Amanda Groves

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From advertising and interviewing to hiring and training, the recruitment process can be an involved and expensive undertaking. For that reason, you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to secure the best candidate. Fortunately, by choosing the right applicant tracking system (ATS) for your organization, you can reduce the cost of hiring new employees, streamline the work involved, and create a better experience for both your company and your candidates.

Of course, choosing the right ATS is easier said than done. There are a lot of systems out there so you’ve got to keep several considerations in mind before deciding to go with any of them.

Choose the right system for your organization’s size

It’s important to recognize the needs of your organization before choosing the system that works best for you. Just because a certain system is popular, or is used by big multinational companies, that doesn’t mean that that it will suit a small or medium-sized business. A company that has thousands of employees has very different needs from one that employs a fraction of that, and you don’t want to wind up paying for features that you don’t need.

Make sure it’s user-friendly

The ATS is meant to make the hiring process easier, not harder, so ensuring you choose one that’s intuitive and straightforward for both recruiters and candidates is essential. You don’t want to discourage potential hires with a convoluted and complicated interface that’s difficult to use. Conversely, you do want an ATS that’s easily accessible through different devices — mobile, tablet and desktop — because people need to be able to access their ATS on the go no matter where they are or what device they’re using.

Integration is key

What’s your recruitment strategy? Where do you source your candidates? If LinkedIn Recruiter or Indeed.com works best for you, you’ll need your ATS to be fully integrated with those sites. By integrating with third-party job websites and social networking platforms, your vacancies appear in the places where you want to target candidates and funnel them into your ATS. It’s important that what system you chose integrates with all of the sites and software that you use to recruit so that every aspect of your hiring process is captured.

Proper reporting tools

Once your ATS is set up, you theoretically have a wealth of data at your fingertips. An ATS that provides you with excellent reporting tools can give you valuable information. It can tell you things such as how many candidates applied for a certain job, where they were sourced, if your company is EEOC-compliant, and what your cost-per-hire is. You want to know that the system is working and where you can improve and refine your recruiting strategy, and you can’t do this without hard data.

Make sure you have support

Sometimes things don’t always work out the way you planned them. Whether one of your users has a pressing question on an aspect of the software or there’s a technical issue, you need to know that you have the help and support you need, when you need it. So question how you can contact your ATS provider and what hours they provide support.

Future needs

Technology moves fast and the last thing you want is to have paid for an ATS that can’t offer you upgrades or new functions as your needs change. Recruiters need to keep on top of technological innovations in order to continue to compete for the best candidates. Ask what new functionalities any ATS you’re considering has in the pipeline and make sure you can have future access to them. You might not need all the tools your ATS can provide you right now, but if your company is growing, you might need them further down the road.

Take your time

There are lots of different applicant tracking systems out there, and one that’s just right for your business. Take your time and do your research so that you end up with a system that revolutionizes your recruitment process and doesn’t end up as an expensive mistake. Talk to other people in your field and find out what works for them. If you do your homework, you’ll find just the right system for you.

Does your organization have an ATS? If so, how has it worked for you?

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