Make ATS Implementation Less Scary

How To Make Your ATS Implementation Process A Little Less Scary

Congratulations! You’ve decided to move forward with an applicant tracking system. We are really excited about that news! My guess is about half of you are a little scared or even worried about the ATS implementation process because it’s a new technology to introduce to your organization. Let me lay out ExactHire’s process for you as well as give you some tips on how to get things up and running quickly.

I’ve signed my Contract/Scope of Work (SOW). Now what happens?

Once you sign your Scope of Work, that triggers a relay of information from our ExactHire Sales department to our Client Services department. From there, a Client Services representative will reach out to you requesting some information. Because we love paperless hiring, you will be asked to fill out a few web-based forms electronically. This gives us the information we need to build your branded applicant tracking system portal and corresponding employment application(s). If you know that it will be another two weeks before you can complete these forms, please communicate with us. If we do not hear back from you within a week after our initial communication we will follow up. We certainly don’t want to “pester” you, as we know that human resources professionals are often juggling many projects at once…some of which pop up unexpectedly; however, we are excited to move you through the process quickly so that you may start taking advantage of the ATS as soon as possible, as well. With that being said, please note that we are in a holding pattern until you submit the implementation forms.

ExactHire ATS implementation process flow

What if I’m not sure about how to answer the implementation form questions?

HireCenric ATS implementation formHireCentric ATS Implementation FormLet me start by reassuring you that your site is not “live” and able to accept real applicants until you’re ready. We also understand that some of you may not have any previous experience with an ATS, and so by answering some of the questions, you may feel nervous about whether you are giving the best answer for your company’s needs. That’s okay. We’ve implemented numerous clients; we can anticipate when an answer you give might warrant a discussion to double check on your needs based on what we know about your organization. In addition, these items are not etched in stone; they can be altered. You are welcome to dive in and give completing the forms a shot; or, we are always happy to have a quick phone chat to discuss what you might be contemplating.

What kind of information will be requested?

We will be asking about your employment application preferences. We need to know how to build the application to best suit the needs of your organization. I suggest having a printed copy of your current application handy so that you can tell us what is on it. Or, take this moment to do an audit of your current application and make edits to represent what you want it to ask of applicants moving forward. We will also need to know things like how you want to segment your job listings into groups. For example, will your business unit labels be based on divisions, locations, departments or something different? We will also inquire about email addresses, users, ad sources, status code labels or dispositions, etc. All items can be altered or built upon at a later date, but it is helpful to have some basic elements in place to get the site started.

After I submit my electronic forms, how long will it take to get information back?

It will typically take us up to one week to complete the ATS site build from the time we receive your submitted implementation forms. Once we have completed your site, we will send you an email containing information specific to your site: URL addresses; log-in credentials; and, any specific questions we may have remaining in order to finish out the final details of your site.

We will also request that you (and any other HR staff members who will be using the ATS) put yourself in the shoes of your potential applicants and take the time to complete an application to your new site, yourself. It is important to complete this exercise before your one-on-one training session for several reasons:

  1. You will better understand what you’re asking of your applicants. If they have a question about the application process and you have never completed your own application, you will not be able to help answer their question as effectively.
  2. If you desire any changes to be made to your application once you see how it flows in your ATS portal, you can communicate those changes to us and we can make the edits before you start having real applicants apply.
  3. When you complete sample applications prior to training, you are then able to see applicant record data in the site during training which makes it easier to see how different features and reports work on the administrative side.

Schedule your ATS training sessionIn that same email, we will offer you a few options for training. This is done via web conference and typically lasts for an hour and a half. We suggest confirming your training date with us as soon as possible, even if it is scheduled out for a few days or weeks into the future.

Who should attend ATS Software training?

Anyone who will be an Administrator-level User in your system should attend the initial training session geared toward Administrator users, specifically. Administrators have access to jobs, applicants, reports, settings, and user set-up dashboards. Other restricted users (such as hiring managers) will have a separate training session appropriate to their restricted level of user access as warranted.

If I had to remember a few things to help make this ATS implementation experience GREAT, what would they be?

  • Be responsive. I understand work is busy. I know you cannot always get things completed right away. That’s okay! Please communicate with us that the email we sent to you did come through, and when you anticipate you will get to it. And, you can certainly expect the same responsiveness from our team!
  • Jump in and get your feet wet! Rest assured we can change things if you “mess up.” Give it your best shot and together we will have a foundation of your feedback from which we can work.
  • Test your employment application. Ensure that it won’t be too long or short for your applicants, and that it captures the information you require to make informed screening decisions. Testing the application helps you understand the administrative side of the applicant tracking portal, also.
  • Schedule your training session. Time is precious. If you get your training session on the calendar, it’s easier for you to schedule other events around the training rather than vice versa. However, schedule your session in such a way that you are confident that you and your staff will be able to readily start using the tool soon after you are trained. That way, training will be fresh in your mind as you get more acclimated to using the ATS. In our experience, if you wait too long after training to “go live,” then its harder to get up and running once you are ready to do so.

We are only a phone call or email away! Always remember that. It’s not scary when you have someone journeying with you!

If you’re not already an ExactHire ATS client but are interested in learning more about our hiring software tools, please contact us today!

Image credit: over the edge by nic_r (contact)

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