Unsurprisingly, we’ve seen almost every kind of demo, from the good to the bad (and let’s not forget the ugly).

Today we’re sharing a few pointers to help you prepare for your ATS demo effectively, and ensure your sessions are focused and valuable for your team.

Where possible, have a face-to-face session

It means that you can get a better sense of the people behind the technology. The conversation generally flows a little better and either you or your supplier will be able to get a feel for one another’s working environment.

Aim for consistency and structure

Ensure you go into each demo with comprehensive criteria and that you and your colleagues all have the same key points in front of them. Are you all clear on priorities and essential functionality? Include elements such as budget, timescales and implementation expectations.

Consider developing a numerical scoring system to rate supplier demos. Share these across your colleagues so you can all compare notes and scores consistently.

You might find a demo checklist template useful. Tick off key functionality and questions during the demo to make sure you have covered all your main points.

Look beyond the tech

During a demo, take into account a supplier’s attitude and scope for change. Use some of the questions we suggested in your Choosing an ATS Guide to ascertain their approach to support and customer care, agility, working with integration partners and more.


Choosing an ATS guide promotional banner


Manage expectations of a potential supplier.

How long do you expect your procurement process to take? What steps will the supplier need to go through?

Be clear on your project timescales too. When do you want to get a system in place? In our experience, initial timeframes like these are often affected by other organisational factors, such as a lack of resource, budgetary changes, so keep that in mind.

Define your dealbreakers and expectations

Similarly, be very clear on what you’re looking for. Providing a supplier with a list of key functionality, your challenges and your objectives will help them to provide you with tailored information and a really relevant demo.

Watch out for the ‘Yes’ people. During the sales process, you may find team members who make promises (often with good intentions) – and then when implementation starts, they are nowhere to be found! If a supplier cannot support you in a certain area, or your timescales aren’t achievable, a reputable provider should talk you though the reasons why. They should also propose valuable alternatives.

If it seems too good to be true…

Be mindful of free trials. These can be useful, but may mean that you’re looking at quite a straightforward, simple system, rather than one of high configurability.


ATS demo checklist screenshot
Prepare for your demo with your interactive ATS demo checklist!

With essential functionality and valuable questions, use this template to ensure you and your colleagues have covered all your key points.

Yours to download now!


About the author

Tristan Potter

From candidate experience to flexible working, and from supporting graduates to ATS reports; Hannah's written it all over the years! Hannah has contributed to publications as diverse as The Guardian, UK Recruiter and University Business. She is also the wordsmith behind our whitepapers and guides, from GDPR to Employee Volunteering.