In my post on Recruiting Technology Top Ten I received good feedback from many sources and had more than one conversation on one item in particular, the Applicant Tracking System or ATS.  There is perhaps no greater discussed and debated topic on recruiting forums.  An ATS can make our days easy, our lives move with less stress, and increase our production.  They can also cost us too much money, be hard to manipulate, and make us feel like we work for them.

So we decided to create a wish list for all ATS’s that would make our recruiting lives simpler.

Dear Applicant Tracking System, may we please have…..

10.  Auto matching that works.  Location requirements and skill sets should easily make matches across my database and show me results clearly.

9. Real time activity tracking which will sync with my outlook (or any calendar) to make it easy for me to see when I made the call, the email was sent, and the date for the follow up.

8.  How about some easy drag and drop functionality?  Save the programming for the programmers please.

7.  Resume parsing that can accurately give my newly created candidate profile good information, and in the correct places.

6.  Direct linking  job and candidate posting to my website from the ATS and assistance getting it on my site.

5.  Easy and intuitive field customization that will adjust to my needs.  Simple is the key here.

4.  Ongoing and ongoing and ongoing fee free service and training – start up training is nice, but how about being there for me when I need you most?  The best questions come up months later, always.

3.  Mobile connectivity –  if I cannot access my database from anywhere then you are simply not keeping up with the technology I use everyday.

2.  Costs that are fair, without annual contracts, and allow for month to month usage, and an easy out if its not working.  And watch out, some offerings are now free, and good.

1.  A dashboard that can easily give me the metrics that I need to see and can be customized for my business.  Can’t your system fit me instead of me fitting it?

I think an ATS can do wonders for recruiters.  But many use none and their systems are excellent and organized.  Please share your thoughts, wishes, and flames.

By Noel Cocca

CEO/Founder RecruitingDaily and avid skier, coach and avid father of two trying to keep up with my altruistic wife. Producing at the sweet spot talent acquisition to create great content for the living breathing human beings in recruiting and hiring. I try to ease the biggest to smallest problems from start-ups to enterprise. Founder of RecruitingDaily and our merry band of rabble-rousers.