Selecting an ATS: The 4 People You Need To Get Buy-In From

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Introduction

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are evolving to address the needs of the modern workforce. These changes have led to greater specialization, meaning your current ATS might not be optimal for your organization’s recruiting needs. 

Selecting a new ATS at the enterprise level can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to replacing an existing system, here are a few of the common personas you’ll need to align with throughout the process as well as common roadblocks you may face at each step. 

HR: Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), HR Operations, Recruiter, and Talent Acquisition (TA) Manager

If you’re reading this blog, you likely fall into one of these roles.

Traditionally, a member of the HR Operations team—or even a more senior member of the HR team—serves as the internal champion pushing for a new applicant tracking system. They research and work directly with ATS providers to identify which system will best serve the needs of the organization. 

Because HR and TA teams will be the primary users of the applicant tracking system, it’s crucial for these departments to align on: 

  • The deficiencies of the current system. 
  • The must-have features of the next system.

Once the HR team is aligned on what they require from their next ATS, they may need to address the following roadblock early in the process.

IT: CIO, IT Director, Operations Manager 

The IT department is the logical next team involved in the approval stage of the ATS buying process. Although they’re not going to be using the system on a regular basis, they must ensure that it can integrate with the other tools in the company’s tech stack.

When involving IT team members in the consideration process for a new applicant tracking system, you may be faced with the following questions: 

  • “Who saw this before me?”
  • “Does this integrate with our Human Resources Integration System (HRIS)?”
  • “Is it Service Orientation Control (SOC) 2–compliant?”
  • “Is it California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)-, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and/or Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)-compliant?”

It’s the IT team’s responsibility to ensure your next applicant tracking system provider has the capability to communicate with your other systems. 

Finance & Operations: CFO/VP of Finance

After HR identifies the need for a new applicant tracking system and IT has approved a list of potential vendors, it’s time to engage your finance and operations teams to further evaluate whether implementing a new system is worth the undertaking. 

Some common questions you may get from finance and operations are: 

  • “What does our current ATS cost us? What are the terms of the agreement?”
  • “How will it work with our other systems?”

The finance and operations teams will ultimately decide whether the issue you’ve identified is problematic enough to require the necessary time and financial investment.

CEO 

Replacing an ATS at the enterprise level is costly. It’s the executive team’s role to ensure the organization is empowered to make smart decisions. 

Although It’s rare that a CEO would be involved in enterprise software decisions, it’s important to understand the impact a leader can have.

The directives that come from the CEO strongly influence a buyer’s decision-making, directly or indirectly. If they get involved late in the process, they’ll often reinforce the inquires posed by the finance and operations teams: 

  1. “Is this really a problem? 
  2. “Is this the best alternative solution?” 

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For some of the common roadblocks you may encounter with each of these buyer personas, check out the full guide below!


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