Demo'ing 4 ATS systems tomorrow, what questions should I be asking?

Ok all of my recruiter friends out there. From a staff aug recruiting perspective if you are looking at a new ATS systems what features and/or functionality is going to be most important to you? What big questions would you have.

Tomorrow I will be looking at 4 ATS systems the are: Bond Adapt, iCIMS,
Bullhorn and MaxHire.

Any thoughts on any of these would also be appreciated.

Thanks

Views: 2142

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Good points Doug.

Once again TargetRecruit, being built on Salesforce.com platform, has one of the best Tracking for sales and candidates with notes, attachments, etc. It also has a very customizable templates for both emails and also does mail merges with Word and Excel to automate document management.

While parsing resumes, it extracts all the information and even rate the usage and efficiency of individual skills at the time of parsing.

It has built in integration with Emails, outlook, etc and over 800 other applications that can be further integrated to streamline the recruiting process.

Best part is that the cost is also lower than Bullhorn and other ATS systems being evaluated.

Hope this helps.

Thanks

Doug Douglas said:
Ask if the workflow and templates can be customizable.

Get the price breakdowns for user licenses.

Ask about pre-screening, scheduling capabilities.

Ask about the ability to to add notes and documents to a job or to a candidate profile.

Ask about adding new candidates to the ATS and how much of the information is parsed and how much has to be done manually.
Thanks Doug! Great questions!

Doug Douglas said:
Ask if the workflow and templates can be customizable.

Get the price breakdowns for user licenses.

Ask about pre-screening, scheduling capabilities.

Ask about the ability to to add notes and documents to a job or to a candidate profile.

Ask about adding new candidates to the ATS and how much of the information is parsed and how much has to be done manually.
Talking about reports and Dashboards, with TargetRecruit, users can create their own custom reports and personalized Dashboards themselves with no need to call Customer support.

You can check the references for highly recommended customer support as well.

Greg Post said:
I've been using Maxhire for almost a year now as an ATS, and we just moved all of our salespeople onto the platform as well to use as a CRM. It is apparent to me that Maxhire is really geared more towards the recruiting side of the desk - candidates/client contacts are tracked all together as "people" (there is a radio button to differentiate the two). Every user in the system is a "recruiter," which irks my salespeople but otherwise isn't a big deal.

I like the fact that Maxhire is .Net based, not browser based (personal preference). Maxhire offers very good functionality and fair reporting capability. Getting technical support is slow, but they have a very good help file that covers most of the bases if you take the time to review it. Bulk emailing works very well and integration into Outlook is solid. I use the system to manage my tasks & schedule very effectively. Keyword searching and saving the results (in lists or against a job order) is easy.

Sendouts offers more customization, but they don't have a dashboard capability and have been slow to develop one (over a year now and still not rolled out).

I did not want to abandon Outlook, so that pushed Bullhorn down the list.
Unfortunately that one did not make our final four so we won't be looking at that ATS.

Reena Gupta said:
Talking about reports and Dashboards, with TargetRecruit, users can create their own custom reports and personalized Dashboards themselves with no need to call Customer support.

You can check the references for highly recommended customer support as well.

Greg Post said:
I've been using Maxhire for almost a year now as an ATS, and we just moved all of our salespeople onto the platform as well to use as a CRM. It is apparent to me that Maxhire is really geared more towards the recruiting side of the desk - candidates/client contacts are tracked all together as "people" (there is a radio button to differentiate the two). Every user in the system is a "recruiter," which irks my salespeople but otherwise isn't a big deal.

I like the fact that Maxhire is .Net based, not browser based (personal preference). Maxhire offers very good functionality and fair reporting capability. Getting technical support is slow, but they have a very good help file that covers most of the bases if you take the time to review it. Bulk emailing works very well and integration into Outlook is solid. I use the system to manage my tasks & schedule very effectively. Keyword searching and saving the results (in lists or against a job order) is easy.

Sendouts offers more customization, but they don't have a dashboard capability and have been slow to develop one (over a year now and still not rolled out).

I did not want to abandon Outlook, so that pushed Bullhorn down the list.
Have you concluded that these are the only 4 you want to look at? If not, you might also want to check out sendouts as an ATS as well. Kim is great. You can reach her at kmaskus@sendouts.com. We have been with them for 7.5 years and I wouldn't ever change.

Anyway on to your questions:
I would ask about customization and can you/they customize the software to your recruiting process? If so is there a fee? Avg. cost?

Customer service and support. What is their turn around time on a question/call back?

Can you access the ATS from your mobile device? So if you are on the road or your internet goes down, you have information to keep working.

Does their ATS integrate with your email system so that you don't have to be logged into the ATS to save notes, emails etc via your email.

Is there a contract to sign?

What is the monthly cost per user?

Does it have an automatic posting feature in HTML for your advertising sites including your own website.

What type of reporting capabilities does it have? print off a call log dailing, tracking production numbers, interview to placement ratios etc.

Does it run on your desktop/laptop only or can you access it from any machine?

How well does it integrate between the sales and recruiting functions?

I know some of these are basic, but thought I would just rattle them off as they came to me.


Good luck.
Shannon DeYoung
Recruiting Manager
Select Resources
Hi Vikki,

My name is Ben Fuller and I'll be walking you through the Bullhorn application tomorrow. I've been doing sales at Bullhorn for over 8 years and no questions are bad one's. The link below provides some areas I'll be focusing on during our call and please don't hesitate to ask specific questions around your work flow & requirements.

http://www.bullhorn.com/solutions.php

Also, the following link provides a sample of our current client base within recruiting & staffing. Overall, Bullhorn's vision is to empower staffing and recruiting professionals worldwide to achieve the highest placement rates in the industry.

http://www.bullhorn.com/clients.php

Lastly, I look forward to the presentation and opportunity to earn your business.

