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applicant tracking systems

How to choose an applicant tracking system for your organization

A business’ recruitment process is one of its most challenging processes. Recruiting plays a critical role both operationally as well as financially in reducing the cost of bad hires. When so much is at stake, it’s critical that you do everything within your power to ensure your organization has the best chance of recruiting top talent. You can increase your chances of getting hired by using an applicant tracking system (ATS).

How does an applicant tracking system work in HR?

You can consolidate many of your recruitment processes using an applicant tracking system (ATS). The ATS can be used in conjunction with other recruitment tools, like sourcing tools and online skills assessments.

With an applicant tracking system (ATS), you can source, evaluate, and hire candidates on one platform.

What should an applicant tracking system do?

You can do much more with an applicant tracking system than merely tracking applicants.

An excellent ATS should at the very least:

  • Your company can create a branded recruitment portal to advertise vacancies to both internal and external candidates. Candidates who prefer direct contact with you may find this feature motivating rather than using job sites and feeling like they’re applying through an intermediary.
  • Utilize pre-screening questions and skills tests based on your recruitment needs and create custom input fields. You need to be able to collect data from candidates that you want for each role.
  • Use an ATS or another tool for sourcing to create shortlists of candidates with advanced search functions. You will not have to spend hours reading resumes and LinkedIn profiles.
  • Provide integrated interview software that allows you to schedule interviews, conduct video interviews, and take notes on candidates during the interview process. Rather than using Zoom, why not conduct the interview inside your ATS? You will be able to check the performance of your recruitment process and make improvements if necessary.
  • You will be able to check the performance of your recruitment process and make improvements if necessary. Having the ability to optimize every stage of the process will be critical if you’re a large company with ongoing recruitment needs.

Applicant tracking systems: how to choose one

The number of ATS platforms available can make choosing one confusing. During this process, you may also want to get ideas from across your team about how your recruitment process can be improved. The rest of this guide discusses in more detail the specific features you should look for when choosing an ATS, and covers ten of the best ones.

A clear understanding of your recruitment needs

Analyze your current recruitment process before you start looking for an ATS.

What gaps are there? Getting better at sourcing candidates, or streamlining the process once candidates become “active” and vacancies arise?

Perhaps the biggest problem with your current recruitment process is that you do not know where your weaknesses lie. A candidate tracking system that has prominent features that address what you already do well won’t be of much value to you. Your recruitment process might even be needlessly disrupted if you don’t pay attention. In order to improve your process in those key areas, it’s crucial to identify where you need to make improvements.

Identifying where you need to improve will help you identify a tool that will help you improve your process in those key areas.

Enhancing your recruitment process with the right tools

By using the best demo ats software, you will be able to implement an innovative recruitment strategy, improving your ability to stand out from other companies competing for the best recruits and giving you the flexibility to handle future openings.

When searching for an ATS, consider the following factors.

The size and industry of your company, as well as your recruitment needs

A growing small business has different recruitment needs from a large corporation. For example, if you’re always recruiting because you’re sourcing candidates in anticipation of vacancies or you have a high employee turnover, you’ll need a different recruitment tool than someone who hires for only two or three jobs a year.

Additionally, some ATS tools are better suited to specific industries, so you might be able to find tools that address the challenges and shortfalls of your particular niche.

Getting a quote

Considerating an ATS’ cost and how it fits into your recruitment budget is important. Think again about the cost of a bad hire; the new ATS should pay for itself if you choose wisely!

ATS providers usually offer custom pricing based on your company’s size and requirements, so price considerations usually come into play later in the buying process. Instead of choosing the cheapest option by default, focus on what you need in an ATS to help you choose the right tool. 

Don’t forget that the price of an applicant tracking system will not necessarily indicate the quality or the value it will bring to your business and your recruitment process.

Experience for users

A good applicant tracking system should be intuitive, easy to use, and something you look forward to using each day. You need to pay attention to the candidate’s experience, too.

Consider the following:

  • Your ATS will have what interactions with candidates?
  • What does this interaction look like, and how will it affect the candidate?
  • A mobile-friendly user experience is offered by the ATS? AIHR Digital reports that it does so. 

A candidate’s unpleasant experience will reflect negatively on your organization as a whole if they have a negative experience. Your pool of potential candidates may start to decrease if the candidate then tells their network about their experience.

Statistical Analysis

Analytics is not included in every ATS solution. When searching for an ATS, you may consider analytics a ‘must-have’ depending on the size of your company.

You can find things like: through analytics within an ATS:

  • If you aren’t getting clicks on your job advertisements, or if candidates click them but don’t apply.
  • Your job advertising campaign’s overall effectiveness.
  • At a specific point in your recruitment process, a high percentage of candidates drop out.
  • The effectiveness of your pre-screening process and skills testing.
  • Follow up on the aspects of candidates’ applications in a way that engages them.

If you need data about recruitment when you need it, find an ATS that allows you to customize and automate reporting.

Ease of scaling

You may hope to be a bigger business in a few years if you are a small, growing company now.

As your business grows and your recruitment needs change, do what you can to avoid switching to a new applicant tracking system. You should spend some time searching for a tool that has flexibility and scalability so that you can use it long-term.

A good ATS tool should offer modular pricing or tier options so you can customize it based on your needs and adjust it as your business grows.

Features relevant to your business

Can you think of any features that would simplify and improve your recruitment software, save your company money, and help you easily find and hire the best candidates? As a starting point, create a checklist of everything your ideal ATS should include.

The following are some features to consider:

  • Sources that are automatically sourced
  • Artificial intelligence ranking based on specific keywords or the results of pre-screening and skills assessments
  • Customizing job portals for clients
  • Job postings on external job boards
  • Assessments of personalities
  • Candidate uploading of video resumes or pre-recorded interviews
  • Workflows can be created around internal recruitment processes
  • The ability to integrate recruitment tools
  • Effortless teamwork

Don’t choose a tool, but a partner

Every organization will have its own definition of what makes a great ATS. The relationship with the company whose tool you want to use is one more thing you should consider during your search.

In developing a relationship with your ATS vendor, you’ll already begin to think about it as a business partner rather than a piece of software. 

With this approach, you will be able to cultivate a more productive working relationship with your ATS and get more value from it than if you choose a tool, pay your subscription, and never engage with it.

From the moment you land on an ATS provider’s website, you can begin to assess whether they are a good match from a partnership perspective. The demo call will also teach you a lot about the software.

After you make your purchase, do they stop helping you or do they continue to assist you?

The following are some things to look for:

  • As needed, training sessions are provided throughout the onboarding phase
  • The ATS is comprehensively documented so you can make the most of it
  • You will have a consistent point of contact with a dedicated account or relationship manager


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