The CIPD HR Software and Recruitment Show 2018 is returning to London on the 13th and 14th June. If you’ve registered to attend, you’ll probably already know that this is a great opportunity to scope out new recruitment technology suppliers.

But how can you make the most of your conversations, and return to your place of work with a good idea of which systems to research further?

To help, we’ve put together the 5 essential questions to ask ATS suppliers at the CIPD HR Software and Recruitment Show and other events:

  1. ‘How can this software work with, and around, our existing processes?’

Whether you’re already using an ATS and are considering change, or you’re looking to implement your first recruitment system, it’s vital to find something that not only supports the way you currently work, but also helps you to improve and build on it.

Ask: My recruitment process is particularly hiring manager-led – can your ATS accommodate this style of recruitment? If a certain vacancy requires many different levels of approval, how can your technology help to ease the process, and ultimately save time?

  1. ‘Are there any specific tools that can help me?’

Organisations in the same sector often face similar recruitment challenges. If you work in retail, for example, you might be in need of automated reference collection, or SMS technology, to cut down on time and administration spent on high-volume roles.

A supplier with plenty of customers in your sector may be more experienced in offering the kind of solutions you may need.

Ask: Do you have experience in my sector? Can you recommend any tools or workarounds that could be of particular use based on their previous experience?

 For more information on the best ways to solve recruitment challenges in your sector, click the links below:

Higher Education | Third Sector | Hospitality | Public Sector | Retail | Housing

  1. ‘Can I automate the following processes…?’

You may already have in mind several key pain points that you’d like to streamline.

Making a list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ can be a great way of understanding which software is best aligned to your hiring needs.

Ask: How many of my ‘must-haves’ does this software tick off? Are there any that aren’t in place yet, but are in the development pipeline for this product?

  1. ‘Can you share any cost-saving stats?’

It’s worth asking a supplier about how their software has influenced (and hopefully improved) the processes of existing customers. They should be able to provide some real-world statistics of how much time and/or cost has been saved.

Ask: Can you provide me with tangible figures to take back to my colleagues and build a business case with? Are these organisations in the same sector, or are a similar size, to mine?

 ‘What is your approach to ongoing customer support and product development?’

An ATS supplier shouldn’t just interact with you at point of sale and at the implementation stage; you should be able to rely on their team to be available and responsive throughout your customer journey, should you need any support.

And, in the ever-evolving world of recruitment, they’ll need to have a fairly iterative approach to product development to ensure they’re up to date with the latest technologies and legal requirements (for example the recent GDPR legislation).

Ask: Will the support from this supplier continue throughout the whole of my customer journey? What customer care strategies do they have in place? Do they provide out of hours support?


We won’t be at the CIPD HR Software and Recruitment Show this year, but we hope you return to your workplace and colleagues with plenty of inspiration and tangible ideas to put in place.

And if you’d like to know more about our software and our support, please do get in touch with us. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have!


Find out more

5 Data Protection questions to ask your ATS supplier

Why do universities need recruitment software?

Discover Hireserve ATS

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.