Recruiting is serious business; that makes the selection of your applicant tracking system a high-impact decision. Your ATS affects your employer brand, your company’s recruitment productivity, and internal users’ job satisfaction.
1. Determine needs clearly and in detail.
Make sure you know what you need in an ATS. It may sound too simple, but ask yourself (and as many people in your company as possible) what problem you are trying to solve. Don’t go to market until you’re able to articulate your needs and wants in a single sentence.
2. Don’t over buy.
Be realistic about scale. A company employing 250 people with an average of 20 job openings per year doesn’t need the same type of system as a national staffing agency. Think about the number of users and the types of tasks you want to capture.
3. Think mobile.
CareerBuilder.com notes that one third of their internet traffic comes from mobile devices and up to 40% abandon the apply process when faced with a non-mobile website. In 2012, Kelton Research reported 4 out of 5 surveyed smartphone users would use their mobile device to search for jobs; half of those would apply directly from their phone. If you’re putting in a new system, mobile friendly should be a mandatory requirement.
4. Text messaging.
Email messages have gone the way of the dodo bird among many applicant groups. Make sure the system supports SMS – text messaging. It can make a big difference when you’re pursuing top candidates.
5. Conduct references
References aren’t just for job candidates. Ask prospective ATS suppliers to provide references from companies of a similar size from within your country. Ask lots of questions about response time and flexibility. You could be kicking yourself for years if you select a solution with poor support.
I know I said five things, but here’s a sixth just for extra value.
6. Service level agreement
Insist on a written service level agreement that stipulates response times and hours of training and support during implementation and beyond. Don’t leave anything to verbal agreements. Staff changes and the passage of time could leave you out in the cold.