There seems to be an emerging trend with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) vendors who, in an effort to woo potential clients, are offering a free Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to sweeten the deal. Unfortunately, a *sweet deal* can quickly become a *bitter pill* when you get past the marketing hype and realize that not only is it not free, it’s not able to meet your most basic recruitment management needs.
Below are some things to consider before you sign-off on that free ERP ATS.
1. Today, many ATS vendors offer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions that can be fairly inexpensive and easy to implement, some are even self-implementing. Be leery of ATS solutions that don’t follow the SaaS module as they may be loaded with hidden implementation costs and consulting fees.
2. Does the ERP vendor provide a knowledgeable customer support staff for your applicants and ATS users? If not, you may want to consider the cost and resources necessary to provide this internally.
3. Does the ERP vendor provide a robust, user-friendly online Candidate Portal that can quickly plug into your company website? Is the online application process easy to navigate and complete? Remember, the best candidates are usually the ones with the most career options. You don’t want them shunning you because your application system is complicated and clunky.
4. Does the ERP vendor apply Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to the Candidate Portal? Unfortunately, if you build it, they may not come. Having a candidate portal optimized for search engines is critical to your jobs being found by potential applicants.
5. It’s important to identify your core workflows and make sure the ERP ATS can deliver on the day-to-day tasks you repetitively perform.
- Does the ERP vendor allow you to create flexible online prescreening questionnaires based on the type of job and/or location?
- Do they allow you to disqualify based on how the applicant answers your most basic screening questions so all you are left with is a qualified applicant pool?
- Do they provide an easy and efficient way for you to post requisitions, manage your applicants, and search your resume database?
- Will they push your openings to job boards and job board aggregators?
6. Best in class ATS systems offer the flexibility to match your current recruitment process. If your ERP ATS isn’t flexible, scalable, and easy to learn/train, consider the cost of this inflexibility and the impact it will have on your recruitment team and process.
I have a rule I always follow when I go to a restaurant. I always order whatever cuisine the restaurant specializes in, so if it’s an Italian joint I don’t order steak and if it’s a steak joint I don’t order Italian. I would apply this same rule when shopping for an applicant tracking system. Why? A vendor whose focus is applicant tracking and recruitment is going to see the value in this process more so than a vendor whose focus is payroll and benefits. Many ATS vendors now offer seamless integrations with your HRIS system, so maybe you can really have your cake and eat it too. (Dessert is the exception to the rule by the way and can be eaten anytime and anywhere.)