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22 Questions To Evaluate Applicant Tracking Systems For Your Organization

There are four distinct stages to the applicant lifecycle: recruiting, managing applicants and the selection process, hiring and onboarding, and human resources. It’s vital to your company’s success that you navigate each of these as proficiently as possible, but it can be overwhelming when you don’t have the proper technology in place, or worse—when you have too many systems that don’t work together.
Applicant tracking systems can help you manage your job postings, applicants, hiring, and all the tasks contained therein—but with so many out there, how do you find the right one for you?
First, it’s important to understand that while some systems address all phases of the applicant lifecycle, most do not—instead specializing in just one or two of those steps. In order to find the perfect ATS for you, it’s critical to evaluate your company’s needs in each phase and how they match up with the different options available. Careful consideration should be made in evaluating what systems you already have in place and whether they can be integrated into a new process or with other software platforms.
Here are some key questions to ask when evaluating an ATS.

  • Can you create and manage job listings within your ATS?
  • How easy is it to update the number of openings you have for positions?
  • Does the ATS automatically syndicate your job listing across all the different job board websites?
  • Are the job sites that are important to reaching your target candidates included in that list?

Managing applicant workflow

  • Does the system provide automated resume scoring that you can configure?
  • Are you able to make notes on and rank applicants?
  • How much can you structure the interview process to help hiring managers ask the right questions?
  • Does the software provide a review queue for applicants?
  • How are you able to visualize the overall process? Are there dashboards that help a user quickly understand what actions are needed?
  • Are you able to schedule interviews and send invites to applicants as well as internal hiring managers?


  • Upon selection of a new hire, can the ATS generate an offer letter?
  • Can I-9s and eVerify be managed through the ATS?
  • Can a background checks be initiated? How are the requisite authorization and disclosure forms obtained and stored?
  • To what extent can you control what checks are conducted for each applicant?
  • Can different packages be ordered depending on the position being considered?
  • Can drug tests be initiated through the ATS?
  • Are there workflows to obtain all the necessary information needed to fully onboard the employee (for example, benefits, uniform, equipment provisioning, etc.)?
  • Are there documents or processes you need to introduce the new employee to your corporate culture and the other members of their team?


  • Once the employee is settled in, how do you manage their payroll, vacation tracking, family or medical leave, or other leaves of absence?
  • How do you manage benefits administration?
  • How is employee information updated when life changes take place?
  • Do you have a system for keeping track of emergency contacts or significant others?

How accessible and integrated is the ATS?
Some platforms seek to provide solutions for all the items listed above, but few applicant tracking systems do everything a company needs. It can be a real headache managing one system to create job listing and manage applicants and then have to manually outsource all the verification and background screens to a completely different system, only to then have to copy all that information a third time into your regular HRIS system once hired. So the most important part of picking the right system for you is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your business needs as they are today, with a look to any future needs that may come along in 12 to 24 months. Then verify that the system works with (or replaces) any mission-critical systems already in place. Be sure to find out if the system has turnkey integrations already in place, or at least an API that allows you to connect with other important systems.
ATS platforms that are already integrated with TazWorks allow users to automate ordering and delivery of background checks. Additionally, data is securely stored on TazWorks servers, eliminating the need for the ATS to warehouse sensitive personal information.  Applicant-facing workflows such as the QuickApp insure compliant authorization and disclosure forms are obtained.
A few of our partners include:

  • Jobvite
  • Oracle Taleo Business
  • Oracle Taleo Enterprise
  • iCims
  • Greenhouse
  • Workday

You can view a full list of our ATS partners here.
If you’re an ATS provider who would like to integrate with us, or if you’re already a TazWorks customer and would like to request an ATS integration, you can contact our ATS team at integrations@tazworks.com.
The goal of an applicant tracking system is to streamline your hiring process as much as possible, but that can’t happen if it doesn’t easily connect with your other software tools. Think about your employee management process holistically from the start to avoid a fragmented, inefficient process.  With so many good systems available in today’s market, H.R. professionals have a wealth of choices to create great solutions.  Ultimately, the process should save time, and deliver clarity to hiring managers, company stakeholders.  Most importantly, be sure to evaluate the process from the applicant’s perspective.  After all, the goal is to source, hire, and retain top talent.

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