It can be intimidating to select a new software system for your company. Not only does it have to do everything you need it to do, but it also needs to be simple enough for your team to learn, a large enough value for your CFO to approve and implemented in enough time to be useful. It can be especially daunting when it comes to applicant tracking systems, for the simple reason that hiring the right talent makes your business successful.

While there are ATS Buyer’s Guides and a lot of assistance online to help you make your decision, it can be hard to digest all of the information. Creating a solid selection process requires a lot of time and patience. Pulling in the right requests from other parts of the company like your IT department and hiring managers further complicates the matter.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself (based on thousands of clients over the years) when finding the right applicant tracking system for you.

New Year, New ATS? Ask these 5 questions when searching for a new ATS in 2018. 

How well does it track and handle requisitions?

At its core, the ATS was built so requisitions could be entered, worked on and tracked. Despite the fact that Applicant Tracking Systems have evolved to include countless bells and whistles, you still need the system you select to align with how you work and not one that is counterproductive to your team. Make sure to ask specifically how you can configure the system to meet your needs.

Is this pleasant and attractive for candidates?

Just as there are two sides to every story, so too are there (at least) two sides to every ATS - what you and your team see and work with every day and what the candidate experiences when they’re looking for a new job. Fortunately, this is one of the simplest questions to answer. Ask the vendor for a company whose career page is supported by that ATS and go through the process. You’ll get a sense of ease of use, branding options and functionality in one fell swoop. During your demo, make sure to ask your representative or salesperson if their ATS has any tools or options to track candidate experience or how they measure or define it.

Will this keep my team compliant and our data secure?

Compliance keeps many recruiters and HR pros up at night, and with good reason! There’s a lot of sensitive data inside in many of the systems we use, and we’re frequently required to adhere to strict reporting policies. Ask how secure your data will be, and how frequently they’ve updated their safeguards and standards. If you work in a specific industry, ask for specifics about compliance and standards to mitigate risk.

Does this integrate with my other systems?

Let’s be honest, most of the work we do today is on the computer, using various systems. So if you find the perfect ATS, it needs to work with everything else you’re using or you’ll find yourself duplicating work and wading through incomplete records. Today’s talent acquisition professionals expect their Applicant Tracking Systems to integrate with sourcing modules. Before you start evaluating ATS, list your tech stack, and send it to the representative conducting the demo so he or she can answer specific questions or offer case studies of other clients utilizing this integration. Also, check out partner pages or portals to find out what integrates with the ATS you’re considering as they may integrate with another solution you’re looking into.

Who is the team behind it?

You won’t see this question in a lot of buyer’s guides or blog posts about ATS evaluations, but we believe it’s one of the most important. If an ATS has every bell and whistle but not a great team to support you or help you implement it, you’re going to end up searching for another new ATS sooner than later. Look for who is behind the technology. Do they have good customer reviews and ratings? Are they responsive to complaints or comments online? Do they charge for implementation and assistance? Do they take customer feedback into top consideration when developing their product? You can gather reviews from all over the web and consider asking some colleagues in specialty groups on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Asking the right questions is just the first step. Make sure to explore our practical, intuitive Applicant Tracking System. It’s built for midsize companies and is able to serve a wide range of clients in industries like Finance, Education and more. Learn more about key features like how ClearCompany can help predict a potential hire’s performance or allow candidates to schedule their own interviews!

talent management software

Sara Pollock
Sara Pollock
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As the head of the Marketing department, Sara makes sure that ClearCompany's message, products and best practices reach and assist as many HR practitioners as possible.

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