Choose the Right ATS By Asking These Questions

The process of shopping for a new Applicant Tracking System can be overwhelming! Your ATS holds some of your most sensitive employee information and can make or break a candidate’s decision to join your company, so it makes sense that it’s a purchase that requires a lot of research and vetting. As you’re considering different options and how they impact your recruiting team, you are probably also juggling requests from various stakeholders like your company executives, IT, and hiring managers.

In order to help you through this process, we’ve aggregated the conversations we’ve had with 2000+ customers to outline some of the major topics you’ll want to be sure to cover in your conversations with vendors. Keep reading to get the lowdown, and download this checklist of specific questions that you can use to guide your vendor evaluation process.

Applicant Tracking & Requisition Management

This is the bread and butter of the ATS: It is the foundation of how it’ll help the recruiting team succeed in their jobs. You’ll want to understand how this particular system is used to set up interviews and collect feedback, how different permission roles function, and how adaptable it can be to your team’s unique structure and needs. How requisitions and candidate management is configured will be critical to how reportable your data is down the line.

Careers Page & Candidate Experience

With so much evaluation time spent with internal stakeholders, it can be easy to forget about a group of people who really care about your ATS: the candidates who are using it to apply to jobs at your company. Since you’re trying to create the best possible experience for them, think about how your ATS can support that goal. You’ll want to pay attention to branding—how much can you customize your careers page and applications—as well as the overall candidate experience and whether the ATS provides you with any tools to quantify and measure it.

Configuration, Privacy, & Compliance  

Your ATS holds a lot of sensitive employee and candidate information, so it’s important to look into how well a particular solution safeguards data. How do your current requisition and offer approval processes work? Consider that, over time, these may change, so it’s also essential to understand how easily you can make changes to your configuration to reflect your evolving process. Be sure to find out which types of changes you can make yourself and which ones require help from Customer Support.

Sourcing & Integrations

When shopping for an ATS, think about all the ways your recruiters interact with candidates. Most recruiting teams take on both inbound and outbound recruiting functions, so it’s important to find a solution that will facilitate referrals and managing relationships with passive candidates. Also be sure to understand how well a solution facilitates your ability to organize and uncover past candidates with a CRM for building pipeline on new roles. 


We may be talking about software, but recruiting still revolves around people. That’s why we recommend spending some time deciding what you’d like to get from your relationship with your ATS provider. You may want to look into how customer feedback is handled, how customers are kept in the loop about product developments, and how the company contributes to the future of the industry through thought leadership.


At some point, you may have a question or need a little help from the Customer Support team. Be sure to find out how you can receive this support and whether there are ways for you to connect with other customers.

We hope that this has helped you add a little more structure to your ATS shopping process! If there’s an area that we missed, please drop us a line in the comments section to let us know.

Looking for all these questions in a handy guide? Be sure to download a free copy of “Questions to Ask During Your ATS Evaluation Process.” Get your copy here!

Lauren Ryan

Lauren Ryan is the Sr. Director of Growth Marketing at Greenhouse, where she helps make sure People & HR teams know how Greenhouse can help them build a winning hiring culture.

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Recruiter Tips