TMCnet Feature
July 28, 2021

Selecting An Applicant Tracking System: Top Things To Consider



The importance of a good applicant tracking system (ATS) cannot be overstated.

An ATS is a software that helps organizations streamline their hiring processes, maintain compliance and engage with onboarded employees. The ATS landscape has evolved a lot in the last few years due to the benefits it provides to SMEs and large organizations. This is why choosing the right ATS for your company can be confusing.



To simplify the selection process for you, in this post, we’ve listed some key considerations.

Understand The Hiring Challenges Your Organization Faces

First things first: Why do you need an ATS? What are your specific requirements/ hiring challenges you face generally? What areas of the hiring process do you need to streamline?

  • Do you find it difficult to attract appropriate candidates?
  • Is your existing ATS incompatible across all browsing channels?
  • Do you want the ATS to optimize your recruitment process?
  • Do you want an ATS that can be integrated within your site to deliver a good candidate experience?
  • Do you want an ATS that looks after all the laws and regulations concerning recruitment?
  • Do you want an ATS that has some basic marketing tools to target the right applicants for the vacancies?

Prepare a checklist and simplify your request for proposals. This approach will help you compare technologies and choose software that solves your organization’s pain points.

In general, a good ATS offers tools to customize job descriptions, application forms, careers pages and communication and build a consistent identity throughout the hiring process. It should also have an interactive user interface and a simple application process to keep applicants engaged.

Identify What Best Fit Means To You

Now that you know what features you are looking for, it’s time to shortlist some providers. The roadmap is already created, now all you need to do is see how brands can customize the software to your specifications.

Sit down with your HR department and Talent Acquisition team and start reviewing the top software tools on your list. It’s crucial to include hiring managers in the process because they can identify the strengths and weaknesses each software has to offer. Visit software comparison websites and narrow down your search. You can also independently review all the tracking systems. The idea is to ensure the software providers tick all the boxes you are looking for. Once you’ve shortlisted the top three software products that fit your needs, book a demo and ask for pricing.

Now, this is the most crucial part. Understand the top-selling features, discuss the pricing with the provider, know how often they make updates to improve the experience, the types of customers they have worked with before, and ask for references.

Give importance to customer reviews and their online reputation, but don’t make it the only factor. Reviews should just be one part of the equation..

This step will help you identify “must-have” features and determine how effective these systems can be to your organization.

Evaluate Each Software Tool Carefully

Sure, online shopping is great. But the only way to determine whether a particular piece of clothing is the best fit is to try it out. Similarly, when choosing an ATS, it’s important to make the most of each demo. Ensure all the key stakeholders are involved in these meetings. Every individual will contribute something different and help you make a sound decision.

During the demo, evaluate the user experience and top features. Make them show you how their Applicant Tracking System addresses the various challenges faced by your organization. Ask yourself ‘Is the software easy to use and navigate? What features does it offer that no other vendor does?’

You must also familiarize yourself with onboarding approaches followed by all the providers. The more time you take to set up the ATS, the more time it will take you to get value from it.

Next, get in touch with their existing clients and understand how efficient their customer support experience is. Every provider will say that customer support is their topmost priority, but you will not know until you are in business with them. So prepare a list of questions before contacting their clients. Often the ATS vendor will provide references and contact information, or you can find users via review sites.

Here are some questions you can include:

  • Do they offer additional support and maintenance?
  • Do they charge extra for additional training?
  • Are they easily approachable?
  • Do they live up to their reputation?
  • How efficiently does it let you fill a talent pool and save your recruiting dollars for the tougher hires?

Lastly, negotiate the asking price with the vendors you think fit all of your needs. If you are planning to be their loyal paying client, they may offer a discount for annual subscriptions. Some providers also pay discounts on prepayment. They may also charge you extra for updating features later on. So, be precise and clear when signing the deal.

Hiring the right employees for your organization, and doing so efficiently, is crucial to your success. An ATS is a key tool to facilitate that, so it’s crucial you purchase the right one for your company. Use these considerations as a framework for making that key decision to fuel the growth of your business.



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