ats tracking plan

ATS Project Plan: Necessary Elements

By: Dave Rietsema
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Making the decision to move forth with purchasing and implementing an ATS is a big step that can be cause for celebration. After the existing system has been evaluated and the new system has been selected, however, there is still one major step – implementation.

When creating an implementation project plan, it is imperative that certain elements be present in order for the project to be a success.

Realistic Expectations

Before getting started with implementation, it is helpful to establish how long you expect the project to take and what you expect your recruiting processes to look like when it is done. To get a feel for these things, you may compile information from other companies like yours that have implemented the same or similar ATS solutions. If you can visualize what your implementation and the fruits of your labor will look like, it will help you to be better prepared for any challenges that you may face.

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Excitement from Key People

If your hiring team is resistant to the change that the ATS will catalyze, it can throw a monkey wrench into your implementation plan. Getting your team excited about the software by bringing them into the fold throughout the selection and implementation process and showing them directly how the ATS will benefit them can make the implementation project much smoother. When everyone is working together to make the project work, the odds of success increase.

Change Management

Even if everyone is excited about switching to using the new ATS for recruitment, enthusiasm can wane when the implementation process becomes more taxing or when the system fails to respond exactly as the hiring team expected. Communication is key for the follow through and will help to ensure that the ATS truly becomes an integral part of the organization after implementation is complete. Stakeholders should be comprehensively trained on using the system and should know who to contact with questions.

A Tracking Plan

An ATS project plan’s success is subjective unless there are pre-established benchmarks that can be used to actually measure that success. To figure out how much your current recruiting system costs you per hire, you must analyze and record expenses like paper, postage, labor time spent reviewing resumes, time spent on interviews, and any outsourcing costs. Be sure to start recording the cost per hire immediately after the implementation project is complete so that you can calculate your ROI.


To make sure that your ATS will be well received, it is important to pick a system that is easy to use and understand. It is also imperative to plan the implementation project out in such a way that it will seem simple, in spite of all of the moving parts that actually have to be considered. Some organizations find that implementing an ATS in phases works best, so that recruiters get used to some aspects of the system before being introduced to other aspects of the system.

While every organization is different and every implementation project comes with unique challenges, making sure that these basic elements are present in the implementation project plan can have a big impact on the success of the project.

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