A Quick Guide to Purchasing Your First Applicant Tracking System

When it comes to picking which applicant tracking system will fit your organization’s needs best, how do you decide? Every vendor will have reasons for why their ATS is simply the best for your team and what your organization needs, but that may not always be the case. You need a sage, someone who knows the industry and the tools inside and out, to help you through the process. Unfortunately, we can’t send Sean through the internet, but we have the next best thing – a guide to purchasing your first ATS.


What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System is a recruiting tool that enables your recruitment team to handle, manage, and organize the needs of your department. It can be an in-house system, or you can use it as an online service – Software as a Service (SaaS). Even better, it is used from the smallest organizations to the enterprise business level; here’s the catch – not all were made the same. You need to choose an ATS which matches the size of your organization and its needs.

Tweet This: Find out how to select an ATS that matches the size AND needs of your organization.

Identify Internal Requirements.

Before you even start researching the different types of ATS out there, you have to know what your company needs first. Why is this so important? Without an understanding of your internal requirements, you’ll be trying to chase the wind – i.e., you can’t find something when you don’t know what it looks like. Review what your team does on a daily basis, the entire recruiting process and how accessible you want the platform to be. Then comes the issue of budgeting… but don’t worry, you’re probably one of the organizations that has increased their HR spend (or is at least planning to) over the next several months.

Does the Structure Fit Your Needs?

The next question is: do you want an in-house platform? Or would you rather let someone else store that massive amount of information? Both of these are great choices, but it comes down to whether or not you have the space and the capacity to take care of the information yourself. It’s important to find the right platform to accommodate your needs – don’t be caught in the 25% of companies that don’t like their current system.

Tweet This: Is yours in the 25% of companies that don’t like their current ATS system? Learn how to pick the right one for you!

Is the Solution Reliable?

Imagine the sheer number of candidate profiles that will be on this platform… hundreds – maybe thousands – of applicant addresses, social security numbers, birthdates. In fact, 76% of candidates would rather apply through your career site, which means the majority of your candidates will immediately be in the ATSsystem. Whichever platform you decide to go with, how you choose to use it (SaaS or in-house), etc., it has to be secure and reliable. You can’t have a platform that loses information or is easily manipulated.

Consider Other Necessities

Of course you’ll be approached vendors who sell all of the bells and whistles, but after you’ve decided which basic platform fits the organization’s needs best, then you can decide on which vendor offers the best add-ons. Consider workflow management, mobile access, business intelligence, candidate experience and social recruiting capabilities when evaluating the extra. Just over a quarter (26%) of recruiters feel their ATS has an impact a positive candidate experience.

At the end of the day, there’s more vendors than you can count and even more Applicant Tracking Systems. You have to know what you want out of the recruiting tool before you start your research so you know which systems will fit your needs best. This guide will help to lay the groundwork for your quest to find the applicant tracking system you want.

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