Top 8 Myths about Applicant Tracking Systems that First Time Buyers Should Know 

“Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, and objects at rest tend to stay at rest,” is one of the foundational laws of motion discovered and published by Sir Issac Newton in 1687. But these laws don’t only apply to the natural laws of physics, they also apply to companies putting new software systems in place. In other words, companies without systems in place tend to stay companies without systems in place. 

In today’s world, there are certain tools you need in order to do your job and stay competitive. One of those tools is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Implementing any new system can be a daunting task, and we all defer to the status quo (objects at rest…). However, if you are considering an Applicant Tracking System for your company, it’s not nearly as complex as you might think. If you are considering one for the first time, we have come up with a list of the Top 8 Myths about the ATS world to help you through the process. 

Myth 1: An Applicant Tracking System is time-consuming to implement

Yes, getting started with any new system will take time, but you should make time for tasks that will deliver a 10x return on your recruiting and hiring process. A good ATS shouldn’t be that difficult to implement. First, make sure the system has a modern User Interface, which will dramatically reduce any learning curve. In addition, since you will not be able to drop everything else to implement an ATS, be sure to choose one that offers the training and support your HR team needs, as this can vary greatly between providers. Any ATS provider that wants you to succeed will include a dedicated Implementation Specialist who will guide you through the process. In most cases, you should have your ATS up, running, and live within a week.

Myth 2: An Applicant Tracking System will force us to change everything about our HR processes

A well-designed ATS can work within the boundaries of your typical hiring process, including your hiring workflows. Some processes will shift from manual to digital, but that’s the entire point, as the world is now digital. A first rate ATS should be thought of as an accelerator: it helps your team accomplish the job you’re already doing more quickly and efficiently. 

Myth 3: An Applicant Tracking System is too expensive

An ATS streamlines your entire hiring process, modernizes your approach, and saves significant time for your HR staff. Organizations can experience substantial savings after implementing an ATS, such as a reduction in time to hire and cost per hire. Many organizations also reduce their turnover simply by hiring more effectively using an ATS. A system’s pricing model should align with your hiring needs, and pricing should scale with your growth. Often, you only need to make one good hire in a year by using an ATS in order for it to pay for itself. It can do so by keeping things from slipping through the cracks during the hiring process and by providing an immediate and professional way to communicate with your candidates.

Myth 4: All Applicant Tracking Systems are the same

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ Applicant Tracking System, but there is a plethora of HR systems on the market today, making it difficult to find the best one to suit your organization. But that isn’t necessarily a negative. The number of systems on the market can work to your advantage. It ultimately takes time, research, an understanding of the needs of your company, and an understanding of what features you need in order to address the challenges that you are experiencing to find the best fit for your organization. A starting point when researching an ATS, is to ask the possible ATS providers what size companies they support. A company with 300+ employees will have different needs than one with 25 employees. 

Myth 5: Applicant Tracking Systems are only built for huge businesses

As an HR professional working for a small or medium sized business, you may get frustrated by the number of potentially unnecessary features of some Applicant Tracking Systems. You need something that will make your job easier, not more complicated. The good news is that there are plenty of options out there for all sized businesses, small and medium included. Make sure an ATS has been designed with your company’s current characteristics in mind and that it can grow with you if your company needs it to. 

Myth 6: Applicant Tracking Systems take jobs away

An underworked Human Resources team is like a pack of unicorns roaming an enchanted forest–there’s no such thing. Every HR professional has more things to accomplish than hours in the day. Applicant Tracking Systems don’t encroach on anyone’s job. Instead, they should do the exact opposite, and should perform automated processes that let your team focus on other matters. If you only take into account the number of automatic tasks an ATS can do, it will free up hours per week. 

Myth 7: An Applicant Tracking System dehumanizes the hiring process

Rather than removing the human aspect of hiring, Applicant Tracking Systems can increase the personal touch. Since an ATS should be designed to organize processes and promote collaboration, they can make it easier for hiring managers to communicate with applicants and keep them updated on where their application stands. The best ATS is going to be the one that allows seamless communication both internally among colleagues and externally with your applicants. 

Myth 8: An Applicant Tracking System requires an IT staff to support it

With technology shifting to the cloud, you can choose, implement, and operate an ATS with zero involvement from your IT staff. If you want to involve your IT team for advanced benefits, an ATS should support this, but you should not need major involvement from your IT staff. Make sure your ATS partner will have everything you need out of the box in the cloud. In addition, you shouldn’t need to worry about involving IT staff for upgrades. Your ATS provider should update your system with new features automatically as they are released.

Everyone remembers the first part of Newton’s law, “Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, and objects at rest tend to stay at rest,” but most people forget the second part, “unless it is acted upon by an external force.” Be that force for change in your company and start hiring smarter and faster today.