Hiring | 5 tips for implementing an ATS

5 tips for implementing an ATS
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The benefits of a well-implemented ATS can be immense. A survey from Capterra reported that 94% of recruiters and hiring professionals say their ATS or recruitment software has positively impacted their hiring process. However, too often mistakes are made through a lack of understanding.

Define your metrics for success

Once you are clear on the outcomes and improvements you expect to realise from the implementation of your ATS, you should take time to consider what the metrics for success will be and how you will measure these.

Most commonly, these will fall into two categories - quantitative and qualitative measures. Quantitative data is very much like a measuring stick. If it can be counted, measured, and given a numerical value it is quantitative.

Examples of quantitative data:

  • Time to hire

  • Average time to fill an ‘empty chair’

  • Cost per hire

  • A candidate or hiring manager satisfaction measure (e.g. Net Promoter or Customer Satisfaction Score/CSAT)

  • Diversity of new hires

  • Qualified candidates per job

  • Offer acceptance rate

  • Reduced candidate drop-off (e.g. at application or offer)

Form and build your project team

You will no doubt have access to a whole team of talent and skills in IS/Technology, HR and, Marketing that you can draw on, so involve them early in the project. Their expertise will be invaluable, and they’ll appreciate being consulted and involved. If you fail to do this, they could even prove to be blockers just when you least expect it and hamper the progress or even success of the project.

It’s useful to categorise all stakeholders across the organisation and a project team of colleagues that will support you. This is sometimes called the RACI model.

Those people who are:

  • Responsible for the project (e.g. recruitment lead, HRIS implementation lead etc)

  • Accountable for its success (this might be the Head of Recruitment / Talent Acquisition Manager)

  • Consulted during the process (e.g. Marketing, IT, Hiring Managers, HR etc)

  • Informed as the project progresses (HRD, Leadership, IT Director etc)

Challenge your process

Always bear in mind that an ATS, like any technology, is an enabler and not a solution in itself.

Before even considering a tech solution, look first at your end-to-end hiring process as it is today; what elements are working well and what are the key issues and why? It’s critical that you analyse and fix the basics in your process first, or at least produce a ‘to be’ process which will help inform you which platform best suits your needs, not just today but in the future.

It’s a good idea to map out your process and produce a visual process flow. This can be shared with stakeholders for their input and will often highlight areas that can be refined and improved way ahead of the first scoping meeting with your ATS.

If produced early enough, this can also be shared with prospective vendors for them to better understand your processes and evidence how their solution will support them.

At Jobtrain, we map out all our clients’ processes in just this way!

What questions to ask your ATS vendor

  1. What support will I receive for scoping and set-up?

  2. Who will manage the implementation process, who will I be working with and what experience do they have?

  3. What does the implementation process, methodology, and what tools and resources are available?

  4. What’s included and are there any limits?

  5. Who is responsible for testing, what support will I receive and is this included?

  6. Is there any additional development work required for custom branding or integration with my other solutions and is it possible to have a fixed cost?

  7. Is there support and guidance for managing business change and user adoption?

  8. Training – who will be trained and how will this work – what additional support or material is available?

  9. Will the vendor make tweaks and changes to the set-up and configuration after the solution has gone live and will there be a charge?

  10. What go-live support can I expect and who is this delivered by?

What's the expected timeline of your ATS?

Timelines for an ATS implementation will vary considerably depending on the platform you select, the degree of tailoring you require, third-party system integration work and the size of your organisation. As a rule, however:
A basic ATS for an SME with self-configuration can be delivered in 1 week. Our recruitment software for small businesses – JTGO – is a perfect example of this.
A full ATS for medium to large companies should plan for a 4–8-week implementation.
Large to enterprise organisations should expect the project from scoping to go-live to be delivered in around 12 weeks.