4 Topics to Ask Your ATS Provider About Before You Buy

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To get the most out of your time with a potential applicant tracking system (ATS) provider, it’s crucial to ask the right questions before making your selection. But which questions are the right ones to ask? Here are four topics to ask your provider about before you make your purchase, along with some samples questions to ask for each subject.

Industry Expertise

The staffing industry is a beast unlike any other. If you’re entrusting the livelihood of your business in an ATS provider, you want to make sure they understand your business. An ATS that specializes in corporate HR may lack the versatility of one built for staffing firms. An ATS built by a company new to the staffing industry may be missing subtle but critical staffing functions.

Sample questions:

  1. Does your ATS specialize in the specific needs of staffing firms?
  2. How many staffing firms use your product?
  3. Are most of your customers large or small?
  4. Can you provide case studies of successful customers?

Partner Integrations

As useful as applicant tracking systems are, no single piece of software will replace every need your firm has. And because every staffing firm is unique, it would be a waste of your firm’s resources to pay for a solution that has countless features that you don’t want or need. Instead, look for an ATS with a partner marketplace. This way, you can select the specific solutions that address your firm’s needs. An official integration ensures that you can use a product in collaboration with your ATS without any additional, unnecessary steps.

Sample Questions:

  1. Do you have APIs?
  2. Is there a marketplace for pre-integrated solutions?
  3. Do you have an official integration with LinkedIn? (make sure the ATS vendor is listed on LinkedIn’s website as an official partner)
    • Payroll?
    • VoIP?
    • Background screening?
    • Job boards?

Operating the ATS

An ATS can have all the features in the world, but it won’t matter much if those features are impossible to use. There a wide variety of operating concerns you’ll want to address before selecting an ATS. Many of those questions—such as its user-friendliness—will only be apparent in a demo, so make sure to ask for one.

Sample Questions

  1. Is your user-interface intuitive?
  2. Is it possible to customize fields and workflows?
  3. Are follow-up contacts, emails, and notes recorded and searchable?
  4. Does the system operate in real-time?


A great ATS becomes the central nervous system of a staffing firm’s operations. And you need your central nervous system to function. A small problem can seriously impact your team’s ability to do their jobs. Look for a provider that provides frequent and easy-to-use support.

Sample Questions:

  1. Do you provide live or on-demand training support? 
  2. During what hours can I contact support?
  3. How can I contact you if I have a problem?

Want to learn more about what you should look for in an applicant tracking system? Check out the ATS Buyer’s Guide for everything you need to know to make a worthwhile investment in your staffing firm’s future.

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