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5 ways for recruiters to avoid choosing the wrong Applicant Tracking System

Tags: ATS

You’ve consulted your colleagues, worked out what your needs are, researched suppliers and secured the budget. Now you are ready to purchase an applicant tracking system (ATS). But have you thought of everything?

In a marketplace where competition for the best candidates is at an all-time high, it pays to have a 360-degree view of an ATS before you pick the right one for you – and your candidates.

Here we look at five common mistakes HR Directors make when choosing their ATS, and what they’d wished they’d known before taking the plunge.

Mistake 1: Lack of research and internal knowledge

There are a lot of ATS providers out there. Start by carrying out a rigorous analysis of your organisational needs and assess those needs against potential systems. And don’t be wowed by sales promises – always make sure that the ATS has the required features to back up the marketing buzz.

You’re looking for a system with features that are the best match for your company. Demos are critical here – make sure that you use your demo time to really interrogate whether the product is going to meet your needs. Also, prepare a list of questions and make sure you schedule enough time for your demo. You’re going to need at least an hour to really see the full potential of a decent system.

Mistake 2: Not involving a range of colleagues

It’s not just HR Managers/Directors who should have a say in what they want from an ATS. Departmental leaders, IT leads, finance managers and of course recruiters: these are just some of the colleagues you need to be talking to about their needs before you can get close to choosing an ATS.

Is now a good time to conduct a review of your recruiting process, before you decide on the technology? Does the solution you’re looking at integrate with payroll? It’s only by surveying internal departments widely that you’ll arrive at the ATS that is best suited to your company’s needs.

Mistake 3: Forgetting about candidates

Candidates are often customers and leaving them disgruntled by your hiring process will affect your brand and business. Virgin Media learned about the value of candidate experience the hard way. Out of 123,000 rejected annual candidates, 6% canceled their media subscriptions after learning their application had been unsuccessful, resulting in a £5m a year loss for Virgin.

Research into the candidate experience by Career Arc shows that more than 60% of candidates rate their experience as poor – nearly 3 in 4 (72%) went on to share their experience online or directly with someone. Invest in a great user experience for candidates too, as that will help give them a great first impression and help create customers for life.  

Mistake 4: Putting tech before people

Technology has completely transformed how companies recruit by helping us make smarter talent decisions and saving us time and money. An ATS can save time and money, but it’s not a replacement for the insight and judgement of an experienced recruitment manager.

For example, 62% of recruitment managers admitted that it’s likely some candidates are filtered out of the decision-making process by mistake, according to Phenom People’s Talent Management Survey 2018. The right ATS will help you optimise your hiring process, not replace it – that means you can be sure that the top talent makes it through the initial filters.

Mistake 5: Choosing the cheapest option

Getting the best value out of an ATS doesn’t have to mean you opt for the lowest quote you receive. It’s important to weigh up the benefits of a system against your long-term recruitment needs.

How much time and money is the system going to save you? Greater customisation will mean you’ll need to invest more in a system, but this is likely to pay off in terms of candidate experience and ultimately, your hiring success rate.

Give Tribepad a try

Looking for a quality recruitment platform for your company? Tribepad ATS is used by some of the world’s largest organisations and you can check out some of our success stories to see if it might be right you. Contact us for a free demo, 

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