Six Questions You Should be Asking Your ATS Provider

If you at Unleash in Vegas, stop by the Expo Hall Influencer Stage at noontime on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019. I’ll be chatting with Gerry Crispin and Martin Burns on the topic of measuring the return of recruitment advertising strategies. This chat came about due to this post from a few months back. You can join and inform that conversation by completing the survey below. Please take a moment to share your source of influence/hire tracking experiences and priorities!

We hope you’ll join us to discuss the results on May 23rd, 1pm Eastern. Here’s the link to access this webinar when it goes live If you take the survey, we’ll send you a reminder email about this session but you can also just add this link directly into your calendar now. At this session discuss the survey as well as hear thoughts on this topic from practitioners Jennifer Tracy of Charter/Spectrum, Allyn Bailey of Intel and Adam Eisenstein of BCG!

One key topic we’ll be chatting about at Unleash is the level to which different technologies support measurement of recruitment advertising. As a buyer, assessing this level is hard, and let’s face it – providers don’t all do this equally well. Would the market welcome a set of standards in this area to make this assessment easier? In addition to helping buyers, standards may help technology providers understand holistically what is needed and more importantly, to prioritize the requisite development work. It’s a lot easier for a product manager to explain to their CEO that they need to achieve Level 3 of an industry standard required to win business than to add a feature that’s actually simple but sounds complicated or risky (like tracking pixel support). I know, having been there, when you’re staring at a pile of enhancement requests a mile high, having an easy anchor to articulate the ask makes it that much easier to bubble this critical work to the top of the list.

What would go into setting standards for ensuring effective value return for recruitment advertising? That would be for a committee to decide. In the meantime, I’ll propose a few ideas to get us started. Below is a list of key “capabilities” you will find in any ATS that is built to support what I’ll refer to as an “open advertising framework.” Essentially, this means the system is built to work with the recruiting tools of your choice, vs. boxing you the limited ones they offer and/or blocking metrics access. There could also be a list (longer, in fact) of capabilities that might apply to the advertiser/recruitment marketer that is running your campaigns and measuring their return starting with the first delivery/view/click. While we continue this discussion of setting standards, please join the conversation and let us know what you think. And in the meantime, here are some questions you can ask your prospective ATS providers to see how open their framework is to supporting advertisers. The questions and answers are based on the GraceRock team’s experience building and working with (or not working with) various ATSs to help support a company’s metrics and advertising strategy. Next week, I’ll explain why the deal breaker answers landed in that column.  


Best Case Answer


Deal Breaker (Walk Away)

How can I predefine my recruiting sources, have access to each source’s unique identifier, and share them with my recruitment advertisers?

Admin users can create
sources and define each
source’s unique identifier.

Admin users can create
sources and easily look up
a source’s system generated unique identifier.

The sources are all set up in the system for
you as “job boards” with instruction to activate
what you plan to use. Or, sources can be created
by recruiters who can generate apply url’s per
source but the source’s unique identifier is not
accessible to admin users.

How do candidates report where they learned about the job when they are applying?

Candidates are only asked a question if the source was not automatically identified.

Candidates are asked a question while applying and choose from a list of valid options.

The system pre-defines all possible sources, so candidate self-reporting of the source is explained as being “unnecessary” because everything is automatically identified. Self reporting is therefore, not an option.

What happens when a candidate who has already applied, applies to a new job from a different source?

Users can automatically view and report on the source of the candidate for each unique job where they have applied.

Users can report on the source of the candidate for each unique job where they have applied.

The system tracks one source per candidate, either first or most recent, regardless of which jobs or where they have applied.

How can we automatically detect the candidate’s source from any advertiser without the need to ask the candidate how they heard about the job?

Advertisers can use your company’s predefined source identifier in the apply URL but the ATS will survey candidates when undefined.

The candidate source is automatically identified based on referring URL, provided it’s a predefined source.

The ATS accepts any source that is passed in the URL, resulting in reporting challenges due to data inconsistencies. It’s even worse if source autodetection is not supported at all.

How many tracking pixels are supported on the job apply confirmation/thank you page to detect applicant conversions by advertiser?

It’s unlimited, the thank you page is configurable by your admin user.

One is supported and is configurable by your admin user and/or fees apply. Both answers are barely acceptable.

Tracking pixels are not supported.

How do you provide my recruitment advertisers with performance data (counts of interviews, offers, hires by source/job) for every source they manage for me?

Advertiser’s can retrieve performance data via API, without over-exposing sensitive candidate data to the advertiser.

Ad hoc reports of the data needed for the advertiser can be generated and scheduled for delivery via sFTP or email.

It’s not supported or access is via an API that would require granting too much data access to the recruitment advertiser.

Six Questions You Should be Asking Your ATS Provider

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