7 key steps to a successful implementation of your new ATS

dylan gillis KdeqA3aTnBY unsplash 1 scaled 1 | 7 key steps to a successful implementation of your new ATS
By Paula Smith | 26th July 2021 | 5 min read

Once you have found a recruitment technology provider that meets your organisations needs, it's time to focus your attention on the successful implementation of your ATS. 

Anyone who has ever implemented an ATS will tell you that the implementation process is probably more important that any other and will ultimately determine the overall success and ROI of your chosen software solutions. 

Whilst every ATS provider will have their own method of implementation, our team has devised a 7-step process that is designed to ensure that you and your team not only have the tools you need to manage every stage of the recruitment process, but also a solution that is truly configured to match your specific needs. 

Step 1 - Initialisation 

Every implementation process should be fully project managed. In order to maximise efficiencies it is important to ensure that all relevant people are brought to the table, and that roles and responsibilities are clearly outlined from the outset. 

At networx recruitment, we utilise an online platform that provides all relevant parties with complete transparency throughout the process, allowing clients to track where in the process the implementation is at and what tasks are outstanding for who to complete.   

As well as allowing key stakeholders to get to know each other and who they need to be speaking with at which stage, setting expectations of timescales and resource requirements for both parties is critical for the successful implementation of your new ATS. 

Step 2 - Consultation 

Once you have established who and what is involved in the process, it’s time to start mapping out your processes and understanding how the system can be best configured to reflect your needs. 

This is more than just scoping what level of functionality you require, but what your user structures will look like, how your recruitment workflows need to work and what key milestones need to be put in place to ensure that your recruitment activities can be managed in the most time and cost-effective manner. 

Experience and knowledge obviously play an important role during the consultation. Having people who understand the challenges of recruitment present ideas, share best practice,s and generally advise on the best approach to recruitment is not always available from all software providers, but those that do offer this can obviously deliver a significant advantage to their clients. 

Taking a standard recruitment solution offering and being able to configure it in a way that becomes a tailored solution plays an instrumental role in the overall success of the implementation of any new ATS.

Step 3 - Build 

Once you have established how your system needs to be configured, then your ATS provider should be in a position to build it. From vacancy authorisation through to onboarding, data extraction, and HR System integration; every stage of your recruitment process needs to be built to reflect your specific needs and how you and your team manage your recruitment.  

Security and GDPR compliance is also key consideration at this stage of the process. 

Implementing the necessary security measures to ensure that data is stored and managed in line with your policies and the latest legislation needs to be a primary consideration.   

For example, ensuring your data purge settings reflect the length of time you wish to store data for, removing the ability for interviewers to view personal information when sifting or simply removing the ability to print hard copies of candidate information. Your ATS should be built to reflect your specific needs.

Step 4 - Testing

The greater the level of flexibility and configuration of your ATS, the greater the importance of testing. Most ATS providers will have an internal testing team who will navigate throughout each stage to ensure that the functionality is working in the way it needs to and meets the requirements of your consultation. 

As every client works in a slightly different way, every project provides different testing challenges, and there is never a straightforward, 'one size fits all' solution. 

Ultimately, the goal is not only to identify potential bugs and errors but to deliver the best possible solution to clients. 

Step 5 - Training 

Getting to know your system and feeling confident with the technology will undoubtedly support the successful implementation of your new ATS.

Your ATS solution should be reflective of your specific requirements and the way you recruit, including adapting training to meet the needs of your organisation. 

Most ATS providers will give the option to conduct training either remotely or on-site, and some even have dedicated training spaces available so that the team can fully immerse themselves into the sessions and maximise return on investment. 

Rather than a one-off project, training needs to be a continuous process especially if the technology is evolving in line with digital transformation. 

Step 6 - User Acceptance 

Actually using the system is the best way to actually identify if your ATS is actually fit for purpose. Being able to experience the technology firsthand prior to going live provides you with the opportunity to truly explore any potential amends, tweaks or adjustments that need to be made to help a smooth transition and rollout across your organisation. 

A period of 2 weeks is often enough for key users to find synergy between the software and the way you recruit. 

Step 7 - Go Live 

Now that your system has been built, configured, and tested and your users have been trained and have had the opportunity to add new vacancies and sift candidates throughout your workflow, it’s time to go live. 

This stage in the process can be broken down into 3 distinct steps: 

  • Handover - Just like handing the keys to a new car owner an ATS provider will give you the necessary permissions to manage the roll out and successful implementation of your ATS. 
  • Deployment  - All dummy data and practice information will be removed and the necessary live links launched to facilitate the integration with job boards, testing providers, etc.
  • Maintenance - You should be provided with access to all the tools you need to successfully use your ATS. This could include dedicated support portals, access to guides and direct contact information for the support desk. 

The successful implementation of your ATS goes way beyond just choosing a provider. Understanding the processes they adopt to implement your ATS in the best possible manner for you, is just as important as the functionality itself. 

For further information on how we can support your organisation with a comprehensive and highly configurable ATS for your business check out IRIS networx today.