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Three Important Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

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With today’s upswing in technological advancements, recruitment agencies require software that can rise to their business demands. And rightfully so. Businesses today need solutions that are both efficient and intuitive. Today’s business solutions should facilitate and enhance day-to-day processes. For recruitment agencies, in particular, the solution seems simple.

An applicant tracking system (ATS), point blank, is the answer for many recruitment agencies looking to improve their operations. As a recruitment agency, you may already recognise that the key to advancement in this industry lies in your ability to leverage data and analytics while simultaneously recruiting high-quality candidates in an efficient, cost-effective manner. That is exactly where an applicant tracking system can help. By providing one single database for first-rate candidates, resumes, applications, and reporting, an ATS has the ability to ease and refine an organisation’s recruitment processes.

But how will you know what applicant tracking system is right for your business? The answer, first and foremost, lies with your own needs. Your first step as a recruitment agency looking for an ATS is to review your current hiring processes, identify exactly what you are lacking, and determine what you will need moving forward. Try to document your current process and decide how long it takes you to complete it. Are you wasting time with your existing system? What is working and what is not? By answering these questions, you can decide exactly how you want to build your process and establish goals for the outcome of that build. As you begin your search, establish expectations and decide what an ATS can accomplish for you.

Use the following three considerations to guide you forward in finding the best system for your recruitment needs:

Does the system simplify your current recruitment process?

Recruitment agencies that have already adopted an ATS have an average decrease of 15 percent in time spent filling placements and an increase in placements of up to 10 percent per month as a result of their updated technologies. The purpose of an applicant tracking system is to improve your recruitment processes, not to complicate them. Bringing on an ATS should allow you to centralise all of your data, from job requisitions to employee referrals, into one accessible location. It should also provide your candidates with an easy, efficient way of applying for different positions.

As you consider an ATS, it is important to find a system that can streamline and organise your recruitment workflow through automation, allowing you to handle a large volume of candidates without hefty amounts of paperwork. You should also ensure that its functionality will improve communication and foster a better alliance between your organisation’s recruiters, hiring managers, and prospective applicants.

Can the ATS be integrated with your website and all other recruitment platforms?

A crucial component of an applicant tracking system is its ability to integrate seamlessly with all of your other business platforms, including your website, email, and social media accounts. As a result, you want to ensure that your system can serve as a platform for mobile and cloud computing, unified communication, and social networking.

As technology advances, so do multimedia applications and the candidates using them. Social media, as a result, has become an indispensable tool for recruitment agencies. By having an ATS that can integrate with your social media accounts, you can better equip your agency to post jobs, source candidates, share content, engage followers, and build relationships through all outlets of communication and outreach.

Does the applicant tracking system have mobile capabilities?

Choosing an ATS that you can use anywhere, at any time can make a huge impact on your recruitment processes. Mobile applicant tracking allows you to manage your system from the office, home, or even a coffee shop while simultaneously giving your recruiters up-to-the-second information about clients and candidates in real-time. Going mobile will also give you the opportunity to track emails, review key reports, and search candidate lists whenever you need.

Whether it is time, communication, or accessibility that you need to improve, your demands are a critical part of the process when choosing the right applicant tracking system for your recruitment agency.

There are many systems to choose from and many software features that are now offered to recruitment agencies. Before you make this important decision, educate yourself on the full capacity of an applicant tracking system and understand what features will work for your business goals.

Want more great recruitment software advice? Check out 3 features to look for in a Recruitment CRM.


Note: This blog was originally written in October, 2015. It has been updated to reflect current trends and the ATS landscape.