The Applicant Manager Blog

Subscribe to Email Updates


Recent Posts

What Employers Must Know When Drug Screening Applicants

What Employers Must Know When Drug Screening Applicants

Did you know that the percentage of US employees testing positive for drugs has increased over the past 2 years? This includes an increase in usage across nearly all workforce categories and drug test specimen types, according to Quest Diagnostics. Drug screening is...

Why the Best Recruiting Software Provides Value, Not Just Features

by | Aug 1, 2019 | recruiting software

Best Recruiting Software

When shopping for recruiting software, most people look at two things: features and price. They check to see if the solution has the basic features that they need and whether it fits their budget. While obviously important, we have found that looking at an applicant tracking system (ATS) based on just these criteria won’t necessarily guarantee the best fit for your organization. Instead, focusing on the value that an ATS can bring to your organization is more important.

In this post, we’ll examine what value means when shopping for an ATS.

What the Best Applicant Tracking Systems Have in Common 

Many ATS solutions have been developed with similar principles and feature sets, such as the following:  

  • Attracting and Engaging Candidates. An ATS helps HR teams reach prospective candidates with the news of a position while also creating a positive experience that inspires them to apply. Features used in this function include mobile optimization, simple job board posting, and an employee referral platform.
  • Interviewing and Managing Candidates. An ATS can help you more easily communicate, move candidates through the hiring process more efficiently, schedule interviews, and touch base with your hiring team. Most applicant tracking systems offer email templates for automation, interview scorecards, workflows, recruiting dashboards, features for EEOC and OFCCP compliance, and other tools for hiring managers.
  • Offering and Onboarding Phases. The best applicant tracking systems provide tools that help you seal the deal, such as approval processes, integrated background checks, digital offer letters and onboarding recommendations.

Many ATS providers offer most – if not all – of these features, which is why it is important to look more carefully at your needs to understand what will provide you with the most value.

Delivering on Value

When we talk about “value,” it’s important to define what exactly we mean by the term. Value ultimately comes down to getting the most ROI possible for the least amount of money.

Value is typically expressed as a straightforward relationship between perceived benefits and perceived costs, where value = benefits/cost. In the case of software, “benefits” are the things that the features allow you to do, provided these things are important. For example, being able to use an ATS to create a sourcing report adds a significant amount of value, as long as the report is something you would rely on to determine where you will spend your recruiting dollars. Conversely, if you only ever post your positions on the same three free job sites regardless of what the sourcing report says, then the ATS’ reporting feature is of no real value.  

Think about it: Have you ever made a purchase because you were “sold,” even though it was a purchase you never planned to make, and it didn’t really add value to you? That’s what we all want to avoid.

To some degree, it’s a numbers game. If a given solution costs $90 per person per month, and your HR employees are paid $30 per hour, the solution must save the worker more than three hours of work every month to break even in terms of value. Any further time savings further improve the solution’s value and ROI.  

Other value factors aren’t so easily quantified – for instance, saving your employees stress and headaches is a boon for any solution, but how can you assign that a monetary value? Even if you can’t say that a feature set is worth a specific amount of money, the intangible, unquantifiable aspects of value are still important to consider.

However, when we mention “the least amount of money,” that doesn’t inherently mean “lowest price.” Most consumers don’t want to pay more than they have to for anything, but make sure that the solution meets your needs. It’s like making quick decision to buy something that was cheap or on sale, only to realize that the item didn’t work or broke after a few uses.

So, as with any key purchase, think about what the value is of an ATS given your exact circumstance. You don’t want to pay too much, but you want to pay for what you need.

Factors That Contribute to an ATS’ Value

Here are the three key value-focused factors recruiters loo