How to implement an ATS

Your applicant tracking system (ATS) needs to be implemented correctly for you to get the best out of it. Read our blog post and learn about an implementation process that will ensure your new ATS changes the game for candidates and recruitment teams alike.

Let’s say you’ve already chosen your ATS provider. The process of implementing it is just as important. Making it work for everyone requires a methodical approach that invites input from stakeholders across the recruitment process. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through an implementation process that will enable your organisation to take full advantage of the game changing benefits of a modern ATS.  

Talk to us about GeniusATS

Setting your objectives

Before diving headfirst into implementing an ATS, you need to be sure of what you want to achieve with it. Think about how you want to improve your recruitment processes and what could make it more efficient. Your ATS provider can act as a sounding-board for this. Take advantage of their expertise in streamlining recruitment processes, but don’t be afraid to make suggestions—after all, you’ll be the ones using the ATS once it’s up and running. You could use the following questions to prompt ideas about how your ATS can be improved:

  • What are your recruitment pain points?
  • What functionalities do you need from your ATS?
  • Who will need access to the system?
  • What business systems will you integrate with?

Gathering as much information from as many stakeholders as possible will enable you and your ATS provider to come up with a solution that works for everyone.  

Developing an implementation plan

Your plan will bring structure to the implementation process and must be in place before work begins. Teams implementing your ATS will follow it to ensure that deadlines are met and that work on the project proceeds in a logical way. You can use methodologies such as Agile or Waterfall to manage the implementation project and give you visibility of how individual elements (front end development or application templates, for example) are progressing. Implementing an ATS involves many jobs being done by different people, so it’s worth investing in some good project management software or working with a trusted ATS provider to keep track of progress.

Migrating your data

This should be done carefully as candidate data is at the heart of your recruitment efforts. Your ATS provider can take the legwork out of preparing your data and ensure that it is migrated compliantly and accurately from your old system to the new one.

Customising your ATS

This is where you make your new ATS your own and create a unique candidate experience that can help to turn applicants into advocates of your employer brand. Here you can apply your brand look and feel and configure your application processes. You might also want to integrate your ATS with HR tools to improve your recruitment processes. Your ATS provider can advise you on this. They will also help you develop employer communications for ATS that build connections with candidates that, whether they’re successful or not, mean they’ll always be keen to work for you. You might also consider:

  • Workflows: How do you recruit? Your ATS should reflect the process from job posting to onboarding. Your ATS partner can help you develop more efficient ways of working.  
  • Email templates: Upload email templates that will engage candidates. You might offer exclusive discounts or incentives to unsuccessful candidates you wish to keep in your talent pipeline.
  • Define user privileges: Recruitment data is sensitive. Limiting access is one of the ways you can protect it. Modern systems, like GeniusATS, can automate GDPR compliance.
  • Dashboard set-up: This is how you make sure you have all the relevant data and controls right where you need them. Do you regularly need data on application and vacancy status or where your candidates come from online? Make it part of your dashboard.
  • Reporting requirements: A modern ATS can supply detailed recruitment data, but your ATS partner can set up bespoke reporting at this stage to meet any specific requirements.

Preparing for launch

Now that you've built an ATS to suit you, it’s time to iron out any potential bugs and get up to speed with using it.

  • Testing: Assemble a testing group from people who will use the new ATS day to day so you can replicate real-life conditions as closely as possible. It’s important that you test as thoroughly as possible and involve stakeholders from across the recruitment process. Testing can also foster a sense of investment in the project, which is another good reason to open this part of the process up to everyone in the team.  
  • Training: Once your system is working the way it needs to, it’s time to introduce all users to the new system. It’s crucial that any bugs are ironed out before this happens so that you can maximise buy-in with users and overcome any potential resistance to change.

Go-live and aftercare period

With your candidate experience as smooth as can be and your recruitment team trained, it’s time to flick the switch and launch your new ATS. Just because you’re reaping the benefits, however, that doesn’t mean your ATS provider’s work is done. GeniusATS, for instance, comes with a period of aftercare to help users adjust to the new system, monitor its performance and to deliver any supplementary training that might be required.

Handover and ongoing support

Once everyone is happy using the new system, your ATS provider can take a step back. That doesn’t mean you’re on your own. With GeniusATS, for instance, there’s a client support email function and you’ll have an account manager to whom you can report and escalate issues. Plus, quarterly meetings where you can discuss any changes in your recruitment needs. By staying in regular contact with your ATS provider, you can help ensure you always get the best out of your ATS.

Back to News