If you’ve been asked to select an applicant tracking system, then you will know that the options are overwhelming. Each system offers you something different, and it can be nearly impossible to understand which will end up meeting your organization’s needs. Not only that, but the system must fit into your budget. So, how can you differentiate between all of the choices you are presented with and choose one that doesn’t blow the budget? Keep reading to find out.
What Is An Applicant Tracking System?
An ATS, or applicant tracking system, is a recruitment tool. It is a software that acts as a database for recruiters to help them keep track of applicants. This is extremely useful for all types of companies, both large and small, to make recruitment more manageable.
Did you know that amongst the Fortune 500 companies, almost 99% use an applicant tracking system? So, they must be doing something right.
Applicant tracking systems are useful for companies who hire for many roles at once and receive hundreds of applicants for each position. It is less overwhelming and confusing for the recruitment team when these are all stored in one convenient location.
How to Select an Applicant Tracking System Without Going out of Budget
You will need to put together a committee to select an applicant tracking system. Make sure that you put some hiring managers and especially recruiters on this committee. These people know better than anyone what is required of the new system and how it will be used. Without their input, you could end up with a product that you thought was great but is not fit for purpose.
Implementing a new product later on will cost far too much, and you will either be stuck with the old system or have to pay up again.
Analyze your Hiring Process
Looking at your current hiring process will help you to figure out what your needs are in an ATS. List all of the steps that you currently take when hiring a new staff member. This enables you to critically consider each step and whether it is absolutely necessary. If it’s not, remove it from the process.
What you are left with is a list of must-haves for your applicant tracking system, helping you to compare your needs with what each one offers. This also ensures that you’re not paying for tools that you won’t use and blowing your budget.
Is there anything else that’s not strictly part of your current hiring process that you need your ATS to do? For example, keeping track of past applicants and identifying when they apply for another role. Or maybe you’ve been getting a much higher volume of applications than usual, causing a need for an ATS that can deal with many applications.
Another requirement may be that you need an ATS which takes as little input from your IT department as possible. Many IT teams don’t have the capacity to take on more work, so in this case, you will need an ATS that you can mostly manage yourself. This reduces the cost as well if you’re not passing work to another team.
Assess the ATS Company
When it comes to choosing your provider, there are many important factors. Have they done an implementation of this size before? How do they run the implementation process? These are crucial factors to consider. If the product has not been used in a company of your size before, for example, you may find that it can’t keep up with your hiring volume. How the implementation process is done can either make or break the project. If the implementation is not done right, it will be your company that ends up paying for upgrades and issues down the line.
Find Out if it Integrates with the HRIS
If you already have an HRIS, as most large companies do, you need to consider this when you select an applicant tracking system. It will be far easier if the HRIS can integrate with the ATS. Any vendor offering a high-quality product should be able to easily manipulate it to work well with your HRIS. However, beware, because changes like this can be costly. Discuss how much this could amount to at the outset of the project.
Find One that Lessens your Admin
Some software can take care of administrative tasks you would usually perform. This is one of the main ways that digitizing your recruitment process can save you money. Basic tasks that you do over and over again, such as emailing out rejection emails, sifting through CVs, and scheduling interviews, should be done by the ATS. So, when you select an applicant tracking system, make sure that it can do all of this. This will save you plenty of money by reducing your time spent on these menial tasks.
Ask About Support
Many companies who own ATS software offer 24/7 support to their customers. That means that you can call or email them anytime if you’re experiencing a fault or you can’t figure something out. If your vendor does not offer this, it’s a major red flag. Reading reviews on the product or company can be a great idea as well. Find out what other companies’ experiences have been like in dealing with this ATS.
An ATS can be a huge asset to your company when you make an informed choice and develop a thorough implementation plan. However, it can be a drain on resources if you make the wrong choice. It can use up the time of your IT team to fix errors, your HR department which has to double handle work, and be a nightmare for applicants too. Avoid all of this by making the right choice in the first place by using the above tips. Select an applicant tracking system that will save you money, not cost you more.