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The decision to purchase and implement an applicant tracking system (ATS) is often met with excitement from recruiters and hiring managers. An ATS can make the hiring process much easier and can raise hiring standards, after all.
However, when devising the implementation plan, it is wise to consider integrating the ATS with existing HRIS systems or even obtaining HRIS systems and implementing the systems at the same time if none are in place.
Isolated HR systems create silos of information. This information can be difficult to tap into and use for any purpose besides the hiring process. Isolated systems also mean duplicate information entry is required every time there is an update to your company offerings, logos, goals, values, or any other data that may be of interest to both new and existing employees.
When an ATS is not integrated with an HRIS, the issues begin just as soon as someone successfully moves through the recruiting process and becomes an employee. When the systems are disparate, it is not possible to simply export the data from the ATS into the HRIS, all information must be manually entered. This increases the risk of entry errors and directly uses human resources labor hours that could be better spent on more lucrative or productive tasks.
By integrating HRIS and ATS, it is possible to simply transfer information from one system to another. This increased transparency and fluidity can have many benefits. Managers and employers may also be able to access needed information from a single point, instead of having to log on to separate systems.
Patterns in hiring and recruiting may turn out to have an impact on things like employee retention, productivity, and satisfaction. When metrics that pertain to retention and productivity can be easily compared and cross referenced with information about specific keywords applied through the ATS and other recruitment strategies and tools, it may be possible to optimize processes and analyze the impact of changes.
Integrating HRIS and ATS is a common sense step that is generally taken at one time or another in most organizations that use both solutions. Integrating the ATS with an HRIS during implementation can save steps, time, money, and headaches when compared with trying to integrate an ATS and HRIS later on down the road. While it may seem easier to budget for only implementing an ATS and then planning to integrate systems at a later date, this decision can have detrimental consequences.
Since purchasing and implementing an ATS is a big decision, key decision makers may be hesitant to add extra difficulty by agreeing to integrate HRIS and ATS right away. By using some of the above information to estimate a potential ROI that decision makers can review, it may be possible to show in real numbers how integrating systems may make sense to the bottom line. While it may be tough to estimate the financial impact of things like data entry errors, you can add up saved labor hours and estimate savings from improvements in retention to help make the case for integration.
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