Implementing applicant tracking system (ATS) software can transform a company’s hiring process. This is ultimately a good thing for most organizations, but any transformation causes growing pains and a fair share of changes.
The following are a few effects that the ATS implementation process may catalyze. Of course, different organizations react differently, and this is a generalized list. You may be better equipped to predict exactly how your organization may weather these changes and which changes in particular apply to your company prior to the start of the implementation journey.
Implementation Will Take Time and Resources
Implementing new ATS software will take time and at least a small degree of technological expertise. This means that an IT department employee or a vendor representative will likely be working hand in hand with a manager and hopefully a hiring team member or two to get the ball rolling on installing and customizing the software.
In addition to labor time, the implementation team may need space and supplies. Considering all of these needs may help the project to run smoother and mitigate any negative impact to the organization.
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Training Will Be Needed
New ATS software affects more departments than is often considered. The marketing department may have to get on board with new branding schemes, the IT department may be assigned technical tasks, the CEO, CFO, and VP may be held accountable for budgeting and system effectiveness. Hiring managers, recruiters, and other hiring team members will of course be impacted daily by the new system.
As part of implementation, it’s important that all of the people that will be impacted by the new system be trained on its use. Training may take time away from other projects, so it needs to be planned appropriately.
Hiring Processes Will Be Scrutinized
It’s wise to make some changes to improve the hiring process before and during ATS software implementation, so the tasks involved in the hiring process will be scrutinized for effectiveness.
The best plan is usually to establish the desired changes and stick to that standard throughout ATS implementation. It will be tempting to make small changes at every turn, but this can prolong implementation and decrease the effectiveness of the system long-term.
People Will Resist Change
People are predisposed to resist change, so expect some pushback. For best results, find the people that are most excited about the new system and support the change before implementation even begins. Assign these advocates key roles in training and support so that their attitude will help motivate other employees to embrace the new system.
Turnover May Increase
Unfortunately, there are often a few employees that refuse to adapt to changes within an organization and will quit rather than alter the hiring techniques that they have become comfortable with. Planning for some degree of turnover following ATS implementation may help to lessen the blow. While no one wants to see turnover when trying to improve hiring, expecting some can help a company recover faster.
ATS implementation may present challenges and have a broader impact on the organization than expected. Remember, however, that once the system is up and running, it will also cause many positive changes and potentially raise your hiring standards and your company as a whole.