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Performing an ATS Software Needs Assessment

After determining that your company would benefit from implementing ATS software, it’s important that your very first step be to perform a needs assessment.

After determining that your company would benefit from implementing applicant tracking system (ATS) software, it’s important that your very first step be to perform a needs assessment. Failure to assess ATS software needs lies at the heart of many doomed software implementation projects and recruitment problems. Assessing needs isn’t always easy, however, so it can be helpful to simplify the process.

Worksheets and checklists can keep you on track and help you to remember factors that you may have otherwise overlooked. We have provided a sample of an ATS needs assessment worksheet that could help you in your journey to purchase a new ATS.

Features and Functions

Feature Priority Ranking Gaps in Current Systems Notes
Applicant Profiles
Resume Uploading
Resume Parsing
Interview Scheduling
Candidate Database
Candidate Scorecards
Pre-employment Screenings
Qualification Sorting
Job Boards Website
Social Media Recruitment Tools
Integration Capabilities
Compliance Management
Mobile Accessibility
Onboarding Support

ATS Purchase Plan

Planned Dates for Important ATS Software Selection Milestones

ATS Purchase Phase Projected Date
Vendor Research Start and End Dates
Vendors Narrowed Down to a Shortlist
Vendor Demos and Presentations Scheduled
Contract Negotiations Start and End Dates
Final ATS Software Solution Selected
Implementation Start Date

Selection Considerations

After assessing organizational needs and drafting a purchase plan, it’s prudent to consider some factors regarding your purchase before you dive into research.

  • What is the up-front and monthly budget for ATS software?
  • Will comprehensive training be required to shift from current recruitment processes?
  • Will future growth affect a solution’s ability to meet the company’s hiring needs? Are there scalable solutions that can grow with your company?

Research Phase

After narrowing your selection down to a shortlist, it’s easy to get blinded by flashy features and favor certain solutions for more emotional reasons. Conducting a best fit analysis can help you stay practical.

Best Fit Criteria Vendor #1 Vendor #2 Vendor #3
Do ATS features line up with priorities?
Do reviews indicate satisfactory customer support?
Does pricing fall within budgetary limitations?
Are contract terms acceptable?
Are recruiters and hiring managers on board with the solution?

Software Integration Capabilities

If you currently use HR software to assist with your talent management, you may wish to consider how well your new ATS will integrate with your existing solutions. Check the selections from your shortlist against your current HR software so that you can anticipate what needs to be done when it comes time for implementation.

Software Function Current Vendor Able to Integrate with Software Options (Select from Shortlist)
Time and Attendance Tracking    
Payroll    
Benefits Management    
Learning Management and Tracking    

Goal of an ATS Software Needs Assessment

Conducting an ATS software needs assessment can have farther reaching benefits than simply helping you to identify what you would like to see in a new recruitment software solution. In some cases, you may spot weaknesses in your current recruitment processes that help you to transform your hiring practices from the ground up, raising the bar on your hiring standards while trimming costs and time to hire.

The true goal of an ATS software needs assessment is to figure out what needs to change in your hiring process so that you can take steps to make it happen, whether that change comes from the inside or outside. With effort and a clear plan, you can work to optimize your hiring following a needs assessment.

If you have identified your ATS needs and are ready to move onto the next phase of ATS software selection, our experts can save you research time and provide you with a shortlist quickly. Visit our Software Match page to get help from our professionals.

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