses etc – the usual stuff.

The meat is on the left – the ‘Smart Navigation’ panel, which is essentially a tree-like set of links for the most important parts of the system.  Neatly laid out – the only thing I might add here, is that maybe some users would find ‘Vacancies’ or ‘Diary’ more useful if it was higher up the list – I’m not sure they should be that far down the list from a useability perspective but would love to hear your thoughts.

Dashboard

Clicking the Dashboard link in the navigation opens a screen with 3 tabs – Activity, Performance, and Forecast.  Activity is selected as the default option, and lists outstanding diary entries – as you’ll see from the screen shot, no data on mine as I’d just started tinkering, but you’ll see your follow up calls etc logged here for action when you start adding entries to the Diary.

The Performance tab is pretty self explanatory, as is the Forecast tab, listing previous, or expected future conversions.

Mail

I wasn’t set up with a mail account as this was a demo, so full testing wasn’t possible.  What I can say is that it seems simple enough to use, with some search features at top allowing you to search by different criteria, and then further refine the sort order of the mail returned in that search.

(*Bulk Email isn’t available for single-user accounts, but it looked like it worked well enough for emailing individuals)

You can also use the Shortlist / Placement feature to email candidate and clients details on a particular Vacancy direct from the Vacancy itself.

Candidates

The Candidates screen covers extensive information for all the basic personal details for the individual Candidate such as name, contact information, DOB and address.

In addition to this, are fields to enter Current Position information, References, preferred Job and Remuneration, availability, location, and system info such as registration date.  You can also upload a CV for the Candidate here.

Companies

Now, from playing around a little, it seems Chameleon has Companies (the organisation) and then Clients (the contacts within that organisation).  The terminology may be a little different to other systems, but it’s the same deal: – set up a Company, then assign Clients (contacts) to that company.

The Companies screen allows you to add new companies, and delete or edit existing ones.  Clicking the ‘New’ link at top left of this screen brings forth the new company form.  Here you can add the essential information for companies you deal with.

After you add your new Company, there are also some handy links at the top of the screen to view or enter other related data, such as business addresses, company contacts, vacancies associated with this company. placements, email and notes etc.  We’ll cover Vacancies later in the review.

Clients

To add a Client with Chameleon, head to the Clients link on the tree in the navigation on the left hand side, or to the Company, where you can also view Clients for that company.

From the individual Client’s file, you can see Vacancies and Placements that are associated with them, and check Email and Notes etc.

Vacancies

Adding a Vacancy can either be done from the Client screen, or from the Vacancy menu.  Essential information such as Reference ID, title, company and client can be entered along with description.

You are also able to set the Vacancy’s status to show whether it is live or inactive.  Once you’ve added the Vacancy, it’s ready to go to whichever Candidates you think would be interested.

A couple of  minor things that could be improved here – the pay rate, salary etc wouldn’t allow me to type figures in with the keypad – I had to use the up/down arrows, which was a little frustrating, especially with larger figures – may be it was a problem with my firefox – would be interested to hear if anyone else has the same issue, or if this is fine in Internet Explorer.

Also, I had a Server Error in ‘/’ Application pop up when I tried to save the Vacancy, and had to start over – some problem with the Date.

Apart from that, Vacancies seem to work pretty smoothly.

Placements

Does what it says on the tin – a fairly straightforward screen for filtering Placements according to different criteria

Diary

The diary screen is fairly straightforward, displaying upcoming reminders and events

Click on an item in Day view for example, and up pops the detailed record for that appointment.

Search & Advanced Search

As well as filtering & searching in Candidate / Client records you can perform an Advanced search using the Search menu on the left.

You can search on tags, names (didn’t have much luck searching on name – just kept saying ‘you must enter a name’), perform a free text search on things such as Desired Job Title, or search comments and CV’s and other details including location, salary, country etc.

Communications

Okay, so as well as the Mail feature above, you can also Bulk SMS Candidates and Clients regarding Vacancies that are available.  I don’t think we had full functionality for SMS as we’d probably need credit for this – but between Bulk Mailing (if you have more than a single user account) and SMS, you should be able to keep all your contacts up to date on the latest Vacancies / Candidates for placement.

We really liked the ability to add in CV’s for attachment on the Mail feature, but assume that’s not available on the SMS function.

Tools – Content Management

We weren’t set up with an integrated website for this demo, so unfortunately can offer no comment on this feature apart from saying it looks fairly straightforward from the data entry point of view, with the obligatory ‘What you see is what you get’ editor which allows you to format text, and insert links to the page of your choice.

Data Migration

And of course, the handy time-saver of migrating data to your new system is also here – let’s be honest – do you fancy entering thousands of records again?  No, we don’t either!

This is the usual route of downloading a template Excel file, then uploading and waiting for the import to appear.

Setup/Settings

The system came ready to use, just requiring me to enter my Company Details and defaults, add Users for my company, company address etc in the Admin area.

We only had a ‘single user’ system for demo, so maybe if you have a lot of users they come already setup on the system to save you time, but adding a new user and assigning their User Level seems quite straightforward here.

Simple to navigate and enter the information you require in this area – also with options for the CMS (although we did not have an integrated website for this demo) and Import / Backup options.  Daily backups are included automatically, and if you want to download your own backups, you can subscribe to this as an extra service.

Support

Need help?  At the top of your screen you have access to both the Knowledgebase, and Help sections.

The knowledgebase has Getting Started Guides, topic specific help and the option for Live Chat also.

Summary

Overall, an easy to use system that should cater for the needs of most Recruitment businesses, and Chameleon were helpful throughout with providing a demo and user account.  If you’ve used Chameleon before, let us know in the comments, or add your vote to let us know what you think!