8 Questions You Need To Ask Your ATS Provider

Switching from a paper or spreadsheets-based recruiting system can be intimidating, especially if your workforce is not used to a technology-based environment. Even if you’re switching from a recruiting software to a new one, the experience is sure to be different, which is why you considered the change in the first place.


There are a few ATS Providers out there with great Customer Service in place to answer your questions before you take them onboard. For help in implementing the right ATS for your organization, here are some things you should ask before you take the leap.


1)   Can you give me a detailed demo of your product? demo


Request a thorough demonstration of the system’s interface and use of essential tools like:

-Accessing dashboards

-Managing roles and tasks

-Requisitioning and posting jobs

-Scheduling interviews

-Developing hiring approvals

-Communicating with candidates

-Accessing performance and talent reports

Be sure to involve all key departments in this demo so that every potential user gets to learn the scope of the system and judge whether it meets expectations.


2)    What kind of customization are possible?

One size doesn’t fit all. Perhaps your organization prefers an accelerated hiring cycle or requires multi-lingual capability. Since your organization is unique and hiring processes can change depending on so many factors, remember to ask your provider if they can devise a tailor-made system for you that can meet your requirements. There is no benefit in paying for features that you don’t need and missing out on those that you do.


3)    How much time will it take to set up the solution?

time to setupAsk how long it will take for the system to be fully implemented because knowing this duration can help you pace your preparation for the switch. This time should ideally be long enough for all stakeholders to backup data and receive basic training in the system’s use. However, since you’d want to reap the new system’s benefits as soon as you can, the time to setup should not last longer than a month.


A lot of new ATS systems are cloud-based and are quick to setup but you need to make sure to communicate custom requirements to get a better estimate. For instance, if your security team mandates that the solution be deployed on your own servers, then you need to convey this to your provider to get a better time estimate.


4)    Can I see some past executions, preferably in my industry?

Requesting the provider for their customer testimonials can give great insight into the product’s competence. They can help you check whether the system has historically solved similar issues to those that you are looking to eradicate. These stories can also act as a great window into the responsiveness and reliability of your provider’s service.


5)    How configurable is the system?

Be sure to ask if the ATS is configurable to your needs. Where customization refers to specific changes they’ll have to make within the system to adapt it to your needs, configuration refers to the kind of options the system provides for you to change things as needed.


For example:config

-Can you change the email content that you share with candidates?

-Can you create your own questionnaires?

-Can you change your requisition approval flow?

All very valid questions to ask your ATS provider.


6)    Who hosts it and how secure is it?

Hosting security is crucial to your portal’s success. Ask your ATS provider about the hosting company they work with and the precise security features they use (like RAID, Uptime, Secure Datacenter). Knowing this is important because after spending so much money on the portal, you need to be sure that your data is protected from frauds and viruses and your server is up and running all the time, even when there are many simultaneous visitors on the site.


7)    Who owns the data?

There is a lot of relief with data automation and cloud storage. All your data is stored in one place and can be accessed by any verified user from anywhere. With most of this data being extremely confidential, it’s critical to ask your provider offering cloud storage this: who owns this data? The contract detailing this is very important and there must be a clear distinction between the provider’s right to store and process the data and the ownership that is retained by you. Your business owns its data so confirm with your ATS provider that there is no ambiguity over this.


8)    What kind of support do you offer?customer service

Technology is just one piece of it all. You will need ample help around the product too. Knowing whom to reach and how much to expect from your provider can be of great benefit. Make sure to ask questions like: Is there a Service Level Agreement (SLA)? If yes, what does it entail? Who will I reach out to when I have a problem and how quickly will it be resolved?


As a customer, you have the right to ensure that your chosen ATS matches your requirements. So don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions to see how the ATS maps to your current recruitment process. Remember, you want the system to work for you and not the other way round. These 8 questions are only there to help you get started. Feel free to devise a set of your own and pick the provider that honestly answers and satisfies all your concerns.