If you have made a decision to upgrade your current ATS software, it is likely because the software you have used in the past is no longer adequate for your needs. Your team may be making loud protests about all the things that are wrong with the ATS in place.

Even so, when it is time to upgrade to a new ATS, you might meet some resistance. How can you prepare your team for an ATS upgrade and make the transition as seamless as possible?

Step 1: Choose the right ATS system for your needs.

While this step may seem like a no-brainer, spending adequate time to familiarize yourself with the deficiencies in your current system will help you choose wisely this time around. Working with feedback from team members who use your current ATS every day, find out what they like and do not like about it.

Identify bottlenecks and awkward workflows. Listen to your team. Then, carefully ensure that your choice of an ATS upgrade will incorporate the features of your current software that your team values and will add features from their functionality wish list. HeliosHR suggests that this step, when done correctly, may take six to seven weeks.

Step 2: Kick the tires and go for a test drive.

Your new ATS vendor should be able to schedule demos to help you get the feel of your new ATS. At this stage, it is important to get your management team up to speed with the system. Getting buy-in from your management team helps streamline the process of implementation considerably. The more at ease your management team is with the system, the smoother your transition will be.

Step 3: Bring in MVPs from your team.

Choose team members who can offer valuable advice to help you test the work flows and applications of the new system. Bringing one or two competent team members on board early on in the process will set your implementation up for success. These team members can function as mentors later on, making themselves available to answer questions about the new ATS and offering other team members ongoing support.

Step 4: Get marketing on board.

Remembering that a new ATS affects not only your team members, but also external applicants, do not forget to include a branding strategy. The PurpleInk blog offers this advice: “If your company is passionate about brand consistency and particularly about pantone colors, then involve members of your marketing team in the ATS implementation process when it comes to branding your external applicant portal. Ask your partner for information about site design capabilities and a style settings guide that you can share with marketing. This will help to cut down on the number of changes required from the time the vendor first presents you with the customized portal’s appearance to the time the finished product goes live.”

Step 5: Host training sessions for employees before going live.

Modern applicant tracking systems are designed for ease of use, but they still have a plethora of moving parts for which your employees must receive training. Training should take place well before the new system goes live, and should ideally include a number of sessions, from the original “getting-to-know-you” phase through the nitty-gritty details and intricacies of the new system.

Remember that knowledge is power, and empower your team to succeed by imparting the knowledge they need about the new system.

Step 6: Take advantage of everything your ATS vendor offers to ease the process.

You are entering into a partnership with your new ATS vendor, so do not be shy about asking what that vendor can bring to the table in terms of ongoing support for your team members. There is a learning curve with every ATS, and your vendor should be able to bend that curve for the better.

The Bottom Line

Implementation of a new ATS requires patience, skill, and time. While your ATS vendor may be able to quickly get your system up and running, for truly successful implementation, you need to adequately prepare your team by taking time to test drive the system, getting buy in from management, hosting informative training sessions, and identifying mentors who can provide continuing support during implementation and beyond.

Are you ready for an upgrade to your ATS? Schedule a demo today to discuss solutions for your firm.