5 Things to Consider Before Purchasing an Applicant Tracking System

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and get an ATS. Good for you! With all of the different applicant tracking system vendors out there, it can be hard to know what to look for. There are a plethora of platforms, and picking the one that’s right for your company has to be right for the recruitment team and the business needs as well. However, we’ve found that many organizations ask the same questions, so we’ve created our own list of questions to consider when purchasing an ATS.

Is it Automated?

An ATS will sift through all of your candidate resumes and bring you the best ones, and some will even send pre-written polite rejection emails to the ones who didn’t make it to your desk. But that’s not what we mean by autonomous. Some ATS rely on cooperation between management and the hiring team in order to sign off on requisitions. Because companies know about 80% of the positions they’ll have to fill each..., it’s best to let the hiring teamwork autonomously, using your company’s ATS to help them out.  

Is it Simple?

An ATS can have all the bells and whistles — if it’s too intricate or difficult to manage, it’s not going to be the most efficient product for your team, or your candidates. A good ATS won’t overload the hiring team or candidates with hoops to jump through or special features they never really use, no matter how much it can do. Candidates specifically don’t react well to complexity, with 48% of them dropping out of the process if it’s too cumbersome. So when you’re browsing the features of an ATS, make sure simplicity is one of them.

What Else Can it Do? (Onboarding)

Of course, you don’t want to get cheated on other features, too. “Simple” and “versatile” don’t have to be mutually exclusive. You can investigate what other benefits an ATS provides. Many offer some sort of other hiring feature, such as training, onboarding or mobile integration, since 9 out of 10 job seekers plan to use their phone to apply for a job within the next 12 months. Make sure you’re looking for these features, since you want your applicant tracking system to be simple and easy to access. 

How Aggressive Is it?

Depending on your recruiting workload, the size of the company, and the position, you may need a more or less aggressive ATS. What do we mean by “aggressive?” How many applicants, on average, get through your ATS before moving on to the next step in the process. In some cases, companies make the application a little longer on purpose, since 53% of HR professionals believe it helps remove uninterested candidates from the process. Does that sound right for your business?

Can it Help With Interviews?

Speaking of candidates, you may want your applicant tracking system to offer a smooth transition from the application to the interview. After all, these dual-sided conversations are part of the larger  application process, so integrating the two into the same system is a no-brainer. If your applicant tracking system can help sort through resumes and set up interviews with the candidates who do make it through, it saves you the time of having to prop open your favorite calendar app and do it yourself. This is a fairly simple step for an ATS to implement, and should be another common feature you look out for. 

Your own business needs require you to think about a number of things. How does the software scale with more hires? What sorts of access privileges does it allow candidates? But the five above are some of the most common considerations we see across the board, and they should be what’s on your mind as you shop for an ATS system. But don’t worry: once you have your checklist, the shopping process will be much easier. Fun, even! Good luck! 

Bio: Sean Pomeroy

While selling other companies software solutions, Sean worked with Michael Warden to design over a dozen applications for different organizations and industries over the years. Sean now focuses on the vision for the company, business development, and continues involvement in the software design of Cyber Recruiter, applicant tracking system and Cyber Train, learning management system. Want to see what Visibility Software has to offer? Take a demo now.

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Tweet me at @VisSoft

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