Last week, we did a Q&A with Talent Acquisition expert Elaine Davidson on How to Select a New Applicant Tracking System. In the interview, Elaine also listed the top mistakes she’s seen companies make when selecting an ATS. We decided to segment those out and include them here. Enjoy!


1. Considering Only the Trending Applicant Tracking Systems

The company goes with what is trending or the platform that a direct competitor uses without really understanding what else is on the ATS market.  There are new applicant tracking systems hitting the market all the time – and the founders of these companies are getting more and more savvy.

Clients often rush to make a decision rather than taking the extra few weeks or even months to learn the landscape and make an educated decision.


2. Assuming ATS companies are Recruiting Experts

Assuming that the ATS vendor is a recruiting expert is a very common mistake and probably the most costly of all.  The ATS vendor is an expert on their technology.  Some of the ATS firms have in-house consultants that are part of the implementation team.

As a client, you need to understand what that person’s background is – how long they have been in the space, and their level of understanding of Talent Acquisition at the executive level.  Your consultant – whether in-house or hired by you as an independent 3rd party adviser, must be in a position to help you make bold decisions about your recruiting function, see what is possible, and think at least 3 steps ahead.


3. Ignoring Your CRM

Many companies know the value of an applicant tracking system but they don’t link it to the value of a CRM tool.  The ATS is used once an individual becomes a candidate. Most ATS providers also offer a CRM tool that enables your recruiters to build pipelines, create Talent Communities, and ultimately fill positions more quickly.  It is a mistake to not at least consider the CRM as part of your solution.


4. Ignoring Your Recruiting and Talent Acquisition Process

Operational Excellence and the future state of the recruiting process are not emphasized nearly enough in the selection of an ATS.  It is imperative that you understand the unique process for your organization and you have the ATS system built accordingly.

Too many clients abandon their non-negotiables because they are told that the system “can’t do that”.It is a mistake to look at the ATS selection and implementation as a purely technical project.  It’s an organic process that should reflect the organization’s personality. You should take full advantage of the creative space that begins with a white sheet of paper to design the vision you have for your team.


5. Limiting the ATS Stakeholders to Recruiters

Lack of buy-in and communication from key stakeholders is a mistake from beginning to end.  If you are selecting a new applicant tracking system, solicit the views of others beyond just Recruiters.  What do Hiring Managers want to gain?  What is their biggest pain point?  What does your Executive team want to see in terms of reporting, dashboards, and metrics?  Do people want self service?  The point is to over-communicate and make this a company project that is focused on your Human Capital as opposed to just a recruiting tool.

by in Applicant Tracking System