The Value of an ATS and 5 Things to Consider in Your Search


Imagine you just posted a new job, and after receiving thousands of resumes and cover letters, you must manually sift through each one to find the perfect candidate. Your worst nightmare.

To avoid this headache, many employers (more than 50 percent, according to SHRM) look to applicant tracking systems (ATS). However, identifying the right system to suit your company’s specific needs is often a challenge.

This article will cover things to consider when searching for an ATS, as well as the overall value an ATS can provide.

What is an ATS?

An ATS is an online software application that streamlines the hiring process by providing a central location to store candidate data, including resumes and applications, and communicate with and about applicants. ATS’s are specifically built to help you better manage each stage in the recruiting process, from candidate sourcing to hire.

A great ATS can help employers of all sizes efficiently and accurately identify qualified candidates while saving time and money. Since an ATS organizes all hiring data in one place, recruiters and managers can review the same information, communicate internally with each other and candidates, coordinate and schedule interviews, and more.

Now that we’re on the same page about how an ATS functions, let’s explore key things to consider when shopping for an ATS.

1. Identify your pain points

Without first identifying the challenging areas within your recruiting process, how can you know what to look for? Be sure to fully understand the process and your end goal. Begin by asking yourself the following questions:

  • How does my recruiting process currently function?
  • What are my goals? What do I want to accomplish?
  • How many people will need access to my system?
  • What is my current recruitment volume?
  • What are my technical capabilities?
  • Who makes the hiring decisions?
  • Do I need to stay within a certain budget?

Evaluating these factors and understanding your current process will help you sort through the available ATS solutions.

2. Identify features important to you

Knowing your pain points will help you further narrow your options based on the features offered by various systems:

  • Connection to social media sites
  • Access to job boards
  • Multiple-user functionality
  • EEO data tracking
  • Reporting options
  • Onboarding documents
  • Screening automation

These are just a few features an ATS may offer. Your choice of features will depend on your current needs and desired goals.

1. Ease of use

An ATS should be turn-key — anyone should be able to jump right in with minimal training and setup time. The system should include an easy-to-navigate dashboard with a snapshot of all your recruiting activity. Look for the option to personalize and configure your system (user permissions, employer branding, recruiting workflows, templates, etc.) without contacting customer support.

2. Candidate experience

An ATS should provide a great candidate experience. You don’t want to lose candidates due to a cumbersome and lengthy application process or slow performance. Go through the process as an applicant. Look for a clean, intuitive, fast, mobile-friendly experience.

3. Look for a partner, not another vendor

As you search, think of an ATS relationship as you would a partnership. Continuous support and education are crucial. During product demos, be sure to ask what support resources you will have access to as a customer. Nice things to consider are:

  • Response times
  • Resolution times
  • Customer satisfaction rates
  • Customer retention rates

Before you feel overwhelmed, remember the many benefits of an ATS:

  • Reduces your time to hire by more than 30 percent
  • Facilitates applicant sourcing through an integrated job board network
  • Streamlines initial candidate vetting by automating the removal of unqualified candidates
  • Eliminates hours of manual applicant review, saving your organization valuable time and labor dollars
  • Identifies the strongest candidates based on pre-determined qualifications and traits
  • Provides powerful reporting tools that allow you to monitor hiring activities across your organization and evaluate the effectiveness of your recruiting channels
  • Keeps your company in compliance by helping monitor diversity objectives

Consider the time spent reviewing and finding the right ATS as an investment – the ROI is a significant reduction of time spent on recruiting across your organization and a complete suite of recruiting tools that enable your team to quickly identify and hire the best candidate for the job. If you begin by evaluating each ATS based on the five areas listed above and keeping the benefits in mind, you’ll be on your way to Hiring Happiness.

Looking for an ATS that will exceed your expectations in each of the areas listed above? Give HiringThing a try! Click here to start your free 14-day trial.

Alisiana Peters

Author: Alisiana Peters

Alisiana is a marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.