If you are thinking of subscribing to an online applicant tracking system, you are certainly on the right path. An online ATS is a software service that is hosted on the Cloud.
What is the Cloud?
The Cloud in its most basic form is storing and accessing data over the internet. The Cloud has the following 3 components:
Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) – This is nothing but renting out servers from one of the Cloud providers like AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, or one of the hosts of vendors. What this means is that you will pick the server configuration you need and pay annually/monthly for the server. This has radically changed how companies can scale up or scale down their infrastructure based on their needs.
Platform as a Service (PAAS) – This is a way to rent out a whole platform with the servers. Microsoft Azure started with this option. Now, Amazon has it and so does Google along with a host of other vendors. Recruiteze uses the Microsoft Azure PAAS for hosting their software.
Software as a Service (SAAS) – This has become very pervasive as most businesses use at least one Software as a Service. If you are using Quickbooks Online for your small business, you are already using one.
We have other articles coming in this series on various topics that will help you subscribe to the right online applicant tracking system.
Here are the most important items to consider before choosing an online ATS vendor, other than the features and pricing.
- Security – Security is very important. Ask the vendor how they are going to ensure the security of your data. As we explained above, once you use a SAAS product, your data is on the servers and database hosted by the vendor.
- Where they are hosting the software – This makes a big difference if it is one of the reputed Cloud Vendors like Azure, AWS, Google Compute Engine or IBM. They have a reputation to keep and they have a host of security experts always working to thwart any hackers. They are current with most hacking attempts and always working on closing any holes in the firewalls and servers.
- Application Security – You should be able to access only information and pages that you have access to, and all your information should be accessible only after logging in with a strong password.
- Database Security – This is very important because of the many attacks such as the Yahoo attack and Target attack where the hackers stole the email addresses and information for millions of users. If they had proper database security, this could have been prevented. Read this article on how Recruiteze secures the data.
- Secure Sockets Layer(SSL) – Don’t even consider a vendor if their service is not using SSL for encryption. You will know if they have SSL by going to their login page and checking if the URL starts with https. If it does, then they are using SSL.
- Responsiveness – Make sure the software has a responsive layout. Being responsive is very important since you should be able to work with your Applicant Tracking System from any device. There are plenty of ATS vendor’s out there, but most of them have not updated their user interface for the modern multi-device use and access. There are only a few of them which have a good one, with Recruiteze being one of them.
- Ease of Use – Make sure it is easy to navigate and use. An ideal online ATS is one where you can understand and use it with minimal or no help.
- Internet Speed – Make sure the online application works well with your internet speeds. This is a really relative scenario. If all applications work slowly on your connection, do not expect any other service to perform any better. Compare this vendor with the other service which you are most comfortable with on your network. If you see them working comparatively at the same level, you can check this off your list.
- Regular Updates – Make sure you subscribe to a service that releases regular updates. You want a service which is regularly fixing issues and releasing new features. This shows that the service provider listens to the customers, addresses their concerns, and values feedback. Most SAAS products evolve only with customer feedback.
- Cancellation – Make sure you can cancel anytime with a notice. You should be able to cancel with an agreed upon notice of either 30 days or 60 days. This is the whole basis of SAAS as it should give you the flexibility to not be locked in even if you do not like the service or if you must cancel due to financial constraints.
- Downgrade – Make sure you can downgrade anytime. Don’t ever sign up to a service where you cannot downgrade. Here is why downgrade is very crucial. You signed up for a service; you like the service and everything is going fine. A recession hits and you are not doing the same amount of business and need to reduce costs. You should be able to downgrade to a minimal plan. The other important thing with a downgrade is the vendor should retain all your data. That way you can always upgrade when you are ready for it, with minimal hassle.
- Scalability – Check if you can add and remove users anytime and pay only for active users. This is another major criterion as you should not pay for users who are not using the system. The service should allow for you to easily add and remove users. That way, you can scale up or down easily. Only paying for what you use is a huge aspect of SAAS.
- Knowledge Base – See if they have a detailed knowledge base of help articles. It makes a big difference when you have a knowledge base because you can find answers to questions yourself.
- Browser Compatibility – Always check if the service works in all the browsers that your users use. Everyone has different browser preferences. Ask your users to try out the service in their favorite browser and make sure it works for everyone.
- Data Migration – Ask if you can migrate your data if you have to move to a different vendor. This allows more freedom in your decisions. You may have a need to change vendors for a variety of reasons and you should always have the flexibility to move your data.
Why is SSL Important?
SSL is important because all data is encrypted while being transmitted and received across the internet. It avoids spoofing attacks where hackers can be watching the network traffic to read usernames, passwords, and any other critical information pertaining to your clients, candidates, and users.
We will have a series of other articles which explain how to choose an online applicant tracking system and the features and factors to look for.
Ready to choose an Online Applicant Tracking System?
You do not have to go too far. Now that we have discussed what you need to look for. We are proud to say that we qualify for every one of those criteria above. Try Recruiteze, our Online Applicant Tracking Sytem FREE Today. With Recruiteze you can streamline your hiring process, by managing your Jobs, Candidates, Notes and Communication efficiently and all in one place. You will not need to maintain your hiring notes and decisions in papers and emails anymore.