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Top points to keep in mind while selecting an applicant tracking system

Top points to keep in mind while selecting an applicant tracking system

Tuesday June 13, 2017,

5 min Read

Hiring employees for your company is one of the most important tasks for your organisation. This task starts with posting messages about the on-going openings in the organization and ends with the onboarding of the employee. But all these may go wrong if your organization doesn’t have a good Application Tracking System (ATS) in place. 

A good Application Tracking System can work wonders for your HR Department by enabling systematic filtration of applicants based on keywords, skills, years of experience, qualification, etc. An ATS gives the most relevant results according to the pre-defined results so that the hiring committee can utilize its time productively. This will, in turn, help your organization attract and employ the best talents from the industry talent pool.

But, there are certain points to keep in mind while selecting an ATS software, because otherwise you may end up with a wrong software and this will prove disastrous for your organization. So, here are the points you must consider while selecting an ATS:

Choosing the right ATS Package:

First and foremost, while looking for an ATS software for your organization, you must consider your requirements and choose an ATS “package” according to that. Basically, the Applicant Tracking System caters to 3 types of organizations. 


There are three major profiles for ATS:· 

1) Enterprise

2) Staffing agency

3) Small/ Medium businesses

Choosing the right profile according to your organisation’s need is quite essential.

Features and Modules:

Every Applicant Tracking System provides various additional features according to the manufacturer of the system. Keep in mind the exact needs of your business. For example, for enterprise category, some ATS provides separate portal for employees to refer to their friends. This way any existing employee can recommend the vacancy to his/her acquaintance. Like this many ATS gives various features to the companies, filter your need and choose accordingly.

Easy to Use:

The selected Applicant Tracking System should be user friendly. When your team is using the system it should be easy to use, and not time consuming about finding the features on the dashboard. The system should not be complicated and ambiguous to work with. Ask your vendor for the live demo while choosing the ATS and notice every small issue you are facing while using it because the problems that you are facing while using may also be faced by your whole team after the purchase.

Quality of the Result:

When you filter applicants using various tools like keywords, locality, educational qualifications, schools or colleges attended etc. make sure you get the most favourable results. There is no point of using an ATS if the hiring committee realises that the applicant resumes are irrelevant. There will be huge waste of time if the hiring committee still have to filter applicants even after having an ATS at hand.

There are many ATS available in the market, which are still poor in searching and filtering the right results. Ask your vendor to run a live search sample experiment with using various filters like keywords, employee experience, location, school and colleges etc. Observe the end results in detail. Check the quality of the applicants you get after the result. Are your end results matching your requirements?

Workflow Automation:

Workflow changes with time in a big organization. With changing number of tasks and workload, the ATS should be well adjusting. The system should be equipped with reminders at every stage of the task. A good Applicant Tracking System helps in removing unnecessary delays and obstacles, and streamlines the work.

Cloud Vs IT:

Decide whether you want your vendor to maintain and update the system (Software as a Service) or your own company’s IT department. You can also hold the authority of handling the system by yourself, by this way you don’t have to deal with the vendor again and again.

Ownership of the Data:

Suppose in future you decide to change your vendor or clients. All the data you have used is highly important for your organizational history. Ask your vendor about the availability of the data in such conditions. Under which conditions you will receive the data? In what format you will receive the data? Can you be able to download all the information about the applicants?

Integration and Compatibility:

Depending upon the size of the company, your ATS has to be linked with some websites and other database. Is your ATS is compatible with these sources? Is your ATS can work with more than one outsources? Ultimately these databases will be providing the data and a good ATS is the one which fits with your need.

Posting a vacancy on social media sites gives you a great tide of applicants. Ask your vendor about his social network access. How many website does he have the access to? Approximately how many applicant inquiries can he get you?

Legal Compliances:

If you are dealing in the countries like U.S. you better have an ATS which has tracking tools so that you don’t end up exposing yourself to lawsuits or fines. If you are doing business with federal government, make sure you are an OFCCP compliant. The OFCCP ensures that employer complies with legal laws and regulations.

Customer Support: 

Even when you buy a small product you expect a customer support to clear your confusions and doubts, this is a whole Application Tracking System we’re talking about. Make sure the vendor gives you 24 x 7 customer support for any of your questions.

Bottom line: 

It is very important to have a good Application Tracking System when your company is growing. The points mentioned above will be very helpful for selecting the most apt ATS for your organization. A good Application Tracking System can help your Company get the right people at the right time. So, choose wisely!