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Choosing the best applicant tracking system (ATS)

Written by Kimberley Startup | August 6, 2013 | 0 Comments
process charts - LRAn applicant tracking system (ATS) can have such a profoundly positive effect on the process of recruiting staff, from the point of view of the employer and the candidate.
It can greatly boost the number of on-target CVs received by an employer and quicken the process, and here at Webrecruit (, we even have an ATS of our own.
However, the ATS that you choose needs to be easy to use if you are to avoid unhappiness and frustration among hiring managers and candidates, as well as wasted time and money.
Your team should require only minimal training to use the ATS straight away, with the many extra ‘bells and whistles’ that can be offered by vendors often a mere source of confusion.
Whether the employer is concerned with retail recruitment, office recruitment, engineering recruitment or a very different sector, the basic questions to be asked of an ATS remain the same. The recruiter needs to know that the solution is easy to set up, intuitive and does not require much maintenance.
Those involved in staff recruitment may ask their ATS vendor whether a dashboard exists for the internal recruiter/hiring manager, whether the system can be configured by themselves and even whether it has true global functionality, being customised for the employment laws of other countries.
Recruiters may also ask to be guided through the process for candidate searching and applicant tracking, and the solution will need to be easy to use for candidates as well, given that many will simply lose patience and leave your site if they are left clicking too often or waiting too long.
Again, those clients of recruitment firms considering an ATS may ask to be taken through the application process for a candidate, in addition to asking about functionalities such as how an auto-reply can be set up to acknowledge receipt when a candidate makes an application.
As a hiring manager, you may also want to learn about an ATS’s searching and matching functionality, including whether searches are quick and accurate and the results are displayed in a logical manner.
You should find out about the search engine that is used, as well as ensuring that actual searches are performed on a live system by multiple testers.
The ATS in which you take an interest may also be accompanied by a reporting tool from the vendor, with information being provided on time-to-fill, diversity and other vital recruitment parameters.
Certain reports may be standard, while you may also have a certain amount of freedom to configure the reporting tool to enable customised reports.
There are many applicant tracking systems (ATSs) on the market, and to determine the most appropriate one for your own firm’s online recruitment campaign, you may have to carefully consider a wide range of parameters, from performance to ease of integration with other systems.
Careful and thorough research can help you to find the most suitable ATS system as a client of a recruitment agency like Webrecruit (

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