3 Things to Consider When Choosing an Applicant Tracking System

This blog post is based on the eighteenth episode of the data-driven recruiting podcast hosted by CodeSignal co-founders Sophia Baik and Tigran Sloyan. You can find and listen to this specific episode here or check out the video version embedded below.

Is your organization hiring for a dozen or more new positions? Are you hiring multiple candidates for specific roles?

Chances are, you’re in a spreadsheet nightmare trying to manage the entire hiring process.

Which means it’s probably time for an applicant tracking system (ATS).

G2 defines an applicant tracking system as “[systems that] are used to streamline the recruiting and hiring of new talent. ATS manages the entire recruiting process from career page hosting to interview scheduling. These systems help recruiters reduce the time spent reading resumes and screening potential applicants by collecting, sorting, and organizing applicant resumes. They store applicant information in a centralized system of record so candidate information can be retained and talent pools developed.” 

Some of the top applicant tracking systems include Greenhouse, Lever, and SmartRecruiter, all of which CodeSignal has integrations with. 

But… before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the top three things to consider when choosing an ATS.

Data Collection Process

You likely need an ATS when you can no longer easily collect and manage accurate data about your candidates. 

A top-tier ATS will enable you to easily and, often times, automatically collect data. You can then transform your hiring process into data-driven recruiting as you can extract insights you never knew you needed. 

A high-quality ATS will be able to: 

  • Track activities and steps in your hiring process
  • Identify the source of every applicant
  • Feedback and decisions on each candidate

You should be sent automatic reminders if something looks out of order or is missing. Easy data collection about candidates will help you hire smarter while, ultimately, saving you time and money.

CodeSignal integrates automatically into top ATS’ to provide a one-stop view of a candidate and their technical abilities.

Data Utilization Capabilities 

If you can’t use your data, what good is it?

With an ATS, you should be able to pull reports and create dashboards around various pieces of the recruiting process. Do you want to know your offer-to-hire ratio? Want to know where a majority of candidates are coming from? What about time to hire?

Your ATS should automatically have this data available to you. It should also be customizable enough that you can create your own reports. 

What’s important is that you integrate this data into your everyday decision making. Is one hiring channel not bringing in any high-quality applicants? Maybe it’s time to shut it off. Understand what your priorities are in your recruiting process and use the data available in your ATS to help you make informed, data-driven decisions. 

Data Exportability

If you’re a sophisticated organization, chances are you’re using other HR technology like software for onboarding or performance reviews.

Chances are you also have an analyst team who can help you extract deeper insights like: 

  • What channels do top-quality performers originate?
  • What’s the average onboarding time for someone with a high Coding Score?
  • Does time to hire impact performance reviews? 

You’ll want to be able to export your ATS data into a usable format to answer these kinds of questions. 

What Are Your Applicant Tracking System Functional Requirements?

These three Application Tracking System features should help you understand what functional requirements you need to succeed. 

If you have questions about how CodeSignal integrates with an ATS you’re looking at, please reach out to sales@codesignal.com and we’ll be glad to give you a walkthrough! 

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