Whether you’re establishing key considerations for an Applicant Tracking System for the first time or looking to streamline your current recruitment activity you’ll need to:

Identify your unique pressure points

Think about what makes you different. Perhaps you have complex referencing requirements and want to automate the process. Maybe you have no experience of an ATS and need extra support in implementing one.

Your organisation may need a multi-language back office or possibly a system that enables extensive reporting and auditing processes.

Collating these key requirements before you start your search means you’ll be well prepared.

Don’t let aftercare become an afterthought

Check where the support desk is based. It is also worth finding out if there is an out of hours helpline available to get those emergency issues resolved. Understand how to contact the support desk – can you do this via live chat, phone and email?

If you have needs that may be more complex, such as merging both temporary and permanent recruitment, check if your ATS provider is flexible in tailoring. Consider possible configuration and unlocking further functionality in the future – or at least future improvement suggestions.

And finally, will your ATS provider give training to those staff using the system during implementation, and will this be conducted face to face?

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Consider any legal obligations

It goes without saying that you need to be confident in the ability of an ATS provider to keep your candidate and job data secure.

Data protection and information security should be top of the list not only to protect those using your service, but the reputation of your organisation.

To remain compliant with Data Protection legislation, it’s worth checking if they are able to provide a detailed security framework in line with their responsibilities as a data processor.

Don’t forget – the final key things you want a prospective ATS provider to answer:

  • Planning for the future: Are they frequently improving the product through new system releases?
  • Success stories: Have they worked with any similar organisations? What were the challenges and how were they overcome?
  • Managing expectations: What is typical implementation process like and how long do they expect it to take?

Choosing an Applicant Tracking System is a big decision and can be a substantial investment, but with the right preparation and questions, the decision needn’t be stressful! 




Still uncertain on how to choose between ATS providers? We’ve put together a detailed guide and extensive checklist in handy downloadable form.









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    About the author

    Tristan Potter

    From recruitment into central government, to financial services and the charitable sector, Leah has worked across many sectors in her wide ranging career! Now working as Hireserve's Senior Marketing Executive, Leah covers all things marketing - from maintaining the social media feed to managing logistics for our stands at big exhibitions across the country.