1. Get your team on board
Transitioning to a new ATS is much easier if your team feels
confident and enthusiastic about the change. You need buy-in not
just from the hiring team, but from everyone that will be working in
the system. Employees who are resistant to the change or hesitant to
switch off of outdated tools can cause compatibility issues and
bottlenecks in the hiring process. If your team rejects your ATS
choice, you won’t be able to take advantage of the many benefits
that you already know an ATS can deliver.
The easiest way to get employees on board with change is to give
them some agency over the decision. When employees are involved in
decision-making, it improves morale and makes them feel more
empowered and likely to embrace change. Getting your team involved
can also increase the likelihood that you select the ATS that best
meets the needs of your staff.
Ask your hiring managers what is and isn't working with their
current system. What features and
functionality do they need? Let your hiring team get involved in
the process by test-driving different software. If possible, give
them several options, and let them
decide what best meets their needs.
Most importantly, frame this change positively. Yes, there will be
growing pains as everyone learns a new system. But this is also an
exciting opportunity to make the hiring process better and more
2. Set goals for ATS adoption
Once you've settled on an ATS, but before you start the onboarding
process, consider how this new system will fit into your company.
Identify what you hope to achieve with your new ATS and how you plan
to get there. Setting goals will help you stay on track as you
deploy new processes and will help you evaluate your success later
Typically, companies sign a one-year contract with their ATS
provider. Plan your goals around that one-year mark, noting the metrics you
will use in your evaluation. What are you hoping the new ATS will
help you achieve? Your goals may include, but are not limited to,
Focusing on your goals can help avoid the temptation of scope creep.
It can be tempting to go overboard with new features and employ all
of your new system's bells and whistles at once, but such massive
change can be overwhelming. Limit functionality to the features that
will help you achieve your goals.
3. Create an implementation plan
After you've clearly mapped out your goals, plan for the new
software rollout. The key to successful ATS implementation is an
intentional plan of
action that accounts for everybody's roles in the intended
workflow, among other things.
Most ATSs have varying user roles, with different permissions and
access to user data. Designate who will be assigned to each role in
the system, starting with the administrators and working downward.
Appoint one person who will “own” the system during the
implementation period and become the expert and point of contact for
questions and issues related to the ATS. As time goes on, that
person can train one or more other people to help manage the system.
In your plan, map out the workflow for
each part of the hiring process, from posting a job to sending out job
offers. Include as many details as possible for each step of the
process, including which role is responsible for each action. As you
progress with implementation, this master workflow sheet will be
essential for making sure everyone knows their responsibilities and
how to perform them.
While mapping this out, try to keep any changes to your process
small. It will be much easier to build your ATS into your existing
hiring workflow, rather than starting over from scratch.
The start of the new year might seem like a good time to start with
a new system, but Q1 is usually one
of the busiest times of the year for hiring managers. Rolling
out a new system when the staff is already slammed will likely add
to the stress and lead to mistakes. Instead, schedule your
transition to coincide with a quiet time in the hiring cycle.
Remember to include a plan for transitioning your data to the new
system. Your data is one of your most important assets, and you have
a responsibility to protect the data of your applicants. Find out if
the ATS will migrate your data for you, or if it will need to be
manually reentered into the new system. Either way, make sure all of
your data is backed up before you make the switch. If you are moving
from another ATS, you should be able to get a hard-copy archive of
4. Reach out for support
As you tackle the nuts and bolts of onboarding, remember that you
aren't alone. A quality ATS should come with customer support
resources to help answer questions, get your team set up, and
troubleshoot any issues that arise. It’s important to know that some
companies are better at advertising their support offerings than
others, so it's always a good idea to ask what is available to you.
Most ATS partners offer educational materials to help you learn
about your new system on your own time. Encourage your employees to
review any available webinars, help center articles, or pre-recorded
demos that are relevant to them. Make sure that everyone knows where
to find the resources they need to be properly trained, and check in
on their progress.
Some companies also offer personalized onboarding support, giving
you access to a customer success professional to help ensure your
team gets up and running smoothly. Others offer access to a fully
staffed support team through channels like email, phone, or live
chat. Make sure to take advantage of the resources that are
available to you as your team is ramping up.