Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!

Today’s Question: What would you say is the most important thing for a recruiter to look for in an ATS? Advanced search capabilities? An awesome filter? Ease of use? We want to hear your thoughts on what recruiters need from their ATSs – and why.

Liz1. Candidate Experience

It is most important to consider the system from the candidate’s perspective, and not from the corporate user’s. Studies show that up to 90 percent of job seekers who apply on a traditional ATS abandon the process because it takes too long to complete on a mobile device. Test the system on mobile. If you can’t complete an application in five minutes, keep looking for alternative systems. And stop asking candidates to create user IDs and passwords. This is just another step for them to do on a mobile device. When was the last time a candidate logged into your system to amend an application?

Liz D’Aloia, HR Virtuoso

Nikos2. Ease of Use

Without ease of use, everything else – from sourcing to job board integration, candidate scoring, and reports – is doomed to disappoint. Ease of use is key to getting clients on board for external recruiters and hiring managers involved for internal recruiters. This is what creates a real hiring process that can deliver results.

Nikos Moraitakis, Workable

DanWhite3. Customer Support

You need to know that you have responsive support should things not go to plan or anything unexpected happen. The system holds sensitive data, and HR professionals have a duty to ensure that data is secure. You need a supplier with a solid service-level organization (SLA) that you can hold them to.

Dan White, WikiJob

NRJ4. A Balanced System That Works for Both Recruiters and Candidates

We suggest balancing the recruiter experience with the candidate experience. Before committing to one ATS platform over another, take it for a test drive and measure the experience as if you’re a candidate.

N. Robert Johnson, The David Group

Daniel5. Efficient Communication

A good ATS will help you with a career site, help you make posts on job boards and social media, it will help you organize applicant questions – and, of course, a good ATS should send each applicant a thank-you email indicating their resume has been received, rather than subjecting them to the “black hole” experience.

Daniel Chait, Greenhouse

Tony Sternberg6. Customization

The most important feature recruiters should look for in an applicant tracking system is customization. An ATS should allow recruiters to maintain their current hiring methods, while making their lives easier. Every recruiter has their own way of doing things, so no two processes are alike. The method recruiters use to hire candidates is key to their success, and they shouldn’t have to change that process for an ATS. An ATS is meant to make recruiters’ lives easier, so it should be flexible enough to fit into their established processes.

Tony Sternberg, CATS Software

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