10 Tips for Buying an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Before you sign on the dotted line, do your research to make sure that you are getting exactly what you bargained for. Below I've outlined my 10 tips to buying an applicant tracking system (ATS).
  1. Don't believe the hype! Spending millions in marketing might make a particular system popular, but it doesn't always make it the best. Wade through the marketing promises and get your hands dirty evaluating the system for yourself. Most applicant tracking vendors offer a free 30 day trial. I would highly recommend that you take them up on their offer.
  2. Schedule multiple demos with the applicant tracking vendor. On the first call, walk through the high level demo. On the second call, ask the vendor to walk through a series of scenarios so that you can see how the software actually works in the manner that you will use it. (Thank you #TChat for this tip!)
  3. Perception isn't always reality. Be wary of a demo on PowerPoint!
  4. Run a Google search for complaints from users and applicants. You might be surprised at what you find.
  5. Find out the vendor's background. How long has the company been around? Did they build the ATS or acquire it? How are they funded? Is their applicant tracking system a whim product that was created to fill a gap, or it is truly a system that will meet your needs.
  6. Ask around! Expand your reference search beyond the beautiful list that the salesperson provides to you. Check out their customer list online and/or on social networks and ask to speak with someone outside of the list.
  7. Consider your sources. The magazine, website, or social platform that plugs XYZ vendor as the best system available while displaying their life size ad might not be the best resource. Instead, visit their career site to see who they are actually using.
  8. Analyze your pricing quote to prevent surprises in the future. Watch out for hidden fees or additional features that were padded into your quote to jack up the price. For more information, read our guide to applicant tracking pricing.
  9. Annoy customer services. Does the vendor boast that they have excellent customer service? Challenge them! Test their responsiveness and assistance. If their customer service stinks now, do you really think it will improve once they get your money?
  10. You know what's best for you. No one understands your needs and your process like you to. Make sure you go into the selection process knowing what you are looking for and what you don’t need. For help on evaluating your needs, check out our applicant tracking evaluation toolkit.

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Comment by Julian  wood on April 8, 2011 at 6:49am
Want to make your applicant tracking system more valuable and perfect? Read this :- http://www.rchilli.com/industry/ats-crm.html

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