Tools to Get You Started on Your ATS Quest

Making the decision to buy or rent an ATS (or change your ATS provider) is a big one. Of course, your company has certain needs, some of which are more important than others. However, one size doesn’t fit all. We’ve provided a Comparison Tool to guide you towards the ATS that is the perfect fit for your company. It’s a $4 billion industry and is expected to grow at least 20% in 2014. So the question becomes: how is your ATS keeping you competitive in recruiting when the ball is in the candidates’ court.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

You will want a product that you can scale and customize for your company size and structure. One size does not fit all; pay attention to your employer brand and what it requires from an automated system. While many ATS providers offer a variety of basic needs, companies need configurable features that are convenient and provide reporting features in order to stay compliant with federal employment regulations. So what does your company need? That is something to think about before you start your quest for an effective ATS.

So What Should It Have?

Support, configuration, experience, the standards: must have’s in any ATS. Unless you have a highly proficient IT team, a company or SaaS (software as a service) that offers a support system for technical difficulties or trouble shooting if needed is necessary.

“My HR department is pretty smart, so I don’t think they’d really need tech support.” 

False. Recruiters and hiring managers are required to attract and bring in the best of the best from the talent pool. However, that can’t happen if your team doesn’t use the ATS properly. Everyone falls into a groove of doing things in their own way. This doesn’t become an issue until their methodologies fall short of the software’s capability, so the ATS ultimately doesn’t perform optimally.

“I can’t change it to company needs, but that’s okay. I’m sure it’ll be just fine.” 

False. Especially for small businesses, a configurable and easily integrated ATS is a must. Only 70% of small businesses (companies with fewer than 1,000 employees) have talent acquisition software; only 13% of them rate their talent acquisition process as more than moderately effective.

“The candidate experience doesn’t start until the interviewthe ATS won’t affect my employer brand.” 

False. Applicants begin forming opinions of your company and company culture from the moment they begin filling out the forms and answering the questions… before they even hit the online “submit” button. Your employer brand is vital to acquiring quality talent. So, correspondence thereafter is critical as well. Don’t add to the 77% of candidates that never hear back from the employer; use the ATS automation capabilities.

The Bare Bones

ATS often fall short when it comes to internal searches on received resumes and applications. You will want to find a system that optimally functions with search capabilities to reduce wasted time. These systems aren’t going to do you any good if you can’t search the data. Data that can’t be measured is useless. A system that can provide metric reports is ideal so you can see (with numbers) what portions of your job need improvement. Make sure your ATS has:

Individual Candidate Tracking

ATS are complicated software programs that make the job of a hiring manager and a recruiter more streamlined and simpler. They should be easy to use and offer industry standards like metrics and simple integration. In the last 5 years, there has been an explosion in the number of ATS and e-recruitment providers all offering different solutions for different business needs. So, take a moment to look at some companies that peak your interest.

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photo credit: Thomas Frost Jensen via photopin cc

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Tags: ATS, Applicant Tracking System, HR Tech, Human Resources, Recruiting, Recruiting Tools / Sourcing

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