What happens when your ATS stops working for you? It happens to all of us at some point. We invest a lot of time, money, and energy into researching the best new tools out in the market. We compile a list of our must-haves, nice-to-haves, and things we can’t live without. Then we spend hours researching our options. After hours and hours of research, we have so much information it’s overwhelming. We feel crippled with knowledge, but we finally make a decision.
Now, we’re excited about our new ATS and all of the things we can accomplish. Then, eventually it sets in. You know what I’m talking about. Eventually that shiny, new feeling wears off. It’s inevitable. What was once a perfect solution starts to show a few cracks. Maybe the ATS saved you a ton of time in one part of your process but added hours to another. Or maybe, you now need to use many different tools outside of your ATS because it doesn’t offer the innovative, modern features you need. It happens to all of us. But, if you’re lucky, it doesn’t happen for years. Regardless, we all get there at some point. How do you know when it’s time to make a change?
After years of listening to recruiters, we have compiled a list of the 5 most common reasons for staffing agencies and executive search firms make the switch. Reasons that no matter how good of a recruiter you are, you can’t workaround.
Ease of Use
What good is a tool if it’s not easy to use? If you can relate, think of all the hours spent onboarding, training new team members, regaining knowledge lost with every employee departure, and trying to track down support at your technology provider. The hours add up quickly. If your ATS wasn’t originally designed to be easy to use, it will never improve, and these hours will continue to add up over time.
There is no doubt recruiting is evolving. Despite changes, the principles remain the same. You still need to identify, engage, and move candidates along the recruiting funnel, and the administrative tasks associated with these processes have been largely untouched. Yet for some reason, a lot of recruiters have to spend a portion of their day switching between screens to manually tackle these administrative tasks, if they do it at all. If you’re ATS hasn’t managed to automate the simplest of your tasks, how is it any better than using a spreadsheet to track candidates?
No product is perfect. Occasionally bugs will pop up, features will break, and you will have no choice but to reach out to your ATS provider. But, what is the experience like? Do you get to talk to a human? How long does it take for them to reply and resolve the issue?
A good customer team can quickly turn a negative experience into a positive one. They can be your advocate, listen to your concerns, and provide a direct line to the product team to get your issues resolved quickly. If you don’t have someone in your corner, helping you out when you need it most, how can you feel confident that your ATS provider is truly working for you?
We have grown to expect a lot out of our ATS. They were originally designed to manage the flow of incoming applications, but they have evolved a lot since then. An ATS now needs to be a CRM, a contact finder, and a recruitment marketing suite all-in-one. But, what’s the right balance?
On one hand, you’re making a substantial investment, and you shouldn’t have to jump between 10 different platforms to do what you need. On the other hand, there is such a thing as adding features for the sake of adding features, and features don’t matter if you can’t get sourced candidates into your ATS. It’s a balancing act. If your ATS can’t master the basics and support your fundamental needs, new, innovative features aren’t going to solve your problems.
Access to Analytics
In a world that is becoming more data centric by the minute, access to fundamental recruiting analytics is a must have for any ATS. Recruiters need insight into key metrics, like time-to-fill and submittal-to-placement, to evaluate the effectiveness of their process and identify top performers. If your ATS (where you track this entire process) can’t track this information, you’re out of luck. You can continue operating in the dark, hoping what you’re doing will continue to work. Or, you can start your search for a new ATS immediately.
No ATS is perfect. There are always going to be features that you wish you had or worked differently. There is always going to be something you want customized or something that breaks from time to time. You are going to run into these issues with whichever tool you choose, but if your ATS doesn’t deliver on the basics — ease of use, automation, features, customer support, and analytics — it’s time you ask yourself. Is your ATS adding value or limiting your success?