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Going Paperless. Tips for Making the Leap

Posted by Afton Funk

Jul 23, 2012 12:02:00 PM

By: Don Kim

So you’ve made the decision to go with a paperless applicant tracking system (ATS). You’re researching vendors and throwing out your now unnecessary file cabinets.  Good for you, but that doesn’t mean you can go on autopilot now. Although a paperless system will reduce your workload, you will have to put in some effort to make a smooth transitioning from paper to paperless. Always here to help you, the HRM Direct team has compiled a list of tips and pointers to keep in mind when making the transition.

1. Training Sessions are key

Invest some time to make sure that every employee undergoes the proper amount of training to be able to use your new software.  Not to bash on the computer literacy of your employees, but it can get very messy if your hiring managers are handling multiple candidate requisitions in the wrong folders.  Any competent ATS software vendor will have dedicated client relationship managers who will walk you and your employees through the ins and outs of your new system.

2. Write up a Standard Operating Procedure

Write up and circulate a list of standard rules and procedures to follow when completing certain tasks.  This list should have final authority on how things are done and should stay consistent.  Hammer out the who, what, where and whens of your system so that everyone knows exactly what their contribution to your system should be.  Doing so will minimize any confusion and lost efficiency from getting used to a new system.

3. About converting old paper documents to paperless…

Don’t do it.  The time and effort needed to successfully convert your old documents to paperless is better spent on other tasks such as making sure that your entire team is on board with your new system and learning how to use it.

4. Know your system, but be flexible

Fact: You are essentially overhauling your entire system for handling documents, so you will have to deal with some changes.  This does not mean that the practices you used to use are completely going out the window.  You know your company and the best way to complete certain tasks.  Keep those general ideas in mind, but be prepared to make some changes to your M.O. that will ultimately lead to a more efficient workplace.

5. Don’t hesitate to use the helpline

If your online ATS vendor has online/phone customer support, use it.  If they don’t, find a new vendor.  Your business is unique. As such, it  will have its own specific needs that require attention, and that’s what the customer help line is for.  Don’t waste an hour trying to fix a minor problem when you can spend 5 minutes on the phone with a specialist to solve it.


Don’t let a few speedbumps get in the way of your office enjoying its new toy.  By the time you get used to it, you and your employees will wonder how you ever worked without it!

Topics: Onboarding, Applicant Tracking System