How to Choose the Right Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for Your Recruitment Strategy

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Recruiting the right person for the job is one of the most essential parts of running a successful business.

Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest things to do well.

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is vital in helping you find and recruit the proper candidates for your company.

So, how do you choose the right ATS for your recruitment strategy? Here are some tips to help guide you through this process.

Understand what an ATS is

First, let’s define an ATS and how it can help your business. An ATS is a software that businesses can use to manage the recruitment process from beginning to end. 

So, why should you use an ATS? Using a single platform makes finding, screening, and hiring candidates for open positions easier.

Recruiters or HR professionals can use this tool for internal and external recruitment to source candidates, schedule interviews, store candidate data, and more.

It’s a great way to make the recruitment process easier and more efficient. And as a result, you’ll have to spend less time on menial tasks and get to focus on other aspects of your business, such as growing your team or building new products.

Create a clear strategy

Next, you need to establish a solid strategy for using an ATS. You need to figure out precisely what you want the system to do for you, as well as how it’ll fit into your existing recruitment processes.

Maybe you want to use it to automate some of the tasks associated with sourcing candidates and scheduling interviews.

Or perhaps your goal is to create a more streamlined hiring pipeline so new hires can start working on day one.

It’d be best if you start by identifying the roles your company needs to fill, which could be anything from customer service agents or sales representatives to various tech positions.

Once you have a clear idea of what positions need filling, you can begin thinking about how you want to incorporate an ATS in your process.

Set a budget

Of course, everything today has a price tag. A business can only operate with the appropriate funds, including making software purchases.

It’s best to start your journey with a concrete idea of how much you can spend on software. You might also find that it’s better to start small and scale up later rather than spending too much from the get go.

If you have a small business with relatively simple needs, then an ATS could be all you need; but if you run a large enterprise, then a custom-built solution with HR functions such as payroll processing might be more appropriate.

Identify your must-have ATS features

Your must-have ATS features will help your business run more efficiently and should be at the top of your list when shopping around for software solutions. This approach will help you narrow your list and choose only products that offer these features.

An ATS platform should support extensive automation of your recruitment workflows. If you’ve used mail automation tools like Sendinblue or forms automation software ProntoForms, then your ATS tools should also offer efficient automation capabilities.

Other essential ATS features include a mobile app that allows workers to complete their tasks on the go, and the ability to integrate with existing software and databases. The ATS should be able to pull information from your HR software and other systems, such as payroll or accounting programs

It should also integrate with various social media channels to support social recruiting. This setup will allow you to build a complete employee database in one place instead of having separate data sources for each worker.

Consider ease of use for recruiters and candidates

The ATS should be easy to use, with a user-friendly interface and step-by-step instructions. Recruiters and candidates should be able to easily navigate the system without any confusion or frustration. If it’s too complicated, you may find that your staff will spend more time figuring out how things work than actually using them. 

It should also offer features that allow you to set up and manage candidates quickly, from when they apply for a job until they get hired.

When looking for an ATS, consider the recruiter’s experience. How easy is it to use? How many clicks does it take to enter a new candidate into your system? Is there a mobile app so the recruiter can access all the information they need while on the go? 

The same goes for job seekers: how easy is it for them to apply and complete tasks?

If you’re using ATS software to streamline recruitment processes and save money by automating old-fashioned paperwork, then make sure this software doesn’t add more work on top of what already exists.

Find out about the level of customer service offered by your potential ATS vendors

The customer service experience can make or break your relationship with your ATS vendor. You need to be able to reach out quickly with questions, concerns, and issues—and have those queries answered quickly. 

Make sure the ATS provider has great customer service—like these best hr software solutions— before signing on the dotted line. When it doubt, just ask.

How quickly can you expect a response to any queries? What if there’s an issue with the system that needs urgent attention? Is there a dedicated support team that can help, or is it just sales staff? What kind of training do they offer for their software and how much does it cost? 

Think long-term and avoid over-customization

Many businesses try to customize their ATS from the beginning, but this is a big mistake.

Rather, you might want to think long-term and avoid over-customization because you’ll end up with a system that doesn’t work for anyone else.

It’s easy to get carried away when choosing the best ATS for your business. You might be tempted to add lots of additional functionalities that seem like a good idea at first, but could end up being a bad move down the line.

Make sure that any software you choose is flexible enough for future growth and expansion—you don’t want to find yourself locked into a system that doesn’t work with your needs as they change over time.

Have a smooth recruitment process with the right ATS

We’ve discussed the key considerations to make when choosing the best ATS that fits your recruitment strategy.

From determining how an ATS can help your recruitment and creating a clear strategy, to shortlisting key features and customer service, you must ensure every aspect will complement your HR goals.

There’s also one more important thing than all the steps mentioned: the recruitment process itself. A solid recruitment strategy will help increase the likelihood that you find and hire the right talent.

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