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Steve Richards
Steve Richards

Operations & Product Manager

5 Key Things To Consider When Choosing Your 1st ATS

Let's face it - when your business is looking to choose its first Applicant Tracking System (ATS) it can be a bit of a headache! Where do you start looking & what exactly is it you are looking for? It's a crowded marketplace with lots of credible providers and some super software on the market these days.

Most businesses come to considering an ATS for common reasons such as business growth, a need for streamlining, & time or cost saving measures. You of course want the best product at the best price. You want value for money, and for it to have a huge impact on key factors such as time to hire, increase in candidate quality - and of course return on investment.

I thought it may be helpful to offer some of my thoughts and advice on key areas to consider when considering your 1st ATS in 2017:

1) Choose A Partner - Not Just Software

This may sound strange - but it is vital. Sure, software, functionality and its capabilities are important - but equally so, is finding a provider that can couple that (any ATS Provider worth their salt should have robust and easy to use technology anyway right?!) with a real understanding of your business. Choose a provider that takes the time to get to know you, your business, what you are looking for and most important of all - listens to you.

A lot of ATS providers try and just sell you their software, but focus on how they sell their services as well. You need a provider that has the ability and desire to partner with you and to be able to grow with you and help you do that.

2) Bespoke Is Best!

Try to choose a provider that has the capability to offer you a bespoke solution. "Packages" or "off the shelf solutions" are OK, but choose a provider that is capable of building a software solution around your individual business needs & processes. One that is open to, and can accommodate, bespoke requests & requirements that only you may have or need going forward.

Many needs are common and consistent regardless of business size or sector - but not all. The last thing you want to be doing is having the hassle of constantly changing providers or having to upgrade and outlay more money for either. Choose a provider that can build its software around you - now and always.

3) Think Candidate, Candidate, Candidate!

Of course the use of the system and software is massively important from a user perspective - but ultimately the software's job is to offer a credible platform to engage and then manage the most important person in all of this - the candidate! To manage them seamlessly and professionally from 1st point of contact through to new employee.

Choose a provider that offers bespoke career page design and integration/candidate journeys. You don't want a careers site that looks like everyone else's. Stand out. You want a careers site that is unique, personal to your brand, its message and the candidates that you want to attract.

Bespoke design of Job Adverts & Candidate Journey is key, your candidates are as unique as your business. Your Careers site should reflect that throughout. Oh - and that slight matter of more than 70% of candidates now applying for jobs on mobile devices - make sure your careers site and application process is responsive. In 2017 this is an essential for candidates - not a desirable.

4) Personal Touch

"Your call is really important to us thank you for waiting", "a member of our team will be with you as soon as possible", "we are really busy right now"! Just a few of the most annoying lines ever when phoning a business right!

Big isn't always best. Look for a provider that is big enough and experienced enough, but that also gives you a dedicated Account Manager and personal touch. An actual real life human being to speak to (they honestly do really still exist!), a name and a face - someone you can actually pick up the phone and speak to whenever you need to.

Choose a provider that will give you access to your Account Manager with not only a personal email address but a direct mobile number for them too. Make sure you choose a provider that can offer you the service level and contact that your business needs and deserves.

5) Who Is Using It Now?

At the risk of going all "keeping up with the Jones"s - take a really close look at what brands and businesses your prospective ATS provider currently partner with & have as clients now. These businesses will be with them for very good reasons. In a busy and competitive market with ample choice of providers and software, if an ATS Provider has credible and well known clients - they must be doing something very well indeed. If they have had these clients for a long time - even better.

Ask them for their current client retention rate, how long they have partnered with them, the specifics of how they have helped them, & why they chose them and stay with them.

Wow - lots to consider - but we believe that if you focus on these key areas you will not go far wrong when choosing who is right for you! Naturally here at PeopleBank we offer all of the above, we always have - and we always will.

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn