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What Kind of Applicant Tracking System is Right for Me?

There is a lot to consider before choosing the best applicant tracking system (ATS) for your business. Do you need an applicant tracking system that can handle an unlimited number of users and job openings? How important is it to you that your system integrates well with your corporate website? These questions, among others, should be answered before purchasing an applicant tracking system. Of course, the best applicant system will work for your business needs, budget, and employees. Think through some goals for your business and how an ATS system can help achieve those goals.

Let’s start with budget!  

Applicant tracking systems can get fairly expensive. Larger businesses and staffing agencies pay a lot more than smaller and mid-sized businesses. This is because some pricing models for applicant tracking systems charge a fee based on the overall number of employees within an organization. The price range for applicant tracking systems range from $25 to $100 per user per month for basic plans. However, the more features you add to the platform, the more money you’ll have to dish out.

Always be sure to ask about pricing details before purchasing an applicant tracking system, otherwise you may end up getting some pricey surprises. Some ATS vendors don’t showcase prices on their websites, so it is important to ask about what you’ll be charged. It’s also important to chat with vendors before purchasing an ATS online because you never know if you could get a discount. Usually, you can get a 10-20% discount if you choose an annual plan over a monthly plan. So, if you have the money, it is wise to pay for the full year upfront.

How many candidates does your business plan to hire? If you only plan on hiring a few employees, consider purchasing a stand-alone applicant tracking system. These tend to be a little cheaper. While cost can depend on how many employees need to access the system, it can also depend on number of job openings posted. 

If you are tight on cash, there are free applicant tracking systems you can check out. 

What features are important for your business needs?

  • Common ATS features include:
  • Applicant tracking
  • Candidate profiles
  • Job posting
  • Applicant scoring

Additional features are pretty unique and can include social media and automated emails. However, if you have a small company of staffing agency, with a small recruitment team, you probably don’t need a very sophisticated applicant tracking system. There are affordable systems capable of basic data processing, applicant communication, and simple recruitment analytics, which are all necessary to enhance your recruitment process without costing you an arm and a leg.

Not all applicant tracking systems are alike. You might discover that some systems are easier to use than others. Before purchasing, try a demo of different types of applicant tracking systems to get a feel for which ATS works for you or your staffing team. Some ATS offer free trials that allows you to create an account, navigate the tool, and even post jobs without any commitment.

Nextal offer free tools that are excellent starter kits for small businesses and staffing agencies. Click here to schedule a demo.

Cloud-based applicant tracking systems vs. on-premise applicant tracking systems

What’s the difference between a cloud-based applicant tracking system and an on-premise applicant tracking system and why should you care? There are advantages and disadvantages to both platforms.

Today, businesses have a lot of options when it comes to data storage. One of these options include using the cloud to host your data as opposed to just keeping everything within your own network. Cloud computing is all about storing and accessing data, programs and applications you’re using over the internet instead of storing and accessing the same thing from your computer’s hard drive or a server somewhere in the building (on-premise applicant tracking system).

Cloud computing gives you flexibility, with less control. The service provider can access the data you stored on the cloud any time. Your data can even get deleted accidentally (which can happen even with on-premise ATS). A number of cloud providers can even share information with third parties for purposes of law and order. Keep in mind that as a customer you have to agree to their privacy policies before you sign up for their services, which means your stored data is vulnerable.

On-Premise Applicant Tracking

The on-premise applicant tracking system delivery model installs and operates from a company’s in-house server and computing infrastructure. It requires only a license or purchased copy of the software to operate. Since the software used is licensed and the fact that the entire instance of software remains within an organization’s premises, there’s more control in terms of security.

Since on-premise ATS requires in-house server hardware, software licenses, integration and active support from the IT wing of the organization, it is more expensive than cloud applicant tracking systems. In addition, it requires way more maintenance costs than you might be aware of. Again, talk to the vendors about costs so you know which applicant tracking systems are in your budget.

An ATS can be a wonderful addition to your business that can help streamline your recruitment processes and assist you in hiring the best talent and building great teams.

As mentioned, it is imperative that you determine your needs and preferences before you begin testing. If you know what you want ahead of time, you will have more success narrowing down your options before beginning your free trials. Good luck and happy hunting.