Regards,

Ben
Vikki,
I understand that it did not make to the final list since it was not in your initial list of applications you evaluated. I will request you to take a look at it before making any final decision. You will certainly find it worth spending your time since having the right ATS is one of the most important decisions to make.

Thanks

Vikki Hawkins said:
Unfortunately that one did not make our final four so we won't be looking at that ATS.

Reena Gupta said:
Talking about reports and Dashboards, with TargetRecruit, users can create their own custom reports and personalized Dashboards themselves with no need to call Customer support.

You can check the references for highly recommended customer support as well.

Greg Post said:
I've been using Maxhire for almost a year now as an ATS, and we just moved all of our salespeople onto the platform as well to use as a CRM. It is apparent to me that Maxhire is really geared more towards the recruiting side of the desk - candidates/client contacts are tracked all together as "people" (there is a radio button to differentiate the two). Every user in the system is a "recruiter," which irks my salespeople but otherwise isn't a big deal.

I like the fact that Maxhire is .Net based, not browser based (personal preference). Maxhire offers very good functionality and fair reporting capability. Getting technical support is slow, but they have a very good help file that covers most of the bases if you take the time to review it. Bulk emailing works very well and integration into Outlook is solid. I use the system to manage my tasks & schedule very effectively. Keyword searching and saving the results (in lists or against a job order) is easy.

Sendouts offers more customization, but they don't have a dashboard capability and have been slow to develop one (over a year now and still not rolled out).

I did not want to abandon Outlook, so that pushed Bullhorn down the list.
I read all these comments with interest. I certainly know a lot of the pluses and minuses to ATS systems. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts after your demos and continue the conversation.
Hello Vikki,

I just wanted to follow up on the demonstration we had last week. Please feel free to give me a call to further discuss the points listed in this blog as well as any other questions you may have. I will be available any time at (804) 347.8163.

Take care,

Chris Kennedy
Bond Adapt
Ahhh this thread is a real beauty- it captures so much of what drives the "ATS" business thru illustrative comments. I'm gonna throw some ideas out here- take them for what they are worth, but they are coming from a person who has been involved with over 3000 "ATS" projects in 11 years with every kind of organization.


1) In the first place "ATS" stands for Applicant Tracking System. Clearly, many if not most people who recruiters work with (and need to "track") are not applicants.

2) People who wear the "recruiter" title can range from hardcore salespeople to order-taking clerks. Clerks work with applicants, usually generated by job-board posts.

2) All four of the named offerings are mature, offered by reliable firms, and have large numbers of satisfied customers.

3) All four of the named offerings have numbers of dissatisfied customers.

4) All four could easily consume 8 hours by themselves for a complete demonstration.

5) Doing 4 demos in one day and expecting to derive a non-superficial understanding with which to differentiate products is asking for trouble.

6) Some products "demo" much better than others.

7) Some products "work" much better than others.

8) Different Stakeholders on the Buy-side have different needs and success definitions.

9) Generally but not always, Recruiters and Clerks are interested in Tactical issues, owners and managers are interested in Strategic issues.

10) Tactical stuff; "Look and Feel", number of clicks, automation of admin functions, personal productivity metrics, "ease of use", fit with current practices (e.g. does this mean I have to stop using Outlook).

11) Strategic stuff; How is the vendor capitalized?, What happens if/when there is a change of ownership? What are the technical and security aspects?, what is the lifecycle costs? How do the costs change/scale up or down? What is involved with changes to the system? what is involved with wanted / needed integrations ?, management reports, legal compliance for hiring.

12) Vendors sell every single day, Buyers buy just once every number of years. There is information asymetry as to what is really important on both sides.

13) Computer "Matching" of candidates to roles is overrated because nothing can beat the brain of a skilled recruiter, and Clerks dont do matching (the Applicants match themselves)

14) Day to day click counts and the general area of email transaction and tracking is underrated (because end-users spend a great deal of time working with and around email)

15) Versatility is a key aspect of successful ATS/Recruiting software projects because people, business cycles, and methods change more often than realized.

16) Price and vendor cost structure are not always connected in the beginning, but they are always connected in the end. The lower the vendor's cost structure, the lower the lifecycle cost CAN be. Too low is naturally not good either.

17) People take this choice seriously and there is a real loyalty and self-identification with vendors in many cases- why ? Because the most important idea of all:

18) THIS DECISION IS NOT A PRODUCT DECISION: ITS A RELATIONSHIP DECISION ! These applications answer to sometimes complex needs, and to get the best out of any of them requires a good working relationship with the vendor. Yes, with some projects its a set it and forget it deal, but even that level requires a certain understanding between the parties. Sometimes its daily or weekly interactions with the vendor basically forever- nothing wrong or unexpected about that outcome either because success (and failure) occur both ways and everywhere in the middle.

19) Its not the last system any ongoing enterprise is going to select. ITs an evolving market. Find out how much and how easy it is to decommission and move along with any given choice.

and finally

20) Many times, there simply is NOT a "better" or "worse" choice- only questions of differences and focus that in the end will give about the same ROI to the buyer if they hold their end up and vice-versa. If you set out to buy a BMW and drive home in a Benz, or even a Chevy, it still all depends on how well the choice fits your exact situation, and that choice would hold for nobody else in specific, but hundreds of thousands of others in general.
Just curious.. what are you using now.
Vikki,

Could you share with me who the 4 ATS systems are? I am currently looking to acquire one, also.

Thanks,
Susan

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Subscribe

All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below

Webinar

RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2020   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service