Choosing the right Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for you and your team is incredibly important, as the wrong software will negatively impact productivity and lead to inefficiencies within your business.

When up against a highly saturated market, many find the process of searching for a new ATS overwhelming and time-consuming. Not to mention the pressure from a financial standpoint as the cost of implementing the wrong software is insurmountable. With a plethora of vendors on offer, finding an appropriate fit for your organisation can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

So where do you even begin and how do you know if you’re making the right choice?

Here are 5 of the most important things to consider when choosing your new ATS:

1. Business requirements

The biggest mistake many organisations make when it comes to finding the perfect Applicant Tracking System, is not considering their individual business needs. It’s easy to get blindsided by visually appealing software with streamlined interfaces and nifty new features, but ultimately functionality is more important.

Often you’ll find providers lock you into a contract so it is crucial to ensure your new ATS helps to streamline your business and not hinder its growth, as changing your mind can result in significant effort and cost. You need to find a provider that takes time to gain a real understanding of your business and the challenges you’re trying to solve, so that you can adopt a solution that will maximise your benefit and result in the best return on your investment.

Start by reviewing your end-to-end recruitment process, map this out and think about your specific requirements at each stage.

2. User Experience 

It is important to consider both the needs of your business and how the solution will benefit your end users in equal weight, as their experience and engagement will make the difference between success and failure. Firstly, know who your users are (Recruiters, Hiring Managers, Candidates etc.) and consider why they’d benefit from using your ATS. Their needs should be at the front of your mind when reviewing the market, as if they do not recognise the value in using the ATS, then they won’t use it! This leads to broken, convoluted recruitment processes and will negatively impact the efficiency of your business.

You need to be aware that candidate experience has a direct impact on your employer brand. There are many stories for example, about candidates applying for roles with national retailers and not receiving any communication regarding their application for months, before receiving a generic rejection email. Your candidates may be customers or potential customers who will be influenced by their experience with your careers site and applying for a job. A bad experience may lead your candidates to think twice before engaging with your brand in the future, which can ultimately impact the success of your business. Getting the candidate experience wrong can have a direct impact on your company’s turnover, revenue and profit. If you need another strong reason to help support your business case, then this might be it.

3. Integration Capability

Another key consideration when searching for a new ATS is how well do the providers integrate with other technologies you’re currently using or plan to use in your business. Finding your perfect ATS is great, but if you decide to adopt the practice of video interviewing for example (who isn’t right now?), and your ATS doesn’t integrate with your Video tech provider, then you’re going to be introducing manual steps into your shiny new process. Try and think about all of the recruitment technologies you’re using, and harness the power of integration capability.

4. You’re not just buying software

Finding good software is one thing, but who are the people behind the software? What are they like to work with and how much support are they really able to provide? During your procurement process, you should not just be looking to find your perfect ATS, you should be looking to find your perfect ATS partner. A vendor with sufficient resources and experience to support a successful implementation, who serves as a technology partner to your organisation on an ongoing basis. Be confident that you’re not going to be forgotten about as soon as you’re up and running, and that you’ll receive the level of help and support you might need to deal with the change or challenges your organisation might face.

If you aren’t entirely convinced by the suppliers you’re assessing, ask for references from some of their existing customers. Find out what customers they work with of a similar size and industry to your and ask to speak to someone at that organisation about their experience.

5. Timeline and cost

This is a big one. Time costs money and quick implementations cost time in putting things right (that you may have missed). Be prepared to review your budget once the right ATS partner has been identified. Your chosen partner will help you to get the most out of their product and they will be very experienced about what the process should look like to get the best results.

Admittedly, there are a lot of variables to consider when on the hunt for your perfect Applicant Tracking System and it’s understandable if you still don’t know where to start! The biggest piece of advice I could provide is to speak to your current ATS provider about the current challenges you face. Often they will be able to provide some quick wins to solving some of these, even if these are only short term wins.

How can we help?

At Rectec we’re excited to be launching our unique Applicant Tracking System Comparison engine, Rectec Compare. Simply input your business requirements (essential or otherwise) and we’ll analyse these and shortlist the best recruitment technology solutions for you and your team. If you’re unsure of what your individual needs are, our free service will help to support you with establishing your specific requirements beforehand.

Rectec Compare is completely unique and is changing the way that recruiters buy software. Searching for a new ATS would normally take weeks, if not months of time and research. Our unique comparison engine will take a brief moment of your time and provide you with a shortlist of vendors who best meet your business needs.

A quick, responsive process is what you need to attract and engage the best talent.

At Rectec we help organisations to find the best Applicant Tracking System or best Recruitment CRM to suit your needs, accompanied by our unique complimentary tech marketplace, to help you build the perfect recruitment tech stack for your business.

You can click here to register for Rectec Compare – and best of all, it’s completely free of charge.

Rob Green, Founder & Director, Rectec.

Changing the way that recruiters buy software…