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Essential Criteria for Selecting an Applicant Tracking System [Part 2]

Posted by Afton Funk

Jan 24, 2013 11:29:00 AM

criteria for selecting an applicant tracking system

This is part two of a two part series on some of the essential criteria to consider when selecting an applicant tracking system.  Whether you're switching from an existing system or looking to implement a new system from scratch, these criteria will help to ensure that you choose the right system for your needs and ensure the success of the project.


5.) Talent Pools & Search

Every time a candidate applies to a job or submits a general application, your candidate database grows and gets more valuable.  The ability to intelligently organize candidates into talent pools for future positions and to search through this database is a must-have which saves you thousands on posting costs and recruiting time.

What To Look For: 

  • Dedicated area in the system for building and maintaining talent pools
  • Ability to add candidates to a talent pool manually
  • Ability for the system to automatically find good-match candidates and add them to a talent pool
  • Bulk messaging CRM (candidate relationship management) capabilities 
  • Easily moving candidates from a talent pool to a new requisition


6.) Onboarding

Progressive companies know that a smooth onboarding process can mean the difference between a happy, successful employee, and one who quits within weeks of starting. These companies have also found that Web-enabled onboarding processes will dramatically accelerate and reduce the administrative cost of a new hire, freeing everyone's time to concentrate on the training, orientation and socialization which truly drives successful results.

What To Look For: 

  • A New Hire Welcome Portal that is customizable on a per-hire basis
  • Custom portal content, i.e. "What to Expect on Your First Day", "Culture at ABC Company", etc
  • Support for creating electronic versions of your paper forms
  • Stock forms library for government, state, and other common forms
  • Legal electronic signatures
  • Support for wet (real) signatures through signing and scanning a form into the system
  • Intelligent forms that pre-fill previously collected data
  • Internal task management, i.e. setting up a desk, configuring an email account for the new hire
  • Overview dashboard with real-time insights into all hiring activity and task completion
  • Unlimited New Hire Packet Templates with different forms and information for different types of hires 


7.) Pipeline Analytics & Custom Reporting

The ordinary, daily use of an ATS will produce a huge amount of activity data which can be used to analyze everything from candidate source effectiveness to process efficiency and bottlenecks - provided the activity is tracked automatically and the system has the robust reporting capabilities needed.  Some report examples to consider: Time-to-Hire, User Activity, Career Site Visitors, Employee Referrals, Source Quality, Req Approval, EEO/OFCCP, Pipeline & Process Analysis.

What To Look For: 

  • Well-stocked library of useful reports
  • Intuitive user interface for the casual user
  • Workflow-to-workflow stage analysis
  • Ability to analyze pipeline activity across different time periods and different filters 
  • Custom Reporting & Custom Report Consulting from your Account Manager


8.) Configurability

While most systems these days offer a fair amount of user configurability options, which exact features are configurable and how much varies widely from vendor to vendor.  Be sure that you have a good idea of exactly what your must-have configuration options are, and which are nice-to-have.

What To Look For: 

  • Customizable workflow stages
  • Customizable email templates
  • Custom fields for candidates & requisitions
  • Custom screening questions for use on a per-req basis
  • Unlimited custom application processes for different types of jobs


9.) Compliance

One huge advantage to an Applicant Tracking System is the ability to automatically collect, store and report on self-identification information.  The vendor should be able to keep you in EEOC/OFCCP and AAP compliance through this automated collection, deliver customized EEO reports and flow-logs, and offer assistance in the event of an audit.

What To Look For: 

  • Automatic collection of self-identification information
  • Stock EEO-1 style reports and candidate flow-logs
  • Candidate flow-logs on a per requisition basis and a global basis
  • Support for customized EEO-1 style and flow-log reports
  • Data assistance in the event of an audit

Topics: Applicant Tracking System, Recruiting & Hiring