ATS stakeholder

Using Stakeholders’ Pain Points for ATS Selection

By: Dave Rietsema
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When you have decided to move forward with selecting a new Applicant Tracking System (ATS), it can be tough to figure out what to do first. One of the best options for starting your ATS selection journey is to call a meeting involving all of the individuals in the organization that will be affected by a change in systems.

After everyone is assembled, one major question is sure to get a response: What is awful about the current system?

Let Stakeholders Vent

Instead of trying to control the ebb and flow of the meeting, simply letting the stakeholders vent about ATS frustrations – one at a time – can be hugely educational. When stakeholders feel that their venting will be welcome, heard, and possibly responded to, you may learn some surprising things about what they have simply been dealing with and not complaining about.

Ask Stakeholders to Rank Pain Points

After the initial round of complaints and note-taking, stakeholders are likely to be engaged and excited. Capitalize on this enthusiasm by asking them to rank their pain points in a way that will help to create priorities for the new system that is being selected. Once you have a well-rounded view of everyone’s needs and priorities, it can help you to get a better idea of what you should expect of your new system.

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Use Priority Rankings to Judge New Systems

Condense the pain points and priority rankings to come up with a summary of just a few top things that your organization truly needs the new system to do well. Using this as a guideline, begin looking at new systems and judging them. Whether you receive assistance from a company that recommends certain systems based on your needs or you take the DIY approach, having this list can help immensely!

Gear Demo Questions towards Solving Specific Problems

Even information regarding pain points that didn’t make it to the top list of priorities can be valuable when it comes time for the ATS system demo. You can utilize the stakeholders’ admitted pain points to formulate questions for the vendor representative that will help you assess the system’s ability to solve specific problems.

How willing the representative is to let you have the floor and their ability to answer your questions may also help you to glean a little insight into the future vendor support.

Increase Buy-In By Involving Stakeholders in Selection

Throughout the process of paring down priorities, meeting with vendor representatives, witnessing the demo, generating a short list, and finally selecting a new ATS, try to involve your stakeholders as much as possible. This can be as simple as sending an email communicating the priorities and shortlist or as involved as inviting certain people to the final decision making round.

By involving the people that will be affected by the new system on a daily basis to take part in the highlights of the decision making process, you will likely increase enthusiasm for the new system and ensure high adoption rates after it is installed. If they feel like their pain points are being addressed and may even be solved by the new system, it can also foster loyalty and improve employee satisfaction.

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