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Should I buy an Applicant Tracking System?

Written by Kimberley Startup | May 7, 2014 | 3 Comments
Recruitment softwareIf you feel you are drowning in spreadsheets and your inbox is being flooded by job applications on a daily basis, you may be looking for a solution in the form of recruitment software.
As any savvy HR professional knows the first step in the purchasing process is to do your research. With a wide variety of Applicant Tracking Systems available all boasting a wealth of features, designed to improve your time to hire and drive down costs, knowing what to look for when investing in an applicant tracking system is quite a challenge.
With this in mind, the team here at Webrecruit has put together this short and simple introduction to Applicant Tracking Systems – designed to help you when it comes to purchasing recruitment software that’s right for your business.

What is an ATS?

An Applicant tracking system (ATS) is one element of a recruitment software package that can either be purchased independently of/or included with a career site. An ATS automates recruitment processes, enabling you to collate your applications and set up auto responses to candidates. An ATS dramatically enhances organisations’ ability to manage their recruitment and deliver a cohesive and efficient recruitment solution.
5 Aspects to Consider When Purchasing an ATS

1.    Mobile solution

With stats revealing that over 72% of jobseekers search via a mobile device, it is highly recommended to consider a mobile solution for your ATS that allows jobseekers to search and apply via mobile devices. A mobile optimised solution means the pages will be better suited to their online experience, which can have an effect on application rates.

2.    Data organisation

So you take the step and get an ATS up and running, but what happens when you want to dig into your newly developed talent pool? Ensure you look into how your candidate data is stored. For example, is it secure? Also, how easy it is to search for candidates and email them potential job matches?

3.    Reporting

One key element of any ATS is the reporting ability it has to offer. These reports provide you with the data needed to resolve inefficiencies and drive down costs within your recruitment process. From source of application to time-to-hire, your ATS can provide you with a wealth of data. Additionally, where there are multiple users of your applicant tracking system, across larger HR teams, you should look for the ability to be able to report on each user’s performance.
Also, when shopping around for an ATS don’t forget to ensure you have the capability to adjust and tailor your reports to match the needs of your business.

4.    Social reach

What social reach can your potential ATS provider give you? If you have gained headway on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, these audiences are likely to be keen to hear of opportunities within your business.
Another thing to consider is what social channels are relevant to you? You may not need them all; so make sure you can opt to only use the ones that matter to your organisation and that you are not charged extra for ones you won’t be using.

5.    Overall usability

Vitally important is how user friendly your ATS platform is. There are many ATS providers who boast high level enterprise solutions, but when it comes to usability the basic functions are often lost along the way. Your solution needs to be easy to pick up for your new starters and yet deliver all the detailed reporting you require. Look for an ATS that provides the perfect blend of enterprise level reporting via a streamlined user friendly platform.
And, don’t forget; don’t just take their word for it
If the provider of the applicant tracking system doesn’t have the option for you to demo their recruitment software, be aware. Anyone can claim their option is best, but if you can’t take it for a test ride how do you know it’s best for you?
When demoing recruitment software remember your candidates; ensure you view the application process from their side, this is especially important if you are opting for a mobile solution.
Investing in an ATS is a big decision, but hopefully by following these buyer tips you will find the challenge easer to navigate. Just remember, a good service provider will be willing to work with you and more than happy to show you their solution inside and out without being pushy and sales driven.
WR Fusion is Webrecruit’s custom recruitment software, specifically designed to increase the effectiveness of your internal recruitment processes. WR Fusion delivers a single platform from which you can attract, manage and recruit your candidates.

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3 thoughts on “Should I buy an Applicant Tracking System?

  1. Kimberley Startup on Reply

    Hi Sean, we completely agree. It is easy to get sold by packages that can do a million and one things, but when your busy and under pressure what matters is what you need it to do and how easy will it be for you to achieve it.

    Thanks for your input.


  2. Sean Durrant on Reply

    In my opinion a good recruitment software package will not only enhance your business but will also drive it forward.

    I think the 2 most important things to bear in mind are

    What do you want it to do (make a list?)

    What do YOU need to do to ensure the system will do what you want it to do?

    There are many CRM systems bought and relegated as “no good” yet no one has taken the time to learn how to use them.

    Sean Durrant

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