Skip to main content

How to implement the right Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) in your business

By 01/07/2020January 18th, 2022HR Software, Recruitment

Better known as Applicant Tracking Software, ATS is software that streamlines your entire recruitment and hiring needs, bringing the entire process online.

The right ATS will help you with recruitment tasks such as job descriptions, posting roles on job boards and storing candidate information in an organised and centralised way.

Now, more than ever, it is important that your company uses recruitment technology. Not only will this make your entire hiring process more efficient, but will ensure your candidates have the very best experience with your company from day one.

When you’re choosing an Applicant Tracking System for your company, it is important to make sure the choice you make is the right one as it will form the basis of your entire recruitment process. And making the right decision can lead to huge savings in terms of time and money.

Delivering a great candidate experience goes hand-in-hand with your recruitment process, and an ATS can make it easy for them to engage and interact with your business, leaving them with a great first impression.

In this article, we give you some tips about how to assess and choose the right ATS.

Consider your needs

As with any software choice, the right one will satisfy your needs as a business. There is a wealth of ATS solutions on the market, both standalone pieces of software and those integrated into full-stack HR software tools, such as Natural HR.

First and foremost, assess your recruitment needs before you look into any of the options available. What do your recruitment plans look like? How many employees are you expecting to hire? What tasks are you carrying out frequently throughout your recruitment process that aren’t really adding any value?

Make a list of the issues you want to remedy, the challenges you face and improvements you want to make – keep these to the front of your mind throughout your selection process.

Whether you require a simple database to store and search CVs or you require a holistic system that manages your entire recruitment process from a candidate applying through to them being hired; carefully consider exactly what your business and your team needs and narrow this down into a list of ‘must-haves’.

Set a budget

A key part of making any purchasing decision is to set (and stick to!) a budget. It is estimated that approximately 30% of an existing recruitment budget is allocated to job boards and advertising. A good ATS will minimise these costs and save time along the way.

Use your list of requirements to define which features of an ATS you need on go-live and which are less critical and could be introduced later in the process and budget for these top priority features.

Finally, the hosting of any software can directly impact the overall cost of purchase. Cloud-based options typically require a smaller level of investment and offer flexible subscriptions costs. Conversely, on-premise applications will require a one-off lump sum investment but usually provide a tangible asset for your business that could be re-sold if necessary.

Think about your candidates

While an ATS is hugely important for HR and recruitment professionals, it is also important to think about how your candidates will interact with the software.

At the end of the day, the job of an ATS is to provide a platform that is easy to use, consistent and engaging for them as an applicant. As such, the entire process from their first visit to your careers page to them receiving a job offer should be seamless.

When choosing an ATS, test the system as a user and as a candidate. Find out what process a candidate would go through when applying for a position in your company. Is it easy to use? Or are some aspects clunky?

Take this into account when you’re making your decision to purchase an ATS. After all, interacting with your ATS will often be the first experience a candidate will have with your business – so make it count!

Does it integrate with your HR software?

Streamlining your recruitment process is one monumental task that an ATS can comfortably handle, but what happens once a candidate becomes an employee? Is the process as smooth when it comes to their on-boarding and day-to-day interaction with your HR team?

By combining your ATS with HR software, you can deliver a smooth transition from candidate to employee and efficiently manage the entire employee lifecycle from hire to retire. ATS will collect key employee data throughout the application process and this data will then be automatically visible in your HR software once a candidate accepts an offer.

ATS and HR software shouldn’t operate in isolation, so be sure to ask whether you can integrate the two. Or better still, use a vendor that can offer both